ALL SET FOR SILVERSTONE
There will be 46 Mada MX-5 Mk1s in action this weekend at Silverstone. Photo: Jon Elsey
The long awaited start of the 2014 season is upon us and it opens not with one, but two meetings at Silverstone this weekend! We have a two day meeting on the International circuit on Saturday & Sunday (5th & 6th April) and then a concurrent one day meeting on the National circuit on Sunday,
The Toyo Tires Porsche Championship is the first away on the International circuit tomorrow and an encouraging grid of 24 Porsches will line-up for the opening two rounds of the year. With 2013 champion, Rick Styrin, now retired there will be a new champion this year and there will be many contenders with justifiable claims.
It is a similar story in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship, where Tom Roche, who has dominated for several years, is taking up a new challenge in the SuperCup for Mk3s. This leaves the door open for the many talented drivers in this weekend’s impressive grid of 46 to stake their title claim. It is sure to be very competitive right through the field so every point could be vital in the opening double-header.
Talking of the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup, in the winter months they have really built on the progress made last season and have produced a very exciting grid of 24 Mk3s for this weekend’s double-header. There is a lot of experience and quality in the driver line-up, which doesn’t include Roche for this weekend, so again we expect the whole season to be very competitive.
The Mighty Minis have also turned out in numbers with 40 cars entered across both the Standard and Super classes. Jamie White is back to defend his title in the Supers but he can expect a strong challenge from the likes of the Kirkpatrick brothers (Neven & David), Elliott Stafford, Chris Slade and Alex Comis. The standard class is very difficult to predict but last year’s runner-up, Charlie Budd, will be very confident he can go one better this season.
Formula Jedi is equally unpredictable at the start of the new season. 2013 champion Lee Morgan has moved onto Formula 3, leaving a real battle for succession behind him. Scott Stevens and Jack Lang will be amongst the front-runners as will Andrew Dunn, who won the title in 2010. 16 Jedis are entered for the weekend, which bodes well for a successful season.
Jam-Sport is the new name on the Fiesta Championship for 2014 and 25 STs will line-up in the opening two encounters in Class C. The STs offer an intriguing mix of old-hands, Fiesta Junior graduates and new-comers. Of the experienced drivers, Nick Bowers had an impressive season last year and will certainly be one to watch this time round. The respective 2013 champions of classes A, B and D, (Ian Scruton, Ken Bateman & David Abbott) are all back this weekend to start the long defence of their titles. They were all closely fought last year so we are expecting more of the same in 2014.
On Sunday, we will also be using the National circuit for a meeting, which in addition to BRSCC content, features Time Attack. Their Pro & Club classes will each have their 15 minutes Final on Sunday afternoon. The Arrowpak Saloon & Sports Car Championship is the first race of the day and they will form a combined grid with the Pipe Center/Geberit Ford Racing Series and the smarts4you 4twoCup.
Twenty-four Alfas will line-up for the opening shots of the Alfashop Alfa Romeo campaign, led by 2012 & 2013 champion Roger Evans, albeit in a new car. Evans has sold his GTV to Graham Seager, who should reap the benefits of the supercharged car, and has replaced it with an untested 156 GTA.
With several close-season changes behind the scenes, the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship starts a new era at Silverstone on Sunday and eight young drivers will line-up on the National grid. Amongst their number will be Rob Cox, who came second to JJ Ross last year. Rob will be hoping the experienced he gained last season will stand him in good stead to bridge the gap to first.