ALL SET FOR ANOTHER SEASON OF ALFA RACING!
The Alfashop Alfa Romeo season gets underway at Silverstone next weekend. Photo: www.ajbphotographic.co.uk
Alfashop became the BRSCC Alfa Romeo Championship’s title sponsor in 2006 and we are delighted to welcome them back for a ninth season in 2014. Alongside them will be associate sponsors LMA, Insurance specialists Grove & Dean who have taken over support of the Driver of the Day award, and Toyo Tyres whose Proxes R888 control tyres are used in the Production classes. For the coming season there is a completely revamped championship website – still under www.alfaracer.com – and we shall be having TV coverage via MotorsTV for four meetings during the year – all adding up to an exciting package.
The start of any season always provides question marks as far as the entry is concerned as competitors struggle to finish projects that, all too often, were started too late during the winter or missed deadlines to drag their faithful race cars out of the garage before an opening meeting that is coming up all too quickly. On the other hand, there are other drivers and teams who are well organised and have been out there testing already. As a result, the entry list for rounds 1 & 2 on the Silverstone National circuit (April 6) is somewhat speculative.
What we do know is that we have a definite new front-runner in Graham Seager who has bought Roger Evans’ supercharged GTV to run in class A1. Challenging him should be Guy Hale's 147 GTA but as the year goes on there could also be any number of quick 156s with normally aspirated, turbocharged or supercharged engines in the hands of possible race winners such as past champion Anthony George, Andy Robinson, Barry McMahon and Vincent Dubois. We are also expecting Ian Stapleton, who took wins in the last three races of 2013, to reappear with his 3.8 litre GTV6.
The 2 litre modified class (A2) finds Chris Snowdon pitched against Nick Anderson at Silverstone but we will undoubtedly see Bryan Shrubb as the year progresses. All three could keep the 33 in the winner’s circle. In Class B, Clive Hodgkin (75) and Darelle Wilson (Diesel GT) will battle it out in the first two rounds but Clive will be sharing his car with Robin Eyre-Maunsell in later races. In Class C, 2012 and 2013 Champion, Roger Evans has a new car, a 156 GTA, which will arrive at Silverstone totally untested to face Ray Foley’s familiar GTV. Both cars use Alfa’s 3.2 litre 24v engine.
The Standard Production Class E is always a focus of attention and at the time of writing had over half the confirmed Silverstone entry. Intriguing will be the challenge offered to the established competitors by some new faces, in particular Porsche racer Steve Potts in the ex-Emma Karwacki championship winning 147. However, we expect the main contenders for race wins to be the 156s of James Ford, James Bishop (who achieved sub lap record times testing at Brands recently), Tom Herbert and Dave Messenger pushed hard by Andy Inman and Chris Healey. If it should rain, then Tom Eastwood who took his 145 to a win in tricky conditions here last year could again be on the top step of the podium as could Jon Billingsley who surprised us in his 147 to a win on the wet Silverstone International circuit last October.
The 2014 Championship will be run over 14 rounds at eight meetings, six of which are double headers. Donington host rounds three & four over the weekend May 10/11 and is followed by Oulton Park (May 30), Cadwell (June 14/15), Snetterton 200 (July 12 or 13) and a return to Anglesey (August 9/10). The season will be completed by visits to Rockingham (September 20/21) and Silverstone International (October 18/19).