LET BATTLE COMMENCE!


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Dan De Zille is expected to challenge for the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford title. Photo: Jakob Ebrey.

The battle to win the coveted Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain gets underway at the BRSCC Midlands Centre meeting on the Silverstone National circuit this weekend with the opening 3 rounds of the 24-race Ford-backed championship.

A field of 19 Duratec-engined Formula Fords will line-up for the season curtain-raiser, with drivers from seven different countries, using chassis from four different manufacturers, taking part.

It is set to be a vintage season for Formula Ford, not only in Britain but also in mainland Europe, says championship manager Sam Roach of RacingLine: “It is going to be very exciting all round, with a number of front-running drivers from last year returning, some great talent arriving from overseas and some fresh-from-karting drivers who will, I think, adapt very quickly to car-racing and surprise a few people.

“This is also the first season for the EuroCup, a series of races separate from the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, which will see our best Formula Ford drivers and teams going head to head with their Duratec-driving counterparts from the Netherlands and Scandinavia on some of the best circuits in Europe. It is going to be a fascinating season.” For a full preview of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford season CLICK HERE

Aspiring to move up to the senior Formula Ford championship will be many of the drivers in the opening two rounds of the Avon Tyres BRSCC FF1600 Triple Crown Championship. There is also an ‘international’ feel to the entry list with drivers from a far a field as China and the USA! Cormac O’Neill will fly the flag for Ireland and is expected to show well in his Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray. Jamie Jardine from Cheshire will be aiming to build on a very successful outing at Oulton last Saturday where he scored his first ever race win.

The Euro Saloon & Sports Car Championship is back with another impressive grid of 36 cars covering a multitude of manufacturers from Ford to Mosler and everything in between! Defending champion Nick Hayes is back to defend his title in his Seat Leon Cupra and with most of his challengers also in the field, including Stewart Calder who was just two points shy of Nick’s total, it is set up for another fantastic season-long battle.

A new season also starts for the Competition Car Insurance – Dunlop Ford Fiesta Championship, which now has four classes with Class A for Fiesta Si (130bhp), Class B Fiesta Zetec (90bhp), Class C Fiesta ST (150bhp) and new for 2011 Class D for the Fiesta Zetec S (Mk7 130bhp.

Due to the popularity of the Championship the grids are split with classes A, B, D going in one race and Class C in another. Brothers Ed & Harry Cockill who won classes A & B respectively last season have both moved to Class C this year so it will be very interesting to see how they fare.

The Porsche Championship will welcome new title sponsor Design911.com to Silverstone this weekend for the opening two rounds, which will feature the highest number of Boxsters entered to date – an encouraging 13. With 11 Porsche 924’s joining them on the grid it is a sure sign that the championship is in for a very promising season.

2010 overall Champion, Dave Clark returns to defend his title in his Boxster this year. The consensus is that he may not have it all his own way again though; former 924 Champion Gerry Taylor started to run Clark very close in the last few Boxster races of 2010, and with Richard ‘Stiggy’ Styrin switching to Boxsters after seriously impressing in his debut 924 year, the battle for top spot could be fiercely contested.

The 924’s will be equally as competitive. There were 7 different race winners last season, including champion Andrew Hannington, and the sensible money would be on Messers Brown, Croft, Flegg, Kirkham and Piesinger adding to their victory tallies during 2011.

Merstham’s Tony Sinclair is back to defend his OSS Championship title in his Jade 3. 2011 will be the second season that OSS has enjoyed full championship status and with 20 cars lining up at Silverstone it is another BRSCC championship that is heading in the right direction.

Concluding the 17 race schedule will be the second of two races for the Nippon Challenge. 40 cars representing Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Subaru, Nissan and Suzuki are entered including a newly built Celica GT which will be piloted by Ross Stoner who is related to Casey of MotoGP fame.