Triple Eight Racing BTCC
Triple Eight Racing Statement

Following careful consideration, having taken advice from both professional parties and sponsor partners, Triple Eight Racing has today taken the decision to withdraw its appeal against the one race ban handed down following the incident in Race Three at Rockingham, the penalty (not the reasoning) for which was upheld during the BTCC Steward’s hearing on Friday.

Whilst Triple Eight remain disappointed with the ultimate outcome, namely, that although the hearing fully vindicated Josh Cook in terms of accepting that there was no intent, rather that the penalised loss of control was the result of an issue with the race engineered MG6, the competition regulation Q14.4.4 provides no alternative but to apportion responsibility to the driver.

As a result of this, Josh Cook will now not compete in Round 25 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and looks forward to two successful races to conclude this weekend’s meeting.

Team Manager, Mick Sergeant said:

“This difficult decision to acquiesce has been taken to protect the integrity of the championship as Triple Eight recognise that any uncertainty over the ratification of race results at this crucial time of the season can be detrimental to drivers, sponsors and our colleagues in competing teams.”
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Aron Taylor-Smith update from Croft
A day that started full of excitement for the MG RCiB Insurance Racing team has ended with the sad news that Árón Taylor-Smith will play no further part in this weekend's racing following the accident that brought an early end to today's qualifying session.
 
Árón was taken to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough and we are saddened to report that, following assessment, it has been confirmed that he has suffered a fracture to his left leg. Árón will remain in hospital overnight so he can be closely monitored for a concussion he suffered.
 
We are however delighted to report, probably unsurprisingly to his many fans, that he is in remarkably good spirits and from his hospital bed has been issuing instructions to his mechanical and engineering colleagues on his expectations for the immediate repair of his stricken MG6! 
 
Árón, his family and friends have been incredibly moved by the goodwill messages received from across the paddock and the wider BTCC family and have asked that we convey their sincere thanks.
 
Everyone involved with the MG RCiB racing team would like to pay tribute to the Marshals, medical staff, Circuit and competition officials for their incredibly prompt and effective work managing such a serious incident. 
 
Our thoughts and best wishes go to both Árón and the other drivers injured in this incident - Luke Davenport and Jeff Smith - for a speedy recovery.
 
The racing at Croft continues tomorrow and it is fair to say that Árón's biggest disappointment is that he won't line up on the grid for what would have been a season's best 6th placed start. You can be sure that Árón will be joining MG fans across the country cheering on his new team mate. The returning Josh Cook makes his second MG debut starting from the third row in 5th place.
 
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Cook makes a return to Triple Eight Racing
Triple Eight Racing is now delighted to confirm the replacement driver for the remaining 2017 season.  The entire team, MG and all our partners are thrilled to welcome back Josh Cook.
 
Josh enjoyed working with Triple Eight Racing during 2016 in which he achieved an excellent season both on and off the circuit. Highlights included front row qualifying results and podiums.  Josh also racked up an impressive fourteen ‘top ten’ finishes during his maiden year in the MG6. 

Together with Josh and his engineer who accompanies him on this move the team hope to pick up the momentum of 2016 and continue to enjoy further success together. 
 
Newly appointed Team Principal Nico Ferrari expresses his delight at the new signing.  “It’s a shame things didn’t work out with Dan (Daniel Lloyd) but now we’re in a great position to continue improving the MG6 and we can start to prove the capability of the car.  The team have gone through a huge shake up in recent weeks and this is only adding to the strength of the new look Triple Eight Racing.”
 
Ferrari went on to comment on how he believes the two drivers will work well together as a team and accelerate the performance of the MG6.  “Josh’s experience in the MG last year will be a huge boost for our engineering team.  Árón (Árón Taylor-Smith) is a superb driver and has done an exceptional job developing the car, these two will work great together both racing but also promoting our partners MG. Josh was excellent last year, as is Árón this year so we’re now in a position to really capitalise on two brilliant drivers.”
 
Josh Cook who has already competed in the first four rounds of the 2017 BTCC season for Maximum Motorsport describes his thoughts on the move. “Firstly I would like to thank all those at Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport for the opportunity at the start of the season and for all of their hard work.  I wish them further success and now look forward to building on my 2016 season with MG in the MG6.”
 
Team Manager Micky Sergeant added “Fantastic to have Josh back in the team. A great ambassador for Triple Eight, MG and the sport in general both on and off track. There was always unfinished business from my point of view and I relish the chance to work with him once again”
 
Josh Cook will be competing at rounds 13,14 and 15 this weekend at Croft with Triple Eight Racing.
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Triple Eight Racing Statement
5th June 2017

Triple Eight Racing and Daniel Lloyd can today confirm they will no longer be competing together in the British Touring Car Championship.

After a frustrating start to 2017 both parties are now pursuing other opportunities for the remainder of the season.

Triple Eight would like to thank Daniel for all his hard work and commitment this year and wish him nothing but success for his future career.

An announcement regarding our driver replacement will be made in due course.
 
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Donington Park
There were signs of improvements for the MG RCIB Insurance Racing team at Donington Park in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), yet several incidents cost the team the points they arguably deserved.

Read the full story here - http://mg.co.uk/news/2017/04/16/btcc-donington-park/
 
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Brands Hatch Indy
It was a tough weekend for the MG RCIB Insurance Racing team in the opening rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch.

After being left frustrated by rain and red flags in Saturday's qualifying, the debut pair of Árón Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd had no better luck in Sunday's trio of races.

Read the full story here - http://mg.co.uk/motorsport/races/brands-hatch-indy/
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MG RCiB Insurance Racing announce exciting changes for 2017 British Touring Car Championship
MG RCiB Insurance Racing is pleased to announce their driver line up to compete in the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
Last year, MG focused on using young, developing driver talent and creating new household names.

In 2017 MG Motor will continue the strategy to combine exciting young talent with more experienced drivers. The line-up for the new season will be Aron Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd in the MG RCiB Insurance Racing team.
 
Aron Taylor-Smith brings an almost unique blend of youth and experience to the new line up.  A multiple race winner over the past few years, despite being only just 27 years old, he has already competed in over 150 BTCC races. What Aron hasn’t done in his career so far is to represent a manufacturer backed team but by joining MG he has achieved this. A part of the 2016 debutant team BKR in 2016, Aron scored a race win at Rockingham Motor Speedway along with a number of other podium appearances.  
Aron said “It’s a real shame in one way to leave BKR who did such an amazing job last year in their first season, but now I am fully focussed on the 2017 season and excited to ensure I deliver the results that MG not only deserve but are capable of. I am pleased that many of my key team members who made 2016 so enjoyable are coming with me to MG / Triple Eight allowing us all to enjoy further success.”

Photo credit: AMSoul-Images.com

24 year old Yorkshire man Daniel Lloyd joins MG RCiB Racing having had just a taster of the BTCC over previous years and is looking to have a major impact in this year’s campaign.
 
Daniel is no stranger to the BTCC paddock having starred in many of the support series
over previous years. He may be best known to MG fans for his guest appearances with Eurotech Racing in 2016, where his natural speed shone as he delivered two front row qualifying performances in three appearances. 
 
The Triple Eight team are excited to work with Daniel and aid his development to ensure that his undoubted pace can be made to deliver consistent point scoring finishes for MG RCiB Insurance Racing and he will be going all out to score his first BTCC Pole Position, podium finishes and wins in the MG6 in 2017.
 
Daniel said “I’m really excited. The majority of my racing has been rear wheel drive so really looking forward to continuing to learn in the front wheel drive car. I loved the BTCC last year during the three rounds I competed in; I was very keen to make a full return and am delighted to have got the opportunity with MG RCiB Insurance Racing.
 
"I made my BTCC debut as a one off with Triple Eight way back in 2010 when I was obviously very young at Croft; it will be great to be back within the team. I also get on really well with Aron; obviously Aron is very quick so I think we can bounce off each other.”

Triple Eight boss Ian Harrison, the man charged with putting together the driver line up for the team is pleased that the hard work put in over the winter has culminated in a team that he thinks can be extremely competitive and has set the drivers targets to deliver more wins, more podiums and an overall improvement in results over the previous campaign.

Ian said "I'm happy that these guys will deliver some solid results for the team. Aron is a proven race winner, and we know Daniel has the speed. With more BTCC race experience under his belt, he will be running at the front. The championship looks wide open this year with plenty of other changes in the line-up, and we expect to be right in the mix.

MG Motor Head of Sales & Marketing Matthew Cheyne is pleased to reveal the 2017 driver line up and said “First and foremost I am delighted to welcome Aron and Daniel both to the MG RCiB Insurance Racing team and into the wider MG family. As all of our previous drivers have experienced, wearing the octagon on the front of your overalls gives you immediate support from a whole new fan base and we in turn look forward to welcoming those who have historically supported Aron and Daniel into the fold.

"The BTCC is obviously a hugely important part of MG UK’s marketing mix not just in terms of the huge television and trackside audiences but through the additional activations that we bring into our dealer network and events work. 

"Triple Eight are really excited by the pace and potential that these two have on the race track but fully understand the importance of the work the drivers do with the brand off it. With everyone so positive and upbeat about the season ahead, we just can’t wait to get going and look forward to the formal unveilings on Media Day at Donington Park on March 16th.

"I should finish by adding a note of thanks to the outgoing driver pairing of Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton. These guys really understood what it meant to represent MG on and off the track and are a real benchmark for Aron and Daniel on what we can deliver through the BTCC programme. We wish them all the best in their future efforts – except in the 2017 BTCC of course!”  
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Ash Sutton clinches Jack Sears Trophy at Brands Hatch
MG Racing RCIB Insurance brought the curtain down on the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on Sunday with a podium winning performance by Josh Cook and with Ash Sutton claiming the title of Jack Sears Trophy Champion of 2016.

Ash arrived at Brands Hatch with a 35 point lead over fellow rookie Mike Epps and with Brands being his local and strongest circuit on the BTCC calendar he was feeling confident
.
In total Ash has won no less than 18 class victories in 2016 in addition to taking his first outright BTCC race win at Croft in June along with, 2 podiums, 2 poles and 2 fastest laps.

The Jack Sears Trophy is awarded to the highest scoring rookie of 2016 and Ash was thoroughly deserving of the award after making a real mark on the championship with an outstanding season in his maiden year of the BTCC after graduating from the Renault UK Clio Cup.  This year the award is especially poignant after the passing of ‘Gentleman Jack’ back in September.  Jack was a double BTCC Champion and cherished member of the British Touring Car Championship family.  The award was presented to Ash on behalf of Jack by his son David.
 
Speaking of his maiden year Ash commented “What a debut year in the British Touring Car Championship. Things couldn’t have gone better for me, yes some bad luck struck us mid-season and knocked us down the standings for the overall title but I have achieved everything I came here to do. People kept asking me at the start, are all these big names intimidating and my honest answer was always no they are just stickers on windows.

"I was not going to treat the BTCC any differently to any other championship I had been in, so I set myself some goals just before Media Day, those being to secure my first pole positon, get my first podium, followed by my first outright win and then the last and final one, the Jack Sears Trophy. Those goals at the time may have been a little strong but I am pleased that we have achieved every single one of them. Collecting silverware does show what you have achieved, but winning the Jack Sears Trophy on the year that Gentleman Jack passed and for his son David to present it to me made it an emotional experience as well as an unforgettable one. I also managed to wrap the championship up on MG's & Triple Eight’s 150th race together.
 
"Behind every driver there is a team of people, I can't thank Triple Eight enough for making me feel at home in my debut year, also to MG and RCIB Insurance for believing in me and giving me this chance to live and fulfil my dream. I have had some fantastic support since my return to racing in 2014 and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my personal sponsors, Global Force Group, Select Fire Services and CNM Advisory that have also believed in me and gave me this opportunity. It has been a pleasure this year and despite the bad luck I have still loved every minute of it. Roll on 2017!"
 

To add to teams glorious weekend former Jack Sears Trophy winner from 2015 Josh Cook was victorious in taking his third podium of the year when he brought his MG6 home in third place in the first of Sunday’s three races.  A delighted Josh commented "It was a great end to the season with three solid point scores for the RCIB MG including a podium in race one This year has been one of the most enjoyable seasons for me, even though we struggled with car issues after Thruxton.  
The pace that we have had in the last three race meetings has shown what we should have been capable of this season. I'm very grateful to the whole of the Triple Eight team for their hard work and determination. Also congratulations to my team mate Ash for wrapping up the Jack Sears Trophy, it's been an honour,"



Overall MG Racing RCIB Insurance came fifth in the Teams standings, with Josh finishing twelfth in the Drivers championship with Ash just behind him in thirteenth.
 
The team wish to thank MG Motor and RCIB Insurance along with all of our sponsors, and everyone in the team for working exceptionally hard this year and our fans for all of their support during 2016.

 
Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing, MG Motor commented “We’re thrilled with the results this year from Ash, Josh and everyone involved in the RCIB Insurance team, as a bedding in season for both the MG6’s and the drivers they have delivered above and beyond expectations.

“On behalf of MG Motor, I’d like to congratulation Ash on taking home the Jack Sears Trophy and look forward to watching their continued success in 2017.”
 


Triple Eight Racing Team Principle, Ian Harrison commented “It has been a season of highs and lows on the race track. Our two young guns worked really hard to improve and develop as the season progressed. It isn’t always easy to keep your chin up after a poor weekend of results, but they have managed to keep the focus with only the minor use of the boot on my part!

“Next year will see them build on this experience and be more consistently at the front. As for their off track activities with MG and our sponsors, they are also taking bookings for Saturday Night at the Apollo. The atmosphere they have created with all the team sponsors shows what you can do when you have a bit of personality or are not just thinking about yourself. Hats off to Josh and Ash for their hard work on both fronts this season.

“Standby for exciting announcements soon!”
 

 
Written by Maddy Turner
Photos by AMSoul-Images.com
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CELEBRATIONS END IN DISMAY AT SILVERSTONE
Silverstone played host to the penultimate rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship last weekend and the MG Racing RCiB Insurance squad were on great form after Ash Sutton secured pole position on Saturday afternoon, the second of his BTCC career during his maiden season.  

Ash topped the leader board for most of the session setting the pace for the 31 cars out on track with the top 22 cars separated by less than a second as the checkered flag fell.  Josh Cook was also on top form after setting the third quickest time which would see him line up just behind his team mate on the gird for the first of Sunday’s three races.

Both Ash and Josh lost a place off the line with Tom Ingram getting the better start resulting in Ash dropping back into 2nd and Josh being demoted to 4th with Andrew Jordan’s Ford Focus being ahead of him by the time they reached Copse corner, but by the end of lap 3 Ash was closing on Ingram with a gap of just half a second between them. 

Josh meanwhile set the fastest lap and was all over the back of Jordan fighting for the 3rd place spot. Josh made a move on Jordan on lap 4 but the two cars made contact with Josh being sent sideways, however he managed to gain control of his MG albeit back in 4th.  Josh eventually made the move stick on the inside at Beckets, as Ash crawled all over the back of Ingram’s Toyota.  A superb move on the final corner of lap 7 placed Ash back in the lead as the two ran side by side on the pit straight.   With Ash now opening a gap up front, Josh fought hard to also pass Ingram, a move that he finally made stick.  As the MG duo led the pack for a 1-2 finish, Josh was clearly the quicker of the two MG6’s and swiftly closed the gap on Ash upfront and then looked up the inside on several occasions to make a move.  Ash was the first to cross the line at the end of the race with Josh finishing just behind him in 2nd.

After initially celebrating a historic MG 1-2 in the opener, there was devastation for the team as both drivers were disqualified for a technical infringement on the rear wing alignment, following the podium presentation.  Tom Ingram was therefore handed the victory in the Speedworks Toyota after being promoted from 3rd to 1st.

The rules state that if you are excluded from the race results you will still be forced to carry the success ballast you would’ve been handed prior to the exclusion leaving Ash and Josh with 75 and 66kgs respectively and now both at the rear of the grid.  Triple Eight Racing have appealed the exclusion with the hearing date yet to be announced.

With the combination of both MG’s now on soft tyres and heavily laden with success ballast, it wasn’t looking good for a point scoring position as both drivers looked to get inside the top ten for that all important reverse grid race three.

Both MG’s made great starts with Ash up to 21st by the end of the opening lap with Josh in 26th as they did all they could to fight their way through the field.  Josh eventually finished the race in 17th with Ash in 26th place after having to make a pit stop following a puncture.

For the third and final race of the day both Ash and Josh had great drives through the field, finishing in point scoring positions of 7th and 10th.  Honda’s Gordon Shedden took the win.

There is just one event remaining this season with rounds 28, 29 and 30 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship being held at the infamous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on the 1st and 2nd of October.  Sam Tordoff is currently leading the standings from the Honda duo of Shedden and Matt Neal.  Mathematically also in contention for the title is Rob Collard, Mat Jackson, Andrew Jordan, Colin Turkington and Jason Plato with just 57 points separating the top eight with a maximum of 67 points up for grabs in the final showdown.  Ash remains at the top of the Jack Sears Trophy table which is handed to the highest placed driver in their maiden season.



Josh commented “My MG Racing RCiB Insurance MG6 was fast all weekend. The car felt really good in qualifying despite the mixed conditions - we just left a little bit on the table and didn’t quite get the front row lockout, but, as we went on to demonstrate we knew the race pace was there. To come home with a one-two for the team and fastest lap showed what we are made of. 

"Following the disappointment of the disqualification from Race one, it became damage limitation with 66kg of ballast and soft tyres from the back of the grid. I did all I could do - got my head down, attacked and got through the traffic. I was chuffed to end the weekend with a seventh, but it’s slightly hollow because we could have had a lot more from the weekend.”

 
Ash commented “Silverstone was a very positive weekend for me. We managed to top nearly every session on track with outright pace! We have got back into the working window of the MG! 

“Don't get me wrong the weekend could have gone better after the exclusion from race one because that put us on the back foot for the rest of the day. It is fair to say that Josh and I showed what we are here to do with our performance over both days.

“Race two I feel we were hard done by. I can take starting from the back as that's the rules but there is a reason why it is called success ballast. Having to carry that still in race two after not being successful made it ten times worse and then to add to that I unfortunately picked up a puncture.

“Race three I had a point to prove. Racing through from the back has always been a strong point for me so to go from 26th to 10th after picking up some steering damage mid race I am pleased with. Also getting the fastest lap showed that we were at no advantage in race one. 

“In my eyes we were the car to beat at the weekend so I look forward to carrying on the momentum into the final round.”


Written by Maddy Turner
Photos by AMSoul-Images.com
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MG RACING RCIB Insurance Statement
Following the team's excellent performance in Round 25 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, resulting in a race win for driver number 116, Ashley Sutton and a second placed finish for number 66, Josh Cook, the two MG6 vehicles underwent scrutineering checks and were deemed to not conform to one of the technical specifications laid down within the Championship regulations. As such both drivers were disqualified from Round 25 and demoted to begin Round 26 from the back of the grid whilst retaining the success ballast from their original finishing positions.
 
On behalf of MG Motor, the drivers and other sponsor partners, Triple Eight Racing have lodged an appeal against the stewards decision reached today at the Silverstone circuit, which will be held at a future date as yet to be confirmed.
 
Triple Eight wish to make it completely clear that at no stage have they intentionally sought to breach any competition regulation to gain an advantage on the track. They further note that the technicality under which the two MG's were disqualified, gave no performance benefit to either Ashley Sutton or Josh Cook whether in Saturday's qualifying session or in the opening race. This was clearly demonstrated in Round 27, where the two drivers again posted the fastest laps, despite the increased traffic, when operating under the same weight conditions as were in place in Round 25.
 
Until such time as the appeal process has reached its conclusion, we will not be making any further comment on this matter.
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ROCKINGHAM - A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Qualifying on Saturday afternoon was red flagged half way through the session when the weather made a turn for the worse plunging the circuit into the darkness of thunder, lightning and torrential rain.  The MG Racing RCIB Insurance boys however were happy with the wet conditions as once again they were able to show their pace with a full wet set up.  Josh immediately stormed his way up to 3rd with Ash in 6th placing them in prime position for the weekend.

During the first race of the day on Sunday the MG duo were beaten off the line by the rear wheel drive Subaru's but managed their races superbly. Josh finished the race in fifth and Ash in sixth, Josh was then promoted to fourth following a penalty given to a fellow competitor when the start was reviewed.  Honda’s Gordon Shedden took the first win of the weekend.

Race Two wasn’t quite so lucky as Josh had contact with Jason Plato in the Subaru on the opening lap sending him into a spin and subsequently into the BMW of Jack Goff.  The MG6 sustained damage that was beyond repair forcing him into retirement from the race. 

Ash got away cleanly from the drama that unfolded behind him and held onto fourth position for much of the race before losing out a place to Rob Collard in the BMW and eventually bringing the car home in fifth. It was Sam Tordoff again in the BMW who was victorious with the win.

Ash was promoted to third in the reverse grid draw for Race Three, however with him being on the harder tyre compound it wasn’t going to be an easy task.  He did however make a great start and made his way up to fourth before tumbling down the order after receiving damage following an incident with Dave Newsham, eventually finishing in 18th.  Josh had a great race storming his way up the field from the back of the grid to finishing in a point scoring position of fifteenth.  Aron Smith took his maiden win for BKR in the Volkswagen.

Following the weekends antics Josh Cook commented “The weekend started really well with the MG RCIB team managing to identify the component causing our handling issues.  The car was transformed and back to its old ways straight out the box.  Qualifying was really tricky and we started the session just a little outside our usual wet weather sweet spot.  We made some pretty big setup changes in session which transformed the car and although managing to put it on third on the grid, I couldn’t help but feel like we had left a little on the table.  

“Race One was a comfortable result of fifth although this was changed to fourth after the race due to a start line incident from another car.  We cruised to a finish with gaps both in front and behind, lacking the pace to really challenge the top few cars.

“Race Two and Three were very much downhill from this point with both mechanical and electrical issues ruining our chances for any silverware.  We have come away from the weekend a little disappointed with the results, however due to sorting our handling issues, really looking forward to the rest of the season.  Bring on Silverstone!
 
Ash Sutton added “Rockingham was a step in the right direction after having two bad meetings on the trot. Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan, as soon as it started to rain we were instantly looking at a front row start but a few things cropped up and it put a halt to us progressing forward like we were hoping. I was still pleased to end up sixth overall.

“The main aim this weekend was to just focus on finishing, as we needed to claw back some points in the Jack Sears Championship after having to weekends of bad results. Race One we maintained our position and really focused on getting a good solid result in preparation for Race Two. Starting on the third row for the second race gave me the chance to push up, after the first few opening laps we found ourselves in fourth place, I couldn't quite hold off the charging Collard but I was pleased to bring it home fifth and score some more decent points. 

“Race Three was always going to be a bit more of a challenge. We were on the harder tyre of the two compounds and after watching everyone else's performance on them, they didn't seem to be the favourite tyre. Starting on the inside of the second row meant it gave us more of a chance to stay near the pointed end of the grid. We had a great few opening laps and were sat in sixth but then an error from myself and a change of direction in the braking zone from Dave Newsham meant we had a coming together dropping us back down the field. The car was sustained too much damaged to push forward so I just focused on bringing her home”.

With Ash remaining at the top of the Jack Sears Championship tables with a lead of 52 points, the championship now heads into its final two events the first being at Silverstone in three weeks’ time on the 17th and 18th September for the penultimate rounds. 
 
Written by Maddy Turner
Photos by AMSoul-Images.com
 
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A DIFFICULT WEEKEND NORTH OF THE BORDER FOR MG
It was a difficult weekend for MG Racing RCiB Insurance over the weekend as the BTCC headed North of the border into Scotland's infamous Knockhill circuit, famous for its high kerbs and undulations, with Ash Sutton being the only point scorer following an 11th place finish in the opener after making his way up the order from his qualifying position of 13th. For Josh Cook it was a weekend to forget after he qualified 17th and dropped down one spot to finish 18th. 
 
The Fife venue has always been kinder to rear wheel drive machinery, so the MG6's front wheel drivetrain was always going to struggle, however the remainder of the day proved that incidents out of our control would shape the way the remainder of the weekend panned out, with the first of those incidents coming on lap nine in race two when Ash was forced to retire from the race after contact with Rob Austin's Toyota broke the rear suspension whilst running in 13th place. Meanwhile Josh brought the MG6 home just outside the points in 16th.
 
With Josh 16th on the grid for race three, the whole team remained optimistic that he could salvage a result, however it wasn't going to be that easy for Ash starting all the way down in 29th place.
 
After both drivers made a great start, disaster would strike once again for Ash after contact from another Toyota in the hands of Epps broke the rear suspension once again forcing him into the gravel trap on the opening lap as Josh moved up to 15th. There were two further places to be gained over the next few laps but contact on lap eleven would see the only remaining MG6 retire off the circuit at the hairpin bringing more misery to the whole team in pit lane.
 
Racing resumes for Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham on 27/28 August
 



MG RCIB Insurance Racing Quotes:
 
Ash Sutton commented:  “'Firstly the efforts from the team to get the car ready in time after the Snetterton crash were outstanding and the boys have all worked their socks off to ensure we were out on the grid.  

“Knockhill hasn't been kind to us over the years and unfortunately it was the same this year! We knew it was going to be tough as we have one of the longest cars on the grid around on tightest circuit. We were also unsure on how the car was going to perform after the crash.

“Qualifying didn't quite go to plan as we would have liked to be up in the top 10 at least. This was the worst Qualifying session of the season so far so we were already on our back foot before we started. 

“For race one we maintained pace and managed to claw back some places finishing eleventh. Race two and three are ones to forget about. We were involved in two incidents, both contact to the rear of the car, breaking the rear geometry twice. This led to two DNF's. We are still at the top of the Jack Sears Trophy tables and it was nice to come away remaining in the lead after the passing of Gentleman Jack himself.”

 
 
 
Josh Cook commented:  “Another troubled weekend for us at Knockhill in the RCIB MG6 with our handling issues having followed us all the way to Scotland.
 
“Once again, credit to the team working overtime to replace components and change setups to try and cure our issue.
 
“Driving standards once again seemed to be fairly low which ended races on both sides of the garage, through no fault of our own. 
 
“Although a DNF in race three, we feel we made progress in identifying our issue.  I cannot wait to get to Rockingham to try and get us back up the grid where we belong!”
 
 
 
Written by Chris Chatters
Photos by Phil Laughton Photography
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A TROUBLESOME SNETTERTON
MG Racing RCIB Insurance endured a tricky weekend at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) recommenced after its annual summer break for the second half of the season.

The weekend started with the free practice sessions that saw Ash Sutton setting the third quickest time in the first session and Josh Cook being seventh quickest.  For free practice two Ash dominated the times for a while and finished the session with the second quickest time with Josh struggling to get in the groove and being down the order in twenty fifth.

The afternoons qualifying session saw Honda’s Gordon Shedden secure his first pole position since Donington Park in 2014 with Ash setting the setting quickest MG time in eighth and Josh set to start the first of Sunday’s three races in twelfth.

With huge crowds flocking into a sunny Snetterton on Sunday, the first of the day’s three races got underway with both of the MG6’s getting a good clean getaway Ash made up a remarkable four places and into fourth by the time the cars reached the halfway point of the first lap with Josh matching his team mates success by making it up to eighth position from twelfth.   

With Shedden and the Subaru of Turkington fighting for the lead up front Adam Morgan in the Mercedes nipped up the inside of Ash dropping him back to fifth.  Both drivers then held their positions for several laps until disaster struck for eighth placed Josh when he received a puncture to the front left tyre of his MG and forcing him to pit for a tyre change.  Ash then received the same blow on lap ten with him too having to pit.  Both drivers re-joined the race but finished well down the order in twenty fifth and twenty sixth ending their chances of a solid haul of championship points for the weekend.  Turkington took the race victory in the Subaru.

With both cars starting the race towards the back of the grid the MG Racing RCIB Insurance duo had a huge task in front of them to get through the field to try and score some points.  As the lights went out both drivers made great starts but as they headed down the Bentley Straight Ollie Jackson in the Audi ran wide and made contact with Dan Welch kicking up a cloud of dust as the duo speared across the track.  Unfortunately an unsighted Ash ploughed into the accident ending his race and several drivers including Alex Martin and Hunter Abbott were also caught up in the collision which blocked the track bringing a red flag to the proceedings.  Thankfully although the cars were a bit worse for wear all of the drivers escaped without injury.  The marshals and officials then had the mammoth task of retrieving the damaged cars and repairing the barriers ready for a restart.   With Ash’s car now out of the race the team set to work on the car to try and get it repaired for race three. 

As there was less than a lap contested the remaining cars on the grid would line up in the same order as they originally started.  As the lights went out for the second time the remaining MG of Josh Cook got off to a good start and was immediately up to seventeenth place.  With more contact up front Josh was through to thirteenth place by lap three where he held his position and brought the car home scoring valuable points for the team.  Mat Jackson took the win.

Remarkably the MG Racing RCIB Insurance boys did a stellar job of repairing Ash’s car in time for third race of the day and with the officials hoping for an incident free race after the drama earlier on but unfortunately the worst was yet to come. 

As the lights went out for what was set to be the final time of the day Josh made a clean getaway when disaster would strike for his competitors for a second time. On the main straight as the cars towards the rear of the field went past the pit garages, contact was made between Howard and Martin forcing several cars to take to the grass in avoidance.  Hunter Abbot tried to sneak through a gap but clipped the side of Howard’s VW that forced his Chevrolet into a violent series of rolls, whilst he was rolling an unsighted Ollie Jackson hit Abbott’s car mid roll pushing it up onto the barriers and into the ITV camera crew tower sending it and the camera man toppling in the process.  Luckily for Ash he saw the events unfolding in front of him and slowed up to avoid any involvement.  The race was immediately stopped and remarkably the cameraman had a very lucky escape as did all of the drivers involved in the incident.  The circuit officials then had a huge operation in front of them to clear the start line of the stricken cars and repair the barrier.

With the remaining cars re-joining the grid yet again in their original grid positions, pole position man Sam Tordoff was missing from the start line with a component failure.  The lights went out for the now shortened ten lap race with Josh and Ash getting a great start off the line with Josh making it up to eleventh the end of the first lap and Ash up to seventeenth.  The cars showed great pace throughout the race and Josh made up two more places and into ninth with Ash storming through the field and up into fourteenth where both cars held their positions bringing the cars home with more points for MG Racing RCIB Insurance.  Honda’s Sheddon took the win.

Ash now sits twelfth in the drivers standings with Josh sitting thirteenth.  The team are third in the Manufacturers – Constructors table, fifth in the overall team’s championship and Ash is still topping the Jack Sears Trophy standings.

Racing resumes north of the border at Knockhill in Scotland on the weekend of 13/14 August.
 

MG Racing RCIB Insurance quotes:
 
Ian Harrison commented:  "All in all a weekend to forget for us. It was the worst one so far this season in terms of performance in qualifying and results in the races, but we will aim to bounce back at Knockhill. It is compounded by getting caught up in other people's accidents which has become a regular feature in the championship. Unless you are in the top 15 on the grid, you are at massive risk of being taken out by drivers who are unpredictable in their on track actions, and who are frankly not experienced enough to be there. From the outside the championship has started to look like some kind of hot rod series, but I have complete confidence that the championship organisers will address the issue and sort it out sooner rather than later."
 

Ash Sutton commented:  “'Snetterton hasn't been kind to me this year. We went into the meeting aiming to continue our progress over the season so far. This unfortunately wasn't the case, I didn’t quite manage to hook up the lap in qualifying which meant I was further down the grid after aiming to stay in the top five.

“Race one, I managed to get a great start and was into fourth before turn tree. We were sitting pretty and in a comfortable place until with two laps to go I picked up a puncture which forced me to pit, meaning I ended up twenty fifth.

“Unfortunately a few drivers upfront had an incident onto the back straight, I made contact with Dan Welch's Proton as it was stationary in the middle of the circuit. The impact speed was around 100mph and the scrutineers described the accident as one of the worst they had seen in the BTCC after seeing the state of the cars.

“For me it really didn't look like I was going to make it out for race three. The car was in no state to be out on track but hats off to the Triple Eight guys, they didn't let it hinder them one bit and cracked on with it. It was great to see them work as a team and in their element. Watching a wreck unfold and then seeing the jigsaw pieced back together was something else. They managed to get the car out on track with thirty seconds spare. The craziest thing is they still gave me a car that was fast enough to race through the field, it quickly got strung up to make sure it was roughly pointing in the right direction and sent it on its way. After all their efforts I managed to get my wounded MG up to fourteenth after a few issues during the race. Snetterton is a meeting to forget but we will come back stronger”.
 

Josh Cook commented:  “Snetterton wasn’t a great weekend for us a team.  For me personally qualifying didn’t go well we were off the pace of where we have been in previous years and we failed to find the sweet spot, the balance was good but the pace wasn’t there.
 
“For race one we had a good track position but with both Ash I receiving punctures it kind of set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

 
“Race two for me was about trying to make my way up through the grid and for race three we made a big improvement performance wise but we didn’t really get a chance to show it.
 
“Coming off the back of a tough weekend from Snetterton we are ready to bounce back, the guys are extremely busy getting the cars repaired and ready for Knockhill.  Knockhill isn’t a circuit that’s suited to long wheel base cars but I just hope we can bag as many points as we can.  I’m not expecting it to be great for the car but then that’s what we thought at Thruxton and we had a good weekend so we will wait and see.”

 
Written by Maddy Turner
Images AMSoul-Images.com
 
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Consistency is the key for MG RCIB Insurance Racing
MG Racing RCIB Insurance and our driving duo of Josh Cook and Ash Sutton, are on the hunt for a solid haul of points and podiums as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) reconvenes, following the traditional six week summer break, at Snetterton next weekend (30-31 July).  


With the MG6 GT’s performing well at the Snetterton 300 circuit in 2015, the team are hoping for much of the same again this year following their battling display last time out at Croft where rookie Ash moved up the championship standings to 7th and took his maiden win, closing the gap to just 49 points adrift of the championship leader Sam Tordoff .   Ash remains at the top of the Jack Sears Trophy tables with a 57 point lead. 

Josh had a similarly impressive last race of the at the Yorkshire venue after storming through the field to gain further points, sitting just 14 points adrift of his team mate in 12th, and a mere race win away from the top 5. 


During the break we attended the annual Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton which came with great success a few weeks ago and both the boys are aiming to continue with the consistency they have showed so far into the second half of the season. 

For Saturday’s qualifying session and the opening race of the weekend on Sunday morning, Ash will be carrying 27kgs of success ballast on board due to his championship position, with Josh having the advantage of being ballast free.

Team Principle Ian Harrison commented:  “We come off the back of some great results from Croft   and a good test at Snetterton with our feet planted firmly on the ground. We must build from what we’ve learnt and treat this and every one of the remaining events as stand-alone race weekends. The championship is ultra competitive and consistent results over the weekend is the key. We need to be driving back down the A11 on Sunday evening with a roof rack full of points.”

Written by Maddy Turner
Photo Credits Ed Bookless
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SUTTON WINS & COOK "STORMS" THROUGH FIELD IN WET RACE
Our very own Ash Sutton claimed his first ever win for MG Racing RCIB Insurance on Sunday afternoon during a challenging wet race 3 at Croft circuit in Yorkshire, where the 22 year old Hertfordshire based rookie mounted his challenge in the final race of the day with just two laps remaining.

The weekend started with an eventful qualifying session on Saturday afternoon which saw Ash spin out twice and Josh reporting handing issues and unable to challenge the lap times of the front runners.  Whilst running in 2nd place during the session Ash was pipped in the final stages by Daniel Lloyd with an impressive time 1m24.008s giving him an outstanding starting position of 3rd place right behind the pole sitter Colin Turkington.  Unfortunately Josh qualified in a disappointing 18th place albeit just a second off Turkington’s ultimate pace.
 
For the first of Sunday’s three races Josh would carry 15kg of success ballast gained from his championship position of 10th place with Ash running ballast free.  Right from the outset Ash was on a mission but drama soon emerged at turn one after Lloyd attempted a move round the outside of Turkington which fired him off into the tyre wall, forcing Ash to settle into 3rd as Turkington’s teammate Jason Plato nipped through into 2nd.  Josh meanwhile also had a fantastic starts and had made up four places into 14th as the safety car was called to retrieve the stricken Honda of Lloyd. 
 
Racing resumed on lap 3 and Ash held his position fighting off the advances of Jack Goff’s BMW as Josh once again struggled with the handling of his MG6 dropping to 15th place before running wide at Sunny dropping him back to 18th place.  

A second safety car period came on Lap 8 after Mark Howard got out of shape at turn one crashing hard and sideways into the barriers, as the field bunched up once again.  When racing resumed on lap 10 Ash soaked up the continued pressure from Goff who was right on his boot lid throughout the next three laps before a third safety car was called this time for the Mercedes of Moffatt which took a whack.  When the safety car peeled back into the pits Ash drove a brilliant defensive race and scored his first BTCC podium position with a third place finish.  Josh brought his MG6 home damage free in 17th.

For Race two Ash would start from 2nd on the grid with 57kgs of success weight on board with Josh starting 17th and again weight free.  Ash had a good start but with the Subaru’s and BMW’s having the rear wheel drive advantage over our front wheel drive MG6 he immediately dropped back to 5th.

This time it was Team BMR’s Cole that was caught out at the first corner, with the safety car being deployed for the fourth time of the day whilst the marshals retrieved his stricken Subaru from the gravel trap.  It was a different story for Josh however as he had made up a place and was just outside the points in 16th. 

The remainder of the race was relatively quiet and as Ash fended off the Ford Focus of Mat Jackson to finish 5th, Josh made up another couple of places and ended the race in 14th scoring two valuable championship points.

Then there was race 3, and what a race it was!  As the 32 car grid was about to line up, spots of rain could be felt which gave the teams and drivers a decision to make over tyres.  A few took a gamble and went out on slicks as both the MG6’s joined the fray with wets.  The reverse grid draw had moved Ash up the order from his finishing position in 5th and he would now take to the grid in slot 4 behind Mat Jackson on slicks, Tom Ingram and Pole sitter Sam Tordoff.  Unfortunately Josh wouldn’t benefit from the reverse grid draw so he would line up in his earlier finishing position of 14th. 
 
As the lights went out the front runners headed for turn one on a somewhat greasy track that forced Ash to drop back to 5th with once again the rear wheel drive machines getting the better of him, as Josh moved up two places into 12th.  The safety car was deployed to clear Warren Scott’s Subaru from the gravel trap with racing resuming on lap three.  After the restart Josh had moved up in to 10th spot and hot on the tail of Plato.  Then it was Ash’s turn to take advantage as he nipped up the inside of Goff and into 4th with a stellar move, just before Josh pounced for Plato for 10th. 

Ash set the fastest lap of the race on lap 4, showing that the front wheel drive MG6’s had really come alive in the wet as he piled the pressure on Turkington who was running in 3rd.  Contact between Jackson and Moffatt followed on lap 5 with yet another safety car period until the half way point of the race on lap 9, with two laps added to the overall race distance.  Josh had soon made up another place to 9th on the restart before Ash then made the move on Turkington at the hairpin placing him 3rd.   

Next on his hit list was Ingram in the Toyota and with a gap on the inside Ash didn’t need a second invitation and had immediately shot up into 2nd.  Josh was having an equally impressive race moving up the through the field and into 7th on lap 10.

Ash was then chasing down the leader with a 2.2 second gap before setting a personal best lap and the fastest of the race thus far and continued pushing hard and sliding through the bends bringing the gap down to just 1.6 seconds whilst Josh gained another place after passing Goff’s BMW.  With just 5 laps left there was one further safety car period following the demise of Hunter Abbott.  The safety car remained until lap 17 allowing the front runners to bunch together which brought with it an advantage to both Ash and Josh.  With a two lap shoot out remaining it was a mad dash to the line with a gap of just 0.6 seconds between Ash and the leader Tordoff, Ash passed the BMW and into first and led the race to the line taking his maiden British Touring Car Championship victory and a first for the MG Racing RCIB Insurance team in 2016.  It was also a staggering result for Josh who crossed the line with a very impressive 6th place finish.

We head into the six week summer break on a high but we won’t be resting on our laurels as both Ash and Josh will be driving competing in the Hill Climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week and both drivers will be making the trip to Snetterton next week to take part in the annual two day Dunlop Tyre test.

Racing resumes on the weekend of the 30th and 31st of July at Snetterton in Norfolk.

Quotes from the MG Racing RCIB Insurance Drivers post Croft:

Ash Sutton - "Croft has always been a circuit that I have loved, I’ve always gelled with the track no matter what car it is in but it was going to be different this time. I went into the weekend with a fresh mind set as we know how strong the rear wheel drive cars are there.  If someone offered me third in qualifying at the start of the weekend I would have definitely taken it! It was great to turn my qualifying results into my first ever BTCC podium in race one being the fastest front wheel drive car on track.  Race two was going to be a little trickier, with more rear wheel drive cars surrounding me off the line and being on the harder compound tyre, it was all about damage limitation. I was very pleased to bring it home in fifth and again to be the first front wheel drive car across the line.  Going into race three I was praying for rain. Finding out that I would be starting on the second row in fourth meant I was in for a shout of another podium. After a few laps and the first safety car, I knew that the package I had was fast enough to win the race.  I cracked on with the job and carved my way through to the lead, getting my first ever BTCC win.  The day couldn't have gone better for me and it feels great to have ticked off some of the things that I aimed for this year, pole at Donington, first BTCC podium and my first BTCC win. I can't thank MG and RCIB Insurance enough as well as Triple Eight and my three main sponsors, Global Force, Select Fire and CNM Advisory."
 
Josh Cook - "Unfortunately, our weekend at Croft was plagued by mechanical issues until race two. Qualifying eighteenth was a real battle and we started race one on the back foot with a lot to do to get amongst the points. I must give credit to the MG RCIB Insurance Racing team who worked tirelessly to identify and resolve the problems ahead of race two, where I was able to start working back through the pack. Finally we experienced a wet BTCC race three and the car had great pace allowing me to move from fourteenth to sixth, despite the number of safety car laps. Onwards to Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend and Snetterton after the summer break where I’m determined to recover." 

Written By Maddy Turner
Photo Credits - Ed Bookless
 
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MG Racing RCIB Insurance eyeing success at Croft
MG Racing RCIB Insurance duo Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook have their sights firmly set on podiums as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Championship heads north for rounds 13, 14 and 15 at the Croft circuit this weekend (18/19 June). 
 

Since the BTCC’s maiden visit to Croft in 1997, the team has enjoyed great success at the Yorkshire track by amassing six pole positions, nine victories and a further 14 podiums.  Having returned to Britain’s premier race series in 2012, MG have also made two visits to the rostrum at the 2.1 mile circuit with a best finish of first in the MG6 GT’s maiden season in 2012.

Heading into the fifth event of the season both Ash and Josh remain firmly focussed on ensuring they remain within the title picture before the series heads into its annual summer break.

Qualifying will be streamed live on the ITV website from 4.00pm this Saturday whilst live coverage of Sunday’s event will be shown live on ITV4 from 10.55am

Quotes from the MG Racing RCIB Insurance drivers pre-Croft:

Ash Sutton: “Croft has always been a good circuit for me, I have always had success there ever since I have been on the TOCA package.  This year will be more of a challenge with it favouring the RWD cars but I can’t wait to get out on track and give it my best shot.”

Josh Cook:  “The half way point! Croft is a great circuit which usually attracts huge crowds, which is understandable as it's fantastic for spectating. It's notoriously a RWD suited circuit, so we will have to to really pull something out the bag to be competing at the sharp end this weekend. Fingers crossed for some rain!”

Written By Maddy Turner

Photo Credits:  AMSoul-Images.com
 
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A MIXED BAG FOR MG RACING RCIB INSURANCE AT OULTON PARK
                                                                 
The free practice sessions of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on Saturday morning saw Ash Sutton and Josh Cook posting good times in the MG6’s around the 2.26 mile Cheshire circuit, placing them in good stead for the qualifying session later in the day. Ash set the quickest time of the MG Racing RCIB Insurance drivers placing himself 7th on the grid with a time of 1m.26.439s, just 0.175 seconds shy of the pole sitter, with Josh set to start the first of Sunday’s races in 10th with a time of 1m.26.643s.

An action packed first race of the day showed great racing throughout the field, with both drivers gaining places on the opening lap.  Ash was running in 6th position for the majority of the race before contact dropped him down the order to 19th place, whilst Josh brought home a good result in 7th.

For race two both drivers would start in their finishing positions from the opener.  Josh drove a great race and managed to fight off challenges from both Rob Collard and Matt Neal bringing the car home in an impressive 9th place with Ash finishing even further down the order after contact on the opening lap causing right rear suspension damage and forcing him to pit for repairs before re-joining the race and finishing in 28th place.

With more dramatic action in race three the reverse grid would see Honda’s Matt Neal drawn on pole position and Josh promoted to join the grid on the front row in 2nd.   After a great start Josh was on the tail of Neal before a failed overtake attempt dropped him back to fourth.  The 15 laps that followed saw a shoot-out for 3rd position with Sam Tordoff in the BMW overtaking Josh forcing him down to 5th, but when Honda’s Gordon Shedden picked up a puncture Josh was promoted back up the order once again to 4th, a place he would hold onto until the checkered flag fell.  Ash stormed through the field making up 16 places in the process to finish in a fantastic 12th.

Ash was awarded the top rookie of the weekend once again and remains the only driver to have won the prestigious Jack Sears Trophy in 2016, and remains top of the leader board.

Ash commented “Oulton Park has never been kind to me, we have always had good pace here but no luck to follow.  FP1 was really just about getting a feel for the track and car as it’s my first time in a touring car here and it was very much the same during FP2 I struggled to get into a rhythm and hook up the lap. Going into qualifying I had the do the best I could with the situation and although coming away with seventh wasn’t the end of the world I would of liked to have continue the momentum of always being in the top five. 

"I had a good start to race one and a good opening lap gaining a position to Ingram and we managed to hold our own and hook onto the back of the leading pack. I struggled a little with balance in the car and felt that this was having an impact on the soft tyres, I tried to manage the pace but it wasn't long until Ingram was back on me. I defended clean and hard, I wish I could say the same for my rival but after pushing me wide at the hairpin into my team mate Cook it was a drag race down to the Chicane, I left enough room on the inside but I was forced wide and had to take to the grass. When I re-joined I again left room for Ingram on the inside of the final right but he had different ideas, driving into me and pushing me into the gravel, we then struggled massively with tyre degradation. We became a sitting duck after going into Cascades and from then on it was just about bringing it home. 

"I was geared up for race two to make up for the disappointments in race one, we had a great start and made a few places up but it soon come to a stop when Collard made contact with the rear right and broke the suspension, I managed to get back out but I was two laps down.

"It was time for damage limitation in the final race, we needed to push forward and try to get some points under our belt after a disaster of a day so far. The start did not go to plan, I was in the unfortunate position of not being able to see the lights and had to rely on radio communication for the start but we lost all radio and dropped back to last. I managed to knuckle down and push forward, I got up to tenth before a picking up a little bit of damage. We managed to bring it home in twelfth and also take the Jack Sears Trophy home and extend our lead.”


Josh commented “Firstly it was great to get three solid points scored for the MG Racing RCIB Insurance car.  Race one was a solid improvement from our starting place which gave us a strong position to race from in race two with the soft tyre out the way.  Race two was one of the most defensive races I’ve ever had to drive keeping Matt Neal behind me after an overtake on lap two.  The reverse grid gave us a second place start which we managed to hold for the start of the race.  Contact on lap two from Shedden sent me into a huge slide which we were lucky to recover from.  From that point onwards we spent the whole race trying to pass an overly aggressive Toyota.

"Overall we really managed to gather some important setup data which is really going to help us throughout the season.  Bring on Croft!!"


MG Racing RCIB Insurance head to Croft in Yorkshire in two weeks’ time for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.”

Written by Maddy Turner

Photo credits to AMSoul-Images.com
 
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MG RACING RCIB INSURANCE DUO CONFIDENT OF FURTHER CONSISTENCY AT OULTON PARK
MG Racing RCIB Insurance are confident of continuing their consistent start to the season in the fourth round of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Oulton Park this weekend (4-5 June).

Currently running 3rd in the Manufacturers/Constructors standings and 4th in the Teams standings, the Triple Eight team have previously enjoyed a strong set of results with the MG6 GT at the Cheshire circuit and with the duo of Ash Sutton and Josh Cook performing strongly during all three rounds so far in 2016 the team are looking forward to more success from the outset at the Tarporley circuit.

Sitting 9th in the standings the Global Force Group and Select Fire backed driver Ash Sutton will carry 15kgs of success ballast into qualifying and the opening race.  Firmly focused on remaining in the title picture, the 22 year old rookie driver is optimistic of podium results at the 2.69 mile island configuration.  Ash is currently top of the Jack Sears Trophy table.

Meanwhile, Newpark Solutions and Cooksport sponsored driver 24 year old Josh Cook is targeting a return to the rostrum after taking his first podium of 2016 at Donington Park back in April.  Another solid performance by the Bath based racer will keep him within touching distance of the championship hunt as the series heads towards the halfway point of the season.  Josh will carry 9kg of ballast.

Live coverage of Sunday’s events will be shown on ITV4 and itv.com.

Quotes from the MG Racing RCIB Insurance drivers pre Oulton Park:

Ash Sutton:  ‘I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of the MG6! Yes this is going to favourite the RWD cars with their massive advantage, but that only makes me even hungrier to get some strong results in the bag.  Personally the car was on top form at Thruxton and the results didn't quite reflect that due to the bad start to the day in race one. We are always improving the car and still getting it dialled to suit me, but I am very pleased with the progress by the Triple Eight Guys so far.  I love Oulton Park as a track, it is very narrow to the likes of others and people complain about the lack of overtaking places, but for me it is a fantastic track and always puts on a display of great racing. We are yet to get our first step on the podium but it won't be long!'

Josh Cook:  ‘Despite a pretty unlucky start to the season, with either going off on dropped oil or getting collected by other people’s incidents, the pace we have had at every meeting this year is undeniable. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in at Oulton Park, where hopefully our luck will change and we can get three solid results which reflect our pace and the Team’s hard work.  It is a very technical circuit, but for me personally it holds great memories having secured my first win in 2008.  I’m really interested to see how we can perform in our RCIB MG6’s, however we know the usual suspects will be at the sharp end so I’m looking forward to taking the fight to them!’

Written by Maddy Turner

Photo credits - AMSoul-Images.com



 
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The Battle Of Thruxton
 
 
The MG Racing RCIB Insurance team endured a thrilling weekend at Hampshire’s Thruxton Circuit this weekend (7-8 May), collecting further championship points in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

The MG squad delivered an impressive performance yet again, collecting another top five finish for each of the Triple Eight drivers at the fastest racetrack on the BTCC calendar.

Without a doubt Thruxton has always been the toughest circuit for the MG6’s but the dynamic duo of Josh Cook and Ash Sutton were determined to break the mould during Saturday’s qualifying session and set blistering lap times with Josh gaining a 4th place grid spot with a 1:16.577 and Ash impressing with 1:16.727 putting him alongside his team mate in 5th for the opening race of the weekend.

The start of race one saw the drivers charge off the start line in front of the huge crowd, with the first chicane bringing a battle up front which produced an opportunity for Josh to nip through into second position, with Ash going off into the tyre wall on lap two after contact with a fellow competitor, forcing him into the pits for some much needed repair work.

With the cars jostling for positions throughout the duration of the next 8 laps, Matt Neal endured a puncture on lap ten and attempted to pull into the pit lane at the start of the following lap when and unsighted Josh got collected which in turn caught up a number of other cars causing a five car pile up on the start finish straight bringing a red flag and early finish to the days opener.

With both M6s now heavily damaged the team had the enormous task of rebuilding the cars in time for race two in just over an hours time.  An army of Team BMR mechanics assembled into the MG Racing RCIB Insurance garage and set to work on both of the badly batter MG’s.  After a momentous effort by both teams the cars made the grid for the start of the second race.  Starting at the back of the grid both drivers drove a superb race battling their way through the field and making up places to finish in a very impressive 12th for Josh and 15th for Ash.

After the excitement of race two the MG pair had another excellent drive in the third and final race of the day showing the superb pace of the MG6s with Josh narrowly missing out on a podium position in 4th, just 0.198s off third place finisher Adam Morgan.  Both drivers scored valuable points for the team with Ash finishing just behind his team mate in 5th position.

MG Racing RCIB Insurance were awarded the Manufacturers trophy and are now 3rd in the Manufacturers standings, 4th in the HiQ Team standings and Ash remains at the top of the Jack Sears Trophy table for divers in their maiden season.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now has a short break before reconvening at Cheshire’s Oulton Park on 4/5 June for Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the series.

Quotes from the MG Racing RCIB Insurance team post Thruxton:

Ian Harrison, Managing Director of Triple Eight Race Engineering Ltd:  “The first race at Thruxton can only be described as May Madness! The overwhelming majority of the grid left their brains behind at the start and drove like lunatics in a way that I can't remember at Thruxton in a long long time.  Our MG6's were fast, with a set up far better than the engineers managed last season, but the potential was never going to be realised after both cars ended up in the wall in race 1.  A monumental effort by the 888 and BMR crews will go down in BTCC folklore to get the 66 car on the grid, and both cars battled up the order culminating in a solid 4th and 5th in the final race.  We are looking forward to Oulton Park as we have good pace in the car, and racy drivers who are capable of passing more than one car to get to the front. We just need a bit of luck now.”

Josh Cook:  “First of all, I need to thank all of the MG 888 lads as well as Team BMR for getting my car fixed after the Race 1 crash.
 
“Thruxton has always been a bit of a struggle in the past for the MG6s, but I think this weekend we have shown the pace in the car.  Qualifying P4 and then being on for a Podium in Race 1 was a really positive note for us.  Sadly being collected by a slowing car put an end to that and we had to start at the back in Race 2.  Managing to get up to P12 in Race 2 put us in a strong position to continue our charge forward in Race 3 getting back up to P4, narrowly missing out on a Podium.   Overall I feel a bit gutted for the team, as we had outstanding pace in the car all weekend. There are many positives to take away from Thruxton including our ability to look after our tyres, our outright pace and the amount we have learnt about the car.  Bring on Oulton!”
 

Ash Sutton:  “Going into Thruxton knowing that this is meant to be one of the boggie tracks for the MG gave me a different mind-set. I saw this as a challenge to try and prove to everyone that we as a team can change that. Free Practice 1 was the first time I had ever driven Thruxton in my MG6 Touring Car, unfortunately we suffered a puncture due to curb strikes which was from my own doing as well as some fuel surge issues. Free Practice 2 we still struggled with the same issues from the previous practice session, this meant with the sessions combined together we only completed a handful of laps at nine tenths. 

“Heading into Qualifying I felt we were on the back foot a little, so I was very pleased with claiming yet another top five result. It's been great to not be outside of the top five so far. We didn't maximise the use of the curbs as we knew how critical the tyres were here and didn't want to damage them too much for the racing. 

“Race one didn't quite go to plan, we had an average start and I was pushing forward until a slight bit of rubbing at turn six meant we made contact with the barriers into turn seven. Unfortunately the car was beyond repair which meant we had to park it.

“After race one's drama it meant the day was going to be a lot harder than we hoped, starting from 27th on the grid my target was to get to 10th for the reverse grid. We looked like we was on route to achieving our target after getting up to 12th by lap eight until we got turned round into the complex and dropped back to 15th. The car felt on rails and I think we showed that the MG had pace at Thruxton.

“Race three was a good end to the day. It wasn't the best start and we lost out on a few places, but we soon clawed that back and found ourselves behind Josh. From then on it was the MG train as we both worked together to carve our way up the field to 4th and 5th.

“Overall it was a good weekend and we as a team showed that the car had pace at its 'boggie' track. With a little more luck I think we could have had some good results here at Thruxton.”

Written by Maddy Turner

Photo credits - AMSoul-Images.com

 
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POLE, POINTS AND PODIUMS AT DONINGTON PARK
It was another outstanding weekend at Donington Park for MG Racing RCIB Insurance with the dynamic duo of Ash Sutton and Josh Cook showing great pace throughout rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.



Both MG6’s showed tremendous pace during the two practice sessions on Saturday morning and used that to their best advantage later on in the day during the afternoon’s qualifying session.

With the weather conditions changing constantly, qualifying looked set to be a difficult one on track for both drivers and the team we opted for a wet tyre choice.  However a dry line started to appear in the midway stages, so a swift decision was made to change onto slicks for the remainder of the session.  After a red flag the session recommenced with just 5 minutes left on the clock and saw the pole position change hands constantly, which included the MG pair flying up the order and setting blistering laps.   Both the tyres and the timings seemed to work in our favour with the duo locking out the front row of the grid with a truly magnificent one-two with Ash pipping Josh to pole position with a time of 1:11.729 with just 0.494s separating the MG duo.

Race one would see Josh taking the second step of the podium after finishing in the position he started in, with Motorbase Performance’s Mat Jackson taking a well earned win.  Unfortunately for Ash he was unable to convert his pole into a win after a disappointing start dropping him back down to 4th.  After a fierce battle with his competitors Ash started regaining positions and made it up to 3rd by the midway stage of the race.  As the red flag fell to signal an early end to the race Ash had to settle for a 5th following a dramatic end with James Cole’s Subaru bursting into flames.

Starting in the positions they finished in from the previous race, Josh would start from 2nd carrying 66kg of ballast with Ash in 5th carrying 39kg of weight for the second race of the day.  Both drivers were slowly shuffled down the order despite their great battles on track.  Josh finished in a great point scoring position in 7th with Ash, who had opted to use the Dunlop SportMaxx soft compound tyre, just holding onto points in 13th.  Rob Collard took the win for West Surrey Racing.

The third and final race of the day saw a reverse grid draw place Josh back on the front row in 2nd as Ash took his previous race finishing position in 13th.  Josh would this time use his soft tyre selection.  Ash battled through the pack making up an impressive eight places to finish 5th.  It was a different story for Josh after showing great pace in the opening laps before the tyres started to wear as a result of carrying 27kg of ballast before dropping down the order and finishing 9th albeit still in a good point scoring position.

To top off the weekend Ash was awarded the Jack Sears trophy for top rookie for the second time in as many meetings, which also extended his lead in the Jack Sears Trophy table.

Ian Harrison, Managing Director of Triple Eight - MG Racing RCIB Insurance: "A bit of a mixed bag of results at Donington BUT, a lot of direction discovered!  An excellent team job on Saturday from the cockpit and the garage saw a front row lock out which was just reward for taking a risk on an early slick fitment. Hard charging by both guys saw a good podium from Cooky in race 1 and a fight through the pack by Ash in race 3 using a different set up which looks promising.  Roll on Oulton Park."
 
 
Ash Sutton said:  “I was really looking forward to continue pushing forward with the car and myself after a positive opening round at Brands Hatch! In FP1 and FP2 we didn't show the true pace of the MG ourselves but my partner in crime did by topping the sheets! Qualifying for me was an experience with the mixture of conditions. First time ever on wets in my MG Racing RCIB Insurance Car and it was like duck to water, I felt at home and confident! We kept the momentum going when we jumped onto slicks to take my first pole in the BTCC in just my second meeting in the championship.
“Race one, well the start wasn't the best dropping back to fourth and instantly grabbing third back. Unfortunately we didn't quite have the pace to push forward and with a few other minor issues I ended up dropping back to 5th.
“It was time for the softs in race two. We knew this was going to be about damage limitation after witnessing the massive drop off! I fought as hard as I could until the tyres finally let go and we dropped back to 13th.
“Starting on the seventh row in race three we took a few gambles and treated it more as a test due to our lack of winter testing. I feel we have found something in the car and it really showed carving our way back through the field from 13th up to 5th.  I can't wait to roll this onto the faster circuit of the season at Thruxton.  To top off the weekend we come away with more silverware for the Jack Sears Championship!”
 
Josh Cook said:  “Firstly, it was amazing to get a Front Row lock out for the MG Racing RCIB Insurance Team in Qualifying.  Not only that but converting this into a P2 result was very much deserved by the whole team for all their efforts.  With a two further top 10 finishes, we managed to not only come away with not only a good haul of points, but also a massive amount of data which we can take forward.  I’m really looking forward to Thruxton in a few weeks where we can hopefully continue with these all important consistent results.”
 
The Donington Park results have now moved Ash down one spot in the overall championship standings to 8th, just 23 points of the series leader Matt Neal.  As Josh moved up the order from 14th to 9th a further 9 points adrift.

MG Racing RCIB Insurance now sit third in the Manufacturer standings and fourth in the overall Team Championship.

The BTCC moves to Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire for rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the championship in just over two weeks time on the weekend of the 7/8 May.

 
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MG Racing RCIB Insurance Lock Out Front Row At Donington

It was a sensational end to the day for MG Racing RCIB Insurance here at Donington Park for Round 4 of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after rookie Ash Sutton claimed Pole Position during the final seconds of the qualifying session which was red flagged due to an incident out on track, in what was only his second ever BTCC event.

There were celebrations all round as Suttons stable mate Josh Cook also flew up the order in the closing stages after setting the 2nd fastest time placing the duo alongside each other on the front row of the grid for the first of Sundays three races. 

Tomorrows three races will be screened live from 10.30am on ITV4 with the first BTCC race starting at 11.30am.
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MG Racing RCIB Insurance Duo Shine On Their Debut

It was a phenomenal start to the season for MG Racing RCIB Insurance as the 2016 British Touring Car Championship commenced at Brands Hatch over the weekend with their new signings for 2016, the returning Josh Cook and the reigning Renault UK Clio Cup Champion Ash Sutton. 
 
With Ash qualifying 5th in his first ever BTCC session and Josh right behind him in 6th, the scene was set for a staggering 32 car line up opening race around the 1.2 mile Kent circuit.

As the lights went out for the opening race both Ash and Josh made great getaways with Ash jumping the BMW of Sam Tordoff at the start establishing himself in 4th from the outset, which he would hold onto right up until the end of the race behind pole sitter Speedworks Tom Ingram and the Halfords Yuasa pairing of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, with Josh following him home in 5th, as both opened their point scoring accounts along with points in the manufacturer standings for MG.  

Race 2 was a similar affair to the first as both Ash and Josh made a great getaway, only to be hampered in the early stages due to cars bunching up on the opening lap. During the latter stages of the race Josh had established himself as the lead MG driver in 6th with Ash on his tail in 7th, when on lap 22 oil was dropped at Graham Hill bend that caused Josh to have a huge moment and veer off circuit along with several other drivers onto the grass. Unfortunately for Josh contact was made with the tyre wall which forced him into retirement. Ash brought his car home with a 6th place finish. 
 
The reverse grid race 3 would see Ash lining up once again in 4th place with Josh starting at the back end of the grid in 29th. As the lights went out it was Josh who made the great getaway and had soon established himself up into 20th place on the opening lap, as Ash made a bad start and dropped down the order to 16th. However Ash made great use of his soft tyres and stormed back up the grid to end the day with a 10th place finish. It was also a fantastic finish for Josh who made up a staggering 15 places throughout the race to finish 14th and into a point scoring position. 
 
Following the race Ash was awarded his first piece of BTCC silverware with the Jack Sears Trophy after ending the day as the top rookie. 
 
Ash now sits 7th in the overall Drivers Championship after his debut weekend with Josh in 14th, which also scored  vital points for MG who sit 3rd in the Constructors Championship and 4th in the overall teams championship.

Ash Sutton said:  'Well there you go, I have my first BTCC weekend under my belt!  I personally set some targets to aim for and we definitely achieved them. Getting three top ten finishes was fantastic and to qualify fifth topped it off!  I feel now we can move forward at Donington, we have a very quick car under us thanks to MG Racing RCIB Insurance considering the small amount of laps we have actually done. The platform is there so we can now build on this and move forward in the right direction and get the MG6 on the podium! I am also learning the craft of British Touring Cars so there is still more to come from me!'

Josh Cook said:  “I was really pleased with the pace of the car throughout the weekend, in comparison to a lot of the cars on the grid we had very little time in the car pre-season so we went into the weekend on the back foot. Qualifying and race one was a glimpse of what the MG6 has to offer. Race two was purely unlucky for me with the oil on the track, a bit gutting but that’s the way it goes sometimes. It could happen to anyone. As a result we started from the back for Race three, midway through when I reached P14, we encountered a power steering fault which halted my progress or I’m confident we could have recovered with a top 10 finish. 
 
The guys behind the scenes at MG Racing RCIB Insurance do a really great job. We’ve learned a lot this weekend, and Ash and I are doing well together as a team, hopefully we can soon get up on that top step. There is no question that we’re going to be giving it everything we’ve got.

Ian Harrison, Triple Eight Managing Director said:  "There is no doubt that being a bit late out of the starting gate has slowed down our build up a bit, but based on the guys' performance at round 1, things will improve quickly! Brands was a steep learning curve for the drivers and the team but overall it was an all-round solid performance by everyone involved. A couple of incidents on track with Josh sliding off on un-flagged oil and Ash fluffing the start of race 3 are all part of the BTCC experience and cannot distract from a good show of racing skill in the other races. A lot learnt and plenty more to come."

Rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place at Donington Park on 16/17 April.
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MG Delighted to Announce 2016 BTCC Entry

MG Motor UK is pleased to announce a new three-year contract extension with Triple Eight Racing in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

This new contract will see MG Triple Eight Racing battling it out in this ultra competitive series for more pole positions and manufacturer championship wins until 2018.

Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing for MG, said: “We are really excited to be renewing this partnership. The BTCC has given us the opportunity to give our brand some fantastic exposure, so we’re thrilled to be continuing this for another three years.

“We have built up a strong relationship with Triple Eight during our four years together, so we’re glad to be working with them again and look forward to developing a new team that will lead to more successes.”

Matthew added: “We’ve been very lucky to have worked with some extremely talented drivers over our time of being involved with the touring cars, but our plan is to grow our own champion over the duration of the contract. Driver announcements will be made soon, but we can confirm we’ll be looking to create a young and up-and-coming line up.”

With the arrival of the highly anticipated MG SUV in 2016, which will be an exciting new phase for the brand, finding new talent and working with them to grow fits with the direction MG Motor UK is going in.

Ian Harrison, Team Principal at Triple Eight Racing, said: “We’re delighted to renew this important strategic deal. This year we saw an even more competitive BTCC and, while our drivers didn’t always get the results hoped, we took small comfort in the fact we had a year of zero mechanical and electrical faults; which is rare in this business and is an example of the high standards that Triple Eight prides itself on.

“That quality has been a deciding factor for MG, who are realising the opportunity that the BTCC offers and we’re looking forwarding to working on the new MG6 platform for the coming three years. I fully believe we can once again be strong contenders for every title on the table.”

More information about the driver line-up for 2016 will be announced in due course.
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Triple Eight Racing Announce 2016 Driver Line Up

Triple Eight Racing are delighted to announce the signing of Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton to compete in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship 2016 in a works supported MG6.
MG Motor UK Ltd recently confirmed a new three-year contract extension with Triple Eight Racing in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and shared their plans for a young and up-and-coming driver line up with an intention to grow a champion over the duration of the contract.

Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing for MG, commented: “MG Motor UK Ltd is proud to continue its association with Triple 888 Racing and BTCC touring cars for another three years.

“We are delighted that the team has once again been able to secure two young, ambitious, up-and-coming talented drivers for the 2016 season.

“We are proud to support the team as they develop fresh home grown talent and look forward to a successful season and many more to come.”


Josh Cook, former 2014 Renault UK Clio Cup Vice-Champion, made his debut in the BTCC in 2015 with Power Maxed Racing and Racing for Heroes.  Josh quickly established himself as a star of the future. The rookie caught the attention of many within the Rockingham paddock after he achieved a pole position, podium position and fastest lap. Josh also clinched the victory in the Jack Sears Trophy.

Josh commented: “I’m over the moon to be working with a team and manufacturer that has such heritage.

“The introduction of the new RML components this season is bound to mix it up, and I’m coming straight off the back of a strong first season in the BTCC. I want to keep that momentum going and be competing for the top step from the first round. I have no doubt that the knowledge and experience at Triple Eight Racing will enable me to do that. This is an important step in my career, and I’m looking ahead to this season at being a Championship contender with MG and Triple Eight. 

“I have worked extremely hard since the end of last season to get back to the grid - it was the only place I wanted to be. So I now have an important job to do to give back to the sponsors who have got me here. I’m 100% focused and will be prepared in every aspect, starting with my mental approach and fitness.”


Following in Josh’s footsteps graduating into the BTCC is current 2015 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion Ashley Sutton.  Ashley first appeared on the BTCC support package in 2014, having raced for part of the season in the Formula Ford series. When he was announced for 2015 in the Renault UK Clio Cup, under the Team BMR Restart Pyro banner, it came with a great deal of optimism.
2015 was an outstanding year for Ashley racing in the Renault UK Clio Cup for Team BMR & Pyro Motorsport.  In what was his maiden year in the series, Ashley was challenging the “old guard” as he and Ant Whorton-Eales ran side-by-side for race wins with the duo finding themselves out in the front in the early part of the season.  Ashley took the title in a dramatic final round as well as securing his place as top rookie in the series and being presented with the Graduate Cup.

Ashley commented: “I am overwhelmed to have been given this opportunity as a manufacturer driver for MG with Triple Eight Racing in my first year of the BTCC. When we first joined the TOCA package back in 2014 I would have bitten someone’s hand off if they said I would be racing in the British Touring Cars in just two years’ time. It has been a dream to compete in the BTCC for a full season from a very young age. Over the past two years I have had some amazing support from my two main sponsors, Global Force Group and Select Fire as well as my manager Warren Scott. I can happily say I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of their efforts as well as mine. I will continue working with Warren behind the scenes as we have a great relationship.

“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of my MG6, the car has proven what it is capable of over the years. I have every faith in Triple Eight to deliver a race winning car as they have done over the years, so I will be putting in all my efforts to bring home some good results. This is going to be a big learning curve for me and with not much testing planned I have my work cut out for the year, but I feel I couldn’t be more ready for this challenge and I will grab it with both hands and give it my all. I can’t wait to get started and to get stuck in with the team, roll on round one!”

 
Triple Eight Managing Director, Ian Harrison commented “Naturally we are really happy to announce Josh and Ashley to MG Racing for 2016. Both of them are young chargers eager to build up their knowledge in this category. We know what they can do and hope to help them build their performance in touring cars throughout the season with pace and consistency.”​
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