GOING THE DISTANCE ON THE ANGLESEY COAST
Race circuits are not only enjoyed for the challenge they provide drivers, but for some it’s also the location in which they’re based. So when it comes to arguing the case of just what is the best located circuit in the UK, you’d be hard pressed to find a case stronger than that of Anglesey. Situated right on the coast of North Wales, Anglesey is a track loved by many and this weekend proves it as another superb mix of sprint and endurance racing hits the tarmac for the first visit of the season to the North Western Centre venue.
Once again set to be the stars of Saturday’s show are the Fun Cup Championship, who began their 2018 campaign in rather adverse and unfavourable conditions at Oulton Park. Nevertheless, it was MAK Racing who came out on top after 4 hours of epic racing, with the pairing of Chris Webster and Stuart Hall just managing to hold off the vice champions from last season. Track Torque 2 Rent Domino’s with Chris Hart and Henry Dawes behind the wheel just missed out on starting the season with a win, but still managed to come home ahead of reigning champions JPR Uvio, with Farquini Deott and Fabio Randaccio claiming the 3rd step on the rostrum. All three should turn out for Saturday’s double header with one race in the afternoon and the second running into the evening, with the finish set to come under darkness. This will give the drivers a true experience of endurance racing in both day and night.
The first racing action of the weekend will come from the Kerax Hyperdrive ST-XR Challenge, which began life in its new from back at Oulton Park last month. With the new classes welcoming Ford Fiesta ST150s as well as non-LSD equipped Fiesta XR2s, the usual eclectic mix of XR2s and Escort XR3is are sure to thrill. Justin Roberts was the man everyone had to chase at the season opener, so he’ll be keen to repeat his form once again this weekend. His nearest pursuers in the XR2s will include Michael Heath, Alistair May and William Heslop, while Mike Blackburn should be present to continue his XR3i title defence against the likes of Mathew Spencer. Chris Rowlands will also be on the grid again in one of the new Class D Fiesta ST150s.
Formula Ford is another discipline that always enjoys visiting the Welsh coast, as the second gathering of the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship will see both Post ’89 and Pre 90 categories go head-to-head on track at the same time in both races. The Northern Formula Fords are one of, if not the most competitive regional FF1600 contest of its kind in the UK, typically basing their race weekends at either Oulton Park or here at Anglesey with the occasional away round further down the country. With a competitive entry expected, these races are set to produce fireworks.
Speaking of fireworks, that’s exactly what came about from the debut on our roster of the Cox Motor Parts Civic Cup. Enjoying their first rounds with the club on the support package for the recent TCR UK season opener at Silverstone, the Civics had to cope with mixed conditions across both days as the drivers got to grips with both wet and dry running. Daniel Reason, Lewis Rose, Mark Grice, Daniel Hobson and Rob Baker all stood on the podium in the opening two races that weekend, so all five will be out for more of the same. This championship caters for all generations of the mighty Honda Civic Type R hot hatchback, and thanks to their fantastic appearance and sound, this really does look and feel like a mini touring car championship, with great racing to match!
In terms of sportscar racing, one of the best and most loved one make championships of all time has to be the incredible TVR Tuscan Challenge. That series still lives on in 2018, albeit in its current incarnation as the Dunlop TVR Challenge, which welcomes any and all TVR models to come and play. Of course, there will be a handful of the mighty Tuscan Challenge cars in the field to enjoy watching, along with an additional mix of Griffiths, Chimaeras and more. It’s no wonder so many petrolheads love these beasts from Blackpool and with TVR’s revival in full swing thanks to the new Griffith and its new partnership with Rebellion Racing’s LMP1 team, perhaps the attention may swing back towards the marque once again – and rightfully so.
Another favourite manufacturer amongst petrolheads is undoubtedly Alfa Romeo, and the Alfa Romeo Championship certainly caters to that. Like the Civic Cup, they began 2018 at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago where Power Trophy’s Paul Webster was the runaway man that everyone else had to keep up with. He’ll be out to reinforce his early grip on the overall standings, although the pair of Southgate Motorsport Fiat Puntos of Simon and Chris McFie certainly tried to give him the run-around all weekend. Mervyn Miller looks set to turn out in his Modified Class Alfa 156, former champion Roger Evans is back in Power Trophy with his own 156 GTA, and the Twin Spark Cup class is populated by early leader Tom Hill, Simon Cresswell, Michael Tydeman and Dave Messenger to name a few.
Finally, to round off the weekend, something a little different but also something we’re no stranger to already this season – superkarts! This time, it’s the turn of Superkarting-UK, a clubman level championship which appears on our timetable for the very first time. Superkarts are not your average racing go-karts, as their highly tuned engines and aerodynamic fairings and bodywork mean that cornering speeds and lap times need to be seen to be believed! They’re sure to enjoy Anglesey’s undulating and sweeping nature, especially with their own version of the Corkscrew on this Coastal layout of the circuit to contend with.
Hopefully as we begin to start moving through Spring, the weather gods will be kind to us and some April sun will greet us as soon as we reach the coast. Whether a short, sharp 15 minute blast or a marathon 3 hour run, the racing will still be entertaining, intriguing and above all else, great fun to watch. Enjoy!