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Motorsport

  • Cobra Sport AmD Racing Reveal 2019 Honda BTCC Programme!

    AmD Tuning can today confirm an exciting new venture alongside long-time supporter Cobra Sport Exhausts that will see them enter a pair of Honda Civic Type Rs in the 2019 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship under the Cobra Sport AmD Racing banner.

    In a joint venture with Cobra Sport Exhausts, AmD Tuning has purchased the two cars that secured race wins and multiple podiums in recent seasons with the Eurotech team, as well as the TOCA BTCC Licences (TBLs) that are required to run them in the series.

    The addition of the two Hondas means the AmD team will continue to run a four-car programme in the series, having expanded twelve months ago when it took over the running of a pair of ex-works MG6 GTs alongside two Audi S3s.

    The Hondas will take the place of the two MGs in the AmD line-up, with those cars set to move on to new owners in the coming months. The Audis will still be run by AmD Tuning but now under the Trade Price Cars Racing banner.

    Having taken collection of the two Hondas last week, work is now underway preparing the cars for the start of pre-season testing. Discussions with potential drivers and title sponsors are already underway, with further announcements to be made in due course.

    “Last season, it was a big move for us to expand to a four-car team and after a successful 2018, we are again seeking to move forwards to the next level,” Cobra Sport AmD Racing joint team principal Shaun Hollamby said.

    “Whilst we enjoyed some strong results on track with the MGs, the opportunity to purchase the ex-Eurotech Hondas was one that was too good to turn down as you only have to look at the stats to see what a strong package the FK2 Civic Type R is.

    “Acquiring these cars provides us with a fantastic platform to really raise our game and fight consistently towards the sharp end of the grid, and we are already in discussions with drivers who we know are capable of helping us to achieve our goal.

    “Without doubt, this is the most exciting development for us as a team since we joined the BTCC, and we have to thank Cobra Sport Exhausts for helping to make it possible. Together, I’m extremely confident about a successful 2019.”

    As part of the expanded relationship, Cobra Sport Exhausts Managing Director Rachel Abbott will take on a joint team principal role alongside Hollamby during the season ahead.

    “Cobra Sport Exhausts have been involved as title sponsors for a number of years now and our involvement in the management of certain aspects of the team has increased over this time,” she said. “We are very excited to be taking the next step as joint team owners with AmD Tuning in our new team, Cobra Sport AmD Racing.

    “We are delighted to have purchased - with Shaun - the two Hondas and TBLs from Jeff Smith at Eurotech Racing. Jeff was a pleasure to deal with, and he and his team have done a tremendous job with the development of the cars over the last few seasons.

    “Professional motorsport involvement runs in the family as my father drove the British Saloon Car Championship’s championship winning Team Broadspeed’s Ford Anglia in the 70s and 80s and was also a team owner of a Formula Ford 2000 race team.

    “I am proud to be able to continue the family tradition and on a personal level, I am looking forward to working with Shaun as joint team principal on this new venture. Shaun has a wealth of knowledge in motorsport and he has built a great team of talented people who I have had the opportunity to get to know over the last few seasons.

    “I am excited to see what we can achieve together in 2019 and beyond.”

    The final livery in which the Cobra Sport AmD Racing Hondas will race will be revealed at a later date.

  • Points and pace for AmD with Cobra Exhausts in BTCC finale

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team enjoyed a solid end to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with another two points scoring finishes at Brands Hatch. 

    The team made the trip to the Kent circuit hoping to challenge for strong results on track, with both Ollie Jackson and Sam Smelt targeting points from the final three races of the year.

    Tamworth-based Ollie impressed in qualifying to put his Audi S3 in 18th spot on the grid for the opening race and ran just outside the points-scoring positions throughout, eventually crossing the line in 17th spot.

    Despite being shuffled back to 20th in the midfield battles of race two, Ollie fought back well through the closing laps to secure a points scoring finish on the final lap, with 15th place leaving him well set for the season finale.

    Quickly making up places at the start of race two, Ollie climbed as high as eleventh with a impressive performance on track and crossed the line in twelfth as the chequered flag dropped to secure another points scoring finish.

    Northampton-based team-mate Sam qualified 28th in the sister Audi and opened up race day with a 25th place finish in race one. 

    A strong drive in race two saw Sam break into the top 20 and left him optimistic about his chances of breaking into the points for the first time in the final race of the season. 

    It looked like an elusive points finish was there for the taking when Sam made a fantastic start, but having been forced to the outside on the run through Graham Hill Bend, he was then hung out to dry at Surtees and slipped back down the order. 

    It meant he ended his rookie campaign with a 26th place finish.

    Ollie Jackson, #48 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “We’ve had a good weekend to end the season, which was important after the bad luck we faced in recent events. We performed strongly all weekend and after a solid result in race two, it was great to be as competitive as we were in race three and we could easily have had a top ten. 

    “We’ve ended the year on a high and whilst it has been a mixed season, it has certainly had more highs than it has lows. As a team, we have worked hard to get as much as we could from the Audi and I think we have done a good job to maximise the package we have in a very competitive field. 

    “I’m proud of everything we have achieved on track.”

    Sam Smelt, #23 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “I didn’t get the most from the car in qualifying which meant I was on the back foot going into race day, but I think I came back well from in the races. I made a few errors in race one that cost me, but then the second race went really well and to get into the top 20 was a solid result. 

    “I really wanted to try and get some points from race three but being forced wide on the opening lap dropped me right back and that was my chance gone, which was just one of those thing that happens.

    “Overall, I feel I have learned a lot and improved in leaps and bounds from when the season started. It’s a shame that I couldn’t get the results from those weekends where we were at our strongest, but luck hasn’t always been on my side. Hopefully I can come back and have another crack at it next year.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhausts team principal, said:

    “It’s been a good weekend for us with the Audis and a solid end to the year. Both drivers have shown good pace on track and Ollie’s performance in the final race in particular was fantastic – he really showed what he can do in a highly competitive field.

    “Sam is really unfortunate to not score points this weekend but he can hold his head up high with how he has performed during the year. People underestimate how big the step up was for him this season but he has kept out of trouble and made a lot of progress that he can now look to build on in 2019.”

  • AmD with Cobra Exhausts pay the price of contact at Silverstone

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team was left battered and bruised following a contact-filled penultimate weekend of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Silverstone. 

    The team headed for the Northamptonshire circuit eager to fight back from a tough weekend at Knockhill, with drivers Ollie Jackson and Sam Smelt targeting points around the short National layout. 

    Tamworth-based Ollie qualified 23rd on the grid for the opening race in his Audi S3 having posted a best time that was less than half a second away from pole position in the ultra competitive field. 

    Despite running the less favourable hard tyre in the opening race, Ollie managed to battle his way forwards to 17th place to leave him well placed to push towards the points in race two.

    Although he ran in the top 15 in the early stages, an overheating engine and mid-race contact would hurt his chances of adding to his points tally and resulted in him dropping back down the order before eventually finishing in 25th spot.

    The overheating gremlins would continue in the final race but proved to be the least of Ollie’s problems when contact between two drivers ahead meant he had nowhere to go when the BMW of Stephen Jelley was suddenly sideways in front of him at Luffield. 

    Heavy contact left the Audi nursing extensive damage to the front end and put Ollie out of the race on the spot.

    Northampton racer Sam had qualified 28th in the sister Audi for his home meeting but would see his race day affected by multiple bouts of contact that limited his ability to race forwards through the pack.

    Having briefly broken into the top 20, Sam would take a 22nd place finish from the opening race of the weekend before he took the flag in 26th in race two whilst running on the slower hard tyre.

    Starting to make up places in race three, Sam would endure more contact from the same driver who had hit him in race one and had to settle for 23rd place.

    Ollie Jackson, #48 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “It’s hard to know what to say about the weekend and I leave Silverstone frustrated that an incident like the one in race three has left us with a car that is extensively damaged through no fault of our own. 

    “It had been a tricky race day because of the need to run the hard tyre in race one and with the overheating issue we had in race two, but we could have possibly salvaged some points from race three.

    “Sadly, Stephen was turned around right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but right into the side of him, which was a big hit for us both. It’s disappointing because it’s an incident that shouldn’t have happened.”

    Sam Smelt, #23 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “It’s a shame that we haven’t been able to come away from race day with some stronger results because we had some decent pace in the car on Sunday. Qualifying didn’t go to plan, but in the opening race we were making up places before contact damaged the rear and affected the handling, which saw me drop back. 

    “Race two was difficult on the hard tyre but we could have done okay in race three without more contact from the same driver. It’s disappointing because I don’t think the results reflect the pace that we had in the car and I’ll go to Brands Hatch looking to try and end the season with some decent results to my name.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhausts team principal said:

    “It’s fair to say that I’m not happy heading away from Silverstone because poor driving standards have affected both of the Audi drivers this weekend.

    “Although Ollie’s race ending shunt in race three was down to bad luck, throughout the day there have been examples of push to pass and people running others off the track, which isn’t on.

    “It’s something that needs to be looked at because we are seeing completely needless incidents where the end result is damaged cars and large repair bills. There needs to be a few race bans handed out to stop the same persistent offenders. 

    “We have a lot of work to do ahead of Brands Hatch, but we’ll leave no stone unturned to make sure we come out fighting on home soil for the season finale.”

  • AmD with Cobra Exhausts endure tough weekend at Knockhill

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team endured a weekend to forget at Knockhill when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship headed for Scotland for the eighth meeting of the year. 

    The team made the long trip north hoping to push for points with its two Audi S3s, with drivers Ollie Jackson and Sam Smelt both optimistic about their chances on track. 

    Tamworth-based Ollie bounced back well from an off into the barriers in second practice to qualify 19th on the grid for race one with a best time just half a second away from pole, and he fought his way forwards to 16th in tricky wet conditions in the opening race of the weekend.

    Sadly, race two was over within moments of the start when he was forced wide heading through Butchers and suffered a spin into the gravel at the same place where he had gone off in practice, which left Ollie at the back of the grid for race three.

    From 29th spot, Ollie had worked his way up to the fringes of the top 20 before an issue with the alternator cable saw him forced back into the pits, putting him into retirement for the second time. 

    Team-mate Sam qualified 29th in the sister car and put in a strong performance in race one to finish 22nd – his best lap during the race being a match for the third placed Honda of Dan Cammish.

    In arguably the most tricky conditions of race day, Sam then worked his way up to the fringes of the points in race two before he hit standing water going into turn one and aquaplaned off into the barriers at speed, forcing officials to bring out the red flag and halt the race.

    Great work from the team saw the repaired Audi take to the grid for race three, but Sam was forced back into the pits to retire shortly after the start due to an issue with the lights – something drivers are required to run for safety reasons in such conditions. 

    Ollie Jackson, #48 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “It’s been a weekend to forget for us sadly. We’ve shown some promise and the car is certainly a big improvement compared to last season but things didn’t go our way. After my error in practice, the team did a great job to repair the car for qualifying and we were in a good position going into race day. 

    “Sadly little things have cost us dear and slight contact ended up with me going into the wall in race two and then the alternator cable went in race three which was frustrating. If you look at how that race panned out and where people finished, then we could have scored some points which would at least have given us something to take away from the weekend, but c’est la vie.”

    Sam Smelt, #23 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “It’s certainly been an eventual weekend. We had some good pace in the wet and had we been a bit higher in qualifying then I’m sure we could have pushed for some points. To be honest, I think it was still possible in that second race as the car was strong but I just hit some standing water going into turn one and couldn’t do anything to stop it.

    "It was a big hit with the barriers and the team did a great job to get the car out for the final race. It’s a shame that something so stupid as the lights tripping out forced us to retire from race three but the speed in the car was strong and I’ve gained a lot of confidence in the conditions despite what happened.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhaust team principal said:

    “It’s been a tough weekend that could have been very different had things fallen in our favour on race day. Conditions on track were very tricky and those conditions have ultimately played a major role in both Ollie and Sam coming away from Knockhill having endured their most challenging weekends of the year. 

    “It’s a shame because both drivers have shown good pace at one point or another through the weekend but come away with nothing to show for it and hopefully that’s something that won’t be repeated when we get to Silverstone next time out.”

  • Double points score in the BTCC at Rockingham

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team was able to secure a brace of points scoring finishes from the latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Rockingham.

     The team headed for the Northamptonshire circuit in confident mood having enjoyed strong results at the oval circuit in the past, with both Ollie Jackson and Sam Smelt optimistic about their chances.

     A solid performance in qualifying saw Tamworth-based Ollie put his Audi S3 19th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend, with a best lap just six-tenths of a second away from pole position.

    Just missing out on the points scoring positions in race one, Ollie showed the race pace of the Audi in race two with a fine drive in drying conditions after an earlier shower to cross the line in eleventh spot, just missing out on pole position through the reverse grid draw. 

    Once again showing the speed in the Audi in race three, Ollie fought his way as high as sixth despite running on the less favourable hard tyre and battled hard to keep the works Honda of Dan Cammish at bay before taking the flag in ninth spot for a second points finish of the weekend.

    Northampton based team-mate Sam showed strong pace throughout practice and qualifying to end up with a personal best of 16th on the grid but his hopes of opening his points scoring account were ended on lap one of the opening race when he was hit going through the Deene Hairpin and forced to retire. 

    At the back of the grid for race two as a result, Sam fought his way forwards to 23rd place but there would be further disappointment in race three when he was involved in contact that forced him into the pits to retire.

    Ollie Jackson, #43 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “We could have enjoyed a better Saturday but I think the race pace was strong this weekend and it’s good to come away from Rockingham with two points finishes and a top ten. If anything, it’s a little disappointing that we didn’t manage to score in all three races.

    “In the final race on the hard tyre we were particularly strong but I didn’t quite have the legs to get ahead of Adam Morgan and then had to make sure I kept Dan’s Honda behind. It shows the progress we have made however to be battling for position with cars that have won races, and that are run by the works teams.

    “If this is the final time we come to Rockingham with the BTCC, I’m glad we’ve closed this chapter with a strong performance on track.”

    Sam Smelt, #21 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “I finally managed to sort Saturday out this weekend with strong pace in practice and qualifying, which is the big positive for me to take away from Rockingham. I was quick throughout the day and even though I picked up my best result in qualifying, I felt there was more to come and was still a little bit disappointed not to be higher up the grid.

    “Unfortunately Sunday turned out to be a day to forget and the contact on the opening lap of race one really put me on the back foot. I did what I could to try and make up places in race two but then more contact in the final race forced me to retire again which was a sad way to end race day.

    “I’m going to put race day behind me and take the positives forwards to Knockhill where hopefully we can fight for some points.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhausts team principal, said:

    “I think it’s a mark of the progress we have made with the Audi that Ollie is coming away from the weekend disappointed that he didn’t get three points finishes as twelve months ago, we’d have been delighted with a top ten. The grid is so competitive this season and he really held his own on track against some of the top drivers with some really strong performances, and he battled hard to earn his results. 

    “This has been a strong weekend for Sam in terms of his pace and his performance on Saturday was very impressive. To get into the top ten in practice and then take his best result in qualifying showed his progress but he was let down by his start in race one which left him right in the middle of the trouble that kicked off. It’s a shame because I feel he could have scored this weekend but we are into the circuits he knows and I don’t think a points finish will be far away.”

  • AmD with Cobra Exhausts secures Diamond Double points at Snetterton

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team was able to bring home a well-earned points finish in the special Diamond Double race as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season resumed at Snetterton.

    The team headed for the Norfolk circuit keen to challenge for points on the back of a solid test earlier in the month, with drivers Ollie Jackson and Sam Smelt both confident about their chances.

    Tamworth-based Ollie qualified in a solid 22nd place on the grid for the opening race of the weekend with a best time just 1.2secs away from pole, whilst he would then secure 19th on the grid for the extended Diamond Double race in a second qualifying session held later on Saturday afternoon.

    Wet weather arrived for Sunday morning and the opening race would end in disappointment for Ollie when he was caught up in an incident at the start that forced him to retire and left his Audi S3 at the back of the grid for race two.

    In changeable conditions, Ollie would again see his race ended early when he got caught out on the damp circuit and made contact with the Honda of Matt Neal, with the team being left to repair the damage to his car in time for the extended final race, which awarded double points.

    Fighting his way forwards into the points by the fifth lap, Ollie continued to make progress up the order and found himself in tenth place in the closing laps.

    Contact at the final corner would ultimately see him miss out on a well deserved top ten in a drag race to the line, with his Audi eventually classified in eleventh spot after rival Senna Proctor was penalised for the last lap contact.

    Northampton-based team-mate Sam qualified in 29th place on the grid for the opening race of the weekend, which saw him cross the line in 22nd spot in the challenging wet conditions.

    A 20th place finish followed in the second race of the weekend before the extended Diamond Double race saw Sam produce by far his best drive of the season.

    Showing quick and consistent pace from the moment the lights went out, Sam fought his way forwards into the points scoring positions for the first time before taking the flag in 18th spot – just missing out on opening his BTCC account.

    Ollie Jackson, #48 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:
    “It’s been a really mixed weekend and races one and two are probably best forgotten. There was nothing I could do in the first race with the incident off the line and then in race two, I hold my hands up that I got caught out by the conditions and apologised to Matt for the contact.

    “The team did a mega job to get the car out for the final race and even though we didn’t have time to get the set-up right for the conditions, the car felt great. We showed really good pace from the start and it’s a shame that we missed out on a top ten finish because of contact on the final lap.

    “Overall, it’s been a tough day for us but to come away from the Diamond Double race with such a strong showing is good consolation at the end of it.”

    Sam Smelt, #23 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:
    “I’m happy that I’ve ended the weekend with a strong showing in the Diamond Double race but at the same time, I’m gutted to come so close to the points and then miss out. One small mistake cost me a load of places but I have to just live and learn from it.

    “After a difficult race one, we showed good pace as race two went on and throughout the final race we were consistently strong which is a big positive for me. The longer race really suited me and hopefully I can build on my performance in that one in the races that are to come.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhausts team principal, said:
    “It’s been a tough day for the Audis but it was great to see both Ollie and Sam put on such a strong showing in the final race of the weekend. Ollie was unfortunate in the first two races but the way he fought back in race three was really good and he should have been able to celebrate a top ten finish.

    “For Sam, the final race was also really good and the longer race really suited him. His lap times were consistent throughout and it was unfortunate that he wasn’t able to break into the points because his performance certainly deserved some.”

     

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