Monthly Archives

April 2019

A roller-coaster weekend for WSR at Donington Park

Colin Turkington & Tom Oliphant, Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport, BTCC, Donington Park, UK

Double win for Team BMW’s new 330i M Sport at Donington Park

Team BMW and Colin Turkington claimed a sensational Donington Park double win to soar to the head of the British Touring Car Teams’ Championship with the new 330i M Sport. Colin’s pair of victories for the WSR-run team made him the top scorer of the weekend and moved him up to third in the Drivers’ standings; just five points off the top spot.

And there was more success for Team BMW as Tom Oliphant scored his first BTCC podium finish with third in Race One and both drivers finished all three races for the second meeting in a row. Having qualified on pole position, Colin got his race weekend off to a perfect start with a lights-to-flag victory in Race One. He made a clean getaway and, after twice pulling away from the field (only for a Safety Car to close the gap), the Northern Irishman stretched his lead to win by 2.254 seconds.

An almost identical second race, including two Safety-Car periods, resulted in another victory – one more than me managed across the whole of his 2018 title-winning season!

It was far from easy, as he had to manage the 54kg success ballast that had been added to the car – and which he would also carry in the third and final race.

Starting 10th for the finale; and enabling the team to run the new car on maximum success ballast and on the hard slick-tyre compound for the first time – it proved successful, with ninth place the result. Team-mate Tom made a magnificent start in the opening race to move up three spots to sixth; cementing the overtaking with a brave manoeuvre around the outside of Redgate corner.  Enjoying a return to rear-wheel drive racing, the Leamington Spa racer moved into third by mid-race distance and, having opened up a nice gap to fourth, consolidated his position to score his first BTCC podium.

Tom made another magnificent start in Race Two, momentarily moving up to second before becoming embroiled in a close battle for a podium position. Carrying 42kg success ballast, he slipped to sixth and looked set for another very strong result, before an ambitious overtaking move from behind spun his BMW 330i M Sport at Redgate corner on the penultimate lap.

He resumed in 17th; a great shame after showing such a good race pace and compromising his race three ambitions. Tom also used the hard compound slick in Race Three which, apart from the Thruxton test, was the first time he had driven on it. Starting 15th, he did extremely well to finish a trouble-free 13th.

Colin Turkington said: “It’s been an excellent weekend. What pleases me most is to score well in all three race; it’s no good having two wins and a DNF, you have to put good points in the bag three times. Ninth in race three, with full success ballast and the hard tyre, is an excellent result and we’ve also learnt a lot from race three.”

Tom Oliphant said: “I was very pleased with my Race One podium finish, it was a dream start, but the rest of the day didn’t really go to plan. Overall, it’s been a weekend of missed opportunities, having been spun around in the second race, but on the flip side I’ve scored my first BTCC podium. It’s almost silly feeling disappointed given our race pace today, and I’m leaving Donington confident that there are many more podiums to come in the new 330i M Sport”.

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We’re still learning with the new BMW 330i M Sport and it certainly has a great deal of potential. It’s reliable too, as Colin and Tom have finished every race so far this season. This weekend we ran the car without weight, then with maximum success ballast and then with weight on the hard tyre in a race for the very first time, and whilst we still have a lot to learn everything appears very positive going forward. To have a brand new car and to finish so well in the points in each race, and to be leading the Teams’ Championship at such an early stage of the season, is very encouraging.”

Jordan bruised but thankful for strength of BMW after Donington BTCC race incident

BMW Pirtek Racing driver Andrew Jordan missed out on a chance to score more British Touring Car Championship points after a crash in the opening race at Donington Park on Sunday damaged his BMW 330i M Sport and saw the 2013 champion taken to hospital for a precautionary medical check.

The 29-year-old Lichfield driver, who had given the brand-new BMW 330i M Sport its first race victory at Brands Hatch, had made a good start to the race.

But his race weekend came to a dramatic end on the opening lap at the Old Hairpin when he was hit from behind and spun sideways in the middle of the 30-car field.

Unfortunately the WSR-run BMW sustained a second sizeable impact when another car then hit him hard in the driver’s door, which started a multi-car collision.

Andrew exited his race car and walked to the attending medical vehicle, but was in some discomfort from the hefty side impact. He was taken to hospital for a precautionary check, where it was found he had bruised the cartilage on his torso.

This, together with the damaged sustained to the car, meant that he was forced to miss Races Two and Three – although he did return to watch the third and final race from the BMW Pirtek Racing pit garage.

Andrew Jordan said: “I had a cracking start, but when you’re in the midfield you can find yourself in amongst the idiots. I gave Rob [Collard] racing room; more than a car’s width, but he harpooned me in the rear and turned me around at the Old Hairpin. I was parked across the track and received a second really big hit in the door by Adam Morgan, although that wasn’t his fault. The safety cage has done everything it’s been designed to do, and full credit to WSR and BMW for building such a very strong car. It’s just a very unfortunate and frustrating incident, because we should have had a very strong day today.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “AJ has a few aches and pains, which is not surprising after a hard shunt like that, but it’s good to see that he has incurred nothing worse. We’ve built the new BMW 330i M Sport to 2020 FIA regulations, which we decided to do when the regulations were published earlier this year, and that might well have helped with this heavy impact. He’s a tough lad and we’ll get the car repaired and ready for him to bounce back next time out at Thruxton.”

Physical Digital are proud Technical Partners of WSR, supporting them with their 3D Scanning, reverse engineering and quality inspection requirements.

The next BTCC race weekend takes place at Thruxton on Sunday 19 May.

Photo credit JEP/BMW.

Jordan takes maiden BTCC win for BMW 330i M Sport

Logos BMW 330i M sport

Andrew Jordan took a brilliant first victory for the brand-new BMW 330i M Sport at Brands Hatch at the opening British Touring Car Championship weekend of 2019.

The BMW Pirtek Racing driver charged through from 15th on the grid in Race Two to deliver a masterful performance in a car that ran beautifully once the 1.2-mile Indy circuit dried out from early rain.

Treacherous track conditions had blighted the first race and the WSR-run team opted to start on Dunlop wet tyres, but once the race got underway, those further down the grid who had gambled on slicks proved quicker.

Despite running second in the early stages, from third on the grid, the 2013 champion faded to 15th by the flag.

Determined to fight back in Race Two, and equipped with the superior-on-the-day control tyre, Andrew rocketed off the line and by the end of lap one had passed seven cars.

He then dispatched rival after rival in a scintillating display that culminated in him moving into the lead on the outside of the pit straight with eight laps to run. Fastest lap and a dominant win were just reward for a superb drive.

With 54kg of success ballast and the option tyres underneath him, Andrew was never likely to repeat that performance from 11th on Race Three’s partially-reversed grid, but still he fought gamely in the top 10 before contact forced him to pit.

Andrew Jordan said: “This has been an amazing weekend for us and the new BMW 330i M Sport. To get the first win for the new 3 Series on its debut weekend means everything to me. An hour into the first day we tested it, I was ready to race it. The car felt very good all weekend. I was a little bit cautious in the damp because we used to struggle with that with old car, but it felt very good. In Race Two, I was conscious of protecting the control tyres, especially since all the people around me were on softer tyres. But the option tyre turned out to be less competitive and after that it was a case of picking them off one by one. When it came to Ash Sutton in the lead, I knew he would be a tough cookie so I had to try and be patient. But his tyres were deteriorating, and my car felt very strong. So I tried to be on him coming off Clearways and with his tyres getting worse my advantage was greater. Last year felt winless for me [in spite of an inherited victory at Knockhill], so to get this victory in such commanding style is great. I did the easy bit though, the team have done an astonishing job with this car.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “That is mission accomplished for us. AJ has looked strong all weekend and in Race Two, when he was on the control tyre, the car was just mega. We’ve won quite a bit at Brands Hatch with the old car, but I think while we are still tapping into the new BMW’s potential, we couldn’t have hoped to do so well so quickly. We are still learning what it likes, what it doesn’t like and have to do a stock take after this weekend. But now I am very encouraged. We knew we were good yesterday, and we just made a wrong tyre call in Race One, but the rest of the weekend has shown us we that have a strong year ahead of us.”

Team BMW’s new 330i M Sport shines on BTCC debut

Team BMW came away from the opening weekend of their triple British Touring Car Championship title defence hugely encouraged by the performance of the new BMW 330i M Sport at Brands Hatch.

Not only did the WSR-run car win in the hands of BMW Pirtek Racing driver Andrew Jordan, stable-mate and reigning champion Colin Turkington was able to deliver his own blistering performance, setting fastest lap and recording a top-five finish in the final race of the day.

Turkington and his impressive new team-mate Tom Oliphant were not able to capitalise on strong qualifying performances for Race One, when difficult conditions left them no choice but to opt to start on wet tyres.

This compromised their race pace as drivers lower down the grid who had gambled on slicks gained an advantage on the drying track.

Starting in the midfield in Race Two, Colin and Tom worked their way back up to 14th and 15th on the less competitive Dunlop option tyre, setting the stage for a grandstand finish,  which they duly delivered.

In an eventful final race of the day Colin, now on the control tyre and without ballast, charged through, passing nine cars on his way to fifth and fastest lap. While Tom impressively tracked him throughout to record his career-best BTCC finish in sixth.

Colin Turkington said: “Fastest lap and fifth place in the final race of the day was pleasing and it was good to pick up some really useful points. We’re still learning about the brand new 3 Series and I think it is just going to take a bit more time to tailor it to my style. That will come with time and once we unlock that potential, we will fly. I know that we have to dig quite deep in terms of analysis but there are another 27 races to go and we just have to find the right set-up, and no doubt this team will. It’s a strong start and a fantastic effort by the whole team.”

Tom Oliphant said: “We knew we had a quick car, and when we finally got to race in one constant track condition in Race Three, we were able to show that. I got a good start, went around a few cars and I was right behind Colin and I just said to myself ‘I am just going to follow him’. I knew he would make the moves. We had the same car, same tyres and same set-up so every move he went for, I just pushed through. I’m really, really pleased. The car felt great, exactly the way it had in testing and it’s brilliant that we managed to end the day on a high and score some big points for Team BMW. Between us and AJ we showed what the car can do. The guys have done an extraordinary job with this car and I can’t wait to race it again.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We can be very satisfied with this weekend. Colin finished fifth in Race Three and looked very strong, and had we started higher up, we probably would have been in the running for a podium. We will have to work a little bit with Colin to get the car to suit his driving style, but it will come. I’m also very impressed with Tom, who recorded his best result in the BTCC this weekend. At no point did he look any different to the other two, who are both champions, and was right on Colin’s tail in Race Three. Overall this has been a very good weekend and considering how many hours everyone has put in to get these three BMW 330i M Sports ready for this weekend, the results are a tremendous testament to the team’s hard work. All three cars finished all three races, which is excellent reliability. To have a win [through BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan] with the brand-new car, complete with two fastest laps, shows we have a lot to look forward to.”

Working together since 2017

Physical Digital were delighted to attend the first weekend of this years British Touring Car Championship as sponsors of WSR. Physical Digital proudly provide 3D scanning and reverse engineering services to WSR as their approved Technical Partners. Working together since 2017, Dick Bennetts (WSR Team Principal) recently commented:

“ Physical Digital have been a great asset to WSR in the early stages of the design of our new BMW 3 Series BTCC race cars. Without their assistance with the 3D scanning of various parts, it would have taken our design guys a lot longer to achieve.

Tim and all the guys  have always been on hand ready to assist when needed. Greatly appreciated”

Photo credit JEP/BMW.

Discussing the workforce of the future at The House of Commons

Tim Rapley and Zak Rapley attend T Level and Apprenticeships event

As the owner of an influential SME within the South-East region, our MD Tim Rapley was invited to attend an event held at The House of Commons earlier this week, hosted by the EFSA to discuss T Level and Apprenticeships within the South East region. The event was held in conjunction with the Federation of Small Businesses and the South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network at the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons.

Invited by MP Apprenticeship Ambassador Gillian Keegan (Con, Chichester), the purpose was to hear from a wide spectrum of the South East SME business community about topics such as apprenticeship engagement, as well as feedback on the plans for the new T Levels. The event was also to understand the ability of SMEs offering meaningful and structured industry placements as part of the Technical Level offer for 16-18 year olds from September 2020 in Construction, Education & Childcare, and Digital routes.

Talks were held by Mike Cherry, the FSB National Chair, and Gillian to discuss how employers can gain a competitive advantage by connecting in greater numbers with apprenticeships; and how T Levels can enable young people to gain the transferable skills and experience that they need to progress in their careers.

Tim Rapley commented: “Having sat on the panel for the NPL Apprentices Metrology Trailblazer and as an influential business owner within the metrology industry,  we are eager to support future generations of engineers. As part of this education Physical Digital pay visits to schools, UTC’s, colleges and universities providing an overview and giving demonstrations of our industry leading 3D scanning technology.”

“The event was well attended by business representatives and education providers from the South East, along with Apprentice Ambassadors and representatives from the Department for Education & Skills. We had an over view from Gillian on what the government is doing pre and post launch of this program. Talks were also given by Mike Cherry supporting the SME, plus presentations on number on a case studies for apprentices of all ages and academic backgrounds.”

“I was introduced to Gillian and to several people on her team who were overseeing the roll out and implementation of this program and they were very interested to understand more from our experience as a SME. My son Zak Rapley, who is currently undertaking an apprenticeship scheme with Mondelez (Cadbury), also attended and provided an overview of his experience of  the apprenticeship system so far. It was a pleasure to be invited and kept up-to-date with the latest developments of this program and we look forward to supporting apprentices in the future.”