High-speed thrills await TOCA package

03 May 17

The fastest circuit on the TOCA calendar, Thrxuton, awaits the four support package championships this weekend (6/7 May) as the battle for supremacy in 2017 ramps up further.

Marking the third stop on the calendar, the 2.3 mile Hampshire venue is synonymous for pushing drivers, teams and cars to the very edge in a bid to top the podium.

Since the opening lap of the Renault UK Clio Cup season there has been high drama, and that is likely to continue at Thruxton. Four different race winners from four races only tells half the story of what has been a breathtaking opening two events at Brands Hatch and Donington Park.

Records have tumbled at both meetings thus far and this weekend could see the tin-top category notch average speeds of more than 100mph for the first time – which was unofficially achieved last month at the TOCA test.

Mike Bushell heads the standings but has Max Coates, Paul Rivett and Lee Pattison, the quartet of race winners, breathing down his neck. All four have shown their title credentials early on and will be keen to gain the upper hand as the series rages on.

Hot on their heels are a mixture of experienced heads and exciting rookies. Ash Hand and James Colburn are both playing catch up in the title race whilst Jack McCarthy and James Dorlin have been on the lips of everyone virtue of their impressive displays so far.

Two fast and furious encounters around Thruxton await the Clio Cup contingent and picking a winner has never been more difficult.

Picking a clear winner has proved to be equally as hard in the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship. Catering for 14 to 17-year-olds, the high-octane series is a popular one on the TOCA package and never short of entertainment.

Virtue of taking a brace of wins at Donington Park, Tom Gamble is the current pace-setter albeit five points clear of Daniel Harper. Sebastian Priaulx, Harry King, Harry Dyson and Tom Wood are just a handful of the drivers that have made their mark this year so far, all of whom will be looking to close the gap on the top two.

Whilst the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup won’t be competing at Thruxton, the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge makes its maiden TOCA appearance of the year. Traditionally residing on the British GT package, the GT5 Challenge is one of the top proving grounds for upcoming drivers.

With two meetings in the books already, Lewis Brown holds the early points lead but has Shane Stoney chasing him down. The depth of talent is deep in this championship and stars such as JSCC champion Katie Milner could well come to the fore.

Rounding out the action this weekend will be three races from the British F4 Championship. A key step on the ladder to Formula 1, the single-seater action has been relentless so far with Carlin’s Jamie Caroline in a commanding position at the top of the points.

Caroline has made a flying start to the season, notching four wins and building up a sizable lead. Patrik Pasma, Linus Lundqvist, Oscar Piastri and Ayrton Simmons head the list of Caroline’s rivals but with three races to play out around Thruxton, whether any of them can prevail over the Pirtek-backed driver is another matter entirely.

This weekend will also see the support and fundraising efforts for British F4 teenager Billy Monger continues at Thruxton. For more information, here.

To view the event timetable for both days, click here.