Tilley to Ginettas
Former Radical racer Grahame Tilley will switch to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup this year, racing in the Amateur class. The 64-yearold finished fifth in the Radical Enduro Championship last year and starred in Formula Ford in the late 1970s and early 1980s. “I’ve followed the [Ginetta] brand since the G4 days, and I’m really looking forward to driving my own,” he said. “Even though it’s my first year, I’ll be going for the win.”
Ten years: How time flies when you’re having fun.
Motorsport Vision Racing is definitely having a ball at the moment. The club heads into this season ready to celebrate a decade as a race organiser. And what a decade it’s been for one of the UK’S youngest, and now largest, racing clubs.
Sunday, March 19, 2006 at Brands Hatch. That was the first ever MSVR organised club race meeting. The schedule included non-championship Formula Ford 1600 races, open saloons, open sports and GTS and some T-cars races – which were the highlight of the weekend with Oliver Webb, Max Chilton, Alex Macdowall, Jolyon Palmer, Luciano Bacheta, Alex Brundle and Adrian Quaife-hobbs on the grid. What did any of those go on to do?
MSVR ran just five events that year as a trial to find its feet as Jonathan Palmer’s Motorsport Vision firm tried to expand its business into race operation instead of just circuit operation.
From that first season things snowballed – MSVR had 10 events in 2007, 16 in 2008, 20 by 2010, and last season ran a colossal 27 club meetings – not to mention organising the British Superbike Championship, European championships for both Radical and Lotus and the inaugural FIA Formula E eprix at Battersea Park.
It’s been a non-stop success story so far. Some will point the finger at Mr Palmer for trying to monopolise British motorsport. He owns four circuits and Bedford Autodrome – plus is now developing the LaonCouvron Aerodrome in Northern France – and now his MSVR division runs 22 club racing championships and even a new rally series in the form of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship. With 23 classes on board, only the British Racing and Sports Car Club and the British Automobile Racing Club run more than MSVR, and both of those organisations are fantastic institutions with much longer histories.
MSVR represents a modern and forward-thinking racing club. Multiple championships have switched to its books because it listens to their needs, and race operations manager David Scott and his team are capable of bending over backwards to make things happen for customers.
The draw of owning four of the UK’S best circuits also helps undoubtedly, but MSVR’S success ultimately comes down to its customer service. The club runs with much the same ethos as MSV. Every MSV circuit is near-unbeatable for facilities, and MSVR meetings are some of the best organised I have attended. They are polished and slick.
The MSVR juggernaut is gaining pace and shows little sign of slowing. The fact that it can now be compared in the same light as the BRSCC and BARC is a real measure of how far it has come in just a decade.