AND SO TO SILVERSTONE……
The BRSCC Midlands Centre’s busy season concludes in spectacular style this weekend with two ‘Finals’ meetings – one on the Silverstone International circuit and the other 65 miles away at Donington Park. Between the two meetings we have received almost 500 race entries – a fantastic effort from all the drivers concerned!
At Silverstone, the emphasis is very much on Caterham racing with all six of their championships reaching the season’s climax. Adding to the spectacle, the Caterham F1 team will be present and reserve driver Alexander Rossi will be performing some demonstration laps during the lunch-break on each day.
Ollie Taylor’s arrives at Silverstone in a commanding position at the head of the R300 Superlight championship, however he still has to fend off a number of challengers. McMillan Motorsport’s Terry Langley has run Taylor closest all year in his Quantamatic backed car, although he is still suffering from a points deduction penalty following an uncharacteristic and unfortunate error at Brands Hatch. However, this is the only blip in an otherwise excellent year for the man from Cadbury’s. He’ll been keen to finish on a high by taking the last couple of wins of the year and you would not bet against that outcome.
It’s an exciting three way fight for the title in the Supersport championship, with reigning Tracksport champion David Robinson at the helm. The 24 year-old driver from High Wycombe comes to Silverstone having bagged a brace of wins at Oulton Park and looking favourite to add another crown in his Caterham racing career, before moving to R300s next year.
Robinson’s Jaguar Land Rover colleague, Mike Hart is the driver most likely to upset his chances. Hart has had a less consistent year than Robinson, but has proven that he can more than match his pace in his Quantamatic backed McMillan Motorsport car. Between the pair lies the striking green car of Caterham journeyman Lee Wiggins, who has racked up more seconds than a marathon runner’s stopwatch. The Stancombe Vehicle Engineering driver had only been an occasional visitor to the podium, until Brands Hatch where he took both wins, reminding the other two that he still has what it takes.
Stockport’s newly-wed Stephen Nuttall leads the Roadsport championship (his car and most of the Roadsport racers, last year’s Academy, were wedding guests), despite a penalty at the last round. Nuttall remains favourite to win, but both Pete Fortune and Alex Gurr can still take the title if things don’t all go his way. Although out of title contention, Oulton Park winner Tony Mingoia and Andres Sinclair, are more than capable of scoring race wins.
It’s an unusual situation that faces the final round of the Tracksport races. Whilst the leading two drivers will be absent, this promises an even more exciting race than usual! Michael Gazda secured the title at Oulton Park and has largely dominated the series. At the same time, his closest rival, Oliver Jarratt, made his second place in the championship untouchable and both sit out this weekend, so we are looking at a very different podium for the final two races.
Matt Dyer has been the only other driver to snatch a race win this year and has been working his way back up the table after a penalty in the opening round. His performances of late make him favourite for the win this weekend, but he’ll have to fend off a number of rivals including Paul Lewis, Mark Lewis and Danny Killeen.
It will be a very exciting weekend for both groups of the Pistonheads.com Caterham Academy Championship. Not only do they complete their first championship season of their careers but they also have the opportunity for the first time to race against each other in two Academy Trophy races.
Group 2’s championship crown was secured by young William Smith with a third place at Rockingham last time out, but second place is all to play for between Jack Sales and Lee Bristow. Sales narrowly beat Bristow to the line last time out to take his first win, though Bristow, the aftersales technician from Caterham Dartford, set a new lap record in his close pursuit. Sales now has the advantage with a couple of points in hand.
Having led the Group 1 championship all year and looking almost as certain for the title as Will Smith in Group 2, Chris ‘Cheesy’ Hutchinson’s reign came to an abrupt end at Rockingham last time out when an uncharacteristic error meant 22ndplace was all he could achieve. As a result, the championship comes down to the wire here at Silverstone.
Leeds based driver Henry Heaton now heads the championship with a seven-point margin over Nick Horton. Although Hutchinson languishes in third place, there is the drop-score to consider. Once that is taken into account, he is just a single point behind Heaton. For Hutchinson to take the title his unmistakeable Emmental car must finish in the top three and, crucially, ahead of Heaton. Anything less than this and the title will be Heaton’s.
Away from the Caterhams, the Mazdas, Alfa Romeos and OSS championships play a supporting, but no less important, role this weekend, in what are also their final outings of the 2013 season.
As expected, Tom Roche secured the BRSCC Mazda MX5 title at Donington Park a month ago with back-to-back wins giving the Cardiff racer an unassailable lead. So the focus this weekend is on the fight for the remaining podium positions and who can finish the season off in style on the International circuit.
Brett Smith has been a consistent performer all season, which was further evidenced by two second places finishes behind Roche at Donington. The points he accrued moved him up to second in the points standings and the Wellingborough based driver will be very confident of holding off Alan Henderson and the other challengers to maintain that position.
Despite the destination of the Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship having already been settled, the Alfas are out in force, registering their biggest grid of the season with 34 cars set to qualify tomorrow afternoon. Roger Evans (Class C 147 GTA) has won the overall championship title for the second year running with James Ford as runner-up in his Class E 156, but there is plenty still to play for lower down the points table with 44 points at stake in each class. 3rdoverall will be contested between the Class B Diesel GT of Darelle Wilson and the Class C GTVs Ray Foley and Graham Seager while in Class E Andy Inman and Dave Messenger (156s), Dave Peddie and Tom Eastwood (145s) will fight it out as runner up to James Ford.
The BRSCC OSS Championship also returns its biggest entry of the season with 24 cars on parade. So far thisseason, the Championship has been the domain of the Class B cars with some fantastic racing between the three Juno’s of Duncan Williams, Craig Fleming, Championship leader Darren Luke and the Chiron of Doug Hart. However the consistency of Graham Hill and the father and son duo of David and Chris Enderby has seen them first and fourth respectively in the Championship from Class C, which shows you don’t have to be an outright winner, or be the fastest car to win the Championship.
So it promises to be a fantastic weekend of racing at Silverstone and to top it all admission is free for spectators! For more information, including a full timetable, please visit CATERHAM SILVERSTONE FINALS