ACADEMISTS HEAD TO MALLORY
Both the Caterham Academy Group 1 & Group 2 titles could be decided at Mallory on Sunday. Photo: Rachel Horgan Photography
10 races will be run on the Leicestershire circuit with the Club’s omni busy Midlands Centre at the helm. Academy Group 1 Championship leader Elliott Norris now has a commanding lead with just the Silverstone race to go after Sunday’s round. The online gaming company director from Suffolk needs only a seventh place to secure the title. But though unbeaten in the sprints, Norris has yet to taste the top of the race podium, having been beaten into second place at the two races so far by Charlies Bowmont and King.
The Group 2 title could also be decided here at Mallory, but Andy Welch’s challenge is somewhat harder as second-place man Brad Smith has been more consistent than Norris’ Gp1 pursuers. Welch has been the undoubted star this year, having only failed to win once, but perhaps his closest rival this weekend will be student David Robinson. Welch and Robinson had an epic battle at the first race at Brands, but Robinson became snookered behind some back-markers and a late-braking attempt into Paddock saw him plunged into the gravel trap. There was no repeat at Rockingham and although Welch prevailed, Robinson finished a close second.
Both Mighty Minis championships will bring their spectacular brand of racing to the tight Mallory Park track. In the Mighty Minis Championship Chris Sladefresh from his second win at Rockingham has now taken the lead in just his second season – not bad going. Seasoned campaigner Mark Burnett is in hot pursuit with Michael Dryden still in with a potential championship win even if only third at the moment.
In the Supers Elliot Stafford managed to stay top of the pecking order until the last race at Rockingham where Pat Ford replaced him at the head of the points table – but by just one point!.With just a double header at Rockingham left after Sunday there is all to fight for so it is sure to be another spectacular race.
The Alfa Romeo Championship returns to Mallory Park for the first time in 5 years so it will be interesting to see how the drivers get on. Certainly, the current championship leader Emma Karwacki knows the layout well and with her current run of form in Class E (for Standard Production 2 litre Alfas) she will be hard to beat in her 147. Not that it will stop anybody trying! James Thomas, Dave Messenger and Mel Healey will all want to topple her from the top of the podium.
Fresh from their exploits supporting the DTM meeting at Brands, the Nippon Challenge field will be a little diminished with some notable absentees. Not that the racing will in any way be boring, far from it! With the Buddy Club Civic’s returning to the fray on mass to take on the Stoner Racing supported Toyota Celica’s of Stoner and Iyengar in GT200, and Paul Hughes making one of his sporadic runs in the series in his well developed Integra there should be plenty to keep everyone entertained.
The Fuchs Titan Race MR2 Racing Series also has a double header on Sunday. This is the eighth season of the MR2 Racing Series, formerly the MR2 challenge for the MR2 Mk1 model only. Of the drivers entered, particularly with a number of front line drivers missing, Dave Thomas or Jonny White should be at the sharp end. Don’t be surprised if the ever improving Paul Corbridge picks up his first race win either, with David Hemingway also in with a shout. For a dark horse keep an eye on newcomer youngster Charlie Budd.
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