AN ANGLESEY AUTUMN AFFAIR
The FunCup will feature two 3 hour races – one in daylight, the other into darkness – Photo: Marvin Hall
As we transition from summer into autumn, we’re making a run towards the end of the season. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still squeeze a couple more visits to the coast when it comes to motorsport. We’re back once again to the wonderfully picturesque setting of Anglesey, nestled beside the Irish Sea in North Wales for a 2-day meeting with the BRSCC’s North Western Centre. In some ways, it’s almost an ode to Ford – almost in the sense that Saturday’s main event features something that isn’t part of the Blue Oval family, but is just as exciting.
With the climax of another incredible season on the horizon, the FunCup Championship has seen each endurance race provide non-stop action from start to finish. It really is flat out driving over a long distance, with driver changes and pit stops adding the ever intriguing element of strategy into the mix. Saturday will see a pair of 3 hour encounters, with the latter of the two set to qualify and race into darkness; very much akin to many high-profile enduros! Eco Racing are still points leader heading into the weekend with a slim lead over Track Torque Racing 2 Rent Dominoes and JPR Uvio. If any of the trio slip up at this crucial stage, it could have quite an effect on the outcome of the title.
On to the mass of Ford-associated championships that make up the remainder of the programme, starting off with the immensely populated Quaife Fiesta Championship. Having seen a resurgence in popularity this season, the four classes head to Anglesey with class and overall titles still to be decided. Class C will be the most populated as Sam Priest continues to lead his pursuers, with names such as his team boss Simon Horrobin, Aaron Thompson, Alfonso Skriczka and Nathan Edwards favourites to be in the mix for victory. Alastair Kellett is Class D and overall leader with an ever increasing number of cars to contend with, while Classes A & B cater to the older generations of Ford Fiesta.
The “senior” Fiesta drivers will certainly look to set an example for our enthusiastic bunch of young guns in the Fiesta Junior Championship. It’s still Jam-Sport’s Harry Gooding who remains at the head of the table with 5 wins to his name, however he had to play second best last time at Silverstone to Bradley Burns and another new name on the top step in Nicholas Reeve. There were also strong results for Callum Hawkins-Row, James Hillery, Lochlan Bearman and Lewis Kent at the previous meeting, so they will all be keen to carry the momentum into the weekend. The championship caters to junior drivers aged 14-17, most of which will are fresh out of karting and tackling their first season of circuit racing.
It’s only been a week since some of them last raced, yet it’s time for yet another round of the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Northern Championship. A well supported series, there will be separate races for both Post ’89 and Pre ’90 categories once again. In the Post ’89 entry, favourite for victory should be American Chase Owen who has been a real threat in the National championship this season. Matthew Cowley is another one to watch, given that he dominated the overall standings in a Pre ’90 car last year. Now he’s aiming to do the double in a more contemporary machine. Also look for youngster Matt Round-Garrido and Mick Whitehead’s Ray GR14.
Over in the Pre ‘90s, it looks like once again it’ll be battle lines drawn between Jaap Blijleven and Jamie Jardine. Both drivers may race in separate classes, but that hasn’t stopped them duelling together on the track and while both are apparent runaway favourites for their class titles, it’s also becoming apparent that the overall crown is going to one of these two men too. Keep an eye on the likes of Brian Young, Michael Beaver and Steve Nixon who will also be in the hunt for podium places and more if the top two falter.
Finally, the long standing Lee Bowron Ltd XR Challenge makes another appearance this season with one of Ford’s iconic model lines very much kept in competition by an enthusiastic group of drivers. With classes that cater to both the XR2 and XR3i, it means that those who love the fast versions of earlier Fiesta and Escort models get to see them race in the same way they did during the championship’s heyday. Reigning champion Michael Heath will race to retain bragging rights and he’ll be joined once again by key rivals Alistair May, Lee Shropshire and Ralph Fernihough, with the XR3i class also set to feature its own duels. This will be the championship’s second of two triple headers this season.
If you plan on attending all weekend, then you’re in for a late one come Saturday night as the FunCup will certainly keep you up and entertained, but during the daylight hours it’s nothing but a Ford frenzy full of tin-tops and single seaters. We do love to be beside the sea, especially when it features a racetrack overlooking it – let’s just hope the weather holds out!
That being said, we've had a look at the forecast and things look mostly alright in terms of staying dry. We say that because there is rain expected and, sadly for the FunCup, it's due to arrive right in time for their night race on Saturday evening – should make things interesting! Sunday will remain mostly dry itself, however there is a chance of a small sprinkling of precipitation through the morning and into early afternoon before drying up. A full breakdown of the forecast via the Met Office can be found at ANGLESEY WEATHER.
Also, all the relevant information you need ahead of the weekend can be found at ANGLESEY RACE WEEKEND.