2018 SEASON REVIEW: BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 SUPER SERIES
Such was the success of the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup and the demand to race a Mazda MX-5 Mk3 with the BRSCC, that the Club elected to create a sub-series to cater to those who wished to compete in one, yet also wished to remain in the same paddock as the Mk1 Championship as the SuperCup would head off onto the TCR UK support package and away from the regular schedule. Thus, the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Super Series was conceived – exactly the same cars as the SuperCup, but racing in a more relaxed and pressure free environment. That being said, that didn’t mean the on-track action would be any less entertaining.
The first rounds at Brands Hatch in March would see two drivers set the tone for what would become a back and forth battle for race wins all year long. Joshua Jackson, fresh from finishing 3rd in last year’s Mk1 Championship, instantly took to the Mk3 like a duck to water and picked up two victories, while former SuperCup and Mk1 racer Jake Bailey pressed him all weekend in all three races, claiming one for himself in the process. Jackson ensured at the second meeting at Snetterton that he wouldn’t be toppled from the top spot with a clean sweep of all three races, while Bailey had to play catch up all weekend. In particular, missing his braking point on the second lap of Race 2 saw him skating across the grass at Agostini hairpin and forced to charge back through the field as a result.
Bailey’s fortunes were on the up at the next meeting at Cadwell Park, as he too picked up a pair of wins while Tom Collins, another name familiar to SuperCup, made a one-off appearance and took a victory for himself. As for Jackson, an incident in the first race of the weekend left him on the back foot and unable to better two 4th places. Silverstone in July was something of a washout for the duration with rain falling for most of the track activity. Nevertheless, it helped produce the first weekend with three different race winners. Jake Bailey got the better of super-sub and Race 1 pole sitter Ben Short to win the opening encounter, but Short got his own back in the second with Jackson tailing him all the way. On track, Bailey claimed Race 3 for himself on track, but contact with Jackson when passing him saw Jake handed a 10 second penalty for driving standards, allowing the #72 to reclaim the win he’d lost out on.
Oulton Park got Jackson back to winning ways on track as he took another triple with Jake Bailey’s father Sam Bailey tailing him all weekend with three 2nd places; Patrick Collins and Jeremy Crook each also took impressive podium finishes in 3rd throughout. Anglesey on the coast of North Wales was the next venue where another super-sub jumped into have a go. Former Mk1 MX-5 champion and BC Cars team boss Brian Chandler was a last minute stand-in for the absent Patrick Collins and duly reminded everyone just how quick he was. Three wins from the weekend saw him dominate in tricky conditions, despite fending off advances from both Short (also super-subbing again) and Jake Bailey. Jackson, meanwhile, appeared to have another less than satisfactory weekend off the podium.
The last ever visit to Rockingham brought the penultimate meeting of the season, where yet again it was Jake Bailey and Joshua Jackson headlining the field. Bailey beat Jackson on a win tally of 2:1, however Jackson’s victory numbers were still higher despite the Super Series not awarding any points. Therefore, bragging rights were on offer for the final rounds at Donington Park in October with the biggest grid of the season. Bailey won the first race, but mishaps through the gravel in the final two saw Jackson round off a superb year with two more wins to earn the Driver of the Year status at the awards dinner a few weeks later. Simon Mason was chosen as top Masters driver, while Liz Walton’s impressive grasp of the MX-5 in her first season of racing full stop earned her the Rookie of the Year title.
2019 should see even more drivers take the plunge into the Super Series – we’ll see you on the grid!