ACADEMY SHOWDOWN AT MALLORY


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Wes Fox has the destiny of the Academy Group 1 title in his hands. Photo: www.rachelhorganphotography.co.uk

The Pistonheads.com Caterham Academy Champiosnhip heads to Mallory Park this Sunday for what are the deciding rounds in both Groups 1 & 2. The two 15 minute races are part of a 10 race schedule run by the BRSCC Midland Centre.

Mike Hart looked like the likely victor in Group 1 when the cars lined up at Brands Hatch last month, but after incurring the wrath of the stewards he had his win taken away from him. That decision handed the initiative to Hertfordshire driver Wesley Fox who will take the title if he can keep his nose clean.

It’s a slightly tighter affair in the Group 2 championship where just a single point separates Kurt Brady and Martin Pass after the sole drop-score Academy drivers are allowed is taken into account. If the pair finish in the top four, Brady has that marginal advantage and will win if he’s ahead. Pass will need to put a car between them to take top honours, unless he manages the win or the fastest lap, which both receive an extra point.

High drama can also be expected in the Edwina Overend Memorial Trophy race for Formula Ford 1600’s. The race commemorates the work done by the late Managing Director of the circuit in bringing motorsport back to the circuit in the early 80’s. The race is also one of two final rounds to be staged on Sunday of the Avon Tyres Southern Formula Ford Championship.

Also rounding off their season are the Motorlawyers Fiat Racing Challenge who have two twenty minute races. The final meeting culminates a great year for Mark Snelling who, after a mere 16 years, built on his first ever win to dominate the series, with only Simon Edwards providing serious competition. However, that could all change on Sunday as former double champion Martin Riman makes a long overdue comeback and will expect nothing less than victory at his “home circuit”.

The Mallory Park schedule is added to with a couple of championships from the Red Dragon Race & Track Club. In the Silverstone Tyres Toyota MR2 Series expect to see team mates Ross Stoner, Adam Lockwood and Alex Gassman lock horns at the front. However, Arron Pullan is a four times race winner already this year so he will be challenge them all the way. Some stiff competition could also come their way from Sarah Wherry, especially if it’s wet. Sarah achieved two recent podiums at Cadwell, so the Grimsby racer is right on form.

In the Federal Tyres Nippon Challenge Vaughan Fletcher’s Subaru Impreza and Steve Burke’s 350z have been the dominating forces so far this year with new boy Dale Gent also in an Impreza coming to the fore of late. Looking to out-gun the bigger fish will be Andy McLennan in his mighty 1300cc Swift. Alix Thompson will be looking for more reliability in the experimental 2wd Impreza, and both Mathew Edwards, and Karen Philips are making only their second appearance this term in the Subaru Cup.