Thursday, December 20 2012
There have been plenty of big headline stories in 2012, and we've listed the ten most viewed on our website from the year:
1. Fans invited to 'Rush' to Snetterton this week for
The long-awaited film based on the 1976 Formula 1 season and the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda is potentially one of the major highlights of 2013. Reports that the release date had been moved (currently to 20 September) to put it in prime position for the awards season has raised hopes that this could be at least as good as Ron Howard and Peter Morgan's previous collaboration Frost/Nixon. For most of us a live action movie to add to worn DVDs of Grand Prix cannot come soon enough and we'll be trying to spot scenes filmed at Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park and Snetterton, the latter of which featured many of you who saw this story and headed along to become extras.
2. Brands Hatch to host major new Mini Festival in
This year's inaugural Mini Festival was a huge success, with racing, displays on track, off track and even in the air and many sideshows. However the biggest contribution came from all the Mini owners, clubs, enthusiasts and fans, all of whom learnt about the event from this news item early in the year.
3. Classic car fans to join racers at Oulton
A club race meeting in July became a popular event at the Cheshire circuit when it was combined with an annual classic car show. Racing on the Saturday was followed by track displays, which included an MG celebration, whilst there trade stands, rides for kids, camping on site, and a Saturday night disco. It proved a hit with fans of the track.
4. Damon Hill to make racing return at Brands Hatch
One of the biggest stories of the year was 1996 Formula One World Champion Damon Hill's one-off return to racing in the DTM-supporting VW Scirocco R-Cup. It was his first competitive appearance in a car since the 1999 Japanese Grand Prix. Added to the spectacle of the German Touring Car series, and a whole host of racing celebrities, including Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Jake Humphrey and Damon's old F3 sparring partners, and the weekend was an essential part of the sporting calendar!
5. Brands Hatch Masters Festival set to be a
celebration of F1
Just one week after the DTM, great F1 cars took centre stage at Brands Hatch, with six F1 races, covering three eras of the sport. News of the centrepiece of the Masters Historic Festival broke in January, providing some much-needed cheer in the post-Christmas gloom.
6. Jenson Button to attend DTM at Brands Hatch this
The lure of a second British F1 World Champion at the DTM weekend was always going to be popular, and the winner of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix confirmed he would be coming along to cheer on McLaren team mate Gary Paffett. However this wasn't to be a lazy Sunday for the Frome Flyer, as he took part in a Q&A session with Coulthard, drove a DTM Taxi and presented the winners' trophy to Paffett!
Gold Cup to be the north west's biggest party this
Oulton Park's signature race meeting took on an added dimension in 2012, with the event taking a trip back to the 1960s and 70s. Themed attractions, parades and a voluntary dress code saw many turn up in the spirit of the occasion, after having seen this preview.
8. BTCC heads to Oulton Park as title battle heats
Earlier in the year the UK's biggest car racing series headed north west, with Gordon Shedden and Mat Jackson having taken the most wins, whilst Jason Plato and Matt Neal continued to battle out the British Touring Car Championship. Plato took pole, but it was Neal and Shedden who left with the spoils.
9. Brands Hatch to host festival of Formula 1 this
A second appearance in the top ten showed just how popular the Masters Festival has become. Further details emerged, including the appearance of Grand Prix veterans Jackie Oliver and Howden Ganley joining in the celebrations. In addition to the six F1 races planned, there were demonstration runs from newer cars, the icing on the cake for a nostalgic weekend that also included saloons and sportscars.
10. Spectacular DTM racers make a revolutionary return
A third entry for the spectacular DTM weekend, this time focussing on the main event. New cars for 2012 saw all of the drivers in contemporary machinery for the first time in years, whilst BMW joined Audi and Mercedes-Benz on the grid. Further tweaks to the regulations and multiple Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx joining fellow Britons Paffet, Jamie Green and David Coulthard, pushed this story into our top ten.