BRSCC GOES FULL THROTTLE TO THRUXTON
It may have been years since we last visited Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire for a race meeting, but this weekend we’re heading back to remind ourselves just how fast, sweeping and exciting it really is. With the BRSCC South Eastern Centre overseeing festivities, we’ve broad a selection of championships that should really suit Thruxton’s nature and provide exceptional racing all weekend long.
Quite a lot of that exceptional racing looks set to come from the intense collective of championships provided by Caterham Motorsport, who have constantly become a beacon for close action over the years. For the remainder of the season, all five championships are back together on one timetable with each featuring title battles that don’t look like they’ll be settled before the Silverstone finale. The CarThrottle Caterham Academy has two champions to crown, but whose name will be on the respective trophy is something that’s still rather unclear. In the Green Group, Justin Heap leads Andrew Murgatroyd by three points, with the top 5 only separated by 20 heading to this weekend. Over in the White Group, it’s a little more clear cut as Chris Moore tops the table ahead of Dan Piper by seven points. This may only be their first ever season of racing, but the Academy drivers are fast learners and their racecraft and confidence gets better with each passing weekend.
A year removed from their Academy experiences, the drivers of the Draper Tools Caterham Roadsport Championship are continuing to learn just how competitive the racing really is. Long time points leader James Murphy has finally been displaced at the top by key rival Daniel French. The latter was last year’s Green Group champion and would dearly love to take two on the bounce, but Murphy’s incredible form throughout the first half of the season has left him a dangerous threat that French must overcome in the last four races. Caterham CEO Graham MacDonald, Zandvoort race winner Daniel Halstead, Tom Allen and Matt Sheppard will all be in the hunt for victory too.
Jamie Falvey had been the commanding force in the ALACO Motorsport Logistics Caterham Seven 270R Championship in the lead of the points, but after Castle Combe it’s now Pete Walters who sits on top by 16 points, followed by Jay McCormack another 7 points behind. These three have arguably been the class of the field all season, trading race wins and podiums several times throughout the year. At Combe, it was the turn of McCormack to clinch Race 1, while none of them won Race 2 with Chris Bates taking the honour himself. On a new circuit, any one of these three could come out on top and the title battle could even be turned on its head as a result.
But if you think any of the above are close, that’s nothing compared to the Santander Caterham Seven 310R Championship. Arguably the most open and competitive of the bunch, Christian Szaruta and Chris Hutchinson arrive this weekend tied on points with Gordon Sawyer just two points away in 3rd. All three will feel like they’re walking on a tightrope for the rest of the season, as one slip could spell disaster and the end of their championship hopes. That said, there’s at least a dozen drivers in the field who all have podium and race winning capabilities and credentials, so don’t be surprised to see a topsy-turvy top 10 somewhere throughout the weekend.
As it was in many ways last year, the fate of the Avon Tyres Caterham Seven 420R Championship looks set to be going in favour of Danny Winstanley once again. In 2017, Winstanley virtually had the title wrapped up heading to the final weekend, electing not to race to cement his champion status and eliminate the risk of penalties. This time with two meetings left, there’s a 40 point advantage to 2nd placed Willam Smith, although Smith has picked up wins in 3 of the last four races, taking both at Zandvoort and sharing honours with Winstanley on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. Other drivers who can and have thrown themselves into the mix given the chance include Sean Byrne, John Byrne, Henry Heaton and Jack Brown, but with Thruxton a virtual unknown to almost all the drivers, it could be a chance for a few more names to come to the fore. Whatever happens, it’s guaranteed to be intense.
Thruxton is mainly known these days for hosting its fair share of touring car racing, and this weekend we’ve aimed to bring a similar flavour to proceedings. The BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres returns to Thruxton for the first time since its days as a part of the BTCC support package, aiming to provide the same quality of racing now as it did back then. There’s a fight brewing for the overall title with Class C’s Harry Gooding leading defending champ Jamie White in Class D and with plenty of points still available, the complexion of this duel still has time to change dramatically. Look for Jamie Going, Danny Harrison, David NyE, Ryan Faulconbridge and the Watkins siblings Joshua and Samuel to run at the head of Class C, while Zachary Lucas, Tim Bennett and Luke Bannister will be in contention for Class D. Mark Court will also be looking to make up further ground on Class A leader Colin Newbold this weekend too.
Over in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres, James Waite maintains his lead over the rest of the entry, however last time out at Castle Combe a new race winner emerged in the form of Josh Steed. With renewed confidence and vigour, Steed will be out to keep up this run of form in the bid for more race wins as well as closing down Waite’s points lead. Magnus Kriklywi will be in the hunt too as another proven race winner, while Isaac Smith, Olly Turner and Nathanael Hodgkiss will be all be looking for more silverware to add to their ever growing collection this season.
To round off the timetable nicely, the epic Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup slides in to Hampshire with just four rounds left to play. Defending champion Steven Dailly is hoping to do the double this season and so far, the 49 point lead he currently holds over Matthew Parkes would suggest he’s going the right way about it so far. Owen Hunter had been in the running, but an unfortunate disqualification at Castle Combe has left him with a mountain to climb back in 5th. Ian Jones, David May and Paul Hinson will also be in the hunt to try and steal Dailly’s thunder should the opportunity arise.