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The top ten MSV news stories of 2014

Monday, December 22 2014

It's been another busy year at our circuits, with plenty to talk about. These are the ten most-read stories across our websites in 2014.

10 reasons why the 2014 BTCC season will be the best yet

There was a tremendous amount of buzz about the British Touring Car Championship's 2014 season back in January when we ran this story and by the time the grid lined up two months later there were 31 cars headed by seven champions. It proved to be another great season, although the combination of Colin Turkington and a properly-sorted WSR BMW 1-Series denied us a repeat of 2013's five-way title battle.

31 riders confirmed for MCE British Superbike opener at Brands Hatch

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship also benefitted from a packed field in 2014, with 31 riders lining up for the opening round at Brands Hatch. Once again local hero Shakey Byrne dominated the early part of the season, but fellow triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari ran him close in the Showdown, with the 'War for Four' titles eventually settled in the Englishman's favour.

Brands Hatch launches smart phone app

The Brands Hatch Live! smart phone and tablet app was ready in time for the BTCC opening round in March, with the Kent circuit becoming the first to launch an app. Spectators could easily access live timing from trackside, check event timetables and navigate their way around the venue, whilst those not at the circuit could listen to commentary too.

Spectators invited to free 80th anniversary preview evening

Cadwell Park got into the party mood in summer, and celebrated its 80th birthday with an event filled with nostalgia, including several famous bikes and riders. Some of them turned up for a few laps of the Lincolnshire venue in June, and our free invitation was a hit with the circuit's legions of fans.

Drive the new BMW M3 and M4 at Brands and Oulton

BMW joined MSV at several events in the summer to launch the new M3 and M4 performance cars, all of which were open to the public. The driving events also featured racing stars Andy Priaulx, Colin Turkington and Alexander Sims, and many of you took advantage of the opportunity to sample the latest ultimate driving machines.

Formula 1 comes to Cadwell Park this August

There was an extra treat for Cadwell Park fans this August, one week after the 80th anniversary meeting. Following the turn of the two-wheeled legends, modern-day Formula 1 made its debut at the Lincolnshire Wolds venue when a Grand Prix-winning Benetton B190, originally raced by triple World Champion Nelson Piquet, tackled the mountain.

Free admission to Snetterton MCE BSB test on 8/9 April

After the winter break, the chance to see the heroes of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship ahead of the season-opener was the perfect tonic for many of you. Snetterton proved to be a popular destination in early April, and we apologise for anyone that had to cover for 'unwell' work colleagues that week!

Huge Oulton entry as Super Touring Trophy gathers momentum

The Super Touring Trophy was the hit of the historic racing scene in 2013, and gained championship status for this season. The renamed Super Touring Car Championship also secured a coveted slot on the BTCC bill at Oulton Park, a move that proved hugely popular with the participants. The entry list almost matched the main event, with 29 cars, and the races were certainly the highlight of the weekend. Some of the more senior members of the BTCC paddock took a particular interest in the cars, too.

Jonathan Palmer pays tribute to John Button

F1 fans breathed a huge sigh of relief when Jenson Button was confirmed at McLaren earlier this month, but back in January it was conceivable that he could have called time on a 15-season career at the pinnacle of motorsport when his father John, a popular figure in the paddock, passed away at 70. John was in the paddock for all but one of his son's races, and worked tirelessly to get him there. MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer was one of many who would miss his cheerful presence in the paddock, and no doubt John Button would have been one of the first to congratulate Jolyon Palmer on his GP2 title success this year.

10 Cycle Brands Hatch for charity this July

Brands Hatch continues to be a popular venue amongst cyclists, two years on from the Paralympic Games recalling the circuit's roots. September's Cyclothon UK has development a reputation amongst the more serious cyclist, but Action for Children's annual event is open to pedallers of all ages and levels. Many of you turned up to tackle the Indy circuit, raising vital charity funds.