A race weekend at Brands Hatch is always an enjoyable one for the BRSCC as the Club’s home circuit usually provides some excellent racing all round. This weekend on the Indy circuit should be no different, as an armada of Mazda MX-5s, saloons and tin-tops gets set to land in Kent, plus an endurance race on each day to satisfy long-distance racing fans too – another great variety!
BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 CHAMPIONSHIP – FENWICK HOPING TO BOOST CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD FURTHER
It’s no surprise that the Mazda MX-5 Championship once again sports a sold-out grid as it usually tends to do and the short and tight speed bowl of Brands Hatch’s Indy layout guarantees that every session will be busy out on track. For championship leader Fraser Fenwick, the goal will simply be to maintain the current 29-point lead he holds over the rest of the table, at a circuit that saw him firmly embroiled in the championship battle at the season finale. Having taken a win, a 3rd place and a fastest lap, his momentum is certainly strong heading to Kent.
Mike Comber continues to be his main pursuer and currently has a gap over the next three drivers in the standings, with Tom Smith, Jason Greatrex and Michael Knibbs sitting 3rd through to 5th and covered by 10 points. All of them will once again be expected to be pressuring for the lead at the head of the pack this weekend without doubt, and be sure to watch out for those wishing to break into the top five including Callum Greatrex, Luke Pullen and Steve Foden, the latter of the three surely set to be fast should the weather conditions take a turn for the worse.
BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 CLUBMAN CHAMPIONSHIP – SECONDS OUT, ROUND FOUR FOR FLETCHER/ MCDONNELL TITLE FIGHT
One of the definitive championship battles developing nicely in this 2022 BRSCC season is the fight for the Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship. Defending champion Harry Storer is by all means firmly in the mix, but the main duel right now appears to be Matthew Fletcher and Declan McDonnell. For Fletcher, he’s currently in the best form of his MX-5 racing career, while McDonnell is inserting himself into a championship battle in a season that he wasn’t originally set to run in its entirety!
At Silverstone last time out, both drivers took a win apiece on the GP circuit and their current gap in the points to one another is just three, even before any dropped scores start getting taken into account. Storer, meanwhile, needs to find at least 19 points to gain on leader Fletcher and knows he has to start beating both men on track to remain in contention to retain his crown. Jon Pethick, Chris Dawkins, Alan Hawkins, Charles Boniface and more are also sure to be giving the current top three the runaround as much as possible as they look to keep them in their sights, while also scrapping amongst themselves for top five positions in the points.
BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 SUPERCUP – CAN ANYONE STOP THE RUNAWAY AMOS?
Out of the three Mazda MX-5 championships on display at Brands Hatch, the one that not only features both arguably the most competitive grid, but also the biggest points lead, is the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup. So far, current leader Richard Amos has only finished off the podium once this season, and of those podium finishes only two haven’t been victories. His consistency against his rivals, who have been vigorously scrapping amongst each other since the opening lap of the first weekend, has helped him to extend a lead in the Pro Class standings to 47 points at this stage already. It’s looking good at this stage for Paddock Motorsport as they quest for their first Mazda MX-5 title, but there’s still plenty of drivers that can spoil the party.
The 2022 SuperCup grid is simply stacked full of talented drivers, many of whom are certainly able to achieve at least a podium finish, with the following all set to be in contention – Patrick Fletcher, James Cossins, John Langridge, Leigh Britten, Will Blackwell-Chambers, Colin Bysouth, Alex Miller, Tom Griffiths, Nic Grindrod, Jack Brewer and Michael Knibbs. The impossible task is now to try and work out which drivers from that group are going to be Amos’ main challengers this weekend!
Also keep an eye on the burgeoning Club class points battle, as that’s building quite nicely between Stephen New and Scott Wright. The two drivers are separated by a 28 point gap at this stage, while BC Cars Motorsport teammates Bruce Robinson, Adrian Burge and Clive Chisnall are all currently locked in their own inter-team battle for top 5 places in the standings, covered right now by 8 points.
FUN CUP ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP – GCI LEADS BUT UVIO ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL
So far it’s turning out to be a thrilling Fun Cup Endurance Championship this season, as defending champions UVio/ Hofmann’s Lotus continue their quest to clinch yet another title. But after mechanical issues at Oulton Park marked a blot on their copy book early on, sandwiched inbetween two typically commanding race wins for the evergreen driver pairing of “Farquini” and Fabio Randaccio. However it’s that Oulton drama that has prevented them from leading the standings.
That responsibility currently falls with GCI Racing, who haven’t been shifted from the second step of the podium from any of the first three races, thus helping them to hold a 16 point lead at this stage. It’s certain that UVio will edge closer should they continue winning races, but GCI needs to carry on banking the strong finishes in order to maintain their place at the head of the table. Meanwhile, Stobart Sport are leading what’s turning out to be a very tight battle for 3rd place between four teams, with Team Viking, Kaizen Motorsport and Vapeclub with EDF Motorsports all in close contention as well. Don’t be fooled for one second by the race length here – FunCup races are typically exciting, enthralling and usually go down to the wire on a regular basis!
BRSCC SUPERSPORT ENDURANCE CUP – HEALTHY ENTRY POPULATES GRID FOR FIRST RACE OF 2022 After the BRSCC SuperSport Endurance Cup made its pilot debut at Snetterton at the end of July last year, the Club elected to run two more races to gauge further interest and to develop the new season even further. The first of those races, both of which taking place at Brands Hatch, takes place this weekend and for their first run of 2022, they’ve managed to amass a rather impressive and respectable grid of 27 cars, consisting of many different marques and models.
The SuperSport Endurance Cup features five classes with four of them represented this time, plus two cars running as invitation entries. The fastest class, Pro-A will feature a rather intriguing face off between David May’s Nissan 370Z and the Caterham 310R of regular racers Geoff Newman and Darren Burke, so straight horsepower will go up against handling and agility to win the class here. With no Pro-B class cars listed, the rest of the entry mostly features those listed in one of the three Clubman classes. Clubman-A has some very interesting machines featured, including a Mazda MX-5 Mk4, an Ford Fiesta from the ST240 Class of the Fiesta Championship, a pair of Honda Civics EP3 and the rare FD2 model of Ricky Coomber, and a Lotus Elise amongst others.
Clubman-B looks like it will also be a little unpredictable as Mazda MX-5s, a BMW Z4 and 330ci should certainly be the main players here. The final class is Clubman-C, with more BMWs and MX-5s populating this part of the entry, including a solo drive from BRSCC’s very own Competitions Coordinator and qualified clerk of the course, Luke Souch.
The race will run for two hours with mandatory pit stops required to be made throughout. With refuelling and teams of up to three drivers also permitted, this should be a brilliant strategic race to watch play out, especially on the short confines of the Indy circuit which will guarantee plenty of traffic and battles on circuit!
CMMC SOUTHERN SUPER SALOONS & TIN TOPS – LOCAL RACERS BACK AGAIN AT THEIR HOME CIRCUIT
Once again guesting on a BRSCC timetable at the circuit they call their home, the Classic & Modern Motorsport Club Southern brings a large combined grid featuring their well-supported Super Saloons and TinTops series, which once again has a very diverse, eclectic and fascinating mix of machines on display.
Cars you cannot ignore include booming Super Saloons such as veteran Rod Birley’s Ford Escort WRC, Alex Sidwell’s ultra-popular Holden Commodore VF ex-V8 Supercar from Australia, Nick Sutton’s Mitsubishi Evo X and Adrian and Ronan Bradley’s pair of formidable BMWs. Meanwhile in the TinTops, look out for Warren Johnson’s Peugeot 205 GTi, Ken Angell’s BMW 3 Series, Vic Hope’s Honda Civic Type R and Dominic Ryan’s Ford Fiesta to be amongst some of the key players.
A venue known to put on plenty of one-day spectaculars, the BRSCC visits Oulton Park in Cheshire for the second time this season, with a day full of sprint racing mostly themed around Ford, with extra hot hatch and historic single-seater racing thrown in for good measure. This should be another excellent Summer’s day of racing in store!
AIRTEC MOTORSPORT FIESTA CHAMPIONSHIP – JUNIOR CHAMP BRICKLEY LEADS AS QUEST FOR SENIOR TITLE CONTINUES
He may not have won a race so far this year, but Jenson Brickley’s consistency since the start of the AIRTEC Motorsport Fiesta Championship season has been rock solid. Apart from a hiccup in Croft’s second race, his results have seen him pick up three 2nd places and a 3rd, plus two fastest laps and a pole position. That coupled with some of the misfortune of others has helped him rise to the top of the points table with a current lead of 16 points over former champion Alastair Kellett. The Irishman has so far claimed two wins and a 2nd place himself, but misfortune in two of the five races has seen him drop points at both Brands Hatch and Croft. Of course this is on overall scores right now with dropped rounds still to come into play later, but a strong start to his day at Oulton is needed to set the tone.
The other race winners of the year have been Simon Horrobin and David Nye, two stalwarts of the Fiesta scene in recent years. Given that there’s been three different winners from the five race so far is proving that this season’s Fiesta grid is one of the most competitive in recent years. The mix of young guns and established challengers is providing some exceptional racing amongst the ST240 and ST150 classes and that promises to continue here. William Kellett makes his first appearance of the season sporting a brand new Kellett Motorsport prepared ST240 for the first time, as does last year’s top ST150 man Ethan Rogers who gets a debut run out in the top class too. Over in the ST150s so far, Nick Moore is still the man to catch having turned around a rough start to Croft into two class wins, and now he has to fend off Thomas Davis who is just two points behind heading to Cheshire.
BRSCC FIESTA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP – SMITH LOOKING TO FORGE AHEAD IN POINTS BATTLE The young future racing stars of the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship have had quite the season so far in 2022, with both Sid Smith and Thomas Jack Lee taking wins so far this year. Right now the tally is 3:1 in Smith’s favour, with a strong weekend last time out in Croft certainly helping matters along the way with a pair of wins. He currently has a 37 point lead over Jake Maynard, who isn’t present on this grid this weekend at the time of writing, so his nearest challenger in terms of the points table will be fellow JamSport driver Luke Hilton. Luke was mega impressive at Croft, especially in the second race where he battled with Albert Webster as part of the leading trio, and managed to get one over the Race Car Consultants driver to take an excellent 2nd place, his best result of his burgeoning junior racing career thus far.
Other regulars who are back to try and score more solid points finishes include Brands Hatch winner Lee, Archie Handy, Daniel Lewis and James Pope, plus 2022 rookies Lexie Belk, Ben Mulryan and JamSport Scholarship winner Lucas Hayden. Also, Jasmine Shaw makes a welcome return to the grid after she missed Croft due to prior commitments. The brand new Mk7 Fiesta Junior race car is also continuing its development, with 20Ten Racing’s Harry England ready for another day’s racing in the new spec machine.
MODIFIED FORD SERIES – BRILLIANT BLUE OVALS READY TO ROCK CHESHIRE
Off the back of their award-winning 2021 season, the Modified Ford Series has truly gone from strength to strength throughout 2022 so far. After a bumper grid to Silverstone, a trip across the Scottish border to Knockhill and a spot on the British GT support timetable at Donington Park most recently, the series now moves to Oulton Park this Saturday with another firmly supported grid almost reaching 30 cars deep.
There are plenty of regulars on the grid here again representing several different models of fast Fords as per usual, including a pair of the ever-popular Escort Cosworths in the hands of Scott Matthias and Dave Cockell, the latter certainly tipped as a constant favourite for race wins given it’s mind-blowing horsepower numbers. There’s also a good number of Escort Mk1s and Mk2s in the lineup with notable entries including the Mk1 RSRs driven by Daz Owen, Jack Gadd and Richard Rudd and excellent Mk2 examples in the hands of series founder Paul Nevill, Piers Grange and more. Plus, watch out for Ashley Shelswell’s Sierra XR4i, AJ Owen’s crazy unique Focus estate, a host of Fiesta ST150s and others that will certainly put on a great show this Saturday.
BRSCC CLUBSPORT TROPHY – ANOTHER BUMPER GRID READY FOR ANOTHER 45 MINUTES OF ACTION
Back at the Silverstone GP circuit last month, the BRSCC ClubSport Trophy made series history by running its largest ever grid of 59 cars in what was a fabulous spectacle with a wide variety of machines on track together. Now we move onto the next round of the 2022 ClubSport season and a circuit it’s never raced at before. This will be the first ever visit to Oulton Park and as per usual, this round has been very well supported with a grid that’s almost bursting at capacity for the 45-minute pit-stop race.
Class A should be a good battle between the BMW M3 of Matthew Bolton against Chris Coomer’s SEAT Leon TCR, Paul Hinson’s powerful BMW Compact, Alistair Lindsay’s SEAT Leon, David Shead’s equally potent M3-engined BMW Compact and the much loved Nissan 370Z of David May. Meanwhile Class B includes former Fiesta Junior racer Alex Tait in his Fiesta ST180, Liam Crilly’s race winning BMW Z4, a pair of Mazda MX-5 Mk4s driven by Ben Taylor and Paul Roddison and Ashley Parson’s Toyota Celica to name a few.
Class C looks set to be another battle of BMW Compacts, MINIs and Phiroze Bilimoria’s VW Scirocco he’ll be sharing with Warren Tattersall, while Kate Morris’ Renault Clio and Daniel Silvester’s Toyota MR2 will go head to head for Class D honours. As for Class E, more BMWs, Mazda 2s and a Ford Puma are the cars to watch here.
TRACK ATTACK RACE CLUB – JAPAN, FRANCE AND GERMANY BACK ON TRACK TOGETHER IN SPLIT GRIDS
The Track Attack Race Club is another series that always produces an excellent variety of cars on the grid and this Saturday is no exception with three races in store. The Tricolore Trophy, Nippon Challenge and Deutsche Marques will all get two races each, competing against each sub-category once over the course of the day.
In the Tricolore Trophy, this category features the bulk of the entry list, mainly populated by the ever growing number of cars contesting the Peugeot 206 GTi Production Cup. No less than 11 will be on the grid here, including regular drivers Craig Walker, Paul Rice, Stewart Cheesman, Lee Bull and Kevin Houghton. They’re joined by the usual phalanx of Renault Clios of all specs, shapes and sizes, John Allen’s Peugeot 106 and David Clark’s incredible rapid little Renault 5 GT Turbo.
Over in the Deutsche Marques, regular Renault racer Tony Hunter makes a switch to his brand new SEAT Leon in one of the three cars racing as part of the Classic VW Cup, alongside Donald Dewar’s VW Golf Mk1 and Castle Combe regular Alex Kite in a VW Vento. Other cars in the Deutsche ranks including MINIs, more VWs, BMWs, Audi TTs and an Opel Astra VXR too. As for the Nippon Challenge, four Honda Civics will face off against four Mazda MX-5s, including two Mk4s in the hands of Ben Taylor and Paul Roddison.
500 OWNERS ASSOCIATION LEWIS EVANS TROPHY RACE – Written by Xavier Kingsland The 500 Owners Association joins the BRSCC’s Oulton Park timetable this Saturday too, with the Lewis Evans Trophy up for grabs to the winner of this weekend’s race. The cars found here are historic Formula 3 chassis that competed several decades ago and are still prepared and raced throughout the year to this day.
The 15-minute race is likely to see the current overall Championship leader Alex Wilson in his #99 Cooper MK10, fighting for the lead closely followed by Stuart Wright in his #16 Cooper MK 11.
The cars competing are all over 65 years old and the oldest car on the grid is the 72 years old #64 Cooper MK V driven by Richard Kelly.
An interesting car to watch out for is the #33 Waye driven by Jonathan Morris. It’s a one-off Australian-built car which illustrates the fact that 500’s were built all over the World during the 1950’s.
Oulton is the fifth round of the circuit Championship with three more UK races to come at Silverstone on July 16th, Mallory Park on August 21st, and finishing the season at Castle Combe on September 24th
The 500’s have been racing at Oulton since the first meeting on 8th August 1953, when 36, 500’s competed in two 10-lap heats and a 17-lap final where Les Leston driving the Leston Special took the overall win. Back then the circuit was only 1.5 miles long.
Even though the weather decided to provide its own challenges at times, the BRSCC’s two days of racing on the Silverstone GP circuit this past weekend was superb to say the least, with a timetable full of top-class racing from both Caterham Motorsport and the British Endurance Championship/ Britcar Trophy, plus additional sports prototype racing to further add to the variety.
CATERHAM SEVEN CHAMPIONSHIP UK – FIRST TIME WINNERS BRAVE MIXED CONDITIONS
The changeable conditions on Saturday morning at Silverstone were so unpredictable that the drivers of the Caterham Seven Championship UK elected not to run the SuperPole shootout on this occasion, due to being undecided on whether to run slicks or wet tyres. Therefore the times from the regular qualifying session set the grid for Race 1, with Tom Eden claiming pole in the dry before the rain arrived.
Thanks to the conditions affecting the previous races, the timer for Race 1 started on the second green flag lap, but when racing got underway Henry Heaton immediately took the lead from pole man Eden. It wasn’t long, however, before 2021 310R champion Lewis Thompson went to the front in his first Seven UK start and soon enough Jake Swann-Dixon also joined the pair to form a leading trio. The three cars all took turns to head the field throughout the race, until Thompson began dropping back from the top two and settled for 3rd. Swann-Dixon led heading onto the final lap but the two drivers ended up side by side through the final few corners, ending up almost in a dead heat over the line. The timing gave the win to Swann-Dixon by just 0.006 seconds from Heaton, while Thompson wound up a comfortable third.
Thompson jumped into the lead in Sunday’s first race in brighter and drier conditions, but soon enough he had a seething six-pack chasing after him to form the lead group. Aaron Head took up the mantle of Thompson’s lead pursuer, but both were also quickly caught by a charging James Murphy who passed both just before half distance to take his turn to lead. Between Head, Murphy and Thompson, 1st place changed hands again several times over while the four cars behind them looked on and even began to get involved. Tim Dickens, Lee Bristow, Henry Heaton and Saturday winner Swann-Dixon all threw themselves into the mix and the pack stayed together all the way to the flag until Head dropped out on the penultimate lap. Murphy led onto the final lap, then lost it to Thompson mid way round, and then retook it heading to Brooklands to take victory – on the road. After the race, Murphy was given a 0.1 second time penalty for causing a collision earlier in the race, meaning Thompson now claimed the win instead. The new winning margin on the result? 0.001 seconds! Tim Dickens was also delighted with a solid 3rd place.
Thompson beat Murphy to Copse beginning Race 3 which was shortened to 15 minutes due to time constraints, but Murphy would be out in front by the conclusion of the opening lap with Dickens in tow, before Heaton charged through to insert himself into the top three moments later. Aaron Head was also another driver recovering from bad luck in the previous race, and at half distance he was challenging Murphy for the lead, the pair now swapping P1. With three minutes to go, a massive skirmish took place exiting Chapel which ended up with Dickens in the gravel at Vale while Thompson now led from Swann-Dixon and Head. Swann-Dixon took it into Stowe on the final lap, Thompson took it back into Brooklands, but an incredibly well timed run from Head saw him steal the win at the line in another thrilling photo finish. The winning margin this time was just 0.003 seconds, meaning the total combined margin of victories between all three races was just a hundredth of a second!
CATERHAM SEVEN 310R CHAMPIONSHIP – SALES PROFITS IN THE DRY TO TAKE COMEBACK WIN
A bumper 37 car entry contested the pair of 30 minute races for the Motul Caterham Seven 310R Championship, the final step on the Caterham Motorsport ladder where drivers used their modified original Academy car before progressing to the Seven UK ranks. Track conditions were mainly dry for qualifying as James Wingfield took pole, but there was a slight drizzle in the air which in turn meant the circuit was still saturated come the start of Race 1, which also started the timer on the second green flag lap.
Jack Sales got the better of Wingfield off the line and capitalised on a three way fight for 2nd place between Wingfield, Harry Landy and Stephen Lyall. The latter quickly shook off the took cars around him and it wasn’t long before he caught and passed Sales to take over in front. Wingfield and Landy both joined in with the fight for 1st, and along with Harry George, the three cars all tried to demote Sales down to 5th place. Jack responded by attacking for the lead with 10 minutes to go, but to no avail as the lead group continued to grow and grow. Lyall constantly remained at the head of the group during this time and only lost it when George completed a pass into Stowe on the penultimate lap, before Lyall took it back again corners later. Still leading onto the final lap, Lyall kept hold of it until Wingfield slid inside at Luffield and with George also pouncing, the three cars hit the line together at the flag. Incredibly, George snatched the win from their grasp with Wingfield classified 2nd and long time leader Lyall forced to take 3rd.
Thankfully conditions were bone dry on Sunday, as Wingfield and George both lost out to the fast starting Sales once again as they contested the lead in the opening corners. With Carl Jones and David Yates coming together at the Arena section and the rest of the leaders behind him getting tangled up battling each other, it left Sales to stretch an early gap in front and he looked comfortable in the lead whilst the bun fight for 2nd downwards raged on. Eventually, a trio of cars shook out for the podium places as Ben Lopez-Appleton, Lyall and George began to work together to try and catch Sales. However, Lyall dropped back due to contact with Lopez-Appleton, and because of this both Blair McConachie and Tom Cockerill came through to pass both Lopez-Appleton and George to eventually ended up side by side over the line at the flag, McConachie only just ahead of Cockerill. As for Sales, he drove to a thrilling first win since returning to Caterham racing, clinching P1 by five seconds.
CATERHAM SEVEN 270R CHAMPIONSHIP – OLD RIVALS LOCK HORNS AGAIN AS CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE TIGHTENS
If there’s a trio of drivers you’d regularly expect to be at the front of a Caterham race together in the past couple of seasons, a good answer would be Taylor O’Flanagan, Domenique Mannsperger and Hugo Bush. Since the Academy, these three drivers have been a constant at the head of any race they take part in, and that’s been the case again in this year’s Caterham Seven 270R Championship. At Silverstone, the same names locked out the first three grid slots for Race 1, with O’Flanagan taking pole.
Immediately, Bush managed to jump into the lead from the front row, with Mannsperger demoting O’Flanagan down to 3rd. The top three remained unchanged in the opening laps, quickly pulling out a gap to the next group behind as they ended up in their own private battle. Heading towards half distance, wet weather specialist Mannsperger traded places with leader Bush three times in one lap to hit the front himself, with O’Flanagan following him through into Copse as they began the next tour before attempting to take the lead himself into Stowe. The lead changed numerous times throughout the second half once more between the top three and got incredibly tense in the final laps, eventually ending up with O’Flanagan managing to win Race 1 by half a second ahead of Bush just pipping Mannsperger for 2nd place.
Bush took the lead at the start of Race 2 and was able to hold top position, but it wasn’t long before both Mannsperger and O’Flanagan took their turns early on. A large leading group eventually formed including Philip Bianchi, Alex Vincent, Toby Boyes and guest driver Ben Buckley, and the usual frantic position swapping occurred lap by lap as the race crossed the halfway point, despite yellows down at Luffield for Andrew Berg’s car stranded in the gravel. Bianchi in particular put himself right amongst the regular front three and at one point even took the lead, but he would eventually drop back to 7th by the flag after contact while battling, with the usual suspects all back on the podium. O’Flanagan hit the front on the final lap, but Mannsperger swept round the outside into Brooklands and just beat Taylor to the line to capture the win. Bush was a slightly more distant 3rd, albeit only some seven tenths back still.
CATERHAM ROADSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP – NEWMAN AND CHIDDICKS BACK ON THE TOP STEP
The championship battle in the Caterham Roadsport Championship is already looking pretty spicy with Charlie Lower leading a tie for 2nd between Freddie Chiddicks and Geoff Newman heading to the Silverstone GP rounds. However none of them would be on pole for Race 1 as Lovecars’ very own Paul Woodman took top time in qualifying to start from P1 for the very first time in his burgeoning racing career.
Off the start, outgoing Academy Green champion Geoff Newman jumped straight into the lead and quickly left behind a large group of cars scrapping over the podium places. Heading towards half distance, however, the conditions changed dramatically as a sudden rain shower hit the circuit and sent first Theo Theato and then pole man Woodman skating off the road. Woodman was incredibly lucky not to get collected by anyone as he slid across the wet grass at Becketts and back onto the circuit, sending cars scattering all around him to avoid a collision. By this point, Newman was now leading by four seconds which looked insurmountable, until a late safety car to recover stranded cars in the gravel reset everyone back to zero. Chiddicks ran a great restart to keep with Newman and on the final lap, Newman cracked under pressure through Maggotts and Becketts as the rain fell harder. Chiddicks immediately took the lead and went on to win, with William James in 2nd and Charlie Lower taking 3rd in track before a track limits time penalty allowed Newman to retain the final podium spot.
William James would be the one to lead off the line in Race 2 before Lower, Chiddicks and then Newman all taking turns to lead before the opening lap was complete. As in other races, a large lead pack had quickly formed which included impressive rookie Jody Lees who managed to work his way momentarily into the lead in a great show of ability. By half distance, the top four of Newman, Chiddicks, Woodman and James tried to break away and heading into the closing stages, they were well clear of the next group in their own fight. On the final lap, Chiddicks attacked into the final complex but Newman kept his nose in front to win with Woodman taking a superb podium finish with 3rd.
CATERHAM ACADEMY CHAMPIONSHIPS – GREEN & WHITE COMBINE TO TACKLE GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
As they had done the year before, both groups of the fledgling racing drivers competing in the Caterham Academy headed to the Silverstone GP circuit ready to race as one large combined grid, all together at the same time.
With 47 cars in total on the combined grid, it was always going to be busy at the start of the race and immediately the front runners from both Academy groups went into combat for the overall lead. Rrutuj Patki ended up being a lone Green Group representative amongst several White Group runners including Matt Larbey and Tom McEwing, but through all of them came Ben Timmons who picked up the lead on Lap 2. McEwing took his turn moments later with Patki chasing both drivers hard, with both Timmons and McEwing constantly trading places in front as other joined in. Timmons eventually spun at Brooklands and wound up 12th overall (8th in group) in the end.
As for the top three, Larbey, McEwing and Patki continued to switch places back and forth as the closing laps played out, but at one point McEwing misjudged moving out of Larbey’s slipstream and tagged the back of Matt’s car. Both continued unscathed heading onto the final lap, but Larbey himself them hit the back of McEwing through Maggotts and Becketts, lifting the front of Matt’s car into the air but continuing on. An incident further back at Copse forced the race to be stopped, and with the result going back to the last complete lap, it gave Larbey the overall and White Group win ahead of Green Group victor Patki and McEwing 3rd overall and second in White. Fellow group podium finishers were Ryan Wilby in the White Group and Toby Ballard and Harvey Lawrence in the White Group.
BRITISH ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP – MERCEDES 1-2 AS RAIN DOMINATES 2 HOUR ENDURO As a guest of the BRSCC on the timetable at this meeting, the Club were privileged to welcome both the British Endurance Championship and Britcar Trophy series run by Claire Hedley’s Britcar organization. Drizzly conditions greeted the teams in qualifying, but by the time the 2 hour endurance race rolled around for the BEC, torrential rain had heavily saturated the circuit, catching out even the pole-sitting Simpsons Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Sacha Kakad and Hugo Cook which spun exiting Chapel on the lap to the grid pre-race.
The pair of front row Mercedes immediately jumped into the leading positions as the rest of the field battled with the track conditions and walls of spray kicked up from the cars around them. The Simpsons Motorsport Mercedes GT3 pulled out an initial lead, leaving the Rob Boston Racing example to come under pressure from the ING Sport BMW Z4 GT3 as they duelled over 2nd place, with the BMW taking the place just before an early safety car for the Breakell Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 stranded in the Stowe gravel.
The race quickly settled down again on the restart with the top 3 remaining static, while the Class C lead changed after a spin for the Valluga Racing Ferrari 458 Challenge helped the SG Racing Porsche 997 Cup catch and pass them into Vale. Not long after, the Valluga Ferrari lost more time spinning exiting Aintree while the leading Simpsons Mercedes made the first of its mandatory stops, dropping it to the bottom of the top 20. Out in front, the ING Sport BMW was gradually extending a comfortable lead as its first pit stop approached.
The Rob Boston Racing Mercedes had a brief spin at Stowe not long after half distance, while the leading BMW wouldn’t make its first pit stop until the 70 minute mark. The RBR Mercedes also received a drive-through penalty for a pit infringement. They chose to serve it straight away and managed to hold the lead through the next stint, before diving in for their last stop with just under 25 minutes to go. Both the Simpsons Mercedes and ING Sport BMW also dived in for theirs, with the order eventually shaking out with RBR in front by more than 20 seconds. From here, the lead increased over the remaining 15 minutes and the pair of Wayne Marrs and Tom Jackson clinched the overall and Class A victory, from Cook and Kakad in 2nd and the BMW duo of Kevin Clarke, Ian Lawson and Ryan Lindsay completing the podium positions.
Further class victories were also taken by the RaceLab Lamborghini Super Trofeo Evo of Claude Bovet and David McDonald (Class B), the RNR Performance Cars Ferrari 458 Challenge of Chris Goddard and Bradley Ellis (Class C), Ian Gough and Euan Hankey in their invitation Porsche Cayman (Class D) and Ashley Woodman and Martin Byford in the EDF Motorsports CUPRA Leon Competicion TCR (Class E).
BRITCAR TROPHY – BMW AND GINETTA SPLIT SUNDAY HONOURS AT SILVERSTONE After their British Endurance counterparts had to brave poor weather conditions the day before, thankfully the weather was much brighter and dry for the pair of Britcar Trophy races on Sunday, with a vast array of BMWs, Ginettas, Renault Clios and VW Golfs mostly populating the entry.
After an aborted first start, the second attempt at getting Race 1 underway was successful with Lee Frost leading a BMW 1-2 ahead of Jasver Sapra, followed by the new Ginetta GT4s right on their tail driven by Owen Hizzey and Axel van Nederveen. Frost’s car gave up the ghost just minutes in, leaving Sapra to handle the two Ginettas behind him, but his pace was good enough to start pulling a gap on the pair as the race ticked over towards half distance. The BMW pitted at said half way point, with the two Ginettas following suit not long after and van Nederveen making his stop last of the three. Once it had all shaken out, the Hizzey/ Mark Lee Ginetta was on the bootlid of Branson’s BMW briefly, and despite staying close the Ginetta didn’t quite have the ultimate pace to make a pass for the lead. The Branson/Sapra M3 held firm through the final minutes to claim victory ahead of Hizzey/ Lee, while van Nederveen kept 3rd albeit 14 seconds off the win.
The Sapra/ Branson BMW shot off out in front again in Race 2, albeit this time with three Ginettas trying to catch him with the SVG Motorsport G55 Academy car of Neil Wallace and Ian Astley up there with Hizzey/ Lee and van Nederveen. The race was neutralised after a Ginetta and a Clio came together at the Arena section, wiping out Sapra’s lead entirely and on the restart the BMW had to try and escape the Ginetta trio all over again – which became a duo after van Nederveen spun out at the Arena. When the Sapra/Branson BMW left the pits, not only was it behind the Hizzey/ Lee Ginetta, but moments later they lost 2nd to the E36 M3 of Nigel Greensall and David Gooding. This top three order remained the same until the flag, with the SVG Motorsport Ginetta taking a hard fought win.
ZEO PROTOTYPE CUP & SPORTS PROTOTYPE CUP – REVOLUTIONS ADD TO THE PROTOTYPE SPECTACLE
Acting as their centrepiece event of their 2022 calendar, the ZEO Proto Series took to the Silverstone GP circuit with the addition of a few cars taking part in the Sports Prototype Cup, mainly consisting of several Revolution 500SC race cars lining up alongside the regular Radicals, Junos and more.
James Abbott came from pole position in his Revolution and was never headed at the top of the field, leading from start to finish and dominating the rest of the field to win by 20 seconds ahead of Michael Clark in 2nd aboard his Radical RXC and Graham Charman’s Juno. This came after top names such as Mike Jenvey, Matt Manderson and Sir Chris Hoy all fell by the wayside and retired with their own mechanical issues. Not lifting his foot off the gas for a moment, Abbott once again mimicked his Race 1 performance and also led Race 2 from start to finish to complete a perfect double from Silverstone, ahead of Matt Manderson’s repaired Radical SR8 and the RXC of Michael Clark on the podium once again in 3rd.
In what turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable weekend all round for all involved, the BRSCC put on two days of exceptional club racing this past weekend at the beautiful and picturesque Anglesey circuit in North Wales. With a timetable full of sprint races and even a special evening endurance race running into the darkness of Saturday, there was plenty to keep both trackside spectators and live stream viewers entertained.
SILVERLAKE C1 ENDURANCE SERIES – CUNNIFFE PAIR TAKE INCREDIBLE NIGHTTIME WIN
Saturday’s main event saw a four-and-a-half-hour battle royale between the 18 teams present for the third Silverlake C1 Endurance Series race of the season at Anglesey. Despite a lower number of cars than had previously entered for Snetterton and the Silverstone 24 Hours, the teams that had made the trip were still just as competitive and keen to put on a great display of endurance racing.
Quattro Formaggio claimed pole position in qualifying early on Saturday afternoon and they were part of an early four car battle for the lead featuring Silverlake 2, Red Sky Racing and the #417 CSC Racing/ FDL Packaging team. Both Red Sky and CSC Racing pulled away to battle between each other for just over an hour until the CSC Racing car slowed to a crawl heading to the pits and became the races’ first retirement after just 33 laps with a differential problem. Red Sky Racing were left to lead on their own until they made their first mandatory stop, putting the Quattro Formaggio back into the lead with Christopher Parkes at the wheel.
Parkes continued to hold a substantial gap for his team to the cars behind as the race progressed towards the halfway point, with Diablo Racing and McKay Jones Racing managing to rise up into 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Quattro Formaggio car held the lead through the next cycle of pit stops, but it was quickly called back after being penalised with a 3-minute stop-go for avoidable contact. This dropped them to 3rd by the time they exited the pits, putting Michael Parkes now into the lead for Silverlake 2. Behind them came a team that had quietly but consistently climbed up the order, with the #513 CSC Racing car of Nicholas and James Cunniffe reaching 2nd place with just over two hours to go after starting back in 14th place. Diablo Racing was also still in contention, filling the final podium place at the stage in 3rd.
As the sun went down, the Cunniffe pair continued to look to have the race under their control, although Parkes did move Silverlake 2 car back to the front during another pit stop cycle as he handed the car back over to Mike Harris. The Cunniffes then reclaimed the lead and had 40 minutes to close down a lead gap of almost 25 seconds. With Mike Harris at the wheel, he tried to reduce the gap as quickly as possible, but the CSC car seemed to have enough to nullify most of the advances Silverlake 2 were making on his lead.
But all their attempts were in vain as the Cunniffes completed a sensational drive to take the race under the cover of darkness and a very popular win. Silverlake 2 pushed as hard as they dared to try and catch the leader, but had to sette for 2nd place, while Scuderia Pollo Rosso would have been forgiven looking like they’d just won the race as they celebrated one of their best finishes to date with a strong 3rd place thanks to the efforts of Graham Wilkins, Frank Claydon and James Matthews. Next time out, the C1 Endurance Series heads to one of the firm favourites in the championship – Donington Park!
AVON TYRES NATIONAL/ NORTHERN FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIP – ROMANEK REBOUNDS AFTER CROFT TROUBLES If there was one contender in the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship that needed strong results from Anglesey, it was definitely Lucas Romanek after an incident early on at Croft put him on the back foot for the rest of the meeting. However, he headed to Wales full of determination as he lined up 4th on the grid for Race 1 of the combined grid of National and Northern & Super Classic Formula Ford drivers.
He was quick to get into 3rd on the opening lap as points leader Jordan Dempsey took the lead ahead of Jamie Sharp, and with the two Ammonite cars of Colin Queen and Shawn Rashid in tow, the top five quickly formed a breakaway lead group. Sharp passed Dempsey early on to lead the group, but Romanek bided his time until the final five minutes when he passed Dempsey at The Banking for 2nd and then lined up Sharp seconds later to snatch the lead at the Rocket complex. A lap later the top two swapped places again, before Dempsey disappeared at the Corkscrew hairpin and dropped down the order, and after Sharp retook the lead heading into the last lap he would lose it again to Romanek at Rocket. Lucas then defended well to clinch his second win of the season, as he took the flag ahead of Sharp and Queen with the top three covered by less than four tenths of a second, with Shawn Rashid and Brandon McCaughan completing the top five.
Race two was neutralised early on due to a lengthy safety car after Brin Kinch suffered damaged rear suspension at Rocket, with the race gaining an extra five minutes on the restart to offset the time lost. Queen managed to pick up 2nd from Romanek when racing resumed and also challenged Sharp for the lead briefly before settling back. Romanek ran side by side with Queen for several corners before completing the move at the Corkscrew, but the race would end up red flagged prematurely after Super Classic drivers Alaric Gordon and Garath Buckingham tangled at the International Hairpin, the latter’s Van Diemen ending up partially on top of Gordon’s Swift. Therefore, Sharp would be declared the winner ahead of Romanek and Queen, followed by Rashid and McCaughan.
The partially reversed grid for the National Pro Class Race 3 put South African guest driver Joshua Le Roux on pole this time, but racing was halted almost straight away after incidents for Alex Vos and Ben Cochran forced a stoppage to recover the stranded cars. The restart saw Le Roux under massive pressure straight away from Oldfield teammates Romanek and McCaughan, with Lucas managing to take the lead on the last corner as the opening lap completed. Even though Queen and Sharp followed suit not long after, Romanek’s clear track left him unchallenged as he cruised to his second win of the weekend, while Dempsey managed to recover well from a tough meeting to take 2nd with a couple of minutes to go ahead of Sharp, Queen and McCaughan.
Within the Northern & Super Classic Championship runners, John Murphy did his chances of becoming Super Classic A class champion no harm by dominating the class and the Northern runners overall to win that segment by more than 8 seconds, ahead of Super Classic B class winner Peter Daly, Garath Buckingham, Alaric Gordon and Nick Barnes. These five drivers, plus Paul Tucker, had a superb race-long scrap in the second race the next day, but as mentioned both Gordon and Buckingham tangled in the closing stages which put both them both out on the spot and out of the result. Murphy once again claimed the overall and class win, but this time was only two seconds ahead of Tucker with Daly, Barnes and Neil Hunt completing the top five. Super Classic D class honours were taken both times by Phil Nelson, with John Roberts, Roger Arnold and Michael Wales also taking class podiums too.
NANKANG TYRE BMW COMPACT CUP – DAVIS DOMINATES TO SECURE FIRST BMW WINS It’s always a special moment when a driver wins a race in a championship for the very first time. This happened in this past weekend’s Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup triple header, but on this occasion it wasn’t just the one victory that their new top step visitor claimed over the weekend at Anglesey.
Lee Dendy-Sadler managed to deny the dominating championship leader Mikey Doble the pole position in qualifying, but he quickly ended up back in 3rd as both Doble and the fast-starting Guy Davis passed him on the opening lap of Race 1 and then began a battle of their own for the lead. Davis kept Doble honest over the first few laps and attacked heading towards Rocket, but Guy continued to apply the pressure and tried the same move again several laps later which proved successful. Now defending, Davis kept both Doble and a charging Dendy-Sadler at bay in the final minutes to claim his first-ever Compact Cup win, and a popular one amongst the paddock. Doble and Dendy-Sadler completed the podium with Gareth Claydon and Mike Doble completing the top five.
A frantic start to the second race on Sunday morning saw both Dendy-Sadler and Ian Howes get caught up in an incident together, forcing both to retire and lose valuable championship points as the safety car was called. Mikey Doble led the restart with Davis in tow, but the points leader’s fortunes would take a nosedive when he suffered engine problems that also forced him out of the race too in the final minutes. Davis immediately capitalised to hold the lead until the flag, taking his second in as many races over the weekend ahead of Gareth Claydon in an excellent 2nd and Gordon MacMillan fending off a feisty Wayne Flint to clinch 3rd over all and finish as top Masters driver.
The random grid draw for the third race managed to give Davis a front row start by good fortune, alongside Flint who was given pole position. Davis dropped to 4th at the start as Flint led from MacMillan, but he would be passed by Matt Wilkins beginning Lap 2 who then had Davis charging after him for the lead, as Flint dropped back and eventually retired. Out in front, Davis wasted no time in catching and passing Wilkins to take the lead and once again, he had the pace to pull away to claim a dream hat-trick of wins. Wilkins too had driven superbly all weekend to take 2nd in the end, while MacMillan held back a barrage of attacks from the cars behind to claim another 3rd place and another Masters win. As for Mikey Doble, more engine problems forced him out of the race midway through, meaning he will have to bounce back at the next rounds to ensure his momentum doesn’t drop any further.
NANKANG TYRE CITYCAR CUP – A TRIO OF WINNERS ON FIRST VISIT TO WALES For the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup, Anglesey marked their first every visit to the Welsh venue, although a small handful of teams and drivers had contested last November’s Race of Remembrance in a couple of CityCars and thus had some existing knowledge. As usual, the racing was close and entertaining all weekend and this was proven with three different winners for each race.
Andrew Dyer quickly converted his pole position into the lead in Race 1, but was kept under constant pressure by the Bliss brothers Stuart and Richard in their Toyota Aygos and Elliot Lettis’ Peugeot, the top four pulling away from the rest of the field in their own private battle with the Citroens of Patrick Booth and George Palozzi. Stuart Bliss kept up his close pursuit of Dyer for the entire race, but a clear chance to pass didn’t arise and he had to settle for 2nd as Dyer took his first win of the year, while Lettis’ 3rd place ensured each of the three manufacturers were represented on the podium. Within the internal Student Motorsport Challenge contest, Andrew Jones’ 8th place overall also saw him finish as the top SMC contender for MET Motorsport, ahead of an impressive 2nd place for Oxford Brookes on their debut thanks to Paul Toolan, and George Jones helping local favourites Coleg Gwent to a 3rd place.
After a delayed start to Race 2 thanks to cars stopping with issues on the formation lap, Lettis squeezed his way past the front row at the first corner to take the lead, but would then lose it back to Dyer before the end of the lap. The top three from Saturday immediately went into a fierce battle as they again broke away from the rest of the field. Lettis retook Dyer at the same corner a couple of laps later to lead again and soon enough Richard Bliss made it a leading quartet again in the closing stages. But neither the Blisses nor Dyer could stop Lettis from taking his second win in as many meetings, with Stuart Bliss 2nd and Dyer 3rd. The Student Motorsport contest again saw the same top three in the same order with MET Motorsport ahead of Oxford Brookes and Coleg Gwent.
A rather odd moment occurred before Race 3 started when reverse grid pole-sitter George Palozzi’s frantic tyre warming technique saw him weave himself into a spin in front of the rest of the field. Thankfully he was able to reclaim his place at the head of the pack and started from pole as planned! Palozzi, to his credit, did an excellent job to redeem himself in the race by leading more than half the race as the Blisses, Dyer and Ross Makar all scrapped amongst themselves while chasing after the lead. Both Toyotas found a way past before the safety car was called for Craig Flynn’s stopped car at Peel, but just as the yellows went out both Stuart Bliss and Palozzi tangled approaching Rocket, both continuing but down the order. Other incidents to clear up ultimately led to the race finishing under the safety car, leaving Richard Bliss declared the winner ahead of Dyer and Makar. For the third race in a row, the same three teams of MET Motorsport, Oxford Brookes and Coleg Gwent held the top three Student Motorsport positions.
VINYL DETAIL ST-XR CHALLENGE – BLACKBURN’S BOUNTY BY THE SEA WITH HAT-TRICK
One driver who had no troubles in extending their advantage at the head of their championship was Michael Blackburn as he was the man everyone had to chase in this past weekend’s Vinyl Detail ST-XR Challenge at Anglesey, marking the first time the paddock had visited the Welsh venue since 2019 thanks to the previous restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
An unfortunate race stoppage occurred on the opening lap of Race 1 when Chris Grimes missed his braking point into the International Hairpin and clattered into teammate Sam Beckett, which in turn left Luke Woodward nowhere to go and put all three cars out on the spot. While this would sadly spell the end of Woodward’s weekend, both Grimes and Beckett would get their cars fixed overnight to race again on Sunday. As for the restart, Mark Blunt beat Blackburn away from the grid to take the lead, but mechanical issues forced him to stop after just two laps. This gave Blackburn P1 once again and despite pressure from Matthew Pimlott not long after, impressive rookie Daniel Robinson put in a fine drive to pass Pimlott and take 2nd place behind winner Blackburn, while Pimlott dropped out on the last lap with mechanical issues, promoting Adam Bissell up to 3rd.
Michael carried on where he’d left off on Sunday and took off in the lead of Race 2, only this time pursued by Daniel Robinson who was looking super impressive on his first weekend in the championship, and kept the leader honest all the way to 2nd place at the flag as Blackburn won again, while Blunt recovered from his mechanical troubles to claim 3rd place. Completing a solid weekend’s work in Wales, Blackburn again took the lead from pole, led every single lap and was virtually unchallenged as he was quick to pull away after a couple of laps. Michael finished his weekend strong with his third win from all three races, leaving Beckett to take his rebuilt car to 2nd ahead of another P3 for Blunt.
The grid also featured defending champion Chris Jones venturing this time in his trusty Escort XR3i as the sole representative in the XR class and after finishing 5th in Race 1, mechanical problems forced him out of the second encounter and on the sidelines for the third race.
MOTORSPORT UK BRITISH SUPERKART CHAMPIONSHIP – THREE-“O” AS MORLEY LOCKS OUT TOP SPOT
The Motorsport UK British Superkart Championship ventured to Wales for their second meeting of the 2022 season, with Anglesey marking their next stop before the finale at Donington Park in September which will also play host to the British Superkart Grand Prix on the same weekend.
GP Plate holder Lee Harpham took pole in qualifying for Race 1, but it was front row mate and O Plate holder Liam Morley that picked up the lead in the opening corners and from here, he was practically uncatchable out in front. Harpham raced as hard as he could in his pursuit, but ultimately Morley’s Anderson-CSK chassis had a little too much race pace for the MS-Kart/VM Lee had at his disposal. A lights-to-flag win for Morley saw him victorious by more than 6 seconds and break his own lap record in the process, while behind Harpham came defending Division 1 champion Ross Allen taking 3rd in his new BirelArt superkart chassis.
Morley was challenged and passed by Allen at the start of Race 2 and then lost 2nd before the end of the opening lap to Harpham, leaving Saturday’s race winner with work to do to get back to the front. Harpham passed Allen at the International Hairpin with Morley following through at the Banking, and soon enough the top two were together again in another duel. Sure enough, Morley was now fully up to speed again and passed Harpham at Rocket to once again head the field and take his second win of the weekend, once again breaking his own new lap record in the process. Harpham again was runner up, this time 5.5 seconds back, and Ross Allen again completed the podium overall with 3rd.
Despite several karts going off at the first corner of Race 3, the same top three drivers held the podium places at the start before the safety car picked up the pack to allow the incident to be cleared. Once restarted, Harpham was again challenged by Morley and just as he had in the earlier race that morning, Morley lined up a move and took P1 into Church. Harpham quickly dropped back into Allen’s clutches initially, but in the end he was able to gap the BirelArt chassis by 11 seconds to take a comfortable 2nd. Likewise, Morley’s winning margin this time was again similar to the other two, while Allen was lucky to take the flag as he pulled off the circuit just after crossing the line.
Lee Plain took all three wins in the Formula 250 category, while Jack Tritton, Ross Witherow and Shane Stoney would each take the top step across the three races in the 125 Open class.
LEGENDS CARS CHAMPIONSHIP WITH MRF TYRES – MICKEL CLAIMS DOUBLE FINAL WIN IN WELSH COAST THRILLER
A very welcome guest addition to the timetable this past weekend in Wales was the inclusion of the incredible Legends Cars Championship with MRF Tyres, with their 5/8ths scale race cars racing no less than six times across both days with two heats and a final on each.
Steve Whitelegg took the lead from the front row in Saturday’s first heat, and was unchallenged all the way to the chequered flag to claim the win by 4.3 seconds. Veteran John Mickel didn’t waste time driving from 17th on the random grid draw through to 2nd place, while Marcus Pett managed to pass Chris Needham late on to pick up the final podium spot. In the second heat, points leader and defending champion Miles Rudman capitalised on a front row draw to lead from the start, but was pressured by Will Gibson, Mickel and Jack Parker early on. Gibson passed Rudman on Lap 3 leaving the #1 to deal with Mickel on his tail, but while Rudman did manage to get the lead back again, it was a daring dive into Rocket on the last lap that won Gibson the place and the race, but only after surviving a wild last corner skirmish to hold on. The top three of Gibson, Mickel and Rudman was separated by a mere 0.176 seconds at the flag!
With the grid for the Final in Legends set by the points scores from the two heats fully reversed, Luke Ttakoushis claimed the lead from the start, but opening lap incidents pushed several cars down the order including defending champion Rudman. All of this saw Jack Parker shake out as the leader with Dan Clark on his tail, while a fast starting Mickel only needed just over two laps to rise from 22nd on the grid to 3rd. After a safety car for an incident exiting the International Hairpin, there was just four laps remaining and Mickel shot past both Parker and Clark in one move on the approach to Rocket to take the lead. Both he and Parker managed to drop Clark, who ended up falling to a charging Rudman, but on the last lap Parker set up Mickel for a superb switchback pass at Rocket to snatch the lead. Mickel was having none of it and passed him straight back at the International Hairpin before holding on to secure the Final win. Parker had to look in his mirrors to hold onto 2nd, as Rudman had caught the top two by the flag.
Sunday’s racing began with former Mini racer Charlie Budd initially leading the opening few corners from the front row, but by the completion of the opening lap, Rudman had his nose in front of Steve Whitelegg at the line. From here, Miles created a gap and remained out of slipstream range from Whitelegg, who in turn was caught by Gibson in the closing stages and passed on Lap 7 to take second place. He was unable to catch heat winner Rudman, but did prevent any comeback from Whitelegg. For Heat 2, the front row men Mickel and Needham had the advantage initially but Parker, who took the lead at half distance from Mickel, replaced Needham as the main pursuer. Soon enough, Rudman, Needham and Pett were all together and at one point Rudman appeared to overtake under yellow flags at Rocket, but in the end Gibson and Mickel collided exiting the hairpin and leaving Rudman to win. After the race, he was subsequently disqualified initially, but after further meetings with the stewards, his win was reinstated.
Then came a thriller of a final – Ben Higgins led the first six laps as both Mickel and Rudman made large strides up the order after starting deep in the pack. Both Whitelegg and Mickel flew past through School corner and then Rudman quickly snatched 3rd in quick succession moments later. In no time at all, the top three were now nose to tail and it all kicked off in the final two laps. Rudman took 2nd after everyone outbraked each other at Rocket, but a lap later on the final tour, Whitelegg pulled off an incredible double pass to steal the lead while Rudman and Mickel ran deep battling each other. Despite big pressure from both in the final corners, Whitelegg just clung on at the flag to win Sunday’s final, beating Rudman and Mickel by just over a quarter of a second. A magnificent conclusion to six very entertaining races!
The “Road to the Festival” begins again once more – get ready, as entries for the 51st BRSCC Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on October 22/23 2022 are now officially OPEN!
One of the UK’s best race weekends of the year and arguably the world’s top Formula Ford 1600 contest returns after an incredible celebration of its 50th running last year, and whether you joined us or missed out, we want you on the grid as we get set to do it all again. The additional entry capacity continues from last year ready to welcome 108 cars, with all Kent-engined Formula Ford chassis of any age and model eligible and welcome to compete. Regardless of whether you have a modern car or a tried and tested classic, come and secure your place on the grid!
The popular event format also remains the same as 2021, with four heats and a pair of Progression Races on Saturday to determine who progresses through to Sunday’s action, with two Semi-Finals and the Last Chance Race decides which 30 drivers get their shot to win the Grand Final and secure their name on the Neil Shanahan Trophy and the prestigious Roll of Honour alongside greats such as Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Eddie Irvine, Johnny Herbert, Jan Magnussen, Anthony Davidson and more. We have constructed the schedule to ensure that every Formula Ford driver competing gets a minimum of a qualifying session and two races from the weekend – all for a superb entry fee of just £385.00!
The Brian Jones Memorial Trophy will also be up for grabs in the Historic Final for all Super Classic cars competing, with inaugural champion Matt Rivett expected to defend his title in a race that relives the glory days of Festivals of old. Once again the Festival will also feature full live stream coverage and a fantastic package of support races including Fiestas, Fiesta Juniors and Modified Fords, making it a thrilling weekend’s racing all round.
This year’s entries will be processed via our new RaceHub online system (linked below), so for those looking to take part this year, here’s what you need to do:
1️⃣ – If you’ve never used the BRSCC RaceHub system before, head to the link in this post, register for an account, then click Join Today once logged in, select FFF Membership (free of charge) and complete the form.
2️⃣ – Once completed, and also for anyone who already has a BRSCC RaceHub account and racing membership, select Race Series from the menu on the left, pick BRSCC Formula Ford Festival and complete the registration form. Fill in all the details of your entry and be sure to list your car’s full name including make and model (e.g. Van Diemen RF89, Ray GR19 etc).
3️⃣ – Now you’re registered, select Race Entries from the left-hand menu, then pick the 2022 BRSCC Formula Ford Festival event. You can place your entry by either paying the deposit of £50.00, or the full amount of £385.00. Be aware that race numbers are on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, so the earlier you enter, the better chance you have of securing your preferred race number.
Please also note that testing is handled via Brands Hatch and MSV, so contact them for details on how to book. Testing spots typically fill up fast, so make sure you secure yours before they’re full.
We’re very much looking forward to welcoming back the very best Formula Ford drivers from the home nations, plus the ever supportive and competitive Irish and Europeans, the return of international scholarship drivers from Team USA & Team Canada, potential new stars from Brazil and New Zealand, plus the real prospect of one or two former winners and racing legends also joining in the fun too.
After last year’s thriller of a Grand Final, the 2022 edition of the Festival has a lot to live up to, so come join us and make this year’s event another one for the history books! 🏁
Summer has well and truly arrived and what better way to kick off than with a visit to the coast! The BRSCC is heading back to the isle of Anglesey in North Wales for another weekend of top-class club racing action. We’ll be experiencing motorsport both during the daytime and heading into the night with another fine mix of endurance and sprint racing.
C1 RACING CLUB – ANOTHER TASTE OF NIGHT RACING IN STORE POST-C1 24 HOURS
It’s only been a few weeks since we enjoyed a fabulous Silverlake C1 Racing Club Silverstone 24 Hours, where Hybrid Tune Motorsport ran to their second consecutive victory at the event after a hard-fought scrap with their rivals from the start, all the way through the darkness of Saturday evening and all across Sunday. With just over 60 teams competing, it was a fantastic endurance racing spectacle, and now there’s a chance for many of those crews to relive some of that 24 hour magic in Wales.
The third race of the 2022 C1 Racing Club season sees the teams qualify early afternoon before beginning their race at 6:30pm and racing for the next four and a half hours, whilst the sun sets and headlights take over to illuminate the circuit. Once again, pit stops and fuel strategy will be key for teams to try and come out on top. Squads like Silverlake Racing, eMax Motorsport, Patrick Watts Racing and more will be hoping that pace is with them and luck goes their way. On the whole, it’s certainly going to prove to be another fabulous occasion for this ever-popular long-distance club racing series.
AVON TYRES NATIONAL / NORTHERN & SUPER CLASSIC FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIPS – SINGLE SEATERS VENTURE BACK TO THE WELSH COAST
Throughout the opening few weekends of the 2022 season, we’ve seen some exceptional racing across both of the BRSCC’s ever-competitive Formula Ford championships, with both the National and Northern & Super Classic ranks producing excellent action up front. Now on the same grid together again, a combined lineup of over 30 cars should make for a superb display.
Jordan Dempsey has been the man in form over the first three-race meeting of the National Formula Ford season, as he’s won four of the first seven races at Silverstone and Croft, but dropped points at Knockhill which included contact with his current main rival Colin Queen, who has two wins to his name so far in 2022 including stealing victory in the last race at Croft on the final lap. There’s 15 points currently between the top two while Morgan Quinn has steadily taken his Team DOLAN machine up to 3rd. One driver hoping for a strong rebound is Lucas Romanek, who had to rebound from an accident in the first race while battling for the lead and a rebuild of his car by the Oldfield Motorsport team to salvage 5th place from the third race. He will want to bounce back strong in Wales to recover from 6th in the points currently.
For the Northern & Super Classic contenders, four classes are represented this time, with Peter Atkinson’s 2002 Van Diemen making its debut in the championship in Class P. He’ll be looking to get in and amongst the four Super Classic classes that will scrap on track together with him, all of which are represented this weekend. John Murphy will go up against Alaric Gordon, Neil Hunt and Paul Tucker in Super Classic A, Nick Barnes will look to hold Peter Daly, Andrew Schofield, Richard Freye and co at bay atop Super Classic B, and there should be another battle royale in Super Classic D with all five points scorers so far this season back on the grid again.
NANKANG TYRE BMW COMPACT CUP – CAN DOBLE’S DOMINATION CONTINUE?
There’s been one name that’s topped the timing sheet of every race result so far in the 2022 Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup and so far dominated proceedings – Mikey Doble. He’s taking up the mantle of outgoing multiple-time champion Steven Dailly and going on a win spree that is quickly marking him out as the runaway title favourite after just two meetings. After five wins plus a fastest lap, his lead has already stretched to 22 points, and last time the Compact Cup visited Anglesey, Mikey could only manage a best finish of 7th. He’ll be hoping to go much better and to remain unbeaten this time to increase his advantage at the head of the standings.
A battle is also on for 2nd place already between regular podium finishers Lee Dendy-Sadler and Ian Howes. So far, Dendy-Sadler has owned the runner-up spot in the same fashion as Doble’s win streak, finishing 2nd in every race to date, while Howes has taken four 3rd places and a trio of fastest laps from Snetterton. The gap between the pair is just seven points, but their aim will be to halt Doble’s runaway dominance and prevent a carbon copy of Dailly’s reign over the championship in recent years. Gordon Macmillan and Mike Doble (championship leader Mikey’s father) also make up the rest of the top five, both having taken strong finishes this season between them.
NANKANG TYRE CITYCAR CUP – BLISS-FUL DOMINANCE SO FAR FOR TOYOTA PAIR
A name that you can’t escape from the head of the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup this year is the surname Bliss, as both Richard and Stuart currently have a firm grip on the top of the points standings already heading to Anglesey. After just four races, they are almost 20 points ahead of 3rd place, with only two separating each other. In terms of race wins, Richard has taken his Toyota Aygo to two, while Stuart has clinched one in his identical example. So far, they’ve been the pair that everyone has had to live up to and on CityCar’s first-ever visit to the Welsh coastal circuit, it’s going to be a real test for them to keep their advantage.
Andrew Dyer, whose Remapping The World company is a support sponsor of the championship this year is currently 3rd just four points ahead of Snetterton race winner Elliot Lettis, who took the fight to the pair of Bliss Toyotas last time out and broke their win streak with his first CityCar win. Also, look out for others who are certain to work their way towards the front like Andy Burgess, Christopher Mackenzie, Liam Burgess and more, plus the new Student Motorsport Challenge heads into its third round with teams of skilled students from participating colleges and universities go head to head in an active motorsport environment. Currently, East Surrey College leads the standings after taking every single win ahead of SHU Karting, MET Motorsport and Coleg Gwent’s Blaenau campus, so monitor this internal battle throughout the pack.
VINYL DETAIL ST-XR CHALLENGE – FORDS READY TO BATTLE ON WELSH COAST AGAIN
The Vinyl Detail ST-XR Challenge has so far ventured to both Oulton Park and Snetterton this season, and this coming weekend it’s time for the championship to head back to another of its regular racing venues in the North West – Anglesey in North Wales beckons as the three-way scrap at the head of the overall points table is beginning to get close between the main contenders.
Back at Snetterton, the podium was dominated by the current top three drivers in the standings – Michael Blackburn, Sam Beckett and Chris Grimes. They proved to be the class of the field in Norfolk and benefitted strongly from the absence of some of their main rivals to sit collectively at the head of the table with just nine points separating the trio, Blackburn ahead of Beckett and then Grimes. It’s the first visit for the ST-XR Challenge to the Welsh circuit since 2019, so there will be a few drivers in the entry this time that may not have experienced the delights of Anglesey before. Nevertheless, those who are back on the grid this time, including Mark Blunt, Chris Lindley, Matt Pimlott, Chris Chisnall, Chris Flynn and Adam Bissell are certain to try and make inroads by scoring solid points. Also, defending champion Chris Jones has swapped his now regular Fiesta ST150 for his trusty old Escort XR3i and he will be keen to prove his pace in the older car against the more contemporary models.
LEGENDS CARS CHAMPIONSHIP WITH MRF TYRES – REIGNING CHAMPION RUDMAN IN BOX SEAT AS LEGENDS HEAD TO ANGLESEY – Written by Marc Orme
Marking the second of two back-to-back race meetings for the always sensational Legends Cars Championship with MRF Tyres, the visit to Anglesey this weekend also sees the 5/8 scale pocket rockets appear as part of a BRSCC event for the first time.
Providing sensational bumper-to-bumper and wheel-to-wheel action every single lap, the fast and furious Legends Cars – which have been a popular staple of British motorsport for 28 years – deliver an amazing spectacle each time they’re on track.
If you’ve never watched the Legends Cars before, prepare for action like no other with two Heats and a Final each day – which constitutes a ‘round’ of the championship. While qualifying sessions begin each raceday, the times don’t determine the grids for the races. Instead, the starting order for the Heats is drawn by ballot with the quickest drivers often lining-up lower down the grid.
For the Final each day, the highest scoring drivers from the Heats line-up at the rear of the grid with the lower scorers at the front. As you’d expect, incredible action is guaranteed up and down the field from a packed grid of spaceframe cars which are powered by 1250cc Yamaha motorcycle engines, this year utilising SulNOx fuel conditioner as part of moves by Legends to achieve greener racing.
Ahead of rounds eight and nine of the 2022 season, reigning and two-time Champion Miles Rudman leads the way by 490 points from five-time former title winner John Mickel. Third in the standings, just 50 points shy of Mickel, is Will Gibson – the driver with the most wins so far, eight in total. Both Rudman and Gibson raced to three wins apiece last weekend at Brands Hatch’s American Speedfest.
With 200 points available for a race victory, there is clearly a lot of scope for the championship picture to change at Anglesey – just a couple of bad results or non-finishes from the six races can have a major impact.
MOTORSPORT UK BRITISH SUPERKART CHAMPIONSHIP – ANGLESEY MARKS SECOND STAGE OF 2022 SEASON – Written by Gary James This weekend sees the second event of the 2022 motorsport uk British Superkart Championships with a further three rounds taking place over the 2.10-mile Trac Mon Anglesey International circuit. A driver’s best two performances from the three races will count towards the championship and with 25 points up for grabs for a win it is nicely poised across all four Superkart classes at present.
Heading the twin cylinder Division 1 class championship is Lee Harpham who collected three wins at Cadwell Park in May. The MS Kart Harvey VM package was working well at Lee’s local circuit, and he will be looking to extend his lead of ten points this weekend, but there are some very good drivers in the Division 1 category that will be out to stop that happening. Liam Morley is the driver that is ten points adrift holding second place in the championship. He was heading for a win at Cadwell in the final race until a big-end failure in his VM engine side-lined him just before half distance. Twelve months ago at Trac Mon, Liam dominated proceedings and set a new lap record so will be hoping for that level of success again to keep his title aspirations alive. Third place in the championship is held by the reigning champion Ross Allen who is only four points behind Morley. Ross picked up a second and a third at Cadwell and was in line for another podium finish until a carburettor fell off one of the IAME engines. The Jade driver had to play second fiddle to Morley in 2021 so would like to get the better of him this year and get on the top step of the podium.
Lee Plain, the reigning British Champion in the F250 National class has started his defence in the best possible way with three wins at Cadwell last month. After making a few aerodynamic tweaks he was rarely troubled on his way to securing maximum points. He was kept off the top step of the podium last year at Anglesey by Paul Platt, but the former champion is not competing this weekend which should allow Lee to pick up more wins. Parker Motorsport driver Tom Hatfield was Plain’s closest challenger at Cadwell, leading briefly before settling for two runner-up slots. A gearbox issue meant he didn’t start the final race so was unable to bid for a win. Can he beat Plain this time around? Hatfield’s teammate Shaun Lombardo finished third in all three races at Cadwell and holds a similar position in the points standings. This is the first season that he has competed in the British Superkart Championships and will be hoping to continue his good run of results.
In the F125 Open class it is championship rookie Jack Tritton who leads the way after collecting two wins at Cadwell. This will be his first visit to Anglesey but that shouldn’t deter him from further success. Tom Riley, the reigning champion, had a split link come off the chain in the first Cadwell encounter but bounced back with a second and a win to lie five points behind Tritton. Shane Stoney, son of multiple champion Chris Stoney, made an impressive Superkart debut at Cadwell and could be on the podium again.
At the time of writing there were no entries received in the F450 National class. The top two in the category, Kosta Kyritsis and Ami Jerger, are both missing this event as they are competing in the British Universities Karting Championship 24-hour race at Teesside Autodrome.
A blockbuster weekend of racing is in store as two major motorsport entities within the British club racing scene share the paddock together, as the BRSCC provides the exciting Silverstone Grand Prix circuit to host both Caterham Motorsport, plus both the British Endurance Championship & Britcar Trophy and sports prototype action from the ZEO Proto Cup.
CATERHAM ACADEMY CHAMPIONSHIP – NEW STUDENTS PREPARE FOR SOPHOMORE RACES
Snetterton marked a special day in the life of Caterham’s brand new crop of Academy drivers, as they took part in their first-ever circuit races after completing their first competitive event at the Curborough sprint a few weeks earlier. Now it’s time for these rookie racers to put what they’ve learned from their adventures in Norfolk into further practice, as they get a rare and exciting opportunity to take to the Silverstone GP circuit in only their second race start.
It’s already quite close at the top of both Green and White groups in the points standings – Ravi Patel won the Green Group race at Snetterton to add to his 2nd place finish in the sprint to lead his rivals by three points ahead of sprint winner Harvey Lawrence and a further point ahead of Iain Hibbert. As for the White Group, Tom McEwing has put all of his sim racing practice into good use with wins in both of the opening events, giving him a five-point advantage ahead of an early tie between Ben Timmons and Matt Larbey. However, as it’s still early days this has every chance of turning on its head. These drivers will take away both a memorable experience and plenty more lessons learned from this weekend’s racing.
CATERHAM ROADSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP – NEWMAN LOOKING TO CONTINUE FIGHTBACK AGAINST LEADER LOWER
So far in the Caterham Roadsport ranks, it’s been honours even in terms of race wins between both of the outgoing Academy champions from last year, and they look set to be locked in a battle for supremacy all season long. All the drivers here are putting all the lessons they learned throughout their freshman year of racing in 2021 to good use to further develop their careers and skills.
Charlie Lower (2021 White Group champion) started the year as the double winner at Brands Hatch, but dealt with a rebounding Geoff Newman (2021 Green Group champion) who pulled off the same feat a few weeks later at Snetterton last time out. Despite both also scoring 27 points from a race each, it’s Lower’s 2nd place and fastest lap in Norfolk that makes the eight-point difference compared to the P8 Newman ended up with at Brands. What’s more, Geoff’s main rival from last year, Freddie Chiddicks is also lurking just a further two points back, so the pressure will come at him both ways and Newman will have to be on his a-game again to beat both and potentially claim the lead again.
CATERHAM SEVEN 270R CHAMPIONSHIP – BUSH HOPING TO CUT DOWN O’FLANAGAN’S POINTS LEAD
It’s not uncommon for the champion of a previous year’s Caterham campaign in the step below to immediately pick up where they left off, adapt to the required upgrades instantly and carry on their winning form. This has once again come to pass in the Caterham Seven 270R Championship, the middle step on Caterham Motorsport’s racing roster that’s seen by many as the “coming of age” championship that allows drivers to put all of the skills and experience they’ve gained in Academy and Roadsport to effectively become complete racing drivers in their own right.
Taylor O’Flanagan has so far only been beaten once in the four races contested so far, and even in the only one he didn’t win, it was still a 2nd place. It gives him a five-point lead in the championship at this early stage, and he has two rather familiar adversaries for company that are chasing him in 2nd and 3rd. Hugo Bush was the man that took the other race victory in the very first contest at Brands Hatch and will be keen to keep up his pursuit, while Germany’s own Domenique Mannsperger hasn’t had the smoothest of starts to his 2022 campaign, but has managed to claim three podiums to hold 3rd place, albeit 14 points behind O’Flanagan. The objectives for all three will be clear – for O’Flanagan to hold and increase his lead, for Bush to close it down and even take over, and for Mannsperger to regain ground and push himself further into the title fight.
CATERHAM SEVEN 310R CHAMPIONSHIP – WALTERS CONTINUES TO WALTZ AWAY OUT IN FRONT
One driver who is no stranger to Caterham championship success either is Pete Walters, who is once again proving that when he’s in form, he’s almost untouchable within the Caterham Seven 310R Championship ranks. With such a competitive field of drivers this year, and numbers totalling nearly 40 registered for the 2022 season, the ultimate evolution of the original Caterham Academy car is clearly bringing out the best in many of the talented contenders on the grid.
Walters has three wins to his name to date, having collected a pair at Brands Hatch and then one at Snetterton, with an additional fastest lap helping him stretch out an initial lead of 13 points heading to Silverstone. Right now, his closest challenger is David Yates, who also collected a race win from Brands Hatch (the weekend running a three-race, A-B-C group system) to add to an impressive string of top-five finishes, showcasing that David’s in some of the best form of his Caterham racing career right now. Incredibly we have to look to 11th in points to find the other race winner this year, James Wingfield, who has a DNF to recover from to climb back up the table. Those ahead of him such as Harry George, Lars Hoffmann, Blair McConachie, Harry Cook and more have all scored consistently too and will hope to try and break Walters’ current stranglehold at Silverstone, or at least loosen it to their advantage.
CATERHAM SEVEN CHAMPIONSHIP UK – HEAD CURRENTLY TEACHING HIS RIVALS SOME LESSONS
For sheer pace, excitement and racecraft at close quarters, the Caterham Seven Championship UK will showcase the very best and the very fastest racing action that the manufacturer’s motorsport arm offers. With their dedicated Avon slick tyres, ultra-lightweight purpose built chassis and race-ready suspension, these cars will produce a spectacle on track that will set a benchmark for the rest of the Caterham paddock to live up to and aspire to.
So far, it’s been a successful return to the paddock for former multiple-time champion Aaron Head, as he’s provided everyone with a strong reminder of why was and still is a driver to be feared and respected. From six races across Brands Hatch and Snetterton, Aaron has captured victory in four of them with 2nd and 4th in the others, plus two fastest laps and bonus points for SuperPole at Brands. All of this now gives him a clear 19-point lead out in front, and if his current three main rivals want to do anything about that, they’re going to have to first try to avoid fighting amongst each other. Henry Heaton, Lee Bristow and Chris Moore cover 2nd to 4th by just five points between them, and if they can all put their focus on beating Aaron on track, at least one of them has a clear chance of making some inroads. Watch out for the likes of James Murphy and Tim Dickens too.
BRITISH ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP – SIX COVERED BY SEVEN IN ENDURO POINTS BATTLE- Written by Steve Wood
Already we are at the mid-point of the British Endurance Championship calendar, and just seven points separate the top six overall contenders. Jointly topping the table with 83 points apiece are Class C rivals Chris Goddard/Charlie Hollings in the RNR Performance Ferrari 458 Challenge, and Carl Cavers/Lewis Plato, whose similar Valluga-run machine has been temporarily replaced by a lower-spec Cayman as an interim measure. Just two points adrift is the Team Hard Ginetta G55 of Josh Hislop / Michael MacPherson / Ray Harris, which heads the Class D contingent, ahead of Class A leaders Wayne Marrs and Tom Jackson in the Rob Boston Racing Mercedes GT3.
Jointly on 77 points are the Team BRIT pairing of erstwhile overall leaders Andy Tucker and Luke Pound in the Class D Aston Martin Vantage, and the newer T7 Motorsport version of Peter Montague, who has been variously assisted by pro-drivers Stuart Hall or Dan Brown, and they are just one point ahead of fellow Class D runners, father and son duo James and Jake Little in a Valluga Porsche Cayman.
But points don’t tell the whole story – in Class A, the Mercedes has faced stiff opposition from the ING Sport BMW Z4 and the Lamborghini Huracan of Lee Frost and Lucky Khera, while the unique MacG Racing Taranis, and Venture Innovations’ stunning Aston Martin Vulcan are always front-runners too. Class B has seen the Lamborghini of Claude Bovet/David McDonald most successful, while the Porsche 911 of Peter Erceg and Marcus Clutton has generally set the pace in Class C, but has had issues.
It’s fitting that TCR UK supremo Stewart Lines heads the points table in the TCR-specific Class E, sharing his VW with Anton Spires, but it’s a close-run thing, with Beeson/Heler, Hull/Avery and Dasy/Foster all equally on 65 points, though we have yet to see the best of frontrunners Ash Woodman and Martin Byford’s EDF-run Cupra, while in Class F, the Porsche of father-and-son duo Mark and Jake MacAleer is up against the Jaguar F-Type of brothers Callum and Adam Thompson.
BRITCAR TROPHY CHAMPIONSHIP – CLASS LEADERS DOMINATE TOP THREE AS SILVERSTONE GP BECKONS – Written by Steve Wood
It’s tight at the top of the points table as the Championship reaches mid-season, and the Class 2 Team BRIT BMW 240i of Paralympians Chris Overend and James Whitley heads the overall standings with 178 points, taking in four class wins out of six races, and a clean sweep of poles and fastest laps. Just one point behind, though, is Junior Saloons graduate Charlie Hand, also leading the Clio Class in his Westbourne Motors machine. Third in the standings is Ginetta G40 Cup competitor Peter Dilnot, who has become the man to beat in that class over the last four races. The Clios, mixing it with the Golfs in Class 3, are providing some exciting racing, and heading Class 3 is the TCR squad, with their #77 Golf shared by all team members – Rodgers, Taylor, Mark Jones and Fynn Jones, variously through the season, with teenagers Harry Yardley Rose/Rhys Hurd posing a threat in the Chandler Golf; they share 159 points with second-placed Clio pairing James Black and Jack Meakin, while in the G40 class, Julian Daniel has had a run of podium finishes that claim him second place in the class standings.
You have to look down the overall order to find the leading Class 1 contenders, such has been the competitiveness and mixed fortunes. It’s basically a BMW vs Ginetta G56 affair, with the G56 of Mark Lee / Owen Hizzey 14 points ahead of Axel van Nederveen in a similar machine, with the BMW E46 of Jasver Sapra and Bryan Bransom third.
The lure of the Silverstone GP circuit has attracted a number of registered returnees, and a host of Invitation entries, which could well cast a new perspective on the points table, and will no doubt have an influence on race positions – the BMWs of Lucky Khera/Lee Frost and Kevin Clarke/Aldo Riti starred here last month in the National circuit.
ZEO PROTO CUP – SPORTS PROTOTYPES READY TO STRETCH THEIR LEGS ON GP LAYOUT
If the amount of sports car racing action isn’t already fully stocked on this timetable, there’s even more in store with a pair of races for the thriving ZEO Proto Cup, which is a home for all eligible sports prototypes to race together in high-speed, multi-class competition. After a steady start to 2022 at Snetterton, the pace has picked on for this Silverstone GP visit, with another excellent variety of cars.
Former OSS champion Mike Jenvey was the runaway winner in both races at Snetterton and he will look to carry his momentum forward at ZEO’s centrepiece event of their season. His self-developed Jenvey-Gunn TS6 has always been a formidable car to go up against and the GP circuit’s sweeping high-speed corners will really favour both it and him. In terms of immediate competition, the best bets are sure to be the Junos of Graham Charman and Andy Chittenden, Matthew Chamberlain’s home-built CTR 01 and also the returning Graham Cole, whose turbocharged Jade was always in the hunt for race victories in past OSS seasons. Now Graham returns with a self-prepared special of his own, as he wheels out the Bicknell PS7 for the first time in the series. He will certainly hope for a trouble-free first run out in order to gain valuable development mileage.
Plus there’s set to be the usual selections of Radicals on the grid, plus for this event another set of cars that will only compliment the line-up will join the series. Alongside the ZEO Proto competitors will be approx. 10 cars from the Sports Prototype Cup, which will mainly comprise several Revolution A-One chassis that are contesting races on a selection of European grand prix circuits. On the whole, this should be a very enticing pair of races that are sure to get race fans’ mouths watering.
Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit provided the setting for one of the most memorable and landmark race weekend in recent history for the British Racing & Sports Car Club recently, as it took on the running of the ever-popular Silverlake C1 Racing Club 24 Hour race for the very first time, and alongside a plethora of packed grids on the support race timetable, it’s two days of racing many won’t forget in a hurry.
SILVERLAKE C1 RACING CLUB 24 HOURS – HYBRID TUNE ENTERS LATE, THEN DOES THE DOUBLE
Just a couple of weeks ago, the name Hybrid Tune Motorsport was missing from the entry list for this year’s Silverlake C1 Racing Club 24 Hours, but a last minute entry on the week of the meeting after a change of plans saw the defending champions back to defend their endurance crown. Lining up on a grid which totaled 61 cars, a handful more than last year’s encounter, it was always going to be busy as the drivers ran twice around the clock.
The last-minute decision to enter paid off for Hybrid Tune Motorsport as they planted their car onto pole position during Friday evening qualifying, with Team Trojan on the front row ahead of Patrick Watts Racing’s #507 car, Emax Motorsport’s #346 car and Fighting Torque in the top five. From the start, Hybrid Tune held onto the lead through the opening 20 minutes before JW Bird Motorsport’s #347 car that managed to climb up from 9th on the grid to the front. Not long after, the #503 BH Motorsport/ SCK Motorsport car took its turn in the lead with JW Bird and Hybrid Tune in tow as the three cars circulated together.
The #503 car was hit with a three minute time penalty for avoidable contact as the first set of pit stops played through, giving Emax the lead who held onto it as the race descended into darkness and managed to stretch as far as an entire lap out in front. Through pit stop cycles and brief safety cars, they slipped to 3rd behind Majestic Motorsport and Team Trojan, the latter benefitting from a strong stint as they took over in front as the race entered its long overnight run through the darkness.
Through the night, the race was peppered with a number of very brief safety car periods, and it was early on in this sequence that Hybrid Tune Motorsport took full advantage to climb back into the lead with Emax only a few seconds away. JW Bird Motorsport also got themselves past Emax into 2nd, and then managed to pass for the lead at around 1am, and as more brief safety cars kept the field bunched with several taking advantage for quick pit stops, the top three traded places with each other on and off as the early hours of the morning played out. First Emax and then Hybrid Tune reclaimed the lead, with the defending champions only then beginning to extend the gap that would help them work towards winning this race.
The nighttime gave way to the early morning dawn on Sunday and at half distance, the Hybrid Tune crew found themselves a lap ahead of the competition, ahead of JW Bird Motorsport and a strong charge from WRC Developments who had moved their #318 car into 3rd place at this point. Also making moves were the Fake Taxi squad, who managed to rise as high as 2nd at one stage during the dawn hours thanks to solid driving and slick pit work, but found themselves holding station in 4th come 9am.
It steadily became a two-horse race between Hybrid Tune and Emax, while WRC Developments and Fake Taxi duelled for 3rd place in between pit stops and traded places. Fake Taxi dropped further back in 4th after pitting to fix rear end damage and then a stop go penalty, but thanks to further safety cars were able to get back into 3rd as more pitstops cycled. But then another penalty for more than four people working on the car during a stop put their chances of a podium to bed.
Throughout the final few hours, Hybrid Tune Motorsport continued to hold the lead and shook off a potential wheel bearing issue and a brief challenge from evergreen race rivals Emax Motorsport, who in turn then got involved with WRC Development once again over 2nd place as they again traded places throughout the final sequence of stops. After a final late safety car, the race settled down to the end, leaving Hybrid Tune to strive on to their second C1 24 Hour race win in a row, as Phil Meehan, Stephen James, Mark James and Sam Weller retained their title from 2021. Emax Motorsport survived a late sticking throttle to give James Little, Jake Little, Stuart Ratcliff and Max Finn an excellent 2nd place, while David Drinkwater, Jonathan Salem, James Poulton and Toby Ward gave WRC Developments a hard fought 3rd place. Fake Taxi and JW Bird Motorsport completed the top five, ahead of BH Motorsport/ SCK Motorsport #504, Fighting Torque, Majestic Motorsport, AB Motorsport and Tipton Auto Centre Racing.
All in all, it was a wonderful first year for the C1 24 Hours with the BRSCC and there are already plenty of teams and drivers making plans to return next year, some even with expanded line-ups. For now though, both the BRSCC and the C1 Racing Club can hail the 2022 edition a roaring success!
BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 CHAMPIONSHIP – FENWICK & COMBER SHARE GP CIRCUIT HONOURS
Alongside the endurance main event of the race weekend, Saturday also saw a brilliant timetable full of supporting sprint races that provided their own dose on entertainment all day. The bulk of the races featured a sea of Mazda MX-5s, with the Mazda MX-5 Championship running two 30 minute races on this occasion, the longest races ever run since the championship was conceived in its current incarnation.
Current points leader Fraser Fenwick took pole in qualifying, but Tom Smith beat him from the front row to win the chase to Copse first time, followed by Mike Comber and the impressive Thomas Langford in the car that took the title last year in the hands of Oliver Allwood. Fenwick was shuffled back to 4th but quickly reclaimed 3rd from teammate Langford, then 2nd from Comber and finally the lead into Copse on Lap 2 to get back to where he started. What followed over the next couple of laps was a huge shuffle around of the top spots as Sebastian Fisher took his turn at the head of the pack, but had both Fenwick and Smith all over him as the front three tried to break away.
A definitive breakaway lead group of seven finally began to form, which then quickly split in two with Fenwick, Smith and Fisher now in their own private battle for the podium. Fisher dropped away slightly in 3rd place, while Fenwick was able to gap Smith for a while as the second half of the race progressed, but it was only in the final couple of laps that he came back in contention. Smith made a late challenge at Brooklands on the final lap, but Fenwick held firm to collect his 5th win from seven races, ahead of Fisher in P3 and a sprint to the line for 3rd it was Michael Knibbs who stole it from under the noses of Comber and the incredible Steve Foden, who came from 43rd and last on the grid in a storming drive through to 5th place.
Once again Fenwick was beaten to the first corner by Smith and again Comber went with him in 2nd, before passing him into Stowe to lead the opening lap ahead with Foden jumping well to move up to 3rd. Fenwick recovered from another ropey start to get back to 3rd midway through Lap 2 and began to drag Foden with him towards the top two, while Fisher attempted to do the same with Knibbs in 5th place. Fraser wasted no time in picking off Smith at Abbey, before doing the same to Comber at Copse to yet again take the lead, a pass that only lasted a handful of corners before Comber took it back again.
By this time the lead group had grown to seven cars deep and just past half distance, Fenwick repassed Comber again and not long after, the group split once more with the top four breaking clear. Fenwick was moved off the podium with three laps to go when all three cars slid past him and Comber hit the front heading into the final lap, with Smith once again applying the pressure and challenging at Brooklands. But again, he had to settle for 2nd as Comber claimed the win, while Foden took a superb 3rd ahead of Fenwick who finishing off the podium for the first time this season.
MAZDA MX-5 CLUBMAN CHAMPIONSHIP – MCDONNELL AND FLETCHER LOCK HORNS AS TITLE FIGHT CONTINUES
After two weekends of racing, the Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship has seen three different overall race winners already, two of which being guests, but in terms of those scoring the maximum points, so far it’s been defending champion Harry Storer, Matthew Fletcher and Declan McDonnell. They were the three drivers setting the benchmark heading back to Silverstone on the GP loop.
McDonnell beat Fletcher off the line in Race 1 and was quick to create a gap by Stowe corner on the opening lap as he left Fletcher to deal with Jon Pethick and Neil Chisnall, but it wasn’t long before Fletcher brought the chasing quartet back onto Declan’s tail with Harry Storer also joining in too. The top five were now in a race of their own with McDonnell under big pressure as the next couple of laps progressed, but despite advances from Fletcher and Storer there was just no changing the man in the lead. A three way scrap for 2nd broke out briefly which landed in Fletcher’s favour, but the real challenge came on the final lap when both Fletcher and Storer attacked for the lead at the Arena section. However, McDonnell stood his ground and held firm to take his second overall race win ahead of Fletcher and Storer.
Deja vu set in when Race 2 got underway as McDonell again had quickly gapped the rest by Stowe at the start, with Fletcher his main pursuer while Storer and Pethick were joined by Chris Dawkins in their initial scrap for 3rd. Again, Fletcher had the pace to wind McDonnell back to him and glued himself on to Declan’s rear bumper from hereon in. Yet again, a five car lead group formed and in the closing minutes, Fletcher was able to finally prise the lead away from McDonnell for the first time all day and he had enough pace to keep the rest of the group at bay all the way to the chequered flag, which was thrown slightly early before the start of what would have been the final lap. This gave Fletcher his third career MX-5 Clubman race win and his first of the season, beating McDonnell back to P2 with Dawkins an excellent 3rd place.
BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 SUPERCUP & SUPERCUP CLUB – REIGNING KING RETURNS AND PROCLAIMS VICTORY
He was a very last-minute addition to the entry list, but on this special race meeting for the combined Mazda MX-5 SuperCup and SuperCup Clubman grid there was an equally special guest driver. The most recent two-time champion Sam Smith made a comeback to the grid he’d reigned over the last two seasons for a one-off guest drive, along with another former champ in James Blake-Baldwin. Smith was also here to provide backup to teammate Richard Amos, who led the Pro class standings heading back to Silverstone.
The two teammates locked out the front row and despite leading into the opening corners, Colin Bysouth put himself between the pair with Smith briefly dropping to 3rd before taking it back into Brooklands. John Langridge and Adam Bessell quickly joined the top three to make it a leading quintet, with Smith providing the perfect back up to Amos out in front. That was until a technical issue forced Smith to the pits, leaving Amos exposed to the trio behind. While Bessell and Langridge battled with each other for 3rd, Bysouth kept up his pursuit of the lead and found a way past int the closing stages to get out in front and resist Richard’s retaliations to claim his first win of the year, with Langridge a comfortable 3rd after Bessell dropped out followed by Patrick Fletcher and an excellent 5th for Tom Griffiths, his best SuperCup result to date in only his third weekend of racing.
Amos and Smith were again front row occupants and this time Smith led away while Amos edged out Bysouth, instead allowing Will Blackwell-Chambers to latch onto Amos’ bumper onto the Hangar Straight. However, a lap later and the two teammates were trying to gap the rest with Bysouth looking to foil that plan having got back to 3rd. He passed Amos for 2nd, who then fell back with problems towards the bottom of the top 10, leaving Smith and Bysouth out in front together, but Colin set to gain max points thanks to Smith’s guest status. The two cars circulated as a pair all through the closing stages and Bysouth briefly led heading onto the final lap, but there was no shaking the defending champ from the win on the road as he repassed outside at Vale to reclaim the lead and take victory, with Bysouth’s P2 netting him the 100 points. As for 3rd, Patrick Fletcher managed a distant 3rd ahead of Blackwell-Chambers and Langridge.
In the Club class, Scott Wright and Mike Chen shared a class win apiece across both races, while in the SuperCup Clubman ranks, there was no stopping Simon Fleet as he picked up a brace of wins in the category.
CLUBSPORT TROPHY – CRILLY WINS HISTORY-MAKING RACE AMIDST RECORD GRID
There are good grids, there are big grids and then there are those that break records – and it was the latter of the three that occurred in the special 45-minute ClubSport Trophy. The hype and excitement were both justified as the cars lined up on the Saturday afternoon, with 59 of the 61 cars entered making the grid spanning a vast variety of super clubman race cars. It was an Invitation class car that took pole as Jasver Sapra’s BMW M3, with Liam Crilly’s BMW Z4 leading the series compliant cars on the front row overall.
The front row pair made contact through Maggots and Becketts, leaving Crilly to give Sapra the lead back heading down Hangar Straight. An opening lap safety car kept the field compressed, but once underway, Sapra quickly disappeared into a lead he would never lose, but being an Invitation car he would not be officially recognised as “winner” of the race. Behind him, Phiroze Bilimoria passed Crilly as several more cars joined in to create a definitive leading group including Ricky Coomber’s unique Honda Civic Type R FD2 and Geoff Conner’s Renault Clio Cup and Paul Hinson’s BMW, plus the David Shead/ Malcolm Edeson BMW Compact which had to retire thanks to an engine issue.
Bilimoria dropped back briefly behind Crilly, Coomber and Conner but the VW Scirocco could only retake the Clio before another safety car was called, right as the pit window opened and practically everyone dived in for their mandatory stops. Bilimoria’s stop was a lap later than the others which dropped him down the order, while Sapra continued to lead on the road as the race restarted into its final 15 minutes. Crilly was again leader of the series compliant cars from Conner and Paul Taylor’s Civic, but charging late on was Coomber in the Civic FD2, passing Taylor not long after the restart and chasing after Conner, putting him under big pressure before passing into Brooklands before the start of the final lap. Sapra, meanwhile was untouchable and dominated out in front to take the win on the road, before Crilly captured the official Clubsport win ahead of Coomber in 2nd and Conner in 3rd. Crilly was also Class A winner, with Paul Taylor taking Class B in his Civic, Jonathan Pascall the winner of Class C in another Civic Type R, George Grant getting reward for his marathon day of racing with Class D victory in his MX-5 SuperCup car and the MINI of Christian White and Matt Mills coming out on top in Class E.
The inclement summer sun made an early appearance in Norfolk as Caterham Motorsport recently headlined two days of energetic club racing action around the Snetterton 300 circuit, with the addition of various tin-top championships and series providing the perfect compliment. Even a brief bout of pre-event wet weather didn’t change the quality of the on-track entertainment!
CATERHAM SEVEN CHAMPIONSHIP UK – HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST
After making a triumphant comeback to Caterham racing at the opening races of the season at Brands Hatch the previous month, former champion Aaron Head set out to maintain the early advantage he’d built up in the Avon Tyres Caterham Seven Championship UK as the fastest Caterhams on the factory roster headed to Norfolk.
The plan didn’t quite work out in qualifying as he missed the SuperPole by finishing 10th fastest, as Lee Bristow took the three bonus points ahead of Chris Moore and Tim Dickens. Moore was able to get the jump from the front row to lead Bristow away from the lights, before Tom Eden stole 2nd just moments into Lap 2. Eden then hit the front on the next lap, but by the time the race hit half distance, it was the usual suspects of James Murphy and Henry Heaton that held 1st and 2nd. Bristow also got himself amongst the leaders, but he wouldn’t stand on the podium, as Murphy ran to victory with a charging Aaron Head methodically moving his way to P2 by the flag ahead of Heaton in 3rd.
Head now had a clear shot at Murphy as Race 2 began on Sunday, slotting in behind the DPR Motorsport driver before he and Heaton demoted him to 3rd on the opening lap. Heaton fended off Head briefly, but it wasn’t long before the pair started swapping the lead between them in the early stages. Jake Swann-Dixon stuck with them as the second half of the race played out as he took 2nd from Heaton and then the lead from Head at Riches, all the while allowing Bristow to close up to the trio too. After some frantic position swapping in the final minutes, Head left it to the last lap to repass Swann-Dixon, who spun exiting the Bomb Hole after contact with Heaton and out of podium contention, leaving Head to win with Bristow benefitting from the drama to take 2nd place, while Heaton remained 3rd.
For Race 3, Head converted pole into the lead instantaneously but lost out to Bristow and Heaton before the lap was done. As a sizeable lead pack formed, Head was desperate to get back in front and it wasn’t long before he’d dispatched both Bristow and Heaton to lead again. More place swapping occurred between the front three with each taking turns in P1, but Bristow’s chances evaporated after contact with Murphy at Wilson Hairpin dropped him back. With Heaton’s car also smoking from rubbing bodywork, both ended up off the podium as Head took his second win of the weekend followed by Swann-Dixon and Moore, both of which moving up after late contact between Heaton and Dickens in the final laps to join Aaron on the rostrum.
CATERHAM SEVEN 310R CHAMPIONSHIP – WINGFIELD WINGS IT, WHILE WALTERS REMAINS TOP
A packed entry of more than 30 cars populated the grid for the next pair of Bilstein Caterham Seven 310R Championship races, with the pack looking to try and stop the initial domination of proceedings from former champion Pete Walters – and he definitely wasn’t short of competition on this occasion.
Blair McConachie couldn’t sustain pole at the start of Race 1 as Walters immediately took over to lead, but pretty soon he found himself in a four-way scrap for P1 with Stephen Lyall, James Wingfield and Harry Cook, with the rest of the pack snapping at their heels. Both Lyall and Wingfield traded the lead along with Walters, and beyond half distance the same three cars held the podium places with Walters still leading. They continued switching places all the way into the closing stages, but the deciding moment was out of the last corner when Walters missed a gear and Wingfield won the sprint to the flag to steal victory from under Pete’s nose by a tenth of a second. Lyall did claim 3rd on the road, but he was one of two drivers given a time penalty for an out of position start, dropping him to 10th in the result and giving Tom Cockerill 3rd in his place.
Walters did it again from the front row in Race 2 to lead initially and despite half a dozen cars giving chase, they scrapped amongst each other so much that Pete was able to create a small gap by half distance. However, the breakaway man from the pack was 2021 Academy graduate Harry George who sprinted up to the back of Walters and challenged for the lead, passing him twice in one lap. He in turn began to briefly pull away leaving Walters to deal with the contenders behind, but the pair ended up drifting away for the fight over 3rd as the pair combated each other in the closing laps. George led going into the final lap but in another typical Caterham photo finish, Walters timed his run off the final corner to perfection to snatch victory by 0.052s, while McConachie joined in the sprint to claim the final podium spot.
CATERHAM SEVEN 270R CHAMPIONSHIP – TAYLOR O’FLANAGAN STITCHES TOGETHER A BRACE OF WINS
Trading both a win and a 2nd place with Hugo Bush at Brands Hatch, Taylor O’Flanagan had the target of breaking the deadlock at the head of the Motul Caterham Seven 270R Championship points table as the drivers headed to Snetterton, and qualifying ahead of his fellow early leader to take a front row spot alongside pole man Gwyn Jones marked a strong start to proceedings.
It only took a lap before O’Flanagan took the lead from Jones into Riches with Domenique Mannsperger and Philip Bianchi also following suit, and soon enough Bush also joined in to create a definitive leading quartet with Jones, impressive rookie Michael Chaplin and Peter Mott also in the mix behind them. O’Flanagan and Bianchi conducted the brunt of the lead changes between them as their rivals stacked up in 3rd backwards, and it was Bush that broke their deadlock inside the last 10 minutes as he passed both into Riches to lead himself. Mannsperger then made an outrageous four-wide pass a lap later to lead himself, before being shuffled back to 3rd. Bush and Mannsperger touched into Agostini on the final lap leaving the latter spinning, and while Bianchi led onto the final straight, once again a classic photo finish left O’Flanagan pinch the win by a nose and a mere 0.005 seconds! Bush was a more cavernous four tenths off victory as he claimed the final rostrum place.
Taylor continued in Race 2 with the lead from pole on Sunday but again was usurped before the opening lap was finished with Bush taking over on the Bentley Straight, before losing it again heading to Riches moments later. More position trading occurred as Bush again led with Mannsperger also following suit in 2nd, and it would be these three cars that would end up on the podium together in the end – but not without the leading group switching around several times more. Bush, Mannsperger, Bianchi and O’Flanagan all took turns in P1 at one point during the race, and with a couple of laps to go O’Flanagan had a clear gap out front, something he wouldn’t lose as he took the double from Snetterton by almost 2 seconds, leaving Bush to head Mannsperger in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
CATERHAM ROADSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP – NEWMAN IN FORM ON RETURN TO TITLE WINNING VENUE
Wind the clock back to Snetterton in October and Geoff Newman was snatching the Academy title with the fastest lap point on the final lap of the season, leaving it until the death to become champion for 2021. Now in May of 2022, Geoff was keen to try and replicate that success once again, this time in the Lovecars Caterham Roadsport Championship as he looked to climb from 5th in points after a mixed opening meeting at Brands Hatch.
From pole in Race 1, Newman beat the pack to Riches for the first time and defended an early challenge from his Green Group rival from the previous year in Freddie Chiddicks – only for points leader and fellow outgoing Academy champion Charlie Lower to pass them both. All three drivers would again engage in plenty of position swapping, setting the tone once more for the remainder of the race ahead, and again each would take turns to lead over the line. More cars joined in the fray as the minutes ticked down, with Newman defending well on the final lap to win from Lower and Chiddicks in that order.
While it looked like Lower might have beaten Newman away from the third start of Race 2 after two initial red flags, a better turn into Riches allowed Geoff to retain the place and the same top three from the day before quickly formed the leading trio once again. On this occasion, Newman and Chiddicks elected to work together to pull away and sure enough, it only took them a handful of laps to be clear of the chasing pack. That was until a mistake from Chiddicks dropped him back late on after being stuck in 4th gear, right into the clutches of Lower and Marc Jones who were embroiled in their own battle for 3rd. Chiddicks would hold on to 2nd ahead of Lower, as Newman cruised home to an easy and very non-typical 8 second winning margin.
CATERHAM ACADEMY CHAMPIONSHIP – NEW STUDENTS TACKLE THEIR FIRST EVER CIRCUIT RACES
If there’s one special moment within a Caterham Motorsport season every year, it’s when the brand new set of drivers coming through the ever successful Caterham Academy make the step up from the opening sprint at Curborough a few weeks earlier into the first-ever circuit races of their fledgling careers. With Snetterton’s wide track and long straights, that meant plenty of real estate for both Green and White Groups to get to grips with circuit racing life for the first time.
The White Group had the honour of racing first on the Saturday, with Matt Larbey claiming the coveted first pole of the season alongside Tom McEwing, but neither got the jump they wanted and were almost left on line together as Ben Timmons got a flyer from the second row to lead initially, but Larbey managed to get back in front heading towards the Brundle/ Nelson complex. Losing it again towards Riches once more, a leading group of five quickly formed with Larbey, Timmons and McEwing proving to be the main contenders early on. Once again, P1 was traded between these three with Duncan Mallett also in close attention, but Larbey lost his chance after running too hot into Riches in the final minutes and spinning down to a distant 3rd place. McEwing claimed the race win in the end, but only just ahead of Timmons by four tenths at the flag.
Shortly afterwards, the Green Group took their turn on track for their opening race, as the front row comprised of pole-sitter Ravi Patel and Darren Butler alongside him, while Curborough Sprint winner Harvey Lawrence couldn’t replicate that single lap pace with 8th fastest. The front two remained in grid order from the start, but it was Patel that maintained his place while Butler was shuffled back down to 8th by the chequered flag in a late incident, as more contenders made their presence known. Rrutuj Patki took over in front for a couple of laps, but he and two more cars were caught up in an incident at Agostini and the ensuing switch-around put Butler and Patel back in the top two places. Mishaps and mistakes from several of the leading cars incredibly changed the order almost lap on lap, and despite a spin at Wilson Hairpin, it was Patel that climbed back from a distant 4th place late on and picked his way through a late tangle between the leaders, retook the lead starting the final lap and won with the next four cars in a train heading to the flag. Iain Hibbert and James Emson took up 2nd and 3rd after a final sprint to the line.
NANKANG TYRE BMW COMPACT CUP – DOBLE STILL UNTOUCHABLE UP TOP
With Steven Dailly having moved on from the Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup, the mantle of being the driver everyone has to chase has so far landed on the shoulders of Mikey Doble, who looked set to continue his opening weekend domination from Brands Hatch where a brace of wins kicked off his 2022 campaign nicely.
Doble had to come from the second row of the grid and get past both pole sitter Ian Howes and Lee Dendy-Sader. Howes was dispatched on the opening lap to grab 2nd and then Dendy-Sadler was next a lap later as Mikey swiftly picked off both in quick succession to take the lead. From here, he was never headed despite the close attentions of Dendy-Sadler and while Howes initially dropped back as far as 2.5 seconds, a late burst of pace helped him claw some of the time back before the flag.
The next two races saw the exact same top three both times, although this time Doble was able to take the lead from pole in Race 2 rather than a row further back. From the initial jump, Doble had the field at his command, steadily building up his lead lap on lap to eventually take his fourth win from four starts this year by just over three seconds, as he left both Dendy-Sadler and Howes to duel amongst each other over the runner up spot. For Race 3, the result showed the same three drivers yet again, but that was far from the entire story. A frantic first lap saw Matt Wilkins surprise everyone to lead the opening lap, Thomas Middleton shuffled into 3rd and Doble down to 4th place with plenty of work to do. But Mikey wasted no time in getting back to 2nd place in just a couple of laps, by this time Dendy-Sadler had taken over as leader. It wouldn’t be until Lap 6 when Doble managed to overhaul the former Fiesta racer, taking thelead anf staying there to maintain his 100% win record this season. Howes also found a way past shortly after and took 2nd place on the road, before a penalty for avoidable contact put him back behind Dendy-Sadler to 3rd.
NANKANG TYRE CITY CAR CUP – BLISS AND LETTIS TAKE HONOURS FOR TOYOTA AND PEUGEOT
The Bliss siblings of Richard and Stuart proved that they were the benchmark everyone in the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup had to live up to this season after they shared a win apiece in a safety car affected opening pair of races at Oulton Park. They looked to capitalise on their good form once again at Snetterton, as two 20 minute races beckoned this time.
They locked out the front row in qualifying with Richard on pole ahead of Stuart, and the two cars remained in this order from the off, initially getting a decent jump on everyone else before the pack quickly caught back up, led by Elliot Lettis on this occasion. Lettis initially had the pace to stick with the top two, but two slower laps in the closing stages dropped him far back into the range of Andrew Dyer in 4th, although thankfully Elliot regained his speed quick enough to hold him off. As for the Bliss duo, they were simply dominant as Richard and Stuart cruised to an easy 1-2 finish for the pair of Toyota Aygos with Lettis’ Peugeot over 9 seconds back.
The second race would only last just three laps after an incident for Andrew Payne left race control with no choice but to throw the red flag, and with the race being run late in the day there was insufficient time remaining to restart it properly. However, one person who was glad (in a way) to see the race end when it did was Lettis, as he’d run in 3rd behind the two Aygos of the Blisses through the opening two laps, but had found a way past both to lead the last complete lap before the stoppage. Therefore, it was a significant win for two reasons, the first victory for Elliot in the championship and the first-ever points-scoring win for a Peugeot in CityCar Cup too (Steve Laidlaw had won a race in the standalone Croft races in 2020, albeit when CityCar was still a series). This now means that all three marques represented (Citroen, Toyota and Peugeot) have won a race in the championship since it began last year!
VINYL DETAIL ST-XR CHALLENGE & CIVIC CHALLENGE – BLACKBURN BEATS THE REST AS NEW HONDAS JOIN IN
The Vinyl Detail ST-XR Challenge made their second trip of the season after the opening two races at Oulton Park, this time heading to Snetterton with an entry that may have been slightly shorter on numbers, but certainly wasn’t lacking in quality drivers. For the first time, they would share the grid with a brand new series as the Civic Challenge made their debut for the very first time with the BRSCC and lined up on a combined grid with the ST-XRs.
Michael Blackburn wasted no time in setting out his marker early on with a lap in qualifying that put him a quarter of a second ahead of Sam Beckett with Chris Grimes on the second row alongside Mark Blunt. From the start of Race 1, it was Beckett who got the better start to lead the ST-XRs, but his advantage would only last two laps as Blackburn’s pace came through to give him the lead that he would not lose despite Beckett keeping the pressure on for the remainder of the 15 minutes. Blackburn’s winning margin was less than half a second at the flag, as Grimes ensured he wasn’t far away in 3rd either. More of the same occurred in the second race later in the day, as Blackburn managed to hold onto the lead from pole this time, but yet again was put under constant pressure from Beckett in a bid to take the win himself. Despite never being more than half a second away all race, Beckett again settled for 2nd with teammate Grimes on his tail in 3rd, as Blackburn completed a double from Norfolk.
Over in the Civic Challenge, their two races were taking place on track ahead of the Fiestas, as Bradley Lane asserted near-total dominance right from the start. After just nicking pole from Tate Taverner, Lane’s race pace was untouchable as he lapped at least a second quicker than the rest of the field to storm to the first Civic Challenge race win by nearly 10 seconds, followed by Taverner in a distant 2nd place and Alfie Jeakins even further back in 3rd, his gap to winner Lane over 20 seconds. If Race 1 was dominant, then Lane’s advantage in Race 2 was stratospheric as nobody could remotely come close to him all race. His fastest lap was nearly five seconds better than the next, as he thumped the opposition to win by over 30 seconds! Teammates Jeakins and Loui Hounsell managed 2nd and 3rd in a team formation finish.
TRACK ATTACK RACE CLUB – TINY RENAULTS PROVE TO BE THE CARS TO BEAT
Also back on a BRSCC timetable for their second appearance of the was the Track Attack Race Club, whose combination of French, German and Asian cars on one grid together always makes for an entertaining spectacle. Their presence at Snetterton was no different, albeit there was one nationality of car that proved to be head and shoulders above the rest.
It seemed as though that if you wanted to succeed at Snetterton in this pair of races, a French car was the weapon on choice. David Clark proved this in qualifying when his ballistic little Renault 5 GT Turbo beat Classic VW Cup racer Ken Lark’s VW Corrado to overall pole, and incredibly carried this momentum into the race as he managed to steadily pull away in front over the next 15 minutes to be victorious by nine seconds. Lark maintained 2nd place, with Robert Buckland finishing off the overall podium for Race 1. Clark couldn’t claim a second win after retiring four laps into the second race, leaving Buckland’s Clio to work its way to the front and lead home a Tricolore Trophy 1-2-3 with Jordan Holmes’ Citroen Saxo in P2 and Michael Bland’s Peugeot 306 in P3.