DONINGTON BRINGS ANOTHER DOWN TO THE WIRE DECIDER
Just as quickly as the season starts, it appears to end in much the same way. How on earth did we go from late March all the way to mid-October in what feels like no time at all? Still, the end of another year of BRSCC racing is coming to a close, but as always we’ve once again got plenty of championship battles to resolve, and here at Donington Park, you can bet that no-one with a shout of claiming one is going down without a fight.
The Fiesta Championship field will end their chase for the coveted Motorbase BTCC test drive this weekend – Photo: Jon Elsey
So, let’s the scene one by one, starting with the Mazda MX-5 Championship. The incredibly popular little Mk1 edition of Japan’s fantastic small sportscar has helped driver numbers soar in 2017 with the highest number of registered drivers in the Championship’s history at just over 100! Even more amazing is that almost 70 cars will be competing here this weekend, which beats the record set right here two years ago. But, it’s the front of the field where the focus will be. Will Blackwell-Chambers heads Oliver Allwood by 70 points, and on that basis, the title might not be resolved until the very last race of the weekend. That said, Joshua Jackson successfully won an appeal on his Anglesey exclusion, and the return of his victory and points scored in Race 2 that weekend means he’s now right back on Allwood’s tail and in the hunt. With all of the top names entered and an intense Masters contest to settle between Martin Tolley and Paul Tucker, the six races for these guys and girls will be just unmissable.
The same can definitely in what has been a spellbinding Mazda MX-5 SuperCup. Like their Mk1 compatriots, the SuperCup has seen a massive boom in numbers and popularity, leaving it in an excellent and healthy position heading into 2018. As for the race for the title, it’s a simple contest – former Mk3 champion Luke Herbert holds firm ahead of Tom Roche by 13 points. The task is undoubtedly going to be tough for Roche to overhaul that deficit, but never count out “Mr MX-5” when faced with a challenge. He will push from the first qualifying lap, while the other primary frontrunners will all be out for personal glory and to possibly even spoil Herbert and Roche’s party. After an ultra-competitive season, the SuperCup may just be saving their best until last!
It’ll also be tense times in the Fiesta Championship, where those bidding for glory have their eyes firmly focused on the prize of a Motorbase Ford Focus BTCC test drive. It does appear as if Class D’s Jamie White will end up earning that honour, but John Cooper will be sure to press him all the way. Class C also needs to be decided, as David Nye’s late run of form helping him to the top of the class points standings. Class B also sees a duel set between Sean Banks and Derek Robinson, so up and down the entry, there’s plenty of action to keep an eye on this weekend in this series.
Their younger counterparts in the Fiesta Junior Championship also have scores to settle, as there are four drivers still with a shout of claiming the top spot. Jack Davidson remains in front, but thanks to a retirement in Race 2 at Croft, his points lead was slashed to just 20. Now, he’ll have to fend off both James Hillery and Nicholas Reeve, as both hold the 2nd place spot. James Waite is also still an outside bet to steal it, but he’ll need an awful lot of bad luck if he wants to succeed. Along with a host of junior drivers looking to end their year with a good result, plus the debut of brand new FJC race Abby Lock in the mix, these future racing stars are ones to watch this weekend.
The final intense skirmish for championship honours lies in the Alfa Romeo Championship, where it’s all but sure that the champion will be from the Twin Spark Cup. But, if last time out at Mallory Park was anything to go by, we know that it’s anything but settled. Just about all of the title contenders hit trouble at some stage during the doubleheader, leaving Tom Hill to pick up most of the pieces as a result. Despite an accident at Mallory writing off his regular car, leader Andrew Bourke has sourced another vehicle to uphold his lead. Reigning champion Hill wants to add a second title to his 2016 success and don’t count out Australia’s Simon Cresswell. Based on the entry for this weekend, the honours for both Modified and Power Trophy honours look set to go to Vincent Dubois and Paul Webster respectively, unless Graham Seager puts in a late entry for the former to snatch another Modified crown.
Support comes from the always excellent and entertaining HRDC, with three races adding to the spectacle on Sunday. The Allstars, Academy & A-Series Challenge provides a fascinating mix of classic GT and touring cars in a race that will see some teams running two drivers. The Touring Greats and TC63 race will take spectators back to the glory days of touring car racing, while the Coombs Heritage Challenge is reserved primarily for drivers of the magnificent Jaguar saloons of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Whichever of the three will be your favourite; this is historic racing at its absolute best!
Of course, it’s sad that we have to put another year of club motorsport to bed, but you can be sure that every single driver out there will be giving it everything to make sure they earn bragging rights and for some, an even more significant prize. If you’ve been with us at any point this season, thank you so much for supporting the BRSCC and its drivers. A massive thank you to all our drivers, teams, partners, officials, marshals and spectators for making 2017 a year to remember – even though it’s not quite over just yet!