2015 SEASON REVIEW: JAM-SPORT FIESTA CHAMPIONSHIP
The "Silent Assassin" James "JJ" Ross came of age in his title-winning year – Photo: Rachel Bourne
It was another busy year for the multi-class Jam-Sport Fiesta Championship. This season was to see increased numbers of the current Fiesta Zetec S that makes up Class D, as one of four other classes all broadly styled by age and capacity.
As in previous years, the 2015 season consisted of eight weekends, all running to a double header race format. Saturday mornings were reserved for free practice, with qualifying in the afternoon and then two races filmed on Sunday which proved to be popular with drivers. The action was recorded by AJK TV and edited to become a one hour dedicated programme on Motors TV some four weeks later.
The opening rounds at Silverstone saw a near capacity grid with many new and returning drivers. The C class was dominated by Simon Horrobin with Jam-Sport’s Scott Robertson showing his mettle to take two second places. The A and B classes were comprehensively taken by James Styles and Stuart Robbins. In Class D, the honours in both races went to David Nye.
It was on to Snetterton for Rounds 3 & 4 some two weeks later and James Styles maintained his hundred per cent record in Class A with two wins. Class B saw another double, but this time by John Cooper. The D class was always busily contested and both races were entertaining. It was yet another double header win by David Nye, and he was looking fairly invincible. Sam Priest took the race one win for Class C and the second race was claimed well by Scott Robertson.
The Championship made its way to Donington for Rounds 5 & 6 and in Class A, the Fiesta Si of James Styles continued his hat-trick of double header wins, whilst Class B saw wins by Stuart Robbins and John Cooper. The Class C Fiesta STs were again in the mix, but contact throughout saw some cars needing repairs between races, with the wins heading to Scott Robertson and James "JJ" Ross. The Class D dominance from David Nye took a knock here as Dave Abbott took his first win of the season and race two was well driven by Alastair Kellett who took an emphatic win.
Our next venue for Rounds 7 & 8 was a second visit to Snetterton, this time on the 200 layout. Guess who took yet another brace of wins in Class A – who else but James Styles! Peter Dendy-Sadler did try his best and put up a spirited drive to take two second spots. In Class B it was again shared wins with one apiece to Stuart Robbins and John Cooper. Class C was a frantic affair with some stout racing and defending. The James Ross brace of wins to two second places by Scott Robertson saw Ross up to second place in the points tally. The Class D racing was headlined by David Nye and Alastair Kellett, with both showing front running pace and taking a win each. This meant that Kellett now headed the table ahead of Nye, with Jessica King an excellent third.
After a three week gap, the Fiestas were down to Castle Combe in Wiltshire for Rounds 9 & 10. With James Styles absent from this meeting, it was left to the rest to make hay while the sun quite literally shone. Peter Dendy-Sadler was pressed hard by John Bateman all weekend in Class A, but he survived to make it two wins out of two for the event. In Class B, the spoils of victory once again went to Stuart Robbins and John Cooper, but consistency saw Tim Glover in the mix as he placed second between the pair. In the Fiesta ST class (C), it was now becoming apparent that the talented young Ross was producing the goods. He took both wins and try as the rest could, they were just fighting for the 2nd & 3rd places. In Class D, the honours went to David Nye and Dave Abbott.
Rounds 11 and 12 saw the competitors and teams head off for the second visit to Silverstone, again on the National Circuit. At last in Class A the James Styles total dominance was broken as Peter Dendy-Sadler finally made the chequered flag at the head of his class to take the race two win, after coming in second to Styles in race one. Class B saw a DNF and 2nd place from John Cooper, thus allowing Stuart Robbins to take a brace of wins, leaving the class table to remain as Robbins, Glover and Cooper in the top 3. Class C provided a truly brilliant pair of races with Scott Robertson and Simon Horrobin trying all they could to reach the head of the field. In the end it was Myles Baker who surprised the regulars with strong results to take 3rd and 4th respectively, as James Ross was unbeatable and again took two wins. The two 2nd places from Robertson that weekend kept his table hopes alive. The two Class D races saw Dave Abbott and David Nye take one apiece, whilst Steve Ryan crept up for a 4th and a 3rd to nudge him up to 3rd place in the points standings.
Rockingham in Corby was the next event venue for the penultimate rounds of the Championship. Class A saw Peter Dendy-Sadler exert pressure on James Styles to take a well-earned win, but Styles was there to return the favour and claimed Race 2 for himself. In Class B, yet again the results showed a win each for John Cooper and Stuart Robbins. The Class C racing was almost predictable as James Ross dominated the weekend to record another brace of wins. Scott Robertson suffered with a DNF in Race 1 and was only able to secure 4th in Race 2, whilst Simon Horrobin and Sam Priest took a 2nd place each. Alastair Kellett bounded back from his break and was the man to beat in Class D. He was never headed all weekend and claimed both victories for his own. Dave Abbott was the best of the rest with two 2nd places. Kellett’s brilliant return weekend took him up to 3rd in the points.
The final races of the season saw us at Brands Hatch amidst the glory of the Formula Ford Festival, as a full grid of Fiestas hit the track running. Saturday was wet and dismal, but Sunday proved a better day and dry sunny conditions took over from the dark rain of the previous day. In Class A, James Styles suffered a reliability issue which took him out of Race 1, leaving Peter-Dendy Sadler to be victorious. Styles rebounded to take the Race 2 win to confirm his Class A Championship overall win, with Dendy-Sadler and Bateman second and third. In Class B, Stuart Robbins and John Cooper again shared the wins but it was Stuart Robbins who won the overall class title by just 2 points from Cooper and Tim Glover held on to his 3rd place. In Class C James Ross won the first race before deciding to start from the pitlane in Race 2. Keeping himself out of trouble, his results were enough to see him crowned Class C Champion and in doing so he also took the overall title by accruing the most points on 423. Scott Robertson and Simon Horrobin ended the year 2nd and 3rd in overall points respectively. In Class D, the final race wins once again went to Alastair Kellett who turned in two amazing drives to claim both. How two 2nd places from David Nye saw the former BTCC driver capture the overall Class honours from Dave Abbott and Alastair Kellett.
Value for money and good close racing – that’s what the Jam-Sport Fiesta Championship is all about. Congratulations to our champions and here’s to 2016, where hopefully we’ll see the grids get even bigger and better!