Slick Rick stepping up in class

IPSWICH racing driver Rick Kerry is stepping up to the British Touring Club Championship this season, and will be racing in a diesel powered BMW.Rick, who runs his Ipswich Accident Repair Centre business at Martlesham Heath, is busy preparing his new BMW 120d diesel and has launched his own AFM Racing team for the championship.

By Dave Vincent

IPSWICH racing driver Rick Kerry is stepping up to the British Touring Club Championship this season, and will be racing in a diesel powered BMW.

Rick, who runs his Ipswich Accident Repair Centre business at Martlesham Heath, is busy preparing his new BMW 120d diesel and has launched his own AFM Racing team for the championship.

It will be the first time a diesel engined car has taken part in the championship and Kerry will be up against such established stars as Matt Neal, Jason Plato, Colin Turkington as well as works teams and other privateers.

Rick Kerry was presented with the President's Trophy at the annual general meeting of the British Racing Drivers Club recently in recognition of his success last season.

He won the Kumho BMW Racing Drivers Championship, 2006, retaining his title from the previous year.

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The BMW Championship is open to any production BMWs sold in the UK, and is split in to four classes.

Kerry was again the Class A winner and took the overall championship with 134 points as well.

The British Touring Club Championship will be a much tougher challenge.

Rick said: “We know it will take a race or two to get set up, but we hope to surprise a few people.

“There is no reason why we can't be competitive at this level.

“It will be tough. There are a lot of big teams and experienced drivers.”

He has set up his own team and workshop for the challenge and the name, (AFM which stands for Alternative Fuels Motoring) is pointing the way forward for motor sport.

“We are actively investigating moving on to using bio-diesel for racing,” he said, “and we are talking to some interested potential partners.”

This car previously raced in the German based VLN series over the 14 mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit and Kerry and his team are re-building it and setting it up very differently for the relative sprint racing of the BTTC on circuits from Brands Hatch to Thruxton and Snetterton.

“It is all very hectic at the moment,” said Rick, “We are preparing the car and want it ready for the media day at Rockingham on March 13.

“There is such a tremendous interest in what we are doing from within the sport and, via email and the internet, from others parts of the world.”

The championship gets under way at Brands Hatch on April 1 and there are ten meetings through to Thruxton on October 14.

The teams taking part this year include Team RAC and Encke Sport, which is backed by Premiership goalkeeper Peter Enckleman.

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