2017 SEASON REVIEW: BRSCC FIESTA CHAMPIONSHIP
After a year of growing its grids once again, the BRSCC Fiesta Championship looked set to be even bigger than it had been the previous year in 2016. With four class titles and an overall crown to contend for, plus none of the defending champions returning to their respective classes due to other commitments or switching to a different class, it left the entire array of accolades wide open for new heroes to step forward.
Ultimately, the champion for the season came from Class D, for the Mk7 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Zetec S model, for the third time in four years. Former multiple Mini champion Jamie White began his first full season, after debuting towards the beginning of 2016, ideally with a clean sweep of the class at Brands Hatch, winning all three races from the pole with the fastest lap. Carrying on with two more wins at Cadwell Park, things got a little trickier come the first Silverstone visit. John Cooper, who would turn out to be White’s main rival all season, set about beginning his winning streak as he dominated Silverstone and then Rockingham – the latter seeing White ending his weekend on his roof at Brook chicane after a Race 2 collision.
White put his title charge back on track with another clean sweep at Snetterton, while Silverstone’s second Fiesta encounter would produce a new winner in Jack Youhill; he too would win all three races and strengthen what would turn out to be 3rd in the standings come season end. Another hat-trick for White at Croft followed, leaving the title to be decided at the Donington finale. Despite Dan Rose taking two wins in a JamSport-prepared Fiesta Zetec S, he would be ineligible for points due to his guest appearance, leaving Cooper to pick up maximum points from all three races. Alas, taking the points for three 3rd place finishes would be more than enough to seal the crown for White, as well as the coveted prize of a test in the Motorbase “Shredded Wheat” Ford Focus BTCC machine.
Podiums throughout the season would also go to the likes of Stuart Robbins, Thomas Hutchins and Shaun Andrews, with more Class D cars expected to appear in 2018.
The fastest class on the grid, Class C for the Mk6 Ford Fiesta ST150 2.0 model, was also by far and away the most competitive – in fact, that’s something of a major understatement!
No less than 11 different drivers took at least one class and indeed outright win throughout the year, meaning that consistency in scoring strong results was more crucial than how many victories could be obtained. Brands Hatch would see two new young chargers hit the top step, as both Lewis Kent and Danny Harrison took their first senior victories fresh out of the Fiesta Junior Championship; Specialized Motorsport boss Simon Horrobin would also pick up a win that weekend. A frantic Cadwell Park would see the Watkins brothers Samuel and Joshua take one apiece, before an equally energetic Silverstone in May saw Kent, Harrison and Lee Dendy-Sadler all succeed.
Horrobin and Harrison took Rockingham for themselves, which also saw the brief return of outgoing Class C champ Samuel Priest. He made sure to remind everyone just how quick he was at Snetterton, where he took two wins for himself while Jam-Sport leader Jamie Going also picked up his first ever Fiesta victory too. A slightly topsy-turvy second visit to Silverstone saw Harrison christen his new car with a win, along with both Nathaniel Gollin and David Nye also taking their first of the season, with many of the leading protagonists tripping up over themselves.
Croft would see something of a turning point as engine issues forced longtime points leader Kent to lose vital points, while Nathaniel’s brother Josh Gollin claimed his initial Fiesta victory and Nye picked up two more. This left Nye in the hot seat for the class title, and even though he failed to finish the last race of the season, the points he obtained finishing inside the top 10 did more than enough to confirm him as Class C champion; Josh Gollin would again step onto the rostrum as winner after completing a hat-trick to round off an exciting year.
Classes A & B
While indeed two of the smaller classes in the championship, the competition was no less fierce in both Classes A & B. In Class A, Tim Bennett was the man everyone had to catch, with both Colin Newbold and John Bateman taking wins early on to try and halt him. As it happened, Bennett’s form saw him take 4 class wins in the first half of the year, before nine in a row in the second half meant the Class A crown was undoubtedly his.
Class B would see a season long battle between rookie Sean Banks and the experienced Derek Robinson. The former picked up a hefty haul of points to begin with before Robinson joined for the rest of the season, where he would rack up 9 class wins in total. While always in contention until the end, a difficult final meeting for Banks at Donington saw him lose out on vital points, giving Robinson the title he coveted.