BRSCC ROLLS INTO ROCKINGHAM AT HALF DISTANCE
We may have already visited Rockingham Motor Speedway once this season to oversee British GT, but it’s already time for us to make a second trip to the Corby speed bowl as a great selection of our championships descend this weekend. Usually this meeting greets us with fantastic weather as it did last year, and with summer in full swing now the expectation is for more of the same. Hopefully the racing will be as good as the conditions look set to be.
Taking a weekend off from their duties as a support championship to TCR UK, the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup graces us with its presence this weekend after three energetic meetings at Silverstone, Knockhill and Brands Hatch. Last time out defending champion Luke Herbert picked up a brace of wins, while 2016 champ James Blake-Baldwin picked up the Race 3 victory, so both look to be the main contenders for this year’s crown so far. Jack Harding is another name in the mix that needs to be observed, while others such as Aidan Hills, Jonathan Greensmith, Steve Roberts, Jack Sycamore, Sam Tatler, Carl Garnett and Simon Baldwin are all drivers that will be out to score good results and possibly upset the form book.
The BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres is back out just three weeks after its trip to Cadwell Park, with current overall and Class C points leader Harry Gooding keen to take his first win of the season in an attempt to increase his current advantage. Double winner from Cadwell and reigning Class C champion David Nye will be out to stop him, as will Brands Hatch hat-trick hero Danny Harrison, who had to endure a tale of two fortunes at Cadwell and will need to bounce back in style. Class D should also be a fascinating contest with Jamie White on course to return after missing the last rounds to resume his battles with John Cooper and Zachary Lucas. Colin Newbold will also be out in force to represent Class A.
Also back for more action are the young chargers of the Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres, with the points battle already beginning to heat up. After James Waite picked up both wins at the opening Brands Hatch meeting, Denmark’s Magnus Kriklywi fought back with two impressive drives at Cadwell Park. Now both will be looking to break the early deadlock on wins, but will also have to keep an eye in their mirrors for their competitors. The Jam-Sport duo of Olly Turner and Isaac Smith and Mutation Motorsport’s Josh Steed appear to the their nearest rivals at this early stage, while expect further progress from Nathanael Hodgkiss, Todd Garner, Alfie Glenie and Abby Lock.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Speed Group OSS Championship as they get back on track merely two weeks after they were out in force at a sun-drenched Snetterton. On that occasion, no one was able to topple Class C’s Josh Smith and his rapid Bridgwater College engineered Radical PR6. Having taken two overall titles before, Smith is on the charge for a third. Defending champ Mike Jenvey in contrast had a weekend to forget with mechanical issues hampering him in all three races. He returns to the circuit at which he secured his first ever hat-trick of outright wins, so perhaps some good fortune may come his way. Also keep an eye on Patrick Sherrington and Steve Griffiths battling in Class A, while Martin Heath will be looking to find further pace in his new Juno CN in Class B. Expect plenty of superb variety in this diverse sports prototype championship.
Also at that Snetterton meeting were the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championship, where Simon Hill ensured he couldn’t be toppled from the top step in either of their races as he fended off James Colbourne, James Howlison and Martyn Walsh. With the Mk5 Golf GTis now in a points scoring class of their own, all involved have an extra incentive to do well. The Mk2 class was dominated in similar fashion by Peter Milne, who finds himself contending with reigning champion Chris Webb, Dan Gibbs and Tim Hartland as his main rivals. This championship provides a home for two generations of one of the most legendary and best loved hot hatchbacks of all time.
One group of drivers who will certainly love Rockingham’s combination of the fast oval banking and winding infield section will be those in the Speed Group F1000 Championship. Michael Watton made sure that he put his mixed fortunes at Snetterton behind him by dominating both races at Cadwell Park, with usual pursuers Dan Clowes and Paul Butcher chasing after him. All three are back again as expected, along with Adam Walker, Alok Iyengar, Dax Ward and a host of drivers contesting their first season. These will arguably be the fastest cars of the weekend, so blink and you’ll almost certainly miss them!
Also back out in force at Rockingham is the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship, where Adam Southgate is currently taking up the mantle left by Ed Hayes and Richard Styrin in the past. His form in the first three weekends of the season has left him almost untouchable, but he knows that each round always sees him face stiff competition. James Coleman, Kevin Molyneaux and Garry Lawrence are just three more names from a superb Race Boxster entry, while Gavin Johnson will be keen to be best of the 924 Class ahead of Hugh Peart, Darren Constant and Richard Matthews.
Alongside the native BRSCC content, two guest series also appear on this weekend’s timetable. Saturday will be further populated by a very strong entry from the Track Attack Racing Club, with two races catering to their Tricolore Trophy, Nippon Challenge and Multi Marques classes, plus a separate class for their new 206 GTi Cup. It’ll be a case of France vs Japan here as an armada of Renault Clios and Peugeot hot hatches take on a plethora of Honda Civics and Integras, with one or two surprises thrown in for good measure. Across both days, we’re also joined by the Drayton Manor MG Metro Cup, who appear this weekend for their fourth meeting of the year. It’s a domination by Jack and Andrew Ashton at the moment as they look to cement their points advantage, while Mark Eales, Daniel Balster and co will be on course to try and pick up points for themselves.