Toyota GT86Last year Toyota Motorsport in conjunction with Tin Top Tuesday ran a competition to take a picture of Frank Wrathall’s BTCC Toyota Avensis. I was lucky enough to be chosen as the winner in the ‘amateur’ category. My prize was the use of a Toyota GT86 for a week. After a little negotiation over available dates the car was finally delivered to the office. On handing over the keys the delivery driver explained where he had parked the car, although spotting the shiny pillar-box-red coupé amongst a sea of battleship grey company VWs really didn’t need much assistance. It was barely gone 9am and I was already thinking about the drive home – 5:30 has never seemed so far away.

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BTCC MG6
I’m sure by now most people will have seen the artist’s impression of the new MG KX Momentum Racing BTCC car. Ever since that image was released there’s been something bothering me about it. Something didn’t seem right about it, and I’m not just talking about a livery that wouldn’t look out of place in a primary school colouring contest.

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Recently a couple of adverts caught my attention. The first from Chris James on RaceCarsDirect looking for a third driver, and the second from Richard Hawken on eBay trying to find a team sponsor. Both made some rather bold claims about the BTCC including one that the series attracts a global TV audience of 10.9 billion, a figure that’s difficult to believe given that there are only 7 billion people on the planet.

Far from being something that the teams have invented the figure actually comes from TOCA via their 2012 Brochure. Amongst the statistics quoted in the brochure is the “cumulative annual global households TV reach” of 10.93 billion. But what does that actually mean?

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I’ve been asked about the Tube Tracker link shown in the sidebar. It’s something I put together a couple of months ago but had not done much to promote, so maybe now is a good time for an explanation.

Tube Tracker is a website optimised for use on a smartphone or other mobile device, and providing real-time travel information for the London Underground network. Data is obtained from Transport for London (TfL) via their public data API.

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It’s mid-January, which for me means working through my diary and marking the motorsport dates. It also usually means buying an MSV season pass. There are a number of options available but for me its the 4-wheel pass, which allows access to all car racing event at all 4 MSV owned circuits – Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oulton Park and Cadwell. Except this year for the first time since 2005 I probably won’t bother.

When MSV first stared to sell season passes the cost was around £130. Now I’m not exactly on the doorstep of any circuit (Brands is the closest and that’s an hour’s drive) but to me it was a no-brainer. A ticket to a BTCC round was £20-25 and I was certain to go to all four of those – two at Brands and one each at Oulton and Snetterton – which meant I only needed to a couple of smaller event and the pass would easily pay for itself.

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