The new racing season for the British Racing & Sports Car Club burst into life for 2024 at Silverstone this past weekend, with the International circuit playing host to the first races of the year. Nine championships and series headed to Northamptonshire and the home of British motorsport to kick off proceedings in fine style.

All three of the Club’s Mazda MX-5 contests were in action at Silverstone, and each of them had plenty of memorable moments and close competition amongst them. In the GAZ Shocks Mazda MX-5 Championship, the top step was owned entirely by AB Motorsport’s Thomas Langford. Starting race one on pole, Langford held back Adam Sparrow and Jack Noller to claim the first win of the year, which was followed up by two more on Sunday. 

Eventually holding back Sparrow and Ben Short to win a damp second race after endless dicing between the trio, Langford recovered from a sluggish start to race three to complete the hat-trick, getting back to the lead by half distance and taking the flag from Sparrow and Noller once more. Langford ended up taking the first clean sweep of all three races in his MX-5 racing career, and will be hoping to extend that advantage further should he be present for the rest of the season starting at Snetterton in a few weeks’ time next month.

Their counterparts in the Downforce Radio Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship were just as entertaining, if not more. After qualifying in the wet on Sunday morning which left some front running drivers starting out of position for race one, the drier but still damp conditions produced a thrilling encounter. Front row men Chris Dawkins and Jack Warry traded the lead along with Jamie Turner, but incredibly none of them would end up on the podium come the chequered flag. Paul Bateman charged from 14th on the grid to eventually take a superb win with Jake Paice in second and Beau Parry in third.

Later in the afternoon, a race long duel between Bateman and Parry saw the former complete the double at Silverstone, topping the pack once more with Del Paice adding to the family silverware on Sunday with a superb third place finish.

Action aplenty characterised the Clapham North MOT Mazda MX-5 SuperCup across all three races during the Silverstone weekend. From the outset, the typical cut and thrust style of racing the championship is known for was on display for all to enjoy, with no single driver showing any pace advantage or domination.

The results sheet of race one may have had you fooled on that previous statement, though, as Aidan Hills was the declared the winner after a red flag stoppage forced the race to be called early. Before that, he’d battled with pole man Patrick Fletcher before demoting him to second in Pro class ahead of Joe Wiggin in third. Sunday’s first race in the wet produced superb dicing up and down the field as Fletcher claimed his first win of the year from Wiggin and Hills, before a drier third race gave Leigh Britten victory after the race was curtailed early. Britten battled to the front to win from Fletcher and Hills.

In Club class, Aimee Watts captured her first class win in race one ahead of Steve Kite and Kamal Kalsi, before Ollie Hall claimed a pair for himself in both races on Sunday. Watts also took two second places to add to her silverware, while Clive Powles also picked up a brace of thirds.

The entry for the MX-5 SuperCup was bolstered by the appearance of four time British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington, who enjoyed his first experience of the championship and was in the mix for a top ten finish all weekend.

Out on track for the first time in 2024 in a non-points scoring pair of races, the new generation of BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racers headed to Silverstone for an early season warm-up ahead of the start of their second full campaign supporting TCR UK.

Jenson O’Neill Going converted pole position to the race one win ahead of Jacob Hodgkiss, Alfie Garford and Tommy Harfield on the Mk7 class podium, with Maggie Webster and Michael Wheeler completing the top three of the Mk6 contenders a little further down the order. Despite O’Neill-Going crossing the line first to take the race two win initially, a post race tech inspection changed the result with an amended finishing order to give Hodgkiss the win, ahead of fellow Mk7 runners Garford and Finn Leslie, with Maggie Webster inheriting the Mk6 class win from Callie Clifford and Wheeler.

Over the weekend, there was much praise heaped on the Fiesta Junior paddock and in particular for their driving standards and on-track racing, the result of much hard work over the winter to ensure the championship’s place as one of the top junior series in British motorsport. There is now much anticipation ahead of the Brands Hatch round in April, where more cars are due to join the grid to kick off their 2024 season alongside this past weekend’s Silverstone runners.

The first two hour PBS Brakes SuperSport Endurance Cup race of the 2024 season enjoyed a strong entry of over 30 cars as they put on a vastly entertaining encounter to round off Saturday’s timetable. The front of the field was mostly dominated by a variety of BMWs early on, with the E46 M3 of Kevin Clarke and Aldo Riti managing a commanding lead of over 25 seconds after half an hour.

With pit stops beginning shortly after, the BMW 1 Series of Bart Horsten and Keir McConomy were quick to take over in front and led the way for most of the race, only giving way to Julian McBride’s Pro-B class M3 E46 when making their own stops. Once everything shook out, McConomy and Horsten would remain unchallenged to the end, although a bizarre finish to the race saw the 1 Series end up the race winners despite effectively taking the flag while entering the pits on the final lap with a mechanical issue.

Regardless of the initial confusion, McConomy and Horsten were overall and Pro-A class winners, with fellow class victors including McBride’s M3 (Pro-B), James Alford’s Audi TT (Pro-C), Paul Hinson’s BMW E36 Compact (Clubman-A), George Grant and Abbie Eaton’s Mazda MX-5 Mk5 (Clubman-B), and Adam Read and David Drinkwater’s BMW E36 Compact (Clubman-C).

For the SW Motorsports ClubSport Trophy, the popular 45-minute pit stop racing series produced yet another capacity grid, as 44 cars turned out for their first outing of the year. James Alford’s Audi TT, back out after it’s SuperSport Endurance appearance the day before, managed to get the leap on Jamie Hadley’s VW Golf, the pair managed to extend a healthy gap over the rest of the field in the opening minutes. Both cars ran close together as they weaved through the traffic in the first half of the race, but after the pit stops Alford remained ahead when Hadley exited his stop.

From here, Alford kept the Golf of Hadley at arms’ length and went on to take the flag first as well as winning Class A in the process in the TT. Other class winners on the day were Andrew Dyer’s Audi TT Cup Racing car (Class B), Stuart Kilroy’s Peugeot 207 GTi (Class C), Stephen Harrison’s Renault Clio (Class D) and the Nissan Almera of Daniel and Steven Cogswell (Class E).

Single seater action was present on Saturday with the Super Classic Pre ‘99 Formula Ford Championship kicking off the first round of their national-reaching calendar for 2024. With an impressive entry of some 20 cars spanning all four classes, they would be the first racing action to officially kick off the season early on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Ames led an exciting lead battle in the early stages of race one before managing to slowly edge away in the second half to take the first win of the year in his Van Diemen, heading up Richard Tarling’s Reynard and Richard Freye, also in a Van Diemen. Later in the day, the result was duplicated with Ames making it two from two in a more dominant performance, leaving Tarling and Freye to give chase several seconds back in second and third respectively.

Class winners across the day were Ames (Super Classic A), Tarling (Super Classic B), Jake Shortland’s Lola (Super Classic C) and Oliver Buckton’s Elden (Super Classic D).

The mammoth Modified Ford Series entry provided wonderful entertainment across both days, with over fourty cars turning out for their season opener, supported this past weekend by Drywall Surveying Services Ltd.

A fantastic lead scrap ended up taking place at the front between Dave Cockell’s ex-rally Escort Cosworth and Tommy Field’s Mk1 Escort, the pair chasing each other through traffic amongst most of the 15 minute race on Saturday with Cockell eventually coming out on top. James Allen settled for third place after a shaky start to the race, forcing him to battle back through the order to take the final podium spot.

Sunday’s race was rain affected, but didn’t dampen any of the action while the weather was less than ideal. Cockell used the four wheel drive of his Escort Cosworth to his advantage and competed the double, with Allen this time powering his way to second place this time from Field in third.

Sporting the fastest cars on track over the weekend, a 23-strong ZEO Prototype Series field was in attendance for a pair of races on Sunday, with some excellent variety in sports prototypes in their field including Radicals, Pragas, a Juno, a Norma and even the first ever Wolf Thunder chassis in the UK on the grid.

Early leader Joe Lock had a comfortable gap out in front in race one for a while before he dropped back, leaving the evergreen Mike Jenvey to take command out in front after battling the Praga of Jack Fabby from the outset and extending a healthy margin to win at a canter. Behind him, Fabby overhauled Lock’s Spire in the closing laps to take second, while Lock spun away a podium on the final lap to give Graham Charman’s Juno the place.

In a drier second race, Lock and Jenvey again diced for P1 early doors but Jenvey’s self-developed Jenvey-Gunn chassis eventually showed its supremacy once again, unchallenged out in front and dominating by over fourty seconds to complete a sublime double win. Fabby captured another runner up spot in second place, ahead of Max Windheuser in the Norma.

Scott Woodwiss


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