A few weeks ago, we saw a tremendous opening weekend to the 2019 season for the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Super Series with its biggest grid to date kicking off proceedings at Brands Hatch. On that weekend three races were won by three different drivers, showing just how close and competitive this year was already shaping up to be. Now we move on to a new circuit, as Pembrey in South Wales plays host to the Super Series for the very first time and while the grid is a little smaller, that certainly won’t make it any less competitive.

Two of that weekend’s three race winners are back on the grid this time around, as James Kell and Joe Marshall are all set to race for more podium silverware. Kell dominated Race 1 as he went on to win and looked as though he was on course to do the same in Race 2, before a mistake exiting Paddock Hill Bend saw him hit the wall hard and end his weekend prematurely. As a result, Marshall was the one to benefit as he went on to inherit the win. That said, Marshall didn’t just “get lucky” as his pace all weekend was superb and he was a constant threat for the podium places.  Both drivers will be looking to continue on from their highlights of the opening meeting with more race victories and solid results this time out.

One driver who ended up chasing the race winners all weekend was Simon Fleet, as he came away from the weekend very pleased with his best results to date at the wheel of a Mazda MX-5. The former Formula Ford racer delivered a pair of 2nd places for his troubles and with the amount of progress he continues to make, surely a first win must be on the cards sometime soon. Whether it will come here at Pembrey remains to be seen, but if it does Simon will have had to fight for it tooth and nail every step of the way. Jeremy Crook is another driver who knows how it feels to take home Super Series silverware, although he endured a rather quiet and subdued Brands Hatch weekend. Hopefully, Pembrey will spur him and his true pace back into life and he’ll be able to leave South Wales with at least one trophy.

Clive Powles’ transition to racing a Mk3 MX-5 certainly had its ups and down on the opening weekend, but he was able to find himself as best of the rest on at least one occasion so expect him to build on a sturdy foundation laid down a few weeks ago. Also hoping to make further progress up the order will be fellow long time Mazda racers Matt Pickford and Alex Miller, both of whom continue to get better and quicker with every session they complete, while last year’s inaugural “Rookie of the Year” Liz Walton also keen to make further progress too. Brands Hatch saw a number of new drivers join the Super Series, with James Kell’s father Darren, Cameron Thompson and Declan Lee all getting their first taste of the Mazda paddock as a driver. Declan in particular will be praying that his fortunes are infinitely better than those he experienced a few weeks ago, as incidents in two separate cars saw him come away with nothing but DNFs.

Simon Hutchings makes his first appearance of the 2019 season this weekend hoping to make an instant impact after previously racing an MX-5 in the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship last season to 4th in the overall standings and 2nd in class, with the same series also competing on the timetable alongside us too. However, there is one driver who has elected to make a late entry and in the process could be set to sweep in and lay a late claim as favourite to take victory. After dabbling in the Mk3s over the last couple of years, 2015 Mazda MX-5 Championship title winner and BC Cars Motorsport boss Brian Chandler has decided to wheel out a car for himself, and with no points on offer here he’ll simply be out to enjoy himself, race and even come home with a trophy or two. Expect car #176 to be somewhere around the top of the timesheets all weekend.

So, who’s going to leave our first ever visit to Pembrey with the bragging rights? Let’s find out!

Scott Woodwiss


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