2016 SEASON REVIEW – BMW RACE DAYS COMPACT CUP
Ex-British GT champion James "Jiggy" Gornall showed his class to secure the Compact crown – Photo: SnappyRacers
With 3 different winners from the opening 3 Brands Hatch Indy races of the 2016 BMW Racedays BMW Compact Cup Championship, our first meeting of the year certainly set the tone for what was to become the closest and most competitive championship since the BMW Compact Cup series was introduced to the UK race scene. Who could have imagined then that the Championship wouldn’t be decided until the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the season…however that’s exactly what happened, and what a nail biting and spectacular season it was!
The fact that we saw 3 different opening day winners was no fluke either because this was repeated at the very next rounds at Rockingham, thus demonstrating once again the top level of driver and the equality of cars through the Compact Cup field.
Heading into the 3rd meeting of the season at Snetterton in June, our long list of race winners was amazingly expanded even further as our 7th new winner of the season took to the podium and ensured that the season was becoming the most difficult to forecast in our history.
Next up was Castle Combe where Steven Dailly took his 2nd win of the season in race 1, this catapulting him firmly into contention along with James Gornall at the top of the standings. In race 2 Joe Wiggin decided that he’d had enough of playing a bit part in the championship and secured his first win of the season, allowing him to build towards a real championship challenge.
Donington Park was next up, and a few nerves were beginning to show from some of the drivers who had their eyes on the main prize. Would one of the guys at the top of the points table really get into the zone and collect enough points to create a gap between themselves and their fellow championship contenders?…..well no….not really! In race 1 of the day, Steven Dailly’s car suffered a brake issue that forced him temporarily into the pits from a solid 2nd place. Gornall might have taken advantage of this, however Joe Wiggin had different ideas by taking his 2nd win of the season in emphatic style and really putting himself into the mix at the top of the table. So as we left Donington no one was any the wiser as to who would be crowned champion….and we only had 2 meetings to go.
Onto Oulton Park for the penultimate meeting of the season, and all forecasts were again blown clean out of the water when Sam Carrington Yates won race 1, with Gornall and Wiggin tripping over each other to both finish well down the points. Steven Dailly took 2nd place which reignited his own championship challenge. In race 2 Joe Wiggin drove cleanly to wrap up another win and maximum points, with Dailly securing his 2nd runner up place of the day.
The last race meeting of the 2016 season couldn’t have been held at anywhere more prestigious, and the stunning backdrop of Silverstone was a befitting place to host our Championship decider. Into race 1 and with Gornall ahead on the grid of both of his most obvious challengers in Dailly and Wiggin, the pendulum of hope and expectation was swinging his way, however these two had absolutely no intention of accepting early defeat.
In the end we all had to wait until the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the season to witness James “jiggy” Gornall securing the Championship. The above words can’t adequately describe what a fantastic 2016 race we had enjoyed, however it’s safe to say that this was the closest, most competitive and most thoroughly enjoyable Compact Cup season yet.
We’ll see you all again in 2017 with the BRSCC for some more of the same please!