A WEEKEND’S RACING IN THE PARK AT CADWELL
Formula Jedi holds the overall lap record at Cadwell – will someone break it this weekend? – Photo: Shaun Smith
It may only be our one and only visit here, but believe us when we say that Cadwell Park is a real drivers’ favourite when it comes to circuits around the UK. Its narrow confines, winding elevation changes and mixture of complex corners never fails to provide a challenge for any car that tackles this magnificent ribbon of tarmac located deep in the Lincolnshire countryside. With two days of action in store, those in attendance definitely won’t be disappointed.
Once again, as it was at Brands Hatch, the weekend is dominated by 9 races dedicated to our pair of Mazda MX-5 series. The MX-5 Championship (for Mk1 models) and MX-5 SuperCup (for Mk3 models) have both exploded in popularity this season with a number of top drivers in both.
It was all about one man in the MX-5 Championship last time as Will Blackwell-Chambers marked an excellent return with 3 finely executed victories. His nearest challenger was Michael Fisk, a driver who is desperate to clinch that first victory. He’ll be hoping this weekend is when it finally comes together. Other drivers who have to be counted as threats include Oliver Allwood, Simon Baldwin, Paul Tucker, Martin Tolley, Charlie Burge and Samuel Smith to name a few. A capacity entry awaits with the drivers split into two groups, meaning you’ll be treated to 6 electrifying races.
Roaring into 2017 with popularity levels at their highest, the MX-5 SuperCup heads to Cadwell also required to split the entry and share a grid with their Mk1 counterparts. Those at the sharp end of the grid should need to work too much as former champion and returnee Rob Boston exerted his authority with a pair of wins at Brands Hatch, while young charge Jack Harding took one for himself. That said, the likes of Tom Roche, Luke Herbert, James Blake-Baldwin, Richard Styrin, Brian Chandler, Sam Tatler, Steve Roberts, Liam Murphy and more will all be determined to grab the top step for themselves. Watching these guys fight for position on Cadwell’s narrow tarmac will be a fascinating spectacle.
Another championship also expected to reach high levels of action will be the Fiesta Championship that saw all four classes hit the track at once. As it was at Brands Hatch and despite the tight confines, all four classes will remain together. Young charges Danny Harrison and Lewis Kent both began their senior careers in spectacular fashion with a win each at Brands Hatch, while Kent’s Specialized Motorsport team boss Simon Horrobin also clinched one for himself. Other drivers in the class who forced their way into contention included the Watkins brothers Joshua & Samuel, Ryan Beck, Nathan Edwards and Lee Dendy-Sadler, so all of the above mentioned will be key players here.
As for the other 3 classes, the favourite has to be former Mini champion Jamie White who put all of his FWD experience and a season’s worth of practice to good use with 3 dominant Class D victories. With the class continually growing to healthy numbers and more cars expected across the season, drivers such as John Cooper, Tim Glover, Stuart Robbins and more will be out to stop him. In Class A, there’s set to be a battle between Tim Bennett, John Bateman and Theo Bridgeman-Williams, while Class B sees Sean Banks gain a playmate in Chris Horne, a returnee from 2016.
The tin-top and GT stars of the future hit the tarmac in the Fiesta Junior Championship after it christened two new winners in the opening rounds. Jack Davidson and James Hillery both took their first circuit racing victories and sit atop the points table respectively. Both will be factors here this weekend while names that will be challenging them include Nicholas Reeve, James Waite, Lochlan Bearman and best of the newcomers at Brands Hatch, Matt Greenwood. This is a championship dedicated to racers aged 14-17, with many graduates going on to successful careers in the BTCC, GT racing and more. A perfect proving ground!
More action will be provided by the Alfa Romeo Championship as 3 classes are set to do battle with honours on offer for Modified, Power Trophy and Twin Spark Cup cars. It’ll be a duel between Bryan Shrubb and Vincent Dubois for Modified honours, while the biggest contest will come from within the Twin Spark contingent, with the likes of reigning champion Tom Ford, Dave Messenger, Richard Ford, Simon Cresswell and more all due to scrap for the class crown. Plenty of passion and style is contained within this championship.
The Toyo Tires Porsche Championship is already on its 3rd outing of the season and there’s a contest hotting up in both the Race Boxster and 924 classes. 2015 champion Ed Hayes has regained his form with a perfect score of 5 wins from 5 starts and has his sights firmly set on the title, but while Adam Southgate and Nick Hull sit immediately behind in the standings, don’t count out Garry Lawrence, Alex Stocker or Richard Avery either. As for the 924s, it’s a PDC Racing domination at the moment as Pip Hammond’s trio of wins at Silverstone saw him as an ominous favourite, but it’s teammate Gavin Johnson that leads the standings despite not winning a race thus far! Will Pip overhaul him to head the table come Sunday afternoon?
Also in the mix will be the Formula Jedi Championship, that’s already seen two drivers take a win apiece. Dan Clowes and points leader Kristian Prosser took one each, but the pace of both Michael Watton and Lee Morgan suggested they should have potentially taken them instead had they not suffered various dramas. Other names to watch out for will be Paul Butcher and Bryony King, the latter taking her first podium at Brands with the hunger for more. These bike-engined single seaters really are the definition of the term “pocket rocket”!
Finally, our friends from the Sports 2000 Championships will be with us for the second meeting in succession, allowing a rare chance to see sports prototypes at Cadwell! Both the Pinto and Duratec classes will feature separate races, with many chassis manufacturers represented such as Lola, MCR, Carbir and Shrike to name a few. The high levels of downforce produced by these cars should mean that lap times will be rapid all weekend!
So – sports cars, single seaters, tin-tops and sports prototypes, all in one package at one of the UK’s best loved and longest standing race tracks. What more could you want. The racing will be close, frenetic and exciting, so if you’ve come in search of top class club motorsport, you’re in for an absolute treat!
The weather doesn't look as though it'll be as warm as Brands Hatch, however it is expected to remain dry yet overcast and cloudy. Temperatures won't reach any higher than 11 degrees, but the chance of rain will only be a constant 10%, so no need for the umbrellas hopefully. The full Met Office forecast can be found here – CADWELL PARK WEATHER
Also, all of the key information for this weekend can be found a central post on our Facebook page HERE.