MX-5 CHAMPIONSHIP READY TO HIT THE ASPHALT AT ANGLESEY
The 2019 BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship is really shaping up to be a fascinating contest for the title between Will Blackwell-Chambers and John Langridge, with one questing for their third successive championship win, while the other wants to claim their first rear wheel drive crown having succeeded in front wheel drive cars previously. Now, the two drivers head to Anglesey Circuit in North Wales tied on dropped scores as we approach the half way point in the season.
Their paths to this point have been rather similar – both drivers have scored three wins, both have suffered one retirement (Langridge as a result of contact, while Blackwell-Chambers had an engine issue) and both have had to fight off the front runners around them to remain on top. Langridge in particular has had to climb up through the points since Brands Hatch as his retirement left him on the back foot early. Going on total accrued points at this stage, Blackwell-Chambers has outscored Langridge by 50, but the dropped score rule allows drivers to subtract their worst results from their final total. Anglesey should be an interesting battleground for both drivers to carry on their title charges, so don’t expect one to be far away from the other on track at any given moment.
With Ben Short and Brian Trott, the other two race winners from this season, not present this weekend on the entry list at the time of writing, the next closest challenger down the list is Joe Wiggin who lies in 5th place. This is impressive for the MX-5 rookie who can boast races win in the BMW Compact Cup and the recent C1 24 Hours, and he has shown how quickly he’s been able to adapt to the championship. In fact, Joe has the highest number of total accrued points at this stage, however his dropped scores leave him just on the edge of the top 5. That’s certain to change with no Short or Trott competing here and it’s almost certain he will take over 3rd place come the end of the weekend. Whether or not the Anglesey circuit will suit him remains to be seen.
Giving chase in the remainder of the top 10 and just outside it are more drivers who have done a remarkable job of consistently banking solid points scores despite one or two setbacks for some. Oliver Allwood lies 6th and has been a regular front runner and top 10 finisher over the last few seasons, while Adam Bessell will look to recover from a difficult Cadwell Park weekend that saw him contest two Group B races and lose valuable points, even though he did win both of them. Steve Foden continues to get better and better as each race meeting passes, Jason Greatrex also had to endure racing in Group B at one stage just like Bessell and has ground to make up from 9th, and former Ginetta Junior racer Matt Luff has been stunningly impressive in his rookie year in the championship and has shown pace at times to worry even those at the top of the table. Surely it’s a case of when, rather than if, he wins a race. Jack Brewer will also be one to keep an eye on, revelling in his comeback season as he lies just outside the top 10.
To the surprise of no-one, many of our usual suspects and familiar faces are back once again to continue their own campaigns, and once again we’re happy to welcome some new names to the grid too. The most notable of which is Scott Mansell, the man behind Driver61 and someone no stranger to competitive racing having raced Radicals and even an ex-Benetton Formula 1 car at one stage in his career. He could be a dark horse for some good results depending on how quickly he gets up to speed. Anthony Pettigrew, sibling of one of our championship co-ordinators Lyndsay, is also making his debut in the series this weekend along with Rob Mugglestone too, and while they may not be completely new names to the grid, we’re delighted to also welcome back both Simon Orange and AB Motorsport team boss Ali Bray to the entry list as both make their first appearances of the season.
This should be another intense two days of club racing action at one of the most picturesque race tracks in the UK, so you’d be a fool to miss out on the continuing power struggle at the top of the championship!