MX-5 SUPERCUP ALL SET FOR OULTON PARK RETURN
After an intense opening three rounds at Snetterton, the 2019 edition of the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup now moves on to the one-day race meeting at Oulton Park in Cheshire, with Saturday’s timetable marking the first of the season that the championship will be supporting TCR UK, who joins forces with the new Dunlop Touring Car Trophy this year.
The Easter weekend at Snetterton made one thing fairly clear from the outset – that the form book from last season has carried over with little to no change this year. Once again, the front runners were those who have contested the title battle over the last couple of campaigns with double champion Luke Herbert looking to proceed as he meant to carry on and go for three SuperCup titles on the bounce. Winning Race 1 was the perfect start for Herbert, with two 2nd places helping him take a 6 point lead away from Norfolk heading to the next rounds this weekend. However, he wasn’t allow to run away with proceedings in all three races by any stretch as two familiar foes each snatched a win for themselves.
They were Aidan Hills and Jack Harding, with the former collecting his third career victory in the championship in Race 2, while Harding made another top step visit to add to his personal collection in Race 3. Both of them stood on the steps of the podium in the final standings for 2018, with Harding just missing out on the title once again while Hills was delighted with the form that had seen him live up to and improve on his debut campaign in 2017, which saw him earn the Rookie of the Year accolade in the process. Both know they have the ability to take on and beat Herbert on any given occasion, however Oulton Park has typically been a happy hunting ground for Luke over the past two seasons. Which of these three drivers will come out on top remains to be seen.
However, it won’t just be these three that will be out to contend for victory. Former multiple BMW Compact Cup champion Steve Roberts has also tasted success in the SuperCup after he took two wins last season at Castle Combe and Donington Park respectively. He was arguably the closest threat to the leading trio all weekend at Snetterton and his rear wheel drive expertise always comes to the fore. Young charger Will Stacey is another name to keep an eye on, as the former Lotus Cup hotshot took 3rd place in the final race of the Snetterton weekend to add to his surprise race win at the season opener last year at Silverstone. Expect him to get better and better and the year progresses. Bradley Kent, younger brother of TCR UK competitor Lewis, will not only see his sibling contest the touring car main event during the day, but also get back behind the wheel of the Essex & Kent Motorsport prepared MX-5 Mk3 to go for his own glory. Bradley appears to share the same level of talent as older brother Lewis and will be looking to emulate him during his three races.
Patrick Fletcher made a very impressive debut in a rear wheel drive car at Snetterton, as he joined the MX-5 SuperCup and collected two 5th place finishes off the bat. The former Clio 182 Championship front runner appears to be making a somewhat seamless transition and will surely be a name on more people’s lips in the paddock come the end of the season. Jack Sycamore is another driver that can show pace from time to time and will be especially keen to rebound from what was a tumultuous opening weekend. David Henderson and Christopher Richardson will also be hoping to throw themselves into the mix, while Garry Townsend, George Grant and Nick Rutter will be out to contest their own personal glory as they make up the Masters contingent on the grid this weekend.