As in previous years, the Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup is proving to once again be one of the most entertaining and competitive club level saloon car championship in Britain, with that fact set to be backed up further this weekend as the drivers head to the south east of the country and the brilliant Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent.

It’s looking as close as ever in the battle for the championship in this amended season with the top two in the standings only separated by a single point. Tom Griffiths currently has the table under control, if only just, with two race wins from Oulton Park and Thruxton and two 2nd places to go with them. Hot on his heels is three times defending champion Steven Dailly, who himself has only captured one victory but also claimed two podiums himself. The anomaly for both was the second Thruxton race, where a red flag interruption ended up shuffling the pack around to eventually leave them both finishing outside the top five by the finish of the restarted race. Tom is really showing some superb form this year after he ended the 2019 season in 3rd place in points and despite the shorter amended calendar, he’s making the most of it to mount a serious challenge for the title. Steven, on the other hand, hasn’t had things all his own way this year and arguably is finding 2020 his most challenging campaign so far for a number of reasons. Nevertheless, these two look ready to lock horns on track once again this weekend.

Another top driver in the pack is Ian Jones, someone who has come so close on more than one occasion to becoming a champion. Always a consistent front runner, Ian seemed to have a slightly more subdued Thruxton meeting compared to his eventful day at Oulton Park. He was able to quietly rack up a 3rd, 5th and 6th to help him sit 3rd in the standings heading to Brands Hatch. Ian isn’t afraid to get his elbows out when necessary and he will fight hard to ensure that he stays in contention for victory all weekend, considering that he already has one from Oulton Park on his scoreboard. Ben Huntley has also made a marked step up in pace since 2019 and has managed to pick up a pair of 2nd places as he continues to keep up his progress towards the front of the field. Victory could be possible as he’s shown himself to be capable of storming drives, particularly that from Race 2 at Oulton where he charged through to almost take the win.

Wayne Flint continues to be the best-placed Masters driver for those in the field that are more experienced, and he’s also proven himself to be a very quick driver all round as he even managed to briefly lead one of the Thruxton races. Given that he’s capable of putting himself into contention for race wins, don’t be surprised to see him challenging for a spot on the podium this weekend too. Mikey Doble has also shown some excellent pace so far too, with two 4th places to his name this season that have helped him to sit 6th in the standings heading to Brands Hatch.

There’s also a neat little battle for 7th in the making between Paul Maguire and Oliver Faller. Both are contesting their second Compact Cup season and have made steady starts to the amended season, and after five races are just three points apart with the potential to get closer to the top five places if they can make the most of their Brands Hatch trip. Jordan Stilp should also be much higher than his current position of 9th, as despite picking up his first win at Thruxton, he was also forced to rack up a DNF from the last race of the weekend as well. The former Clio Cup and British GT star has taken to the championship very quickly and if he can get back into the groove straight away, he’ll surely be up there potentially scrapping for victory at the head of the field.

Scott Woodwiss


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