GOING FOR GOLD AT SILVERSTONE


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The Fiesta Juniors return to Silverstone as the season nears the home stretch – Photo: James Roberts

Silverstone may have already seen its fair share of endurance racing already this year, but that doesn’t mean there’s no scope or room for a little more. This weekend it’s the National layout’s turn to host a mixtures of tin-tops with the main attraction coming on Saturday with a 3 hour race for one of the best loved long distance championships in the UK.

That championship is the quick, quirky and competitive FunCup. This is where team racing and strategy really comes into play here. With teams of anywhere between 2 and 5 drivers, the racing is flat out from start to finish with the emphasis on maximising pit stops and driver changes to full effect. With some teams having last raced at Spa-Francorchamps in the famous 25 Hour race, they’ll be itching to get back to scoring vital points towards the championship. Eco Racing are the current leaders just 14 points ahead of Track Torque Racing 2 Rent Dominos, with many more top teams likely to also be in the mix such as JPR Uvio, Honeywell, CCS Media, Racelogic and Team Trooper.

Moving into Sunday’s racing, the largest contingent comes from the well populated Quaife Fiesta Championship. With an entry that’s in excess of 30 cars once more, the grids are set to be split between Class C and the other 3 that normally all share together. With Class C, there’s been immense competition and close combat between those at the front, with the likes of Sam Priest, Aaron Thompson, Simon Horrobin and JJ Ross all winning races. Add to that list Nathan Edwards who took his first senior win at Castle Combe last time out along with a whole host of skilled drivers and no-one’s place in at least the top 5 is safe here.

Over with Classes A, B and D there’s an equally enticing pair of races in prospect here too. Alastair Kellett still leads the Class D and overall points standings, so he’ll be out to consolidate both positions at the top. He’ll be coming under fire from the likes of John Cooper, Jamie White, Jessica King and many others. There’s also a couple of new additions to the grid, as another former Mini joins in the shape of Penelope Jones, while regular championship co-ordinator Al Day gives up the role for a weekend to return to the track. Classes A & B should have some exciting battles amongst both entries.

From the Blue Oval to the People’s Car, the Teekay Couplings Production GTis reappear once more. Both series put on some cracking racing last time at Brands Hatch and it’s the Mk2 Championship who will kick things off on Saturday. Adam Hance, Nick Porter and Chris Webb are all top names to look out for as they’ll be contesting the overall honours in the 16v class, whilst the 8V contingent will consist of drivers such as Wesley Chatterton, David Aldridge and the returning Paul Cowland. This championship does a fine job of keeping alive the racing pedigree of the infamous Mk2 Golf GTi, one of the best loved hot hatches of all time.

Its younger brother the Mk5 Golf GTi must surely be on course to become a future classic, something that will certainly be helped by the amazing spectacle that the Production GTi Mk5 Series has provided so far. In what was only one of his first race weekends in circuit racing, impressive youngster Charlie Cudlipp put in stirling drives at Brands as he contested the podium places with Martyn Walsh, Josh Johnson and Simon Gusterson. John O’Brien was also someone on the pace in qualifying, so depending on how many of these drivers and more make the trip to Silverstone, it could be another close run affair between them.

Lastly, we’ve got support on the timetable from our friends in the Scrapco Recycling/Avon Tyres Intermarques Championship. A strong field of regular faces and machines is expected to turn out with Malcolm Blackman’s Vauxhall Tigra at the head of the standings. His main rivals will be siblings Lewis and Simon Smith who are immediately giving chasing the points, along with Chris Brocklehurst, Mike Thurley and Reuben Taylor. These machines are simply silhouettes race cars featuring body shapes of manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW, Vauxhall, Peugeot and more. Their field is also strengthened by a small selection of Caterhams from the ever popular Sevenesque series.

While Saturday’s running may be dominated with the FunCup endurance in the afternoon, the plethora of tin-top action that will take its place on the Sunday will certainly keep any racing fan happy. The short and simple layout of the National circuit is certainly going to see plenty of slipstreaming down the long Wellington straight as well as many braking duels into Brooklands.

Pick your favourites, perch yourself in the grandstands or on the viewing banks and enjoy two days of exceptional club motorsport here at the Home of British Motorsport!

This weekend's weather appears to be a little bit of a mixture. While there is indeed going to be sunshine and temperatures as high as 21 degrees on Saturday, there's also the possibility of showers at some point on both days. Nevertheless, if it does end up as mixed conditions, it'll be interesting to see how the teams and drivers cope as the circuit changes. A full breakdown of this weekend's weather can be found via the Met Office here – SILVERSTONE WEATHER.

Also, the final instructions, supplementary regulations, timetable and entry list for the weekend can be found here – SILVERSTONE RACE WEEKEND

Scott Woodwiss