With just over six weeks to go to the 40th anniversary celebrations at the Homecoming Scotland-backed Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting at Knockhill Racing Circuit, Scotland’s National Motor Sport Centre, in addition to the amazing event on August 23/24, which will feature four Scottish-based drivers, there are two very special additions to mark the year.
Jim Clark 50th Anniversary Forth Road Bridge Parade – Thursday 21st August at 11am
It’s the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark winning the BTCC title with Jim, John Cleland and Gordon Shedden being the only Scots to have won the title. To celebrate this, and the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Knockhill are working with the organisers of the Forth Bridge Festival (www.forthbridgesfestival.com) which will see a parade of six of Jim Clark’s cars and four modern day BTCC cars across the Bridge at 11am.
From 9.30am, the Jim Clark cars will be on show in the South car park together with the actual race cars of Gordon Shedden (Honda), Glynn Geddie (Toyota), Aiden Moffat (Chevrolet) and Dave Newsham (Ford) which will all be part of the parade at 11am. Members of the press and public are all invited, and the organisers have procured permission to get a photographer to the top of one of the bridge towers and to fly two drone helicopters to capture video and stills from the air too.
There will be two of Jim Clark’s single seaters, two Lotus Cortinas and two other early Jim Clark cars, all of which will then go to Knockhill and be paraded on both Saturday and Sunday of the BTCC meeting during the lunch breaks. Knockhill is working closely with the Jim Clark Trust to make this happen as the circuit is donating 20% of all sales (using the code JIMCLARK50 via advance online bookings) to the development of the Jim Clark Room in Duns.
In a special commemoration, the crossing has been recognised as the first event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge itself, one of 11 special events over the subsequent month, culminating in a massive firework display.
Homecoming Scotland 2014 Knockhill 40th Anniversary Marquee
Knockhill are inviting back racers and their cars that have featured over the 40 years of racing at the Fife track through the help and backing of Homecoming Scotland 2014. The Homecoming-branded marquee will be 50 metres long, with 10 metres dedicated to each of the four decades of Knockhill’s heritage and the final 10 metres set aside for the six Jim Clark cars.
The display will be a tremendous throwback through time as each section will be customised to the relevant period with pictures and display panels from each decade, as well as playing archive footage on large screens within the marquee.
It all adds up to a very special event, all kicking off at the Forth Road Bridge on Thursday 21st August and culminating with the usual three spectacular Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races on Sunday 24th August.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki duo of Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton head for Scotland and round four of the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship in confident mood this weekend as the action takes place at Knockhill.
Triple MCE BSB champion Byrne leads the standings by a comfortable 45 points following five wins and a second place in the opening six races and importantly, has racked up an impressive 28 Podium Credits which will become significant when the end of season Showdown to decide the MCE British champion commences.
The 37-year-old Londoner won both races at the Fife track last year to take his winning tally to seven at the hillside circuit just north of Dunfermline and following his double at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago, he increased his total of MCE BSB wins to a record breaking 56.
Team-mate Stuart Easton arrives at his local track knowing the partisan fans will be cheering for the 30-year-old Hawick rider as he looks to bounce back after a disappointing Snetterton which saw him scrape just three points.
The reigning Motorpoint British Supersport champion holds seventh place in the standings and has yet to win on home soil but aims to put that record right aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R for the Penrith-based PBM team.
Shane Byrne: “It’s very early days in the season and there’s a long way to go so the plan at Knockhill is to just keep doing what we’re doing. I have a really good feeling with the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki right now and last year we had two good wins at Knockhill so the aim is obviously to do the same again. But I know that’s not going to be easy and I’m expecting a lot more pressure as it’s a tight and twisty track but the aim is two more wins.”
Stuart Easton: “I’ve finished second at Knockhill in every class in which I have raced but I have never been first and that is something that I am keen to put right this weekend. Racing there is always something that I look forward to as it is only a short trip from home; I get good support there and enjoy riding at Knockhill. I only get to race the track once a year and that has been the same all the way through my career so it is always very important for me to do well there. I’m only four points adrift of fifth place in the title race so after a disappointing round at Snetterton, I’ll be looking to put a smile back on my side of the garage.”
Paul Bird: “There is no pressure at all on either Shakey or Stuart from the team, they will do what they always do and go out and give it their best shot. Hopefully Shakey can keep those Podium Credits rolling in as that’s the important thing right now and it’s great that Scotland has a Superbike rider this year where I’m sure Stuart will want to put on a good show at his home round.”
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki MCE British Superbike Championship Team is running alongside the PBM MotoGP Team with riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes. Additionally, Paul Bird is running a full campaign in the REIS BTRDA Rally Series as well as selected International events in his Ford Focus WRC07. Both bike racing teams are sporting the colours of British Racing Green in deference to the team’s proud British heritage.
Pictures attached (courtesy of Jon Jessop Photograph) Shane Byrne (67) and Stuart Easton (5) will be looking for more success at Knockhill this weekend.
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Knockhill Racing Circuit, Scotland’s National Motor Sport Centre and to mark the occasion, there is a lot happening at the Fife track in recognition.
Next weekend (June 27/29), the circuit will host round four of the prestigious MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and on Thursday 26th June, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Knockhill in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.
Currently, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne leads the series but he is expecting stiff opposition from the likes of Josh Brookes, James Ellison, Tommy Bridewell, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Chris Walker. Scottish hopes lay with Hawick’s Stuart Easton who in back on a Superbike and looking to break his Knockhill duck.
It’s all part of a fantastic summer of sport in Scotland which will include the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship visiting Knockhill on August 23/24 which will see local hero Gordon Shedden gunning for victory in front of a partisan crowd.
At the forthcoming MCE BSB meeting, there will be a special 40 years of Bikesport at Knockhill celebration in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 marquee, with special exhibits from each of the four decades at Knockhill including the late Jock Taylor’s World Championship winning outfit. There will be a special Tribute Room with many of Jock’s trophies and other memorabilia on display in the Champion’s Clubhouse too.
Events Director Stuart Gray said: “We always strive to bring the best of motorsport to Knockhill and this year we are again hosting some of the best racing in the UK on two, three and four wheels. The highlights of the BSB and BTCC will be especially significant as the four decades of racing at Knockhill will be celebrated in style with the help and assistance from Homecoming Scotland.”
Jillian Shedden To Carry The Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay
Knockhill Racing Circuit – Thursday 26th June – 7.30am
After travelling across the world to almost every Commonwealth country on the planet, the Queen’s Baton is returning to Scotland and visiting Fife on Thursday 26th June.
Knockhill Racing Circuit has been chosen as the first stop for the Baton and uniquely will be carried on the back of a Superbike by Knockhill MD Jillian Shedden. The lap of honour will be a family affair as the bike will be ridden by her father, and circuit owner of 30 years Derek Butcher with Jillian as a pillion. The bike will be escorted by four bikes, one from each of the four decades that Knockhill existed as the Fife Circuit is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
The lap precedes the Homecoming Scotland 2014 MCE British Superbike event on the 27/29 June where upwards of 15,000 bike fans are expected to descend on Knockhill.
Jillian Shedden said: “We are honoured at Knockhill to be chosen as the first Fife venue for the visit of the Queen’s Baton and I am delighted to be chosen too, as I follow in a long line of people around the world who have held the Baton. It is a special 40th anniversary year for Knockhill and this is a fitting event within a memorable year for us. We wish Glasgow and everyone competing at the Commonwealth Games the best of luck and thank the organisers for choosing Knockhill for the Baton to do such a historic lap of the track.”
The lap of Knockhill will happen between 7.30am before it leaves at 7.50am and The Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman will welcome the Baton and Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison will be on hand to flag off Derek and Jillian on their historic lap of Knockhill.
McClung Lands Dream Ducati Ride At Knockhill BSB
Paul McClung, one of the rising stars of Scottish bike racing has earned a dream opportunity to race in the Ducati TriOptions Cup at the Knockhill round of the MCE British Superbike Championship, when the prestigious series comes to Scotland from 27-29 June.
The 18-year-old from Haddington has impressed in every class he has raced in since his debut season in 2009. McClung can also boast a number of Scottish titles to his name, having won Scottish Championships at F125, Mini Twin and Superstock 600 levels.
Niall Mackenzie, Knockhill Motor Sports Club President and Ducati TriOptions Ambassador, had no hesitation in nominating McClung for the ‘Guest’ Ducati ride, having seen first-hand some outstanding performances from the youngster during race events at Knockhill.
Niall said: “Paul certainly has all the right traits to be a successful bike racer. Year on year he has improved his pace and fine tuned his race craft to a level which l felt warranted a ride on the Ducati at his home round. I know he’ll enjoy riding the 899 Panigale and he will also gain some valuable experience in a field of high quality riders.”
Alongside his Ducati Tri Options Cup ride, McClung has also entered the Pirelli National Superstock 600 race at Knockhill. A busy schedule will see him take to the track 11 times over the course of the weekend; with practice, qualifying and three races to compete in. McClung has previous British Championship racing experience at the Fife track, having raced in the Superstock 600 class back in 2013, qualifying 12th out of 50 riders and running as high as sixth place before mechanical issues forced him to retire.
Paul said: “I’m really looking forward to the event, and more so now that l will also be riding in the Ducati TriOptions Cup. It’s a real honour for me to be nominated by Niall and hopefully l can repay that faith with some solid results at Knockhill.”
Mackenzie added: “In my role as KMSC President, l’ve seen the progress Paul has made over the past five years. As a Club, the KMSC are always looking at ways to support up and coming young talent and l’m delighted that l was able to help Paul with this opportunity. Having a Scottish rider in the high profile Ducati TriOptions Cup will be a great addition to the Knockhill BSB weekend so I hope Paul has two successful races.”
Alongside the Ducati TriOptions Cup and Pirelli National Superstock 600 races, the bike racing event will also welcome five other racing championships to the Fife venue. Topping the bill however, will be the MCE British Superbike Championship, arguably the best domestic bike racing series in the World.
Tickets for the event can be booked online via the Knockhill website www.knockhill.com, or by calling 01383 723337. On the day tickets will also be available at the gate throughout the weekend (27/28/29 June).
If you wish to attend the Queen’s Baton Relay, please respond to Tracey Joesbury on firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 24th June or phone 01383 723337. Please also note the timing of the photo opportunity will be around 7.40am as it will be leaving Knockhill at 7.50am on its tour of Fife