BRSCC HEADS NORTH FOR SUMMER RACING ACTION AT CADWELL PARK
The second race weekend of the BRSCC’s 2020 season sees drivers, cars and teams head to the “Nurburgring of the North” as Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire plays host to a superb and eclectic mix of sports cars and saloons, with both sprint and endurance racing on the bill, some exciting championships on display and even the debut of the latest addition to the club’s portfolio of formulae.
Caterham Motorsport brings all five of their factory championships north to collectively start their season together after the Academy began just a couple of weeks ago at Oulton Park. The newest additions to the Caterham racing roster will now be looking to use the lessons learned from their first races and will be looking for victory in their respective Green and White groups. Race winners Domenique Mannsperger (White) and Tom Cockerill (Green) will both be hoping to make it two out of two respectively, but there’s plenty of drivers who could pose a threat as the drivers get ready for their first race in what’s set to be completely dry conditions after battling the rain first time out.
The Caterham Roadsport Championship sees competitors who have moved up from last year’s Academy ranks and are ready to begin their second season of racing. Last year’s White Group champion Tom Wyllys and runner-up Blair McConachie appear to be the favourites here, while Dimitris Melas will be hoping to better his third place in the 2019 Green Group points from this year, as the trio will be doing battle against many other drivers that they will have become familiar with while racing against them last season.
The Roadsport cars will share a grid with the Caterham Seven 270R Championship drivers, which represents the middle step on the Caterham Motorsport ladder and is seen as something of a “coming-of-age” series. Top drivers here are set to include last year’s Roadsport champ Lars Hoffmann, proven race winners Andrew Murgatroyd and Ben Lopez-Appleton, plus the likes of Angelos Alvanos, Harry Cook and Giuseppe Felet.
The other shared Caterham grid will feature the Caterham Seven 310R Championship, the final evolution of the original Academy car and the final step before moving up to the top level. Double champion James Murphy will be looking to add a third to his trophy cabinet and Tom Grensinger will be keen to beat him this time after finishing behind Murphy in the 270R points in 2019. Caterham’s very own racing CEO Graham Macdonald has managed to prove himself as a race winner and will be hoping to claim more this year, while James Wingfield, Greg Monks, Matt Sheppard and Harry Senior will all wish to be in the fight at the front of the field.
Alongside the 310Rs will be the Caterham Seven UK Championship, formerly known as the Seven 420R Championship and racing for the first time after gaining National status from Motorsport UK. This means that for the very first time there will be a British Caterham champion crowned, something that will certainly be on the mind of the defending champion John Byrne as he works to go back-to-back against formidable opponents like Stephen Nuttall, Henry Heaton, last year’s 310R title winner Gordon Sawyer and Rob Watts.
Outside of Caterhams but staying with sportscars, both series in the ever-popular BRSCC Mazda MX-5 paddock are ready to go with bumper entries in each. The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship for Mk1 models boasts almost 50 cars with former double champion Will Blackwell-Chambers looking to claim the #1 back after losing it to John Langridge in 2019. Top rivals Oliver Allwood and Joe Wiggin are certain to be in the mix to contend for the title too, alongside Brian Trott, Mike Comber, Steve Foden, Jack Brewer and many more as a packed grid will be split into three groups to ensure all drivers get two races.
Their counterparts in the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup for Mk3 models has been reinvigorated after fusing the championship with the MX-5 Super Series to produce one combined grid once more. Almost 30 cars line up for the opening rounds on Sunday, featuring 2016 champ James Blake-Baldwin, the aforementioned 2019 Mk1 winner John Langridge, 2018 Mk1 vice-champion Samuel Smith, Patrick Fletcher, Colin Bysouth and many more. A new Pro and Club class structure is in place this season, meaning that there will be two champions along with the Masters contest by the end of the season.
Saloon car action will mostly be filled by the humble Ford Fiesta, as the Hyperdrive ST-XR Challenge heads north for its second race meeting of the season after beginning at Oulton Park. Mark Robinson and William Heslop both took a win each at the head of the field and proved that they were the leading contenders both overall and in Class D for the Fiesta ST150s. With a dry track set to be under their wheels, it could be a different story if the likes of defending class champion Matthew Spencer, Justin Roberts, Chris Rowlands, Sam Beckett and Chris Grimes have anything to say about it. Matthew Morton and Simon Robinson will duke it out in Class A for the Fiesta XR2s and Jason Heneffer also heads to Lincolnshire as the sole representative for Class B in the Escort XR3i.
Joining the ST-XR grid will be the BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres, with an entry that is guaranteed to produce a brand new champion. Jamie Going, Samuel and Joshua Watkins and last year’s Junior champion Olly Turner are sure to be the leading lights this season, with former Michelin Clio Cup and Ginetta racer Luke Pinder also putting his front-wheel-drive skills to the test for the first time in this season. Marco Ricci is the only Fiesta Zetec S in the field, while a couple of special Mk7 Fiesta ST Turbos also make an appearance to be driven by John Cooper and former champion David Nye.
Over in the Fiesta Junior Championship, there’s a large influx of new drivers with only one returning from last year. The 2019 vice-champion Joseph Loake will be aiming to go one better, but his new competition for 2020 look ready to take him on for the crown. Karting graduates include Will Orton, Jake Triggs, Dylan Hotchin, Bradley Beavers and Joseph Knight, while the junior short oval scene brings Ministox alumni Sid Smith, George and Briannie Davis and last year’s National champion Jenson Brickley, as well as Albert Webster from Junior Hotrods. This season sees the championship bounce back to life with plenty of opportunities to continue growing further once again and everyone competing is excited to get going already!
Cadwell Park also sees the first race of the first full season of the BRSCC Clubsport Trophy, the popular multi-class, mini-endurance series that permits an excellent mixture of makes and models across five classes based on true power to weight ratio. With a mandatory pitstop and both solo and two driver combos permitted, this is sure to have the potential to be one of the best races of the weekend with plenty of Mazda MX-5s, BMWs, Renault Clios and Toyota MR2s, while other notable machines include a Porsche Boxster, a Lotus Exige, the Ford Capri of Mark Thomas and even a Suzuki Swift!
On the same grid as the Clubsport racers will be a special group of ten cars making their first racing appearance since their inception. After progressing from a simple idea to a fully-fledged series, the BRSCC CityCar Cup has already inspired many people since its launch, with the ethos allowing a cost-effective and competitive championship for Citroen C1s, Peugeot 107s and Toyota Aygos of the same specification. With technical support from SW Motorsports, GAZ Shocks, Nankang Tyres, Powerflex, Motordrive Seats and ATS Wheels, the CityCar Cup has been making a lot of noise amongst the club racing community and there may well be plenty of interested eyes watching these cars as they get set to do battle amongst each other for the first time!
Also joining the BRSCC content will be the Caterham Graduates Racing Club, featuring more brilliant racing from a grid of Caterham Sevens in an entry split across four classes. Fresh from competing just a week ago at Mallory Park, they’ll still be raring to go with drivers such as Harry Senior, Ben Buckley, Gareth Cordey, Andy Whitton, Jon Benfield, and James Gilmour set to be the top drivers on the grid here in this contest.