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Front Runner Updates


BTRDA Rallycross Championship to be aired on Front Runner

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship is also going to be aired on Front Runner, the UK’s only free sports channel.

‘Front Runner’ is the first and only free-to-air dedicated sports channel in the UK and leads the way in showcasing the best in action sports from across the globe. It offers the latest news from the worlds of motorsport, ice hockey, professional fighting and live sports. Along with adrenaline-fuelled action, there’s also darts, poker, comedy and chat.

Front Runner is pivotal to showcasing our Championship across the UK and the adrenaline-fuelled sport of Rallycross fits its schedule perfectly. The Championship will be shown in prime time 1-hour slots and will feature the best racing from all the categories within the championship.

John Rook, BTRDA Championship Manager said: “The announcement that the 2017 Championship will be shown on a UK-based free-to-air channel really is fantastic. It will enable us to give maximum exposure to our drivers, sponsors and showcase what a great Championship we have put together. I am really looking forward to seeing the footage on this channel and it just shows the strength of our Championship to why ‘Front Runner’ have broken into the world of Motorsport by choosing to air our 2017 season.”

Ryan Scarratt, from Front Runner said: “We are very much looking forward to broadcasting the adrenaline-fuelled action from the BTRDA Rallycross Championship which further strengthens our Motorsport offerings on the UK’s only free sports channel. The non-stop action of Rallycross, mixed with dirt, tarmac, and fast cars makes for the perfect combination for our channel. Seeing the rise of Rallycross globally, it certainly makes sense to be involved in this fabulous sport and there is no better way of supporting this at a grassroots level with the BTRDA Championship.”

Other potential broadcasters will be announced between now and the start of the season on March 12th.


Front Runner to broadcast live the upcoming season of the British GT Championship

Fans will be able to watch this season’s UK rounds, LIVE and for FREE on Front Runner.

The 2017 season will be the first in British GT’s 25-year history to feature live coverage from every UK round.

The British GT Championship features more than 30 supercars which have been specifically prepared for racing. Viewers will recognise them as road-legal models – such as Ferraris, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Porsches – that have been developed for the track.

GT racing is traditionally seen as an endurance discipline, and British GT features two drivers per car. Driver changes take place during pit-stops when tyres are also replaced and fuel added. Race durations vary and can last one, two or three hours.

Front Runner’s Ryan Scarratt said: “We’re delighted to be broadcasting live British GT on Front Runner. I’m sure British GT fans everywhere will be tuning in to watch all the action as it happens this season.

“Offering more live sports is certainly an area of focus for us this year: we screened the 24H Series Dubai live in January; live darts is coming to Front Runner screens this month; and there will be British GT in April. There are exciting times ahead for sports fans across the UK.”

British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici: “This is fantastic news for British GT, their drivers and teams, who together with Front Runner now have a platform capable of reaching millions of new and existing fans. It’s really exciting to be bucking the trend of motor racing, and sport in general, by offering live free-to-air coverage throughout our 25th anniversary season. There’s nothing quite like seeing Ferraris, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis battling for real on track, but at least now anyone unable to attend our races needn’t miss out on the action at home.”

Oulton Park’s two 60-minute British GT races kick off the season on Easter Monday (April 17) – the first time that particular round has aired live – before the championship visits Rockingham for a two-hour contest a fortnight later (April 30). Snetterton’s double header then takes centre stage on May 28 ahead of the championship’s blue riband, three-hour Silverstone 500 event on June 11.

Spa-Francorchamps, British GT’s only race outside the UK, isn’t covered by Front Runner’s deal, but the channel’s live coverage does return in time for Brands Hatch’s penultimate round of the season on August 6. Donington Park then closes the campaign – and most likely decides this year’s GT3 and GT4 champions – on September 24.

Front Runner leads the way in showcasing the best action sports from across the globe. Its output also includes lifestyle and documentaries from the worlds of motorsport, ice hockey, professional fighting and poker. British GT are the channel’s first season-long live motorsport signings.

Launched in October 2016, Front Runner is the UK’s first and only free sports channel. It is currently available in 19 million homes across the country via Freeview channel 91, FreeSat 250, YouView/TalkTalk/BT 91 and Sky 468.


About Front Runner

Front Runner is the first and only free-to-air dedicated sports channel in the UK and leads the way in showcasing the best in action sports from across the globe.

It offers action, lifestyle and documentaries from the worlds of motorsport, ice hockey, professional fighting, poker and now live sports.

Along with adrenaline-fuelled action, there’s also comedy and chat. Updates are available through the Front Runner’s Facebook and Twitter.


About the British GT Championship

For 25 years the British GT Championship has been an intrinsic part of the UK’s national motorsport fabric. But, having undergone a number of changes throughout that quarter-century, it’s difficult to envisage an era more competitive than the current GT3 and GT4 format.

First organised by the British Racing Drivers Club in 1993, the BRDC National Sports GT Challenge (as it was known until 1995) featured grids of wildly different machinery loosely grouped into vibrant classes comprising sports cars and saloons.

Today, under SRO Motorsports Group’s guidance, British GT grids comprise 30-plus GT3 and GT4 specification supercars tuned to varying degrees of race preparation. Both classes take their cues from road-legal models – examples include Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Porsche – that have been developed specifically for the track.

GT racing is traditionally seen as an endurance discipline, and British GT honours that by mandating two drivers per car. Driver changes take place during pit-stops, when tyres are also replaced and fuel added. Race durations vary and can last one, two or three hours.

In 2017, British GT celebrates its 25th anniversary.

For more information visit, or follow the championship on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Who’s playing at the Isle of Man Festival of Darts?

Watch all the action from The Isle of Man Festival of Darts LIVE this weekend on the UK’s only free sports channel.

It will be the first time in the event’s 32-year history that it will be screened live – and also the first sporting event ever to be broadcast live from the Isle of Man.

And with more than one thousand fans expected from March 9 to 12, the atmosphere’s going to be electric!

Previous winners of the male singles include some of the biggest names in darts: Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, Scott Waites, Steve Bunting, Robbie Green, David Chisnall, Darryl Fitton and Ted Hankey. This makes it one of the most prestigious titles from the British Darts Organisation.

The line-up for the weekend looks impressive, and everyone is wondering who will net over £30,000 in prize money?

Here are some of the competitors hoping to lift the trophy, including 2016 male and female champions Tony O’Shea and Lisa Ashton.

Martin Adams

Three time world champion Martin Adams will be fronting the Prostate Cancer Charity during the tournament after battling the disease himself. He will be competing at his staggering 15th Isle of Man Festival, the most in history. Adams will also be hoping to take home the trophy after finishing second in both 1995 and 1997.

Lisa Ashton

The reigning women’s champion is back to defend her title. Since her victory she has also become world champion and will be the favourite to continue her excellent winning streak.

Aileen De Graaf

The current world number three is one of only two international players among the favourites, and will be fancied to reach the penultimate stages of the competition at this year’s event. The Netherlands star is long overdue a British Darts Organisation major title victory after failing to do so since the 2015 World Masters.

Glen Durrant

The current world champion from Middlesbrough will be hoping to win his first Isle of Man Championship later this month, after finishing as runner-up to Tony O’Shea last year in a narrow 6-4 defeat.

Trina Gulliver MBE

Trina Gulliver will no doubt be hoping to add another title to her illustrious career and bulging trophy cabinet. The 10-times world champion shows no signs of slowing down after winning the women’s World Championship and Women’s Masters in 2016.

Corrine Hammond

The Australian will be determined to win her first major title since joining the British Darts Organisation, with her best performance coming in the loss to Lisa Ashton in the final of the 2017 World Championships in January.

Deta Hedman

The ladies event will see the world number one Deta Hedman try to avenge her defeat to Lisa Ashton in the 2016 final.

Danny Noppert

Noppert will be hoping to become the second overseas player to win the competition, after his Netherlands compatriot Jeffrey de Graaf defeated Jan Dekker in an all-Dutch final in 2012.

Tony O’Shea

The current men’s champion, who defeated Ryan Joyce 6-4 in last year’s phenomenal final will hope to win his first BDO tournament since his superb performance. But he’s had a run of bad luck recently, having failed to claim victory in his last 16 competitions and only competing in one final within the past year.

Scott “Scotty Dog” Mitchell

The former world champion who beat Martin Adams in 2015 to sit atop of the proverbial mountain, is among the favourites to win the Isle of Man male singles.


Pokerstars Isle of Man Festival of Darts is being aired LIVE on Front Runner the weekend of March 11 (from 3pm) – March 12 (from 2pm).

Front Runner is available on Freeview ch91, FreeSat ch250, Talk Talk/BT ch91 and Sky ch468.



So what’s chessboxing about?

Ever seen chessboxing? Or know what it is? Well now’s your chance to brush up on your knowledge.

This month we’re introducing the sport to Front Runner with a bout between two bankers, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

In essence, this hybrid fighting sport combines two traditional British sports – boxing and chess. Competitors take rounds of chess mixed with rounds of boxing until a winner is declared, either via knockout or checkmate.

And the former undefeated IBF World Champion Terry Marsh is among the sport’s more well-known competitors.

This sport may have started out as ‘performance art’…

The engaging “brains and brawn” combat sport was invented by Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, who is initially thought to want to develop it as performance art. It was later developed into a fully-fledged sport.   

Rubingh decided to create the sport based on French artist Enki Bilal’s comic book, The Nikopol Trilogy, in 1992, which features a similar chessboxing world championship.

The difference being that the comic book competitors conduct an entire boxing match – before trying their hand at chess.

These are the rules…

Fiction aside, in reality chessboxing has alternate rounds of chess and boxing and follows a very detailed set of rules.   

In total there are 11 rounds, six of which are chess and the remaining five are boxing – match proceedings begin with chess.

Each round lasts three minutes and there are approximately 18 minutes of chess played during each match, which equates to nine minutes for each chessboxer.  

After each round of chess, the board is digitally recorded to ensure play can resume in the next round of chess. It also means there’s no way the board can be tampered with during the intervening round of boxing.

Competitors are allowed a one minute break when switching between chess and boxing in order for the opponents to prepare for the next round.    

Chessboxing on Front Runner – and the upcoming Brexit bout…

Front Runner will show a London Chessboxing match held at the Royal Albert Hall between bankers Bryan Woon and Sean Mooney.

Since this event took place in 2013, the sport has grown rapidly in popularity within the UK as well as Germany, India and Russia.

Top upcoming fights include a politics special as UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott will face off with Liberal Democrat activist Toby White in April.

Who wins?

In order for a winner to be declared in regulation time, the competitor can claim victory by the following: knocking his opponent out, by checkmate, their opponent resigns, their opponent is disqualified by the referee or their opponent exceeds the time limit during the rounds of chess.

However, if neither chessboxer manages to claim victory during regulation time and the chess is a draw, the winner will be decided on which competitor has the most points from the boxing rounds.

In the unlikely event that the boxing scores are level, then the chessboxer who used the black chess pieces will be announced the victor.

Repeats of International Chessboxing are being shown throughout March. This week, the match will be aired on Wednesday (March 8) at 11pm, Saturday (March 11) at 7pm, Sunday (March 12) at 10am.