BTCC: Rd.1, Donington (1/2 August)

BTCC: Rd.1, Donington (1/2 August)

BTCC: Rd.1, Donington (1/2 August)

The GKR team at Donington Park as the new Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship finally kicked off.

The award-winning Essex-based motor dealership headed into the first round of the campaign hoping to impress with James Gornall at the wheel of its two Audi S3s. James made solid progress across Saturday, improving on his fastest lap by half a second between practice and qualifying to line up in 19th spot for race one; putting him firmly in the mix for points on race day.

With rain in air on Sunday morning, James lined up on the grid for the opening race and would run side-by-side with his team mate on the run down to turn one, getting ahead to leave the duo running in 17th and 18th spot. James continued to charge forward to sit just outside the top ten when the Safety Car was deployed. After the restart, there was late disappointment however, as he suffered an engine issue and retired to the pits, having looked well set for a top twelve finish. Despite the best efforts of the team to change the engine on his car, James would be forced to sit out the second race of the day.

He was able to take the start for the final race however, taking his slot at the rear of the field. He was a man on the move as he climbed up five spots on the opening lap and was soon working his way into the top 20. He put in a fine drive to come through to 16th spot, pushing hard to make up ground he had lost after an early Safety Car period, when one of the cars ahead was caught napping on the restart.

James Gornall, #180 GKR Audi S3:
“Although there are some disappointments, there are also positives for me to take away from this weekend and I think we showed good pace in the final race. Had it not been for the fact that Andy Neate held a few of us up on the restart and left a gap as large as the English Channel to the cars ahead, we could even have scored some points. Had we finished race one and then been able to build on that in race two, we might have been able to benefit from the reverse grid for that final race and then it would have been a different story given the pace we had. I’ve enjoyed getting my elbows out this weekend and it’s different to what I have done before, but I’m pleased to have got involved in some scraps and shown what I can do.”

Driver Standings:

Images & Videos by kind courtesy:
Jakob Ebrey

Next BTCC meeting:
Brands Hatch GP, 8/9 August

James waits for his Touring Cars debut…

James waits for his Touring Cars debut…

James waits for his Touring Cars debut…

James should have been making his touring car debut this weekend, but he, and the rest of the field are in limbo because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

James: “Well I’m well, I’m healthy… albeit a little bit bored. Now I know we have to be careful of course but it’s a shame that in my debut season in the British Touring Cars everything’s been postponed and we don’t really know when we’re going to start.”

MINI Challenge Champion James Gornall completes Trade Price Cars Racing line-up

MINI Challenge Champion James Gornall completes Trade Price Cars Racing line-up

MINI Challenge Champion James Gornall completes Trade Price Cars Racing line-up

MINI Challenge champion James Gornall completes Trade Price Cars Racing line-up

Trade Price Cars Racing can today confirm that reigning MINI Challenge champion James Gornall will complete its driver line-up for the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season.

The 35-year-old from Bedford will be making his series debut with the second-year team as part of a new look driver line-up alongside the recently announced Bobby Thompson, but brings a wealth of experience from a hugely successful racing career to date.

A multiple champion in karting, James – known to his fans as Jiggy – carried his success into car racing with a championship victory in BARC Formula Renault but it was a move into the British GT Championship in 2008 that saw his career hit new heights.

Racing alongside Jon Barnes in a Brookspeed-run Dodge Viper, James secured the championship title thanks to an unrivalled tally of four wins – wrapping up the crown with two races of the season still to run.

The same season also saw James take a class win in the Silverstone 24 Hours with the Beechdean Motorsport team before a hiatus from racing that would run through to 2014 when he elected to return to competition in the BMW Compact Cup.

Racing against Trade Price Cars Racing team owner Dan Kirby, James secured second in the standings in 2015 and then went one better twelve months later to lift the championship title.

After a strong guest appearance in the MINI Challenge in 2018, James then worked to put together a full-season programme in the series in 2019, with five wins – and an impressive 13 podiums – allowing the BRDC member to secure another championship title.

That championship success resulted in James securing the chance to sample a BTCC machine for the first time, with an outing in a Ford Focus RS at Snetterton only strengthening his desire to make the step up to the BTCC for the 2020 campaign.

James has now agreed terms on a deal to move into Britain’s premier racing series with Trade Price Cars Racing, which will be looking to add to the silverware it secured on track during an impressive debut campaign.

The award-winning, Essex-based motor dealership took the step into team ownership in 2019 and celebrated a first win in the series at Knockhill, regularly taking the fight to the established order with its ever-improving Audi S3s.

James will make his debut in the Trade Price Cars Racing Audi when the new season kicks off at Donington Park in late March.

James Gornall said: “When I decided to enter the MINI Challenge last season, it was with the aim of learning the skills required to move into British Touring Cars in the future, as I’d never raced in front wheel drive before. The test I did in the Focus as a reward for winning the title only increased my desire to join the grid, as I felt comfortable straightaway and knew that I would be able to do myself justice. I’ve known Dan for a few years from our time racing against each other in the Compact Cup, and we had a chat about his plans for the touring cars with the Audis twelve months ago at the Autosport Show. I’ve kept a keen interest in how things have been going since then, and it’s great that I’m now going to be part of the team for my debut season in the BTCC. As a driver you always want to win races and if you don’t go into a new season feeling you can win, then you won’t do. The team has shown that it can fight for victories and that has to be my target in 2020; to fight for silverware and to challenge for both the Independents’ title and the Jack Sears Trophy. I’m looking forward to working alongside Bobby and think we can have a lot of fun during the season ahead. A huge thanks to Dan and the team for making this deal happen, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Dan Kirby, Trade Price Cars team owner, said: “On the back of our 2019 season, there was a lot of interest in the Audis and a lot of speculation about who would be at the wheel, and I’m really pleased to now welcome James into the team. I’ve raced against him in the past, and you only have to look at the success he has enjoyed in his career to date to see what a talented driver he is. As a newcomer to the series, James is a driver who fans might not be too familiar with. However, I’m confident that they will soon see what James can do when the season gets underway as you don’t become a six-time British champion in a range of disciplines without being a quick driver. James has a winning mentality, and I’m looking forward to seeing him make his mark on the BTCC during his maiden season. With James alongside Bobby, I think we’ve put together an exciting driver pairing that will allow us to build on the success we enjoyed in our first year, and I’m confident that we’ll make a real impression again in 2020.”


Images & Video by kind courtesy of Trade Price Cars