Thursday, 23 March 2017

NASS Festival appoints Silverline as official tool partner

Somerset-based Silverline Tools is to become the official tool partner of the popular action sports and music festival 2017.

NASS is four days of raw skateboarding, BMX, music and street culture. Held every summer at the Bath & West Showground, the festival is dedicated to highlighting a core action sports lifestyle, attracting the best international skate and BMX athletes and top billing artists. The event is expected to draw a crowd of up to 20,000 festival goers. 

Rob Henry, Silverline Brand Manager commented: "Silverline Tools are super-excited to be partnering with NASS Festival! We're not your ordinary tool brand, and love to get involved with unique events and projects like NASS. Silverline sponsors a number of action sports and high performance teams, and we think this is an unmissable opportunity for the brand to connect with our younger audience. The skate and BMX elements are a great match for our award-winning tools, which I'm sure, will also be put to good use building the park."

Silverline is a leading industry manufacturer and supplier of more than 5,000 hand and power tools across the UK and Europe. As official tool partner to NASS Festival, the brand will be supplying hand and power tools for use across the build of the festival village and skate parks. The Silverline events team will also be at the event with giveaways and goody bags for festival goers. NASS Festival runs from 6-9th July with ticket prices starting at £39. 

For more information contact rob.henry@powerbox.com

Image credit: Lewis Royden (NASS Festival)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

BMR's Ash Sutton receives BRDC Superstar accolade

It has been announced that Team BMR’s Ash Sutton will join the BRDC Superstars roster in 2017 as the young drivers’ programme enters its 10th anniversary year. 

The British Racing Drivers Club founded the scheme under the watchful eye of none other than President Damon Hill OBE along with the programme director and ITV commentator Tim Harvey.  Alexander Simms will also remain on board as a BRDC Ambassador alongside his factory BMW drive. 

The programme itself has a lot to offer Ash and the eleven other hand-picked drivers to assist him in his development as a professional racing driver.  The programme will include workshops and training events that will cover physical and mental fitness, communication workshops, along with media and marketing training. 

Speaking of his step up to becoming a BRDC Superstar, the 23 year old commented: “Getting picked was a big thing for me. I was selected to become a Rising Star in 2014 so the goal was to step up to being a SuperStar. We put some work in to tick the boxes so I could move up and it’s great to be a part of the programme. The networking and connections available now are fantastic and there are certain people that could be a big support in my future career.”

Ash will carry the BRDC Superstars logo on his Subaru Levorg for the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship which gets underway at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st & 2nd.

For further information contact maddy@bmrracing.co.uk 

Image: Phil Laughton 

Rachel Atherton named 2017 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year!

Rachel Atherton has topped off her perfect season with one of the most prestigious awards in the sporting world - congratulations to the 2017 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year!

The Laureus Awards were created in 2000 as part of Laureus Sport for Good, a movement that uses the power of sport to end violence. discrimination and disadvantage. 

Nelson Mandela was Laureus' first patron and he believed passionately in the cause. In 2000 at the very first Awards Ceremony he said: "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination."

This philosophy remains the driving force behind Laureus' work, teaching young people to discover the best in themselves and delivering the skills and tools they need to succeed through the power of sport. 

There are several categories of award, including World Sportsman of the Year, World Sportswoman of the Year (with a nomination for UK's Laura Kenny) and action Sportsperson of the Year. 

6 nominees per category are chosen by panels including sports editors, writers and broadcasters with Specialist Panels overseeing the Action Sports and Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy then vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners in all seven categories. 

The Action Sports Award goes to "the sportsman or sportswoman who best demonstrates supreme athletic performance and achievement in action sports in the qualifying year". Rachel was up against some tough competition with her fellow nominees all boasting amazing progression for heir sports in 2016 but in the end the perfect season swung it for the Queen of Downhill. 

The nominees for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the year 2017 were Rachel Atherton, Pedro Barros (Brazilian skateboarder), Surfers John Florence and Tyler Wright, Chloe Kim (snowboarder, USA) and Kelly Sildaru (Freestyle skier)

Rachel said: "I'm overwhelmed to be even nominated in such a list! And it's great that four out of the six Action Sports nominees are women - how awesome is that! Chloe and Kelly are still in their teens, looks like Action Sports has a lot to look forward to!

Laureus have been at the forefront of encouraging all aspects of mountain-biking and honouring its stars. Rachel is the first mountain-biker to actually lift the Laureus trophy but a quick glance at previous nominations throws up some familiar names including Anne Caro Chausson, Julien Absalon, Danny MacAskill and Darren Berrecloth.

The awards were made in Monaco in a glittering ceremony hosted by Hugh Grant with celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and sport dancing the night away. 

But instead of tripping down the red carpet, Rachel was hard at work with coach Nick Grantham at the team's training camp in California.

Rachel said: "I was gutted not to be able to make the ceremony; we looked at every available flight, about 100 different sets of scheduling but we just couldn't make it work. 

I can't quite believe this is real and I am so delighted that my success this season and the sport of downhill mountain-biking as a whole has been recognised in the wider world of sport. I really thank the Academy members for giving me this honour, it makes it even more special that the award is voted for by the real legends of the sports, all of whom I have admired and been inspired by; every one of them knows exactly how many hours go into finally achieving your goal. What Laureus stands for and the work Laureus does to help young people around the world really means a lot to me, I fully believe that sport changes your life and gives you the tools to overcome anything. Thank you so much Laureus, I will carry this award with pride and I will use it to inspire all the future mountain-bikers out there."

Winners receive a Laureus statuette of the human from against an engraving of the continents designed by Cartier; something tell us that this trophy will be taking pride of place. 

Images of Rachel: Sven Martin 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Ash Sutton joins Jason Plato & James Cole at Team BMR

We are pleased to announce that we have signed race-winning young gun Ash Sutton to drive alongside Jason Plato and James Cole for the forthcoming season of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. 

Ash, 23 from Hertfordshire, comes to Team BMR from Triple Eight Racing with a year’s BTCC experience after finishing the top rookie in 2016.  Right from the outset Ash made his mark on the championship with an impressive 4th place finish on his BTCC debut at Brands Hatch back in April last year and his success continued throughout the season leading to his maiden win in a very wet race three at Croft.  There were two further podiums, two pole positions from qualifying and two fastest racing laps.  On finals day back in October he lifted the coveted Jack Sears Trophy after finishing top rookie, a championship he led for the whole of 2016.  


Speaking of his signing Ash commented I am over the moon to be offered such a great opportunity. I joined the Team BMR Academy at the end of the 2014, signing a two-year deal to race in the UK Clio Cup Championship, with a view to working our way up through the 2015/16 seasons. That two-year deal soon turned into one, and 2016 saw me sat in a BTCC Car. Not for one second did I think that two years down the line I would be a part of the BMR factory team; let alone with such a newly bred BTCC manufacture as Subaru. I thought I had hit the jackpot in my debut season in securing a manufacture drive; but now being a part of Subaru, and the package that comes with that, has certainly topped it for me.
  
“I have been asked what my thoughts are on jumping into a rear wheel drive car and to be completely honest I am I’m going back to my roots. I have only had two years in front wheel drive throughout my whole racing career, so I can’t wait to be back where I belong. I’m looking forward to the intense testing program we have planned.

“Working alongside Jason, someone I have always looked up to, is something of an added bonus for me. There are three things that have made this academy journey come alive, those being; my family, all my loyal sponsors, and Warren Scott himself for giving me this opportunity. All I can say now is, roll on Brands!”

For Jason, 2017 will be his third consecutive year with the team and we are delighted that another BTCC milestone will be coming his way, this year Jason will be celebrating 20 years since he first joined the championship in 1997.  Jason remains the most successful driver in the history of the championship to date and took several podiums in 2016 with the all new Subaru Levorg GT that included his first Subaru pole position for the start of his 500th BTCC race which he won with an impressive lights to flag victory, the 95th of his career. He is also Great Britain’s most winning driver in motorsport history with 113 career victories, Lewis Hamilton is 2nd with 90 wins and Sir Stirling Moss 5th on 74.
  
Jason said “I predict 2017 will bring much success, I’m energised and looking forward to fighting for the championship. Our team goes from strength to strength. We have a fantastic new addition to the driver squad in young Ash Sutton, I’m certainly expecting him to be right in the thick of the action. Testing begins in two weeks and I can’t wait.”

James Cole joined the team in 2016 after switching from Motorbase Performance and will remain with BMR for a second year in what will be his fifth season in the BTCC.  James brought a wealth of knowledge to the team last year which hugely assisted us in developing the Subaru Levorg GT in its debut year in the championship and confirmed this with a fastest lap during race two at Silverstone.  James has already completed a two day test at Donington Park since the 2016 championship ended where he gained valuable data for the team.

James said "Winter testing was a revelation. I worked with Jason's engineer, Carl Faux, and WOW, it felt like I was in a racing car again. It just felt right - the balance, my confidence. I can't wait to get back in the car and build on what I learnt in testing. I need to deliver for the team and myself. Jason and Ash are quality team mates and I relish the challenge to work and compete with them and help Team BMR to win the driver and team championships in 2017."

An announcement with regards to the fourth Subaru Levorg will be made within the next few weeks.

All of us at Team BMR are looking forward to the BTCC season getting underway at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st & 2nd.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Six Miami medals as first 2017 World Cup concludes

Britain's sailors concluded their first World Cup regatta of the 2020 cycle with a six-medal haul as the Sailing World Cup Miami drew to a close on Biscayne Bay on Sunday (29 January).

Gold for Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell (49er) and a British 1-2 in the Nacra 17 event from Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves and Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface on Saturday were topped up with two further silver medals and a bronze from Sunday's second day of medal racing. 

Lorenzo Chiavarini captured the first British medal of the final day in the Laser class, leapfrogging compatriot and two-time World Champion Nick Thompson to the third step of the podium.

Thompson had started the day in the bronze medal position - but as the only sailor who could realistically challenge Cypriot Pavlos Kontides for silver, a match race ensued as Kontides looked to protect his position and the British Rio representative was squeezed to the back of the fleet. 

Chiavarini sailed to fifth place in the race, edging Thompson, who finished ninth in the medal race, out of the podium spots by just one point. 

"It was a pretty challenging event - shifty all the time," Chiavarini explained. "To have average scores and come third in the whole event was fantastic. It was a high scoring event, but my downwind speed always took me back to where i needed to be and kept me in contention."

"The medal race was quite a challenging one," continued the 23-year-old. "I got myself to third and then had a small error, not knowing that there had been a change of course. I thought it was all over, but again my downwind speed got me the places I needed at the very end to get the last point on Nick.To come home with a medal is a pretty fantastic feeling!"            

"It was a very high-scoring event, but I enjoyed my first event back," said Thompson, who'd not sailed his Laser since the Rio Games.

"It was a really interesting medal race. I was in that awkward position of being one of those guys who could almost beat second place so I ended up having a match race with Pavlos. I did a reasonable job in the pre-start and the first beat, and then just couldn't quite get away for the second lap. So I slipped down, but it's good to see Lorenzo take the third."

Michael Beckett also contested the medal race, finishing sixth in the race and ninth overall. 

Ben Cornish started the Finn medal race in silver medal position, and had his work cut out defending it during a testing medal race in shifty wind conditions. 

Cornish was tenth after the first lap and looking out of the medal positions altogether before a second lap comeback saw him reel in and then overtake key rival Anders Pedersen of Norway to reclaim his silver medal position.   

Cornish finished seventh in the medal race to Pedersen's eighth, with fellow British contender Henry Wetherell crossing sixth to end his event in sixth place overall. 

"It's been a good week. I finished up second and had a reasonably consistent series and not a bad medal race to end the week," Cornish reflected.

"There's been a real mix of conditions with not really any straightforward days. There's been some difficult positioning, tactical racing and quite a small fleet which always makes it important to be fast."

In a nail-biting 470 women's medal race - the final race of the regatta - Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre so nearly made it a third gold for the British Sailing Team, but were edged out by Dutch duo Afrodite Zegers-Annaloes van Veen just before the finish.

The two teams had been effectively level heading into the final race, but with the points close between four boats they could also have ended up out of the medal spots altogether. 

The British pairing had a good start and first leg, but the Dutch crew just got in front at the windward mark. Weguelin-McIntyre clawed back on the second upwind leg and had gold within their sights on the final downwind but for a small error which allowed the Dutch pair back through in the shifty conditions, and the British duo had to settle for silver. 

"It was a tough race," said 22-year-old McIntyre. "We just made a small error at the leeward mark and meant we got silver, which is still really good, and we've learnt loads this week to take forward."

"We let the one boat that we needed to control get a little bit of leverage over us into the first mark, which ultimately put us on the back foot," Weguelin explained. "We gained back from there with quite a nice downwind and a good upwind to get back in control again, but we missed a gybe at the leeward gate and ultimately ended up second. 

"We should have gybed away and come back to get an overlap at the leeward gate. So it was a big learning opportunity for us and something to take forward to our future racing."

Fellow British Sailing Team crews Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter and Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart also qualified for the medal race. They finished eighth and ninth in the race, and sixth and ninth overall. 

"Miami has provided a challenging first international World Cup regatta of 2017," said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.

"The race committees have done a good job to get the full series of races in, despite some light and changeable conditions through the course of the week. Other than the final medal race day on Sunday where the rain and fog came in and made it a little bit less Miami-like, Miami itself has put on a fantastic show and has been a great venue for some great racing. 

"From a British perspective, it's been great to see sailors fighting it out at the front of the fleet - particularly some of our up and coming sailors who've been doing especially well and have challenged for the podium through the course of this regatta.

"Hopefully that bodes well as we move into this new Tokyo 2020 cycle."

2017 Sailing World Cup Miami:

Gold
Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell (49er)
Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves (Nacra 17)

Silver
Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface (Nacra 17)
Ben Cornish (Finn)
Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre (470 Women)

Bronze
Lorenzo Chiavarini (Laser)



Wednesday, 25 January 2017

There's a new dynamic at Trek Factory Racing DH as the team announce two new riders and a new Head Coach for the 2017 season

There's a new dynamic at Trek Factory Racing DH as the team announce two new riders and a new Head Coach for the 2017 season. 

Trek Factory Racing will add two exciting young riders to their 2017 World Cup squad. 16 year old Kade Edwards will graduate the Atherton Academy to join the team on the Junior World Cup circuit and 23 year old Graeme Mudd will ride in the Elites. 


Team Director Dan Brown said: "Racing with Kade is always exciting as any one who's seen him ride will know! He first came to our attention during an Atherton Experience Day when he was just 13 years old. In his first year with the Academy (as a 2nd year juvenile) he swept the board with 5 out of 5 wins in the British Downhill Series. The next two years had their ups and downs, all of which have been a vital part of his progression as a rider. We're all excited to see Kade on the World Cup Circuit."

Kade said: "I was so surprised and totally stoked when Browny asked me to join the World Cup team. I can't say enough what a massive learning curve the last three years with the Atherton Academy have been. Now it's time to pay them back with some points for the team and I'll be going all out to make that happen. If I can win the British National Championships and at least one Junior World Cup this year I'll be over the moon." 

Aussie rider Graeme Mudd bids farewell to life as a privateer and will base himself at Atherton HQ in North Wales for the 2017 season. 

Gee Atherton said: "We're always alert to emerging potential and there were some flashes of brilliance in Muddy's 2016 season, it was obvious that he was our kind of hard-wired racer. At Hardline we got the chance to spend some time with him and the whole team became huge fans. We're really looking forward to seeing how the increased support impacts on his 2017 results." 

Muddy said: "2016 felt like a real turning point for me and I gained a lot of valuable experience but I know that with some more resources behind me I can be sitting at the pointy end of the results lists a lot more often. I am totally stoked to be riding with Trek Factory Racing DH, I'm beyond excited to join a team whose passion  and desire for success is everything I've ever dreamed of. I'm about as good a guy who has just landed his first gig in the World Cup team could be!"

But it's not just the rider roster that's' been transformed this season. 

Announcing Nick Grantham's appointment as the team's new Head Coach, Dan Brown said: "We interviewed a number of very high-level candidates but Nick's down to earth approach and his 20 years experience of working across 35 different sports coupled with his successes as a Nike Trainer really grabbed our attention. His coaching CV stretches from Olympic Gymnasts to professional golfers and his current work as Head of Strength and Conditioning with a Premiership Football Club. We've deliberately gone outside of the expected industry pool and already we're enjoying the benefits of applying a completely new philosophy and methods."

Nick Grantham said: "I share the ambitions for the team so like them I'm excited for 2017 but I'm under no illusion that we have work to do. We've already identified several areas where we believe we can chase improvements. We'll build on the excellent work put in place by outgoing Strength and Conditioning Coach Alan Milway and Darren Roberts before him but we can't sit back and do the same old, same old. I've been impressed at the rider's openness to new ideas and the enthusiasm they've brought to training and testing and I believe they have the ability to kick on again to a new level of performance."

The Atherton family will remain at the heart of Trek Factory Racing DH. 


Rachel Atherton hopes to continue her run of 13 consecutive World Cups and 2 consecutive World Championships and Gee is focusing on an intense regime of shoulder rehab after a frustrating 2016 for the double World Champion. 

Dan Atherton remains the "guiding light" of Atherton Racing, mentoring the team, the academy riders and sharing his vision and world-class bike handling skills with both siblings and new recruits. He will continue building epic tracks for the team's film projects and events such as Red Bull Hardline. 

Behind the scenes Team Director Dan Brown takes the rein for the 11th consecutive year with Joe Krejbich continuing as Head Technician for his 4th season with the team. Pete Michaliszyn wrenches for Gee for his 7th year. Gill Harris heads up communications and stuff for the sixth year running.

Doug Jones and Laura Robson of Altius Healthcare will take charge of physio and rehab for the fourth year running. 

Rachel Atherton said: "We're so lucky to have the consistency of this great team behind us, year after year we're free to concentrate on riding our bikes."

The team are delighted to head into 2017 with the same brilliant sponsors as 2016. Gee Atherton said: "Working with Trek Bikes this year has been an absolute revelation, their level of expertise and responsiveness has blown us away." Long term supporters Red Bull, Silverline Tools, Fox, Shimano, Jeep UK, IXS Sports, Bell Bike Helmets, Muc-Off, Stages Cycling, Hopetech, Bontrager, GoPro, Oakley, Polished Racing, Douchebags and DG Mills remain an integral part of the Trek Factory Racing DH set up. 

Images - Richard McGibbon, Szymon Nieborak and Dan Hearn 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Team BMR and Colin Turkington part company

Team BMR and Colin Turkington part company 

Team BMR can today confirm that the team has parted company with Colin Turkington after mutually agreeing to end the contract.
Colin has had two successful seasons with Team BMR in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and in 2015, his maiden year with the team, he played a huge part in putting BMR on the map with his massive contribution in assisting us in claiming our first ever Team Championship title along with his fifth independent Championship crown.

2016 saw BMR bringing Subaru to the championship as a new manufacturer outfit and Colin's commitment along with his input to the team was a huge asset in aiding us to develop our newly built Subaru Levorg. Colin has made history by bringing the first Subaru BTCC Pole Position backed up by a maiden win for the Subaru Levorg. His success continued throughout the season claiming further pole positions, race wins and podiums establishing himself in the final three for the overall Championship title at Brands Hatch back in October. He ended the season 4th overall in a battle that nearly saw the Ulsterman claiming his third BTCC title.

Speaking of Colin's time at Team BMR, owner/driver Warren Scott said:


"Colin has been an absolute pleasure to work with over the past two seasons and has brought a tremendous amount of knowledge to the team which has aided BMR in it's growth and development as a front running BTCC team. 

I wish Colin good luck for the forthcoming season and would like to thank him for all his efforts that he has brought to BMR"

Speaking of his time at BMR, Colin Turkington stated: 

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Team BMR and will savour the success we shares together over the past two seasons; however, the time has come to part company and apply the focus to each of our own individual goals and needs. 

I sincerely value the journey we have shared together securing the team's Championship in 2015, winning my fifth Indy title and of course the thrilling year we have just had with the Subaru Levorg. I have been fortunate to work with some of the best in the business at BMR and it has been a valuable experience and certainly helped me grow and improve.


The BTCC is surely one of the toughest Championships in the world to win and to finish last season with a realistic shot at winning the title in a new car was a tremendous achievement.

I wish Team BMR every success going forward and I hope they are just as proud of our two seasons together as I am.”

All of us at BMR Racing would like to thank Colin for his tremendous input to the team and we wish him continued success in his future career.

Team BMR will announce their confirmed 2017 plans in the coming weeks and we look forward to seeing everyone at Autosport International over the next few days.