May 08 2014

Ragus Sponsored Ecurie Ecosse GT3

Ragus sponsored Ecurie Ecosse GT3 battles for 2nd at Rockingham.

Ecurie Ecosse Powered By Black Bull vaulted to the top of the British GT Championship standings at Rockingham on Bank Holiday Monday (May 5) after Marco Attard and Alexander Sims finished runners-up in the two-hour enduro.

But despite another strong result the legendary Scottish squad was left slightly disappointed when unlucky Safety Car periods hindered their chances of a second win in as many rounds after victory in race two at Oulton Park’s season opener a fortnight ago.

Their Barwell Motorsport-run BMW Z4 GT3 and its drivers were certainly the stars of Sunday’s qualifying session, with Attard and Sims setting the benchmark laps in both Am and Pro segments respectively to produce a combined time over a second faster than their nearest rivals.

Having made a flawless start to Monday’s race, Attard set about building a comfortable gap back to his pursuers only for the first of two Safety Car periods to wipe out his hard earned six-second advantage.

Three laps after racing resumed, and with 50 minutes gone, he pitted from the lead and handed over to Sims. As a result of the team’s Oulton victory, the BMW factory driver was required to serve an additional 20-second ‘success penalty’ before re-joining eighth.

While the team had made provision for that handicap, its victory chances were effectively ended by a second Safety Car period late in the driver change window, which allowed a number of the Ams that had stayed out to pit while their rivals circulated at a much reduced pace.

FF Corse’s Gary Eastwood and Rob Barff gained most, with the Ferrari re-joining from its stop half a lap clear of the pack. And even a subsequent drive-through penalty – for exiting a closed pit-lane – would still result in an unassailable 20-second lead.

Not that anyone had told Sims, who within eight laps of the re-start had stormed through the field to second and set fastest lap in the process. First up were Joe Osborne’s Triple 8 BMW and the Beechdean Aston Martin of Jonny Adam, both of which were dealt with in the space of one lap. Triple 8’s second Z4 of Luke Hines received similar treatment next time around before Sims also made short work of the Richard Lyons-driven AF Corse Ferrari.

Not even Sims’ heroics would be enough to reel in Barff’s leading Ferrari however, which ultimately took the chequered flag 18 seconds clear. But with extra points available for the two-hour race, second place still represented a fine effort given the circumstances.

Marco Attard: “After victory at Oulton it was really important to maintain our strong start to the season, and especially so given that Rockingham was worth extra points. It was certainly another fantastic effort from everyone in the team. The car’s set-up and pace were both really good, and even the tyres lasted well, which is unusual for Rockingham! We’ll now set our sights on the three-hour race at Silverstone where hopefully we won’t suffer from another Safety Car nightmare!”

Alexander Sims: “It’s great to come away from the second round of the year with two podiums already under our belts. It was a challenging start to the weekend as we weren’t where we needed to be pace-wise in free practice, but the team worked really hard throughout Sunday to give us a fantastic car with which we could secure pole position. Marco then did a superb job to pull out a lead in his stint, so it was a little frustrating that the Safety Car periods fell when they did, just before the pit-stop window. However, we responded well and did all we could to maximise what was in our control. Coming away with a second place finish was therefore still very satisfying.”

Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Managing Director: “We stepped up a gear at the weekend with fantastic and faultless performances from both Marco and Alexander. I’m also satisfied we got the most from the chassis at a circuit where it’s always difficult to find a good set-up. In the end we were a little unlucky not to take the win but can look forward confidently to Silverstone and beyond.”

Ecurie Ecosse’s attention now switches to this season’s second Blancpain Endurance Series round at Silverstone on May 23-25 where Olly Bryant, Andrew Smith and Alasdair McCaig will be back behind the wheel. That should serve as ideal preparation for the team’s next British GT Championship outing, which takes place at the same circuit just one week later.

British GT Championship standings (top six):
1. Ecurie Ecosse… 52 points
2. Beechdean AMR… 45
3. Oman Racing Team… 32.5
4. AF Corse… 32
5. Triple 8… 29.5
6. FF Corse… 25.5

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Sweet success at GT Easter Opener

Apr 28 2014

Ecurie Ecosse GT3 Victory
Ragus sponsored Ecurie Ecosse GT3 wins at Oulton Park.

Ragus’ associated Ecurie Ecosse made a winning start to their assault on this season’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend at Oulton Park, where Marco Attard and Alexander Sims bounced back from a rare mechanical failure to claim maximum points in race two.

The sort of pace that propelled the team to third overall last season was evident during Saturday’s two qualifying sessions when BMW factory driver Sims secured pole position against his fellow Pros by a healthy 0.3sec.

A decent start to Monday’s opening one-hour race saw Attard maintain third over the first 10 laps before a rare gearbox failure forced his retirement. It came as a bitter blow to the Ecurie Ecosse crew who, having consolidated their position early on and with Sims waiting in the wings, felt confident of mounting a victory challenge later in the race.

Nevertheless, that disappointment only served to stiffen the team’s resolve ahead of the day’s second race. Armed with a new gearbox, Sims made the perfect getaway from pole before establishing a small advantage over the chasing pack during the early stages. But if the appearance of the Safety Car after only 12 laps undid much of the Briton’s good work then the improbable set of circumstances that followed would seriously threaten the team’s victory chances.

With the mandatory driver change only permitted after 25 minutes, Sims and the other front-runners were heavily penalised when the pit window opened just as they came around to complete another lap, while those further back could dive in and legally make their stop under Safety Car conditions. That unfortunate but nevertheless unfair advantage ensured that Attard would only re-join third after relieving Sims a lap later.

Their bad luck would ultimately even out however when the two leaders collided later in the race. Having inherited the lead, Attard managed the ensuing restart to perfection before keeping the chasing Porsche at arms length over the remaining laps to score a well-deserved victory.

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Ragus Unveils New Online Presence

Jan 09 2014

Jana Pettersson, Ranzie Anthony, Ben Eastick, Peter McNeil & Victor Woode

Jana Pettersson, Ranzie Anthony, Ben Eastick, Peter McNeil, Victor Woode.

If you’ve already found your way here, then you’ve probably gathered that our website is sporting a fresh new look.

We unveiled it just before Christmas as part of a revamp of our entire online presence. It showcases the four pillars of our business – sourcing, manufacturing, consulting and delivering – along with telling the story of our heritage in sugar. The site features a series of videos explaining our history and Ragus today. We’ve also included a film from inside our new factory – the first time that a UK sugar manufacturer has provided such a detailed behind the scenes look at its operations.

We’ve also added a responsibility area. This shows how we support the communities in which we operate, while our learning zone explores the journey that cane makes from the field to production.

The website is a completely open and honest presentation of our business and is the first step in modernising our online communications. I’m sure you’ll agree that this new site better tells the story of a successful UK manufacturing business with the size, scale and capabilities to compete on a global stage.

We worked with web experts Athlon on the new site, who have also re skinned our YouTube channel (which you can view here) to create a seamless online presence for us and to tell the world about our latest news and activities.

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