The second race weekend on the 2021 BRSCC schedule sees us make a trip north to Croft Circuit in Yorkshire with eight series and championships looking to begin their seasons with some superb racing. For many, this will be the start of their hopes and dreams to win the title this season.
There’s a trio of Mazda MX-5 series competing this season – yes, we did say a trio! – and they’re all descending on Croft to begin this year’s festivities. The ever packed grids of the Mazda MX-5 Championship and Mazda MX-5 SuperCup, for Mk1 and Mk3 generation MX-5s respectively, are virtually guaranteed to provide close, exciting and action-packed racing wherever they go and with Croft being a drivers’ favourite, it’s certain there’s going to be more of the same on this occasion. However, joining them this year is a new championship amongst the paddock – the Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship, sporting a one-day, two-race format that’s certain to cater to new drivers as well as those who are looking for something more in their favour in terms of logistics and cost-effectiveness when racing a MX-5. There’s sure to be plenty of familiar faces and an influx of new ones, all vying for 1st place once more in each of the three contests.
But it’s not just Mazda MX-5s that we’re featuring plenty of – there’s also an abundance of Ford Fiestas too! Over in the Fiesta Championship, the regular Fiesta ST150s are joined by a new breed as the Mk7 Fiesta ST180 is awarded its own points scoring class after it debuted as an Invitation entry at every round last year. The new class, dubbed “ST240” due to the step-up in power from the standard car, looks to be well supported with a number of cars set to contest it throughout 2021 and should provide a new target for those looking to take their club level saloon car racing exploits to the next level. Also back in the paddock for more is the superb Fiesta Junior Championship, a proven platform for young drivers aged 14-17 taking their first steps into circuit racing. Having bred racing talents that have successfully moved on into touring car and GT racing over the last few years, the latest crop of drivers will be keen to follow in their footsteps and their chance to do so starts this weekend.
Also on the Fiesta side of activities is a championship that has positively exploded this year and looks set to have its best season to date. The ETSL ST-XR Challenge caters to Ford Fiesta XR2, Escort XR3i and Fiesta ST150 models all built to Group N specification and since the latter of the three was introduced a handful of seasons ago, the championship’s popularity has taken a sharp upward turn. Now ready to embark on their 2021 season at Croft, the ST-XR Challenge boasts almost 40 registered drivers with many expected to be in attendance for the opening round. All things considered, these could be some of the best and most exciting races all weekend!
They might have some stiff competition, though, as the Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup is never a championship short on excitement. Always sporting bumper grids, these little rear-wheel-drive tin-tops are a riot both to watch and to race. With qualifying and racing typically all happening on one day and with race cars incredibly well priced to buy second hand, this makes it one of the best value club racing series in the UK in terms of cost versus racing action and excitement. It’s no wonder that 30+ cars regularly turn up at each round and with a paddock full of familiar drivers itching to get back on track, we anticipate the Croft season opener will be no different.
On Sunday afternoon, there will also be another recent BRSCC creation that has inspired many over the last couple of seasons and looks set to do so again this year – the Clubsport Trophy. This mini-endurance 45-minute pit-stop race allows solo and two driver entries, with cars split into five classes by “true” power to weight ratio, including the driver in their full race kit. It’s highly likely that cars and drivers from most of the above-mentioned championships will also appear in this race too, although there’s also sure to be an all-round superb and eclectic mix of cars on the entry list with every driver able to find someone to race with on track. These races usually go down to the wire, so don’t think the race will be won in the early stages.
Croft is always a superb venue to race at with its long straight and fast corners meaning drivers won’t have a moment to relax. There’s nothing quite like a blast around the Yorkshire countryside to begin your racing season!