HARD RACING SET FOR ROCKINGHAM
How will the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600s fair when they hit Rockingham's banked turn 1? – Photo: Rachel Bourne
It’s hard to comprehend that it was less than a month ago since we were at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby for a 2-day race meeting. Yet, just as quickly as that came and went, another one is upon us – and this time it’s even busier than the previous one.
The largest entry of the weekend comes from the magnificent Excool OSS Championship, which is dedicated to providing a place for sports prototypes of all shapes, sizes and engines to take part. After a bumper field of more than 30 cars took to the season opener at Silverstone last month, those numbers are set to continue into this weekend’s racing. Graham Cole, Duncan Williams and former champion Josh Smith all took a win a piece in the previous encounter, so expect all of them to be challenging at the front once again. There’s a class for everyone here, from Radicals, Juno’s and self-built specials all the way down to the little Aquila Synergy machines that run in their own class.
Continuing on what has been one of the most competitive and hard fought seasons in recent years, the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 National Championship continues to impress with both the quantity and quality of the cars and drivers competing. With the Mazda Road To Indy shootout firmly set in their minds, all drivers will be focused and determined to put one over on each other. Current points leader Niall Murray had a stellar weekend at the European round at Zandvoort in Holland, so his aim will be to continue this incredible streak.
This weekend will be a special one for a large number of drivers in attendance as Caterham Motorsport choose Rockingham for the next instalment in this year’s The City Magazine Caterham Academy. With both green and white groups taking to the track for their very first race in their so far short racing careers, this year’s class will be full of a mix of nerves and excitement. You never know – this could be where you see one or two future racing stars take their first steps onto the circuit racing ladder!
Staying with single seaters, another incredible spectacle has been the sensational battles present so far in this year’s Formula Jedi Championship. Young hotshot Zach Anderton managed to withstand the pressures of both Paul Butcher and Dan Clowes to take a pair of first class victories, however neither of the trio may have it easy this time. Snetterton winner Rob Sayell is back in the mix here, so he will want to exert his authority once again straight away – and never count out Michael Watton either, who has been plagued with poor luck since the start of the season. He’ll be keen to bounce back to winning ways here at Rockingham should he be in attendance.
For sportscar nuts, there’s nothing quite like a TVR for some. Luckily the Dunlop TVR Challenge has that particular taste covered with a championship dedicated to keeping the Blackpool marque well and truly alive through the race track. Expect a fantastically eclectic mix of Cerbera, Chimaeras, Sagaris, Griffiths and of course the legendary Tuscans, several of which are expected to turn out in force once again this weekend. Definitely not a championship to be missed!
If you prefer your motorsport with a slightly more JDM flavour, then help is at hand from the Honda VTEC Challenge. With 3 classes on hand to cater for Production, Tuner and Super Tuner spec machines, Hondas of all kinds will be present – from Civics and CRXs to Integras and Accords. It’s quickly building a reputation for its close racing, diverse grids and incredibly friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the paddock and pit lane. Rob Burkinshaw, Mark Bennett and Adam Jones are the key contenders here.
The VTECs will be joined on track by the cheeky and cheerful Smart 4Two Cup, which brings its own unique flavour of racing to the weekend. While some may look at the Smart Car and may not consider it to have much of a racing pedigree, those who compete in this championship would heartily disagree. It gives a great starting point for drivers looking to get into racing as well as allowing some drivers a chance to experience something completely new. You certainly won’t miss them, despite their small size!
Finally, our friends at Track Attack are back with us for the second time this year with another large entry of cars for their three championships. The first will have a large variety of makes and models on display with the Nippon Challenge out in force, sharing the track once again with both the ever growing Deutsche Marques Cup for German machines and a small selection of invitational cars from the Tricolore Trophy. The latter will also have their own pair of races on Sunday, with a field exclusively made up of France’s finest from Renault, Citroen and Peugeot. The third and final championship will be the YourIrishShop.com MR2 Race Series, allowing those who love one of Japan’s most iconic small sportscars the chance to race wheel-to-wheel on a surprisingly small budget. All 3 will bring nothing but entertainment and variety in droves.
So, there you have it – what’s your preference this weekend? There’s certainly no shortage of options to plump for be it single seaters, saloons, sportscars or even sports prototypes. Sit back and enjoy another two days of high octane, high intensity motorsport with the BRSCC here at The Rock!