Believe it or not, the history of the body responsible for enforcing tyre labelling legislation in the UK goes back to the Magna Carta. Nowadays, they are known as National Measurement and Regulation Office or NMRO and form part of the government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)’s “Regulatory Delivery” organisation. However, there is quite a lot more to it than that.
The Motor Sports Association – governing body of four wheel motor sport – has welcomed the launch of a government consultation regarding a proposed change in the law that would allow motor sport events to take place on closed public roads in Britain. The Road Traffic Act states that it is illegal to organise or take part in a race or trial of speed on the public highway, but the MSA has been pushing successive governments to devolve power to local authorities to enable them to suspend the Road Traffic Act without having to resort to an Act of Parliament.
A full grid of 32 entries will compete for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship again in 2014, the headline sponsor and tyre supplier has confirmed. All 32 available TOCA BTCC Licences (TBLs) were allocated during the pre-registration process, which closed on 30 November. TOCA, the series organiser, has introduced TBLs for next year with the goal of providing teams with longer-term stability and security.
Barbon Manor and Harewood Hill will play host to the Avon Tyres MSA British Hillclimb Championship this weekend 11-12 May, as the grass-roots championship arrives at its first of two split-venue race weekends of 2013. The Cumbria hill of Barbon Manor is the venue for competition on Saturday, with racers then travelling to the longest venue on the championship calendar – Harewood Hill – for Sunday’s action.
Dunlop has completed its first test of its new MSA British Touring Car Championship soft compound tyre at Rockingham. In 2013 drivers of NGTC specification cars must use one set of soft compound tyres for one of the three races following a regulation change. Drivers must nominate the race in which they will use the tyres without the knowledge of other drivers’ strategies before Saturday’s qualifying session.
The Pirelli International Rally has been renamed as the Pirelli Richard Burns Foundation Rally in support of the former world rally champion, with the event remaining the second round of this year's MSA British Rally Championship.
Trevor Willis won the Avon Tyres MSA British Hillclimb Championship at Loton Park on 28-29 September to take his first ever national hillclimb title. Speaking after Sunday’s run-offs, Willis said he was glad to have secured the title: “That was a huge relief! I was so glad to take the title in the first run-off as I just couldn’t take the pressure anymore – it was getting too much,” he laughed.
Good news for the title sponsor and other supporters – official figures show the number of viewers tuning into watch the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – the BTCC to its friends – has grown an average of 43 per cent this year. The British Audience Research Board gained this statistic from an analysis of viewer activity during the first seven rounds of the current season versus the first seven rounds of 2010; this latest figure shows a growing interest in the ITV coverage – after the first three rounds the year-on-year increase was only 36 per cent.
Last year’s Hankook MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship ‘Young Driver of the Year’ Award was contested by more than 30 competitors, and at the end of 2010 Jonny Leonard was declared the winner, entitling him to compete, all expenses paid, in an international event during 2011. The event selected was round five of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, Belgium’s Ypres Rally, which took place between June 23 and 25.
Dunlop is urging followers of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship to the Festival of Speed at Goodwood this coming weekend, where the company’s Live arena in the Goodwood Stable Yard will host some of the UK’s top touring car stars in a ‘Meet the Fans’ question and answer session. Croft winner Andrew Jordan, 2010 pacesetter Tom Chilton, multiple champion Matt Neal and race winner Mat Jackson are among the drivers who will talk about their experiences in the series.
Cheshire’s Oulton Park was the latest venue for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, hosting around 35,000 racing fans. Among those fans were more than 25 of the North West region’s top tyre experts, attending the Dunlop BTCC Masterclass; an exclusive course for technicians run by the same Senior Engineers that service the Dunlop tyres for BTCC stars such as Jason Plato and Matt Neal.
The Nippon Challenge, described as “the nation’s premier racing series for Japanese cars”, will roll out this year with Federal’s new motorsports extreme tyre, FZ-201 semi-slick, as one of the spec tyres. The Taiwanese tyre brand will also be the title sponsor for all of the 14 races over seven weekends between April and October.
Dunlop’s activities in the MSA British Touring Car Championship are not limited to being the title sponsor and tyre-supplier. The company is engaged in the hunt to find the Championship’s future stars with its Race Academy – dubbed by the manufacturer “the X-Factor of Motorsport”. The Academy will run a series of track-based events in which drivers new to racing will be able to show what they can do on the track. Playing Simon Cowell and his minions will be Evo Magazine, a BTCC driver and a Dunlop representative.
ITV will increase its coverage of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship to over 120 hours this year. The Championship’s title sponsor this time around changes from HiQ to Dunlop, as Goodyear Dunlop continues to publicise the motorsport capabilities of the brand, which also supplies the BTCC. The move by ITV will therefore please Dunlop, which will be getting an increased opportunity for brand exposure direct to motorsport fans’ living rooms.