The first episode of Racing Rivals, the television series that follows the drivers in the Holiday Inn SEAT Cupra Championship, will be broadcast this weekend (July 26/27).
Presented by Nell McAndrew and Jason Plato, the first 30 minute episode of Racing Rivals will be transmitted on Saturday 26 July on ITV1 at 13.10, with a one hour programme on ITV2 starting at 14.10.
The second episode will be broadcast the following day (Sunday 27 July) on ITV1 (starting at 13.15), immediately followed on ITV2 with the second one hour show starting at 13.45.
For the first time, Racing Rivals has gained unlimited access to the race paddock's traditional 'team only' areas at some of the UK’s most famous racing circuits. The cameras will bring viewers all the high-octane action on and off the track with fly on the wall coverage of the drivers as they deal with stress, sweat, setbacks and success.
The first episode follows drivers to Madrid for the Championship launch, where they get to test their Leon Cupra R race cars for the first time. Then it’s back to Britain to go behind the scenes with the drivers at home and in work, to Rockingham for the first UK test and onto Croft for the first action-packed race.
Nell comments on her role as host of Racing Rivals: "Jason Plato is the racing expert and he'll explain what's going on. I'm more of a friendly face who's taking an interest and is there to represent the viewers. While Jason is analysing a driver's performance and explaining the jargon in a way only a fellow driver can, I'll be asking the sorts of questions that I hope the viewers would like to hear the answers to."
Nell admits that making the show is just as fast paced as the driving. "It all unfolds before you, there’s no auto cue, you are responding directly to what happens in each race," says Nell. "You just have to go with the flow and I’m right in there with both feet."
Jason said: "One of the most exciting things about the SEAT Cupra Championship is that it has attracted a good mixture of drivers. I can't see the title being decided until the end of the final race - it's going to be that close. It all makes for very exciting TV, especially as we’re following the drivers so closely."
Paul Davidson, Executive Producer, 4D Productions, comments, ’"What excites me about Racing Rivals is that we are getting a behind-the-scenes look at young male and female racing drivers who are not only putting their lives on the line, but all their hopes and dreams as well. I often wonder how the Formula 1 drivers behave off the track, and now I have a much better idea."
Tony Baines, Executive Producer, Granada Sport, comments, "We are seeing real people battling for the biggest prize in British motorsport whilst under the spotlight of our TV cameras – there’s no escape even while they’re racing, they each have a camera inside their cars. The winning driver will be competing with the elite of Europe next year, so they are under extreme pressure, and it often shows."
Racing Rivals is directed by Mike Furness and series produced by Matthew Hinchliffe. Racing Rivals is produced by 4D Productions and Granada Sport for ITV.Published 24 July 2003