MX-5 SUPERCUP SHOWDOWN IN PROSPECT AT CROFT
There’s just two race weekends left in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup this season and as it has been from the start, it’s still as close as ever at the top of the points standings. This time last year, defending champion Luke Herbert was locked in combat with Tom Roche as the exact same venue, Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, on his way to taking the title. Fast forward 12 months later and Herbert is once again in the same situation, but the competition is a little different.
With Tom Roche having moved on to Ginetta racing after years of Mazda success, Herbert’s new primary challengers have been Jack Harding and Aidan Hills. All three of them shared a race victory each at the previous rounds at Oulton Park, with Herbert drawing first blood at the circuit which he’d taken a clean sweep a year earlier. Oulton also ended a streak of two race weekends where Herbert hadn’t won a race since Brands Hatch. Getting back to winning ways and battling for the lead whilst doing so will have continued to give him confidence and just like 2017, Herbert will be keen to take an advantage in the points into the final rounds of the season.
Jack Harding has spent the last three season building up his speed, experience and confidence and 2018 really has been a breakout year for the Wakefield driver. After inheriting a win at Silverstone, he had to wait until Rockingham to take his first two victories of the season on track, in similar fashion to those he’d taken two years earlier at the same venue. One each at Castle Combe and Oulton Park have kept him right in the hunt for the title and after finishing 3rd in the standings the last two seasons, Jack will be more determined than ever to make sure 2018 is his year to become champion.
An outside bet but still very much in contention is Aidan Hills. Having shown that he was on the pace from the word go this season, Hills had ended up taking a podium finish in every single race weekend before Oulton Park. Two more came from the first two races, but it was the final race of the day where he really shone. Aidan put up a monumental defence against Herbert, Harding and James Blake-Baldwin to beat them all and finally claim his first SuperCup victory, to his and his father’s delight. Now that he has the taste for it, Hills is going to be gunning for more starting from this weekend. Who knows – if fortunes work in his favour and the top two somehow slip up in the next 6 races, he could find himself taking away more than just a race win from this season…
Behind them come more hard chargers – James Blake-Baldwin and step brother Simon Baldwin currently sit in team formation in the standings, with James ahead of Simon in 4th and 5th respectively. Despite James picking up wins this season at Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Rockingham, he finds himself with a difficult task in the last 6 races. Contact with Steve Roberts at Castle Combe landed him an exclusing from the second race, and the inability to use this as a dropped score means every single result counts from now on. Simon, meanwhile, will be bidding to remain in the lead of the Masters points standings for drivers aged 45 and over, whilst continuing to support James on track and consolidating his current top 5 placing at the same time.
Jonathan Greensmith has a race win to his name from Knockhill and continues to bother the frontrunners with his constant presence in and around the top 5, occasionally in prime position to pick up the spoils if anyone falters. Steve Roberts is listed as participating this weekend, which is remarkable given the aforementioned incident with Blake-Baldwin dampened his spirits after taking his first SuperCup win the day before. Colin Bysouth, Carl Garnett, Richard Wicklen, Sam Tatler and William Stacey will also be bidding to make their mark too. Plus watch out for more potential personal best results from the likes of Bradley Kent, Kristian White and Lewis Carter too.
In the previous two seasons, the penultimate weekend of the championship has typically provided something of a twist in the story of the title fight, so is 2018 going to do more of the same?