ANGLESEY JULY 10/11 PREVIEW – BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 SUPERCUP
There’s a feeling in the air that this year’s Mazda MX-5 SuperCup might just be something a little bit special in 2021 – while some of the main contenders from the last couple of seasons are still on the grid and still in the fight, there’s a new breed of drivers that are starting to make their mark and throw their names into the mix as championship contenders. Croft and Silverstone has already showcased six superb races to start the season and now it’s Anglesey next up this weekend. It’s a first visit to North Wales since 2017, so after four years away it’s great to be back!
Defending champion Samuel Smith left the opening weekend at Croft satisfied with his strong start but still wishing to find that little bit extra to get him back to winning ways. Thankfully, he managed to do that at Silverstone and after adding two 2nd places later that weekend, he has now assumed the lead of the Pro Class championship. He’s well aware that the competition is hot on his tail and that he’ll have to endure a tough fight from hereon into stay on top. Right now, his biggest threat appears to be Jack Harding, whose goal this year is to finally clinch the championship title that’s eluded him so many times up to this point. He managed to grab his first win of the year at Silverstone after collecting podiums in all three opening races at Croft and had he not slipped to P5 in the second race in Northamptonshire, he’d be leading the standings at this point. Perhaps he can manage it if he can put one over everyone else.
Patrick Fletcher is the man with the most wins this year after he took a long overdue initial pair of victories at Croft and followed it up with another at Silverstone, but in the races he hasn’t won he hasn’t bettered 4th. This means that the pack is incredibly closely matched and one small error can cost several places when running in the leading group. Patrick’s team being independently run makes his achievements even more impressive considering he’s up against some of the biggest and most formidable teams in the paddock, but he’s proving he can take the fight to them and win. One of those teams is Hills Motorsport, whose top driver right now is James Cossins who like Fletcher has managed to capture his first SuperCup win, too. That had been building steadily since he debuted and he’s been able to carry that momentum forwards, picking up two 3rd places from Silverstone and hoping to continue to remain in the hunt as he sits in 4th in the standings.
James gains a new teammate this weekend in John Langridge, as the former Mk1 MX-5 champion switches from BLiNK Motorsport from this meeting onwards. He will hope this switch of outfits means an improvement to his pace as he’s consistently kept himself around the top 10 with a best finish of 5th to his name so far this year. He hasn’t managed to win a SuperCup race since he joined in 2019, but perhaps with his new alliance with Aidan Hills’ squad he can finally tick this ambition off sooner or later. Simon Baldwin will want to keep up his advantage in the Masters points whilst also aiming to improve his current 6th place in the Pro points, as he continues to try and hold his own against ever increasingly tough competition.
Declan Lee and Tom Smith have had relatively quieter starts to 2021 than they might have anticipated, although Lee did manage to get amongst the leading group at Silverstone and bag a couple of 4th places for his efforts, just missing out on the podium. Smith, meanwhile, is still adapting back into the SuperCup after mainly racing Mk1s over the last couple of seasons. He’ll be hoping to get closer to his brother Samuel’s pace as the season goes on. Will Blackwell-Chambers and Nick Dunn complete the Pro top 10 heading to Anglesey at this stage, with Will now starting to get the hang of his new car after years in Mk1s while Nick’s vast experience is helping him bank points wherever possible and keep out of trouble.
Meanwhile, the Club class battle just got a little more interesting, particularly thanks to the blistering form that Richard Amos appears to be in right now. There were moments at Silverstone where he ran in tandem at the front of the field with Pro teammate Smith, proving that he is exceptionally fast and is already now looking like the current favourite to go on and win the class crown. Former Superstock 1000 bike racer Kevin Silvain picked up a second top score at Silverstone and followed it up with 4th and 3rd. He’ll be looking to get back on terms with Richard, but if Amos is as strong as he was last time out, that’s going to be increasingly difficult. Clive Powles, Martin Heath and Clive Chisnall are also in the top five in the respective standings and they’ll be keen to enjoy a great battle amongst themselves.