Production GTis will cater to both Mk2 and Mk5 models of the legendary VW Golf GTi – Photo: Jon Elsey

We’ve already seen Silverstone twice this season with the Hankook 24 Hours and our Season Opener in April, so now it’s time to complete a hat-trick with our third visit more than a month since we hit the International circuit. However this time it’s the National layout that sees track action with capacity grids expected for a number of our most popular championships in attendance.

There’s an entry of almost 60 Mk1 Mazda MX-5s (at the time of writing) for the 3rd meeting of the season for the Mazda MX-5 Championship, as Will Blackwell-Chambers takes firm control at the head of the points table. Team-mate Samuel Smith snatched a victory from him last time at Cadwell Park, but Oliver Allwood pressed them both hard throughout the weekend. These 3 names will be in the mix for victories, as well Michael Fisk who needs a return to form after failing to secure a top 10 last time and is in desperate need to claw back lost ground. With such a large entry, the entire field is split into two groups which means more racing!

Their more contemporary brethren in the MX-5 SuperCup will feature a capacity 40 car grid with all of the top names locked in to do battle. Rob Boston has 4 wins from 6 races, but finds himself under pressure from Luke Herbert, Jack Harding and Tom Roche, all 3 of which have taken podiums and in the case of the latter two, a win each. All of them are defacto front-runners, as will be Liam Murphy, Brian Chandler, Jonathan Greensmith, Mike Comber, Richard Styrin, Steve Roberts, Richard Wicklen, Carl Garnett and more. There really is no telling just who will place where in the SuperCup this season, with bumper to bumper racing guaranteed!

Making its first appearance this season in terms of points scoring rounds, the electrifying Excool OSS Championship begins 2017 properly with its first 3 races of the year. This is a multi-class championship dedicated to giving a wide variety of open and closed-top sports racing and sports prototype machinery a home to race amongst each other in short, exciting sprint races. With a full grid of 34 cars plus reserves here this weekend, expect some 12 different chassis manufacturers to fight it out across 8 classes. 2016 was the year OSS went viral and given its boom in popularity, this season is set to be bigger and better. We can’t stress this enough – you do NOT want to miss these races!

More multi-class action comes in the form of the Fiesta Championship, with 4 categories catering for various generations and models of the popular little Ford Fiesta hatchback. Class C for the Mk6 Fiesta ST will be the fastest on track with young charges Lewis Kent and Danny Harrison squaring off against more experienced hands like Simon Horrobin, David Nye, Lee Dendy-Sadler and the Watkins brothers. Plus, Class D for the Mk7 Zetec S models is also continuing to grow with Jamie White sitting at the head of both the class and overall points tables. There’s also Classes A and B for older Fiestas to compete amongst themselves. It’ll be intense from start to finish, especially with a BTCC Ford Focus test drive on hand for the overall champion!

The next generation of touring car stars could also arise from our Fiesta Junior Championship, which heads to Silverstone after two very competitive and entertaining opening meetings. Scotland’s Jack Davidson had to get his elbows out at Cadwell Park to turnaround a qualifying incident and eventually take a race win. His goal will be more of the same, however he’s sure to have Nicholas Reeve, James Hillery, Lochlan Bearman and 2016 champion Harry Gooding on his tail amongst others. These names and faces could be on the grid in higher categories in the next few years, so keep an eye on them!

Also continuing the tin-top theme, there will be races for the Teekay Couplings Production GTis with amalgamated grids combining the Mk2 Championship and Mk5 Series. These two contests give a home to the aforementioned generations of the VW Golf GTi, one of the best loved hot hatchbacks of all time. Reigning Mk2 champion Chris Webb kicked off his title defence in fine style with a pair of victories in the 16v class, with Paul Burt, David Aldridge, Dan Gibbs and Brian Reed all sharing podiums amongst them. Meanwhile with only one 8V car represented at Brands Hatch, Matthews Petts makes his first appearance of 2017 to defend his crown too. As for the Mk5s, Martyn Walsh was the man no-one could be as he dominated both of his races. Silverstone should provide an interesting backdrop for the next chapter in their season.

Finally, we’re delighted to once again accommodate our good friends at HRDC, who bring two more races full of fantastic and entertaining historic machinery. There’s a race for the Touring Greats and TC63 classes which will see a mixture of Jaguars, Austins, Rileys, Triumph Heralds and Alfa Romeos to give you a glimpse of how touring car racing was back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. There’s also a race for the Allstars, A-Series Challenge and Academy which features a cluster of Austin A35 Academy drivers amongst a grid catering for Minis, MGs, Alfas, a Lotus Elan and even a Ford Mustang. Such diversity and breadth in a historic field is something that surely has to be seen and experienced. Plus with HRDC, their racing is just as close and intense as it was back in the day!

Silverstone is always a regular stomping ground for us and the racing that takes place here rarely disappoints, if at all. With the likes of Mazda MX-5s, Ford Fiestas and a multitude of sports prototypes and historic machines on display, you really are in for a real treat this weekend!

Scott Woodwiss


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