Another long off-season has finally drawn to a close, and as the winter gives way to spring, British motorsport finally begins to wake up and fire into life once more. The British Racing & Sports Car Club’s 2024 campaign kicks off in its usual March slot, in the most fitting of locations – the home of British motorsport, Silverstone in Northamptonshire on the International layout.

The mix of sprint and endurance racing on display will certainly be familiar to regular followers, and the action it will bring also promises to be just as entertaining.

The BRSCC’s Mazda MX-5 paddock looks set to be another energetic trifecta of grids across the board as they gear up for another season on track. The GAZ Shocks Mazda MX-5 Championship looks set to crown yet another new champion after 2023 victor Steve Foden has elected to move forwards into the new Audi TT Cup Racing Championship. This means that a new set of challengers are ready to try and inherit his crown this season.

They look set to be Adam Sparrow, Luke Pullen, Thomas Langford and Jack Noller, all of whom were race winners in 2023 and regulars in the leading group last season too. Others who will certainly be hoping to be in that group too include former MX-5 Clubman champion Harry Storer, Neil Chisnall and Oliver Graham who have shown flashes of pace at times and could look to take a step up to succeed.

On the Downforce Radio Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship grid, last year’s champion Matt Fletcher will also be usurped by a new champion, but who it’s set to be is fairly unclear at this pre-season stage.

Looking at the names set to line up, top candidates could be Donington race winner Beau Parry, 2022 race winner Chris Dawkins and rapid Go4It Racing podium finisher Jack Warry. Paul Bateman also made an impact on his return last season and managed to clinch some very impressive results, while Jamie Turner, Pete Smith and both Del and Jake Paice could well attempt to throw themselves into the mix also.

It’s another incredibly competitive field in store for this year’s Clapham North MOT Mazda MX-5 SuperCup and returning Pro class champion Aidan Hills looks as though he’s up for the fight to take on all comers again in 2024. Back on the grid and ready to proudly display the #1 on the door, Hills will find many of his main rivals from 2023 back to try and unseat him from the throne.

Championship podium finishers James Cossins and Patrick Fletcher will surely be ready for the fight too, after they took their own share of race wins last year but couldn’t overcome Hills’ points total. Plus the supporting cast looks incredibly formidable too, including 2022 pro champ Will Blackwell-Chambers, Tom Griffiths, Joe Wiggin, Sam Heading, Oliver Allwood, and the welcome returns of Jack Brewer and Nic Grindrod after their seasons were cut short prematurely at Brands Hatch last year. Both are certain to be up for the fight and to prove a point that they’ve lost none of their speed either. Incoming CityCar Cup champion Elliot Lettis will also be a very interesting addition to the grid too.

There’s also a strong Club class in this year’s line-up too, with Kamal Kalsi and Stephen New sure to be the initial favourites with competition likely to come from Ollie Hall, Aimee Watts, Clive Powles, Steve Kite, Chris Ginn and Bruce Robinson primarily. Former BMW Compact Cup racer Jim Barratt also prepares for his SuperCup debut this year.

The incredible progress of last year’s BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship has led to some amazing interest across 2023 and the off-season ahead of 2024. On top of this, the overwhelming success of the recent Fiesta Junior Scholarship which saw Daniella Sutton crowned as its 2024 winner has only bolstered the interest and popularity of the championship.

The opening rounds of the new Fiesta Junior Championship at Silverstone will run as non-championship races ahead of the beginning of the new TCR UK season at Brands Hatch in April, but those taking part at this event will still have an accolade to fight for – the title of Champion of Silverstone. This will serve as the perfect opening salvo for many of this year’s new drivers to get to grips with their Fiestas and get some early mileage.

Alongside Scholarship winner Sutton, names to watch for on the grid at Silverstone include returning Rookie winner from last season Jacob Hodgkiss, whose late season form will surely mark him out as an early contender, as well as fellow returnees Jenson Mason and Joshua Watts. In terms of the newcomers, names to keep an eye on will include Thomas Merritt, Jack Sant, Hayden Gray and Maggie Webster, the latter the sister of former FJC racer and 2023 Fiesta ST240 champion Albert.

After its successful first full season as a championship in 2023, the PBS Brakes SuperSport Endurance Cup now gears up for its second campaign with many returning cars and drivers keen for another shot at overall and class glory.

Impressively, all six class champions are back to defend their titles – Ricky Coomber in Pro-A, Julian McBride in Pro-B, overall champs Stuart Mead and Tim Hartland in Pro-C, Paul Hinson in Clubman-A, Bruce Robinson and Richard Amos in Clubman-B, and David Drinkwater and Adam Read in Clubman-C.

Their competition also looks familiar, with other recognisable rivals including the BMW 1 Series of Bart Horsten and Keir McConomy, Lee Collins’ Caterham, no less than three Renaults entered by Puretrack, and another enticing mix of BMW M3s, Honda Civics, MINIs, Mazda MX-5s and more. The opening two hour SuperSport contest of 2024 should be another fascinating affair.

Equally as fascinating should be the packed grid over in the SW Motorsports ClubSport Trophy, which never fails to pack out its line-ups and is no exception here. As usually is the case with ClubSport grids, the season opener is set to sport a sold-out line-up of 44 cars, plus potential reserves on the list too. It’s clear that the series’ popularity hasn’t waned and has continued to be a hit with drivers up and down the grid.

Class A looks healthy for the opener with familiar names such as David May in his Nissan 370Z and Phiroze Bilimoria in his VW Scirocco squaring off against some rather formidable completion, including PBS Brakes’ Chris Coomer in his VW Golf, fellow regular James Alford in his new Audi TT and Graham Price’s Renault Megane.

Class B is equally well supported and mostly features a phalanx of BMW Z4s with no less than six on the entry lists here against rivals in VWs, Audis and a Lotus. Favourites in Class C could include Stuart Kilroy in his Peugeot 207 and Tim Evans in the ever-developing BMW 1 Series SuperCup car, with more hot hatches further complimenting the class, while over in Class D a pair of Renault Clios will face off against a MINI, a Z4 and a Toyota MR2. Finally, Class E is a mostly Asian affair with Mazda MX-5s and Mazda2s against Daniel Cogswell’s Nissan Almera GTi, a pair of Hyundai Coupes and the Philip Adcock driven BMW Compact.

The first races of the new Super Classic Pre ‘99 Formula Ford 1600 Championship season take place at Silverstone too, a circuit that has plenty of history within the category itself. This year’s Super Classic calendar has taken on a more national-reaching schedule with other Formula Ford favourites such as Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Mallory Park alongside regular venue Oulton Park.

With classes that cater to a vast range of Kent-engined Formula Ford chassis built between 1967 and 1998, it allows a wonderful eclectic mix of cars to take part on track at once against each other. Most of the line-up here for Silverstone features cars within Super Classic A and Super Classic B, and also features some recognisable names including Richard Freye, Tom Hawkins, Thomas Craincourt, Vincent Jay and Alex Ames. All of them will wish to get their 2024 campaigns off to flying starts.

One grid that never fails to bring big numbers and even bigger variety is that of the incredible Modified Ford Series, and their season kicks off at Silverstone this weekend too. Well ahead of time, the grid has been effectively sold out for a matter of weeks, meaning it’s sure to be a thunderous display of Blue Oval power in both of their races. This weekend’s opening rounds is also sponsored by Drywall Surveying Services Ltd.

Name a high performance Ford and it’s very likely there’s at least one of them on the Silverstone entry list. Ford Escorts of all shapes and sizes are present as per usual with Mk1s, Mk2s and even an Escort Cosworth or two set to make an appearance, as will a whole fleet of Ford Fiesta of varying ages and specifications. Also in the mix are several Ford Focuses, a Capri, a Mk2 Cortina and even Luke Bennett’s thundering Ford Taurus V8 Eurocar race car. This is one grid you definitely do not want to miss!

Set to bring plenty of power and speed in their own right is the equally eclectic ZEO Prototype Series, now gearing up for its fourth season since it first ran in 2021. That year, it began at Silverstone and, fittingly, it returns there for the opening races of the 2024 season. This is a series which regularly features an excellent mix of sports prototypes.

Early favourites from the entry list that are sure to hit the front from the outset at Silverstone include multi-time race winner Mike Jenvey in his Jenvey-Gunn self-developed special, Shane Kelly in one of the ever-formidable Pragas, Graham Charman’s Juno and Richard Chamberlain in the CTR 01, amongst the usual collective of various Radicals that usually populate the ZEO grid on any given weekend. All being well, it should be another excellent high-powered start to their 2024 campaign.

Scott Woodwiss


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