CLUBSPORT TROPHY & CITYCAR CUP BRINGS ANOTHER PACKED ENTRY FOR INAUGURAL SILVERSTONE VISIT


It’s incredibly encouraging to see that despite everything happening in the world right now in these unusual times, there’s still plenty of interest and demand for grid spaces in the BRSCC Clubsport Trophy. Now off the back of a successful and very entertaining first race of 2020 at Cadwell Park, this time the drivers present on this weekend’s grid get to stretch their legs a little bit as Silverstone’s National circuit is the chosen arena for the five classes to do battle in. Once more, we’ll also see the grid boosted further by the appearance of the new BRSCC CityCar Cup which continues its development ahead of their first full standalone season planned for next year.

The overall race winner from Cadwell Park, the Lotus Exige of Brian Chandler, isn’t present this weekend, but there’s still a very intriguing and competitive Class A line up for Sunday’s 45-minute pit stop race. David Shead is back in his mighty BMW Compact, a car that managed to qualify towards the head of the grid last time and will be hoping can do the same again in a bid to possibly take class honours. Mark Thomas’ wild Ford Capri is back too, a car which never The Mountain at Cadwell in any other state than sideways! A very entertaining machine to watch, he will certainly hope to be in the mix once more. Another unique car returning from last year is the quirky yet very pretty Caterham 21 of David Fender, which has had some engine work over the offseason and should be on song all day in a bid to beat its rivals. Making up the rest of the class will be the VW Golf Mk5 GTi of regular Production GTi racer John Mawdsley and his co-driver Stuart Mead, the unique Mini Clubman of Sussex Road & Race’s Keith Issatt, the Honda Civic Type R of Civic Cup regular David Vincent and the Honda Integra Type R DC5 of Colin Newbold and Mark Court, two drivers that used to be rivals for class honours in the Fiesta Championship a couple of years ago, but now race together in Mark’s superb machine which sports a fitting Spoon Sports yellow and blue livery.

Class B looks set to be a straight battle mostly between Honda Civics and Mazda MX-5s, two of the most common cars found in the Clubsport Trophy these days. On the Honda side, we find two more Civic Cup competitors in the form of Jamie Tonks and Luke Handley, while over in the Mazda camp there’s Cadwell class winners Declan Lee and Aidan Hills, and former Le Mans and WEC winner Martin Plowman in their Mk3 examples while Scott Ferguson once again brings his supercharged Mk1 variant. The other two cars joining them amongst these ranks are the MINI Cooper of Antony Woodhams and the Caterham Roadsport of Allan Curtis and Kosta Kyritsis. This won’t be the first time that a traditional Caterham Seven had raced in this series, as Ben Buckley drove his example in the Donington event last year.

There are more MX-5s in Class C, but here their main competition comes from a fellow Japanese marque in Toyota. For the Mazdas, Chrissy Palmer once again pilots the latest generation Mk4 MX-5 prepared by Paul Sheard Racing which features a sequential gearbox, while regular MX-5 SuperCup driver Alex Miller elects to go solo this time in his Mk3 after sharing with last year’s Mk1 champion John Langridge at Cadwell; also joining them is Bill Taylor and Paul King in Bill’s regular MX-5 Championship Mk1 race car. With the Toyotas, Stewart Donovan reappears in his Se7en Motorsports prepared Celica which raced at Brands Hatch in 2019, and he’ll have teammates in the form of Roan & Richard Lundy in a second Celica for company; David Thomas also chooses to line up once again in his Mk1 generation Toyota MR2. Plus, David May will again drive his mighty BMW 330 and will hope that this time he doesn’t fall foul of the stewards and cop a time penalty as he did at Cadwell! David is a very capable driver who was on good form in the most recent rounds of the BMW Compact Cup at Thruxton and as a former Masters champion in that series, his ability is to be respected it.

Class D has some great variety, including Cadwell class winners Craig and Gary Butterworth in their Renault Clio 172 Sport – OK, they may have been the only car in that class that weekend, but a win is still a win! Thankfully, they have three more cars to battle with, as Richard Daniels’ Ford Fiesta, the Alfa Romeo GTV of Jake Taplin and Richard Wain and another Mk3 Mazda MX-5 of Darren Stapleton and Michael Close are all ready to take them on.

Then we get to Class E, which could almost be called the Mazda MX-5 Class in its own right! No less than four can be found here this time, two of which once again are from the Mazda MX-5 Championship as Richard and Steven Bartlett prepare to share once more as well as Matt Fletcher and Chris Molloy, while Rob Greensmith brings his Steel City MX-5-prepared car back to the paddock alongside the first appearance for Chris Fantana and Nick Ramsden in their example. Completing the class is the Fareham College built and run BMW 116 of James Fordham and Patrick Young in a car that would normally compete in the 116 Trophy, but had instead elected to be entered into a different endurance race entirely.

In terms of the ten CityCar Cup cars, most of the drivers that contested their inaugural race at Cadwell Park are back, including the first-ever winner Nic Grindrod. Joining him for more on-track fun is Richard Brunning of Bad Obsession Motorsport in their “WRC” hommage Citroen C1, along with Tim Evans in the sole Toyota Aygo, the fellow C1s of Simon & Paul Toolan (sharing the same car this time), Liam Browning and Andrew Schofield, the latter hoping his engine holds out to race on this occasion after it sadly faltered in qualifying at Cadwell. There’s also a couple of new faces amongst their ranks, with Craig Carter and former Civic Cup racer Ben Sharpe making their debuts in a couple of C1s each, plus Paul Savage ensures a second Peugeot 107 alongside Steve Laidlaw. The feedback from the first race was all positive from the drivers and they’re itching to have another go this weekend!

Three cars are also on the reserve list – the Rover Mini of John Cockburn-Evans, another former BRSCC Mazda MX-5 racer, as well as Roger and Nick Hamilton’s Ginetta G20 and the BMW E36 Compact of Philip Adcock, who once again is looking to join the grid after he too was a Cadwell starter.

Scott Woodwiss