On a weekend when the elements threw plenty of inclement weather conditions at the drivers, the BRSCC’s two day event at Snetterton produced another timetable full of quality racing action. With sprint and endurance racing providing more great variety, championship battles continued to wage as the second half of the season got underway for most.

The Silverlake C1 Endurance Series touched down at Snetterton for five hours of endurance racing, thankfully enjoying much drier and brighter conditions than the series had left from last time out at Donington Park. The series was fortunate to avoid the heavy rains that had affected the rest of the meeting and the race managed to remain dry for almost its entire duration.

Perennial rivals Trojon Motorsport and Emax Motorsport once again took up the front row with Trojon’s #319 car claiming pole ahead of Emax’s #346 machine, while Trojon’s second car, WRC Developments w/ CB Autoservices and both of Silverlake’s team cars also lining up within the top six places. From the outset both Trojon cars initially played the same trick they’d performed at Donington Park, as they initially pulled away together as Emax #346, WRC Developments and Silverlake all circulated together in pursuit while scrapping over 3rd place between themselves.

As the first couple of pit callers made their first stops once the pit window opened, Trojan’s #319 stumbled at Agostini and lost ground to its #421 sister car, before the first safety car was called when AASP’s #320 lost a wheel exiting Murrays, leaving it stranded on track. No sooner had the first safety car ended then Red Sky Racing threw their car into the gravel at Riches, forcing a second full course yellow straight away. Racing finally resumed on the hour mark as Trojon immediately tried to rebuild their lead, attempting to leave Emax and co once again in their wake.

Moments later, Trojon brought the #319 car in for its first stop and then #421 just a couple of laps later, setting off a flurry of pit visits over the next few laps. All the while, Emax stayed out until the 90 minute mark and rejoined behind both Trojon cars in the order, as out in front AASP Motorsport held firm in the lead for a while with their #462 car ahead of Brimstone Racing and Jelly Snake Racing. The race remained steady for a while until a third safety car was called after BPC Motorsports lost one of its cars parked against the barrier on the Bentley Straight.

Racing got back underway at the halfway mark in the race with Baycon Racing with Liqui Moly leading the pack at this stage, before pitting shortly after the restart. Trojon then retook the lead from DFTS just a few laps later, at this point ahead of the OPC-PR machine featuring defending BTCC champion Tom Ingram in its driving strength followed by Emax, Jelly Snake Racing and Silverlake.

After OPC-PR took their turn to lead, even setting the fastest lap of the race at one point, the team pitted with less than ninety minutes before both Jelly Snake and Brimstone Racing did the same, leaving Trojon #421 back out in front. Going into the final hour, Emax had #346 and #445 in the podium places and hoping to hunt down the leading Trojon car, while its sister #319 had been forced into the pits with an ABS problem that had left them down the order and out of contention. Trojon had a lead of over 30 seconds at one point, but in the final stint the Emax #346 team began taking chunks of time out of the lead in the closing stages, managing to half it with 15 minutes to go and quickly reducing it further of the next few laps.

In just a handful of laps the 15 second margin was reduced to nothing and with three minutes to go, Emax made their move to snatch the lead. Trojon stayed as close as they could over the remaining couple of laps, but in the end Emax had enough to take the flag and win the Snetterton five hour encounter. Trojon settled for the runner up spot ahead of a brilliant drive from Brimstone Racing to take a podium with 3rd, ahead of Jelly Snake Racing and Baycon Racing in the top five.

The second half of the 2023 GAZ Shocks Mazda MX-5 Championship got underway under rather rainy skies and a wet circuit for most of the weekend at Snetterton, as summer rain showers affected the entire weekend and the championship contenders bid for as many points as they could muster from the three races.

Adam Sparrow put in another excellent lap in qualifying to take pole position for Race 1, but neither him nor front row mate Ted Bradbury ended up leading from the outset. A super start from Jack Noller helped him power to the front from the outset, while Bradbury’s attempt to take second from Sparrow resulted in him dropping back to 7th as a result and then running wide at Wilson on Lap 2 to drop further. Noller had to resist pressure from Sparrow in the early minutes, before Adam swept past heading towards Riches into the lead.

Sparrow’s lead was short-lived, however, when he ran wide at Murrays and fell back behind Noller with Luke Pullen trying to give chase. Pullen did find a way past Sparrow and the pair eventually caught up to and passed leader Noller before fighting their own battle for the win. At one stage in the closing minutes, Pullen went on the attack after passing Noller to take the lead and potentially be on course for his first MX-5 Championship win, but Sparrow was back through a lap later and charged to the flag victorious. Noller also retook 2nd before the end leaving Pullen back in 3rd, ahead of Thomas Langford and Steve Foden.

Thankfully, despite a damp circuit from overnight rain, Sunday’s first race was dry which allowed Noller to sweep past Sparrow on the outside of Riches to take the lead from the off. However, he would slip back to fourth by the time they reached the same corner a lap later having lost out to Sparrow and then both Pullen and Bradbury in quick succession. It turned out Bradbury was the man on the move, as he quickly took 2nd from Pullen and then the lead from Sparrow at Riches, setting off a race long chase as he headed the leading quartet.

Foden would make it a quintet eventually despite one or two grassy off-track moments in his pursuit, but in the lead Bradbury was putting up his sternest defence to hold the lead as the race entered its final minutes. With Sparrow launching attack after attack, Bradbury batted away every single attempt, but found himself having to fight back when Sparrow found a way through on the penultimate lap. Quickly repassing at Murrays, Bradbury then had to do it again on the final corner when he superbly slipped by Sparrow one more time and charged to the line to take a long awaited first MX-5 Championship win. Foden managed to climb all the way to 2nd ahead of Sparrow in 3rd, followed by Noller and Pullen in the top five.

The circuit was saturated once more thanks to more rain later in the day, leaving the conditions similar to those of race one when the final race of the weekend got underway. Renowned for his wet weather prowess, Foden unsurprisingly took the lead and was already two seconds to the good after two laps. Noller was doing his best to keep up in 2nd place, edging away from Bradbury and co.

Midway through, the rain arrived once more but this only played into Foden’s hands further as he continued to extend his lead until the chequered flag, winning race three by over six seconds in the end. Jack Noller completed the weekend with another podium finish in 2nd, while Oliver Graham put in a fine drive to climb his way up to 3rd place ahead of Jason Greatrex and Harry Storer.

As the second half of the Downforce Radio Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship got underway at Snetterton this past weekend, championship leader Matt Fletcher was hopeful of extending his win streak in Norfolk – but as the weather decidedly took a turn for the worse in both races, so too did his luck…

It started well enough with Fletcher taking pole in qualifying ahead of race one, but it was fellow front row man Jordan Pimley that lept into the lead from lights out just as rain began to fall at the start. Pimley looked as though he was about to clear off into the distance, but a driveshaft failure on the second lap put him out of the race early on. Fletcher inherited the lead as a result but now had Harry Deane in hot pursuit as the two cars tried to pull away from the chasing pack led by Beau Parry.

As the rain continued to fall and indeed intensify heading into the final minutes, Fletcher was still unmoved from the lead despite Deane, Parry and co continuing to press him. It looked as though the win streak was going to be upheld – that was until they reached the last lap. Heading into the final corner, Fletcher lost control and slid off the road, handing victory on a plate to Harry Deane as a result. Parry followed him home in second place, while Jonny Greensmith superbly stole 3rd on the line from Russell Halley who took fourth, while Jamie Turner completed the top five.

The weather was even more severe as the second race prepared for the off, with Deane hoping to repeat his race one success. This was hindered by a poor start as Parry powered his way into the lead before Halley took his turn a few corners later on the opening lap, then he left the road at Oggies to promote Greensmith to the front in his place.

As Greensmith tried to get away, Nick Le Doyen had risen to 2nd place and was trying to chase after him, but he fell off the road before the end of Lap 2. Behind them, a lightning fast start from Jordan Pimley had seen him rise from 28th on the grid to 8th by the end of the opening lap. Showing phenomenal pace in the wet, it wasn’t long before he was up to 3rd just past half distance with both Deane and leader Greensmith in his sights. With Fletcher also rising up to 4th, the battle was on with two laps left.

Pimley dived past Dean at Riches to go second with just Greensmith standing in his way. Amazingly, Pimley then powered his way past Jonny for the lead down the Bentley Straight, and this proved to be absolutely pivotal. Given the severity of the conditions at this point, the chequered flag was thrown a lap early which meant that on the run to the line, Jordan Pimley was unchallenge and victorious in one of the finest drives in MX-5 Clubman history, from the back of the grid to the win. Greensmith claimed second ahead of Deane in third, followed by Fletcher in fourth and Parry in fifth.

If there was one thing that wasn’t in short supply in the Clapham North MOT Mazda MX-5 SuperCup’s weekend of racing at Snetterton in Norfolk, it was rain. Wet weather played its part in all three races over the course of the meeting, with drivers having to brave the elements in the bid for Pro and Club class glory. With points leads to defend for both Aidan Hills and Kamal Kalsi respectively, both had a tough task at hand.

Patrick Collins effectively picked up where he’d left off from Anglesey by taking pole in qualifying earlier on Saturday morning, lining up alongside James Cossins on the front row as the first race got underway. Cossins got a flyer and was unchallenged into Riches for the first time with teammate Hills, Fletcher and a fast starting Fraser Fenwick going with them initially. Hills and Fletcher swapped places briefly before Aidan repassed and put his foot down to catch his teammate.

A classy outside pass at Riches gave Hills the lead just before half distance and from here, Aidan was able to use all of his rallycross expertise to tackle the wet conditions with ease. This left Cossins to deal with both Fletcher and Fenwick behind him in the fight for second place, but despite initial pressure he was able to pull away again and close up more to Hills by the end of the race. Hills in turn took his eighth win of the season just under three quarters of a second ahead of Cossins, while Fletcher, Fenwick and Blackwell-Chambers rounded off the top five in Pro Class.

In the Club class, Robert Way managed to master the conditions with a solid drive to earn him the win as well as finishing an impressive 12th overall in the finishing order. Wilbur Tiley had to drive back to 2nd after an excursion at Riches dropped him time and forced him into a recovery drive, while points leader Kamal Kalsi rounded off the podium with 3rd ahead of Max Merritt and Alex Jones.

Race two provided some of the toughest conditions any of the competitors at Snetterton had to face all weekend, with the second fastest times from qualifying giving James Cossins the pole alongside Tom Griffiths. As they slithered away from the line and left a ball of spray in their wake, Griffiths headed Cossins into the first corner, and then quickly lost 2nd to Fletcher at the Wilson Hairpin before Ali Bray also charged through into 3rd.

By the end of the lap, Bray was into the lead and in hot pursuit of Griffiths for the lead and before the end of the second lap the AB Motorsport boss was in front – until he lost it back at Riches next time round and dropped back down the order. It wasn’t long before Griffiths also fell foul of the conditions at the Wilson hairpin, losing the lead to Hills in the process as the rain continued to lash down and make the circuit even more treacherous.

An off for Josh Morris into the Riches gravel prompted the safety car to appear, which led to a single lap restart to decide the win. Despite a handful of cars behind the leader, including Ali Bray, skating off at Riches too, Hills was able to complete the race with his second win of the day and his ninth of 2023 in appalling weather. Fletcher took 2nd ahead of Cossins in 3rd with Blackwell-Chambers in 4th and Allwood an excellent 5th on his return weekend. Meanwhile, Wilbur Tiley came away with the Club class win in a hard fought race with Robert Way in 2nd, while Kamal Kalsi, Max Merritt and Alex Jones completed the first five places in class.

Incredibly, the rain returned for the final race of the weekend on Sunday, albeit not quite as severe has it had been at the end of Saturday. Sam Heading was put on the partially reversed grid pole with Tom Griffiths bidding for victory again, while Allwood and Blackwell-Chambers were keen to make an impact from the second row. It was Blackwell-Chambers that charged into the lead from row two with Fletcher and Griffiths going with him from the outset, but that changed when the defending champion ran across the grass and rejoined in 3rd. Fletcher then lost his briefly inherited lead to Hills, and then dropped to 5th by the end of Lap 2.

Another car finding the gravel at Riches brought out the safety car in this encounter too, giving the rest of pack another chance to keep Hills in their sights. On the restart, Bray was immediately on his toes and combated Blackwell-Chambers for 2nd place, finally sealing the move at Agostini hairpin and set off after Hills for the lead. An excellent switchback at Murrays allowed Bray to steal the lead before Blackwell-Chambers also demoted Hills back to 3rd one corner later.

Even though WB-C did his best to close the gap again, Bray did a fine job to clinch a brilliant win in race three with Blackwell-Chambers and Hills joining him on the podium. James Cossins only just missed out on another podium with fourth, while Allwood put in another solid drive to claim another top five finish. In Club class this time, Tiley picked up his second class win of the weekend after he benefitted from points leader Kalsi skating off the road exiting Williams corner. Eliza Seville secured an excellent first class podium with 2nd place ahead of Way, Jones and the recovering Kalsi in 5th.

There was one question on the lips of everyone except one man within the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup and Student Motorsport Challenge paddock as it arrived back at Snetterton to cross the half way stage in the 2023 season – was there ANYONE that could stop runaway championship leader Elliot Lettis? Having only been beaten once all season to date, ironically at Snetterton in April, the return leg provided another chance to usurp his victory run.

The signs didn’t look promising for the rest when Lettis stuck his Peugeot on pole once more during qualifying, but the conditions had turned come the start of race one with rain in the air and on track. A damp and slippery circuit didn’t favour the pole sitter as Stuart Bliss got the better jump at the start, leading the pack into the first corner and leaving Lettis to deal with leading SMC driver Jack Wheeler who stole second place in quick succession.

Lettis fought back to reclaim the pace as the field began lap two, with Bliss already trying to escape up the road early doors. The position didn’t last long for the championship leader as both Wheeler and Chris Mackenzie put the pressure on and the three cars went back and forth for a few corners. As it turned out, Bliss didn’t have the pace to run away and it wasn’t long before both Wheeler and Lettis were back on his bumper challenging for the lead. 

Wheeler captured the fastest lap as the final lap began, but in the end it wasn’t enough for Bliss to finally break the Lettis run of domination with victory in the first race. Wheeler claimed second and the SMC win for East Surrey College with Lettis himself back in third, while Joe Moss and Richard Jepp completed the overall top five. Jepp also took second in SMC for Northbrook College ahead of Liam Browning for Boston College, Andrew Dyer for Barracksport and Arthur Simondet for Queen Ethelburga’s.

The weather had severely worsened by the time the second race had arrived, and just like Bliss in the first start it was the outside of the front row that provided the better start for Wheeler, catapulting him into the lead straight off. Bliss managed to repass him at the end of the lap, while Jepp had also made a super start to demote Lettis to fourth. This didn’t last long either, as first Lettis retook the place and then caught and passed Wheeler to reclaim second with Bliss right in front of him for the taking.

Heading to Riches with five minutes to go, Lettis powered past Bliss to take the lead – however, his chance at victory was denied when the race was stopped before he could finish the same lap due to Alistair Meiring’s stranded car at Nelson. Counting the result back to the last complete lap, this allowed Bliss to keep the win with Lettis only just back in second place, while Wheeler was again in third and victorious in SMC for East Surrey College. The rest of the top five and SMC podium was completed by Northbrook Racing’s Richard Jepp and Barracksport’s Andrew Dyer.

Even though there was none falling as race three arrived on Sunday, the rain had been present which left the circuit saturated once again. Richard Snuggs and Joe Moss ended up on the front row from the reverse grid draw, but regardless it was Bliss who still charged to the lead within a matter of corners with a fast starting Dyer also quickly racing up to 2nd. It wasn’t long before Lettis was right with then as lap two commenced and on the same tour he disposed of Dyer with Bliss in his sights ahead.

As the race went on, the conditions began to brighten and the circuit started to dry a little but still remained greasy. Lettis carried on pursuing Bliss as he left Dyer and Jepp in his wake and eventually with four minutes to go. From here it was a straightforward task for the championship leader as he pulled away to get back to the winners’ circle once more with his ninth win of the season, joined by Bliss and Dyer on the podium with Jepp and Joe Moss in the top five. Dyer was also SMC winner for Barracksport (their first win of the season) with Jepp in 2nd for Northbrook, Wheeler for East Surrey, Browning for Boston and Emilia Vincent a hard earned fifth for Wiltshire College.

Amazingly since the championship began as a handful of pilot races across 2021 and 2022, the BRSCC SuperSport Endurance Cup had yet to race in wet weather conditions – that was until it returned to Snetterton for its second appearance of the year. While April’s season opener had been dry and sunny, the same couldn’t be said about July’s race with dark clouds, heavy rain and poor visibility providing the championship’s biggest test to date.

Jasver Sapra and Bryan Bransom put their BMW M3 on pole alongside the Vauxhall VX220 of Simon Mauger and Justin Middleton, while overall championship rivals Keir McConomy and Bart Horstern in Pro-A were lined up on the second row with Pro-B and outright leader Julian McBride. After two formation laps to adjust to the wet conditions, racing burst into life with a wall of spray trailing the leaders towards Riches for the first time.

Sapra/Branson leapt into the lead from the off, but were demoted to second by the guest entry BMW of the experienced Nigel Greensall sharing with James Collins who initially had the race in their command. They were quickly followed by Warren Tattersall in his SEAT Leon Cupra cup car who worked his way to second within the first ten minutes from seventh on the grid. The first safety car of the race came with the SEAT of Chris and Luke Hayes left the road at Wilson hairpin, neutralising the race for almost 20 minutes with the first pit stops being made by some competitors during this time.

Shortly after the restart, Tattersall took over the lead from Sapra/Bransom, while behind them further down the order there were issues for the Pro-A class points leading BMW 1 Series of McConomy and Horsten, which had slipped down the pack from the outset and was now experiencing mechanical issues that forced it out of contention for a win. It still managed to finish 17th overall and 3rd in class, which still provided strong points towards the table.

As Tattersall pitted the SEAT and Sapra/ Bransom their M3, the Greensall/ Collins car stopped on track exiting Murrays, forcing another safety car to be called just before the stroke of half distance. More teams took full advantage to make pit stops during this period, leaving another slightly jumbled up order as the race got back underway some fifteen minutes later. Tattersall still led, but it was now the guest entry in Clubman-A of Simon Mason and Chris Bialan that had worked their way up to 2nd ahead of the Sapra/Bransom BMW, then Ricky Coomber’s Honda Civic and the VW Scirocco of Stuart Mead and Tim Hartland.

The rain failed to ease up as the final 45 minutes ticked away with many drivers having to contend with heavy rain and heavy spray as the race progressed. Tattersall continued to pace the field and pull away at some rate despite the conditions and in the end even with a late final pitstop with 25 minutes to go, the speed of the SEAT in the wet allowed him to eventually take the chequered flag by a full two laps.

Tattersall’s outright win gave him the Pro-B class victory as well, followed by Leon Bidgway’s Lotus Exige in second place overall ahead of an incredible effort from Bruce Robinson’s Mazda MX-5 to finish in third overall and runaway Clubman-B class winner. Julian McBride’s M3 came home in fourth while Clubman A class winner Paul Hinson kept up his 100% record with 5th outright too.

Alongside the above aforementioned winners, class victories also went the way of Ricky Coomber’s Honda Civic (Pro-A), Stuart Mead and Tim Hartland’s VW Scirocco (Pro-C) and Adam Read and David Drinkwater (Clubman-C).

Scott Woodwiss


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