NANKANG TYRE BMW COMPACT CUP READY TO ROCK SILVERSTONE OPENER
The beginning of a brand new Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup season always fills us with excitement and as the 2020 season gets set to kick off this weekend at Silverstone, there’s more of the same in store with another incredible fight for the championship ready to take place among many familiar front runners.
Let’s start with three times defending champion Steven Dailly. At first, his 2020 season was uncertain, then he was in, then he was out, and now he’s back in again thanks to the support of a new sponsor. Having fought hard over the last four years and claimed three titles south of the Scottish border in that time, Dailly’s aim is certainly to gun for a fourth. While he may hope deep down that his task gets a little easier, just taking a look at the entry list reveals plenty of all too recognizable names that will definitely ensure it doesn’t.
His two biggest challengers from 2019 are back again, as Ian Jones and Tom Griffiths prepare for another battle with the ever rapid Dailly. Both are proven race winners and Jones has been a title contender more than once to know what it takes to keep up at the front, while Griffiths enjoyed his strongest full season to date and will be eager to build on this throughout 2020. Indeed, Griffiths clinched two race wins on his run to 3rd place in last year’s standings, meaning that his target will be to better this tally by season’s end.
Incredibly, just about everyone from last year’s top 15 in the championship are back for more with 4th place man and Masters champion Wayne Flint leading the list. He will certainly be in a battle to retain this particular accolade as he shares the tarmac with David May, Mark Skeats and Mike Doble whilst also jostling for places in the overall rankings. Doble’s son, Mikey Doble, had a much improved year compared to his debut in 2018 and ended last season in the final top 5 place thanks to a solid, consistent run of points and he will want to build on this throughout 2020. Ben Huntley managed to take a handful of podiums and must be looking to better 8th place this time around, while Rhys Claydon was buoyed by his best performance of the 2019 season with a 3rd place at Silverstone, albeit on the National circuit. Still racing under the KC Motorsport banner alongside champion Dailly, Rhys will want to carry on absorbing all of Steven’s knowledge in order to keep up with him more often on track.
Other drivers who will certainly be aiming to show off their talents include former Fiesta race winner Lee Dendy-Sadler, sporting a brand new build for the year, and former MX-5 champion Paul Maguire who managed to find some form towards the end of 2019 in the final few races. Oliver Faller was another name that showed his talents from time to time and will be keen to impress, and among the selection of new drivers joining the grid, there’s one that stands out above them all. Former Clio Cup and British GT star Jordan Stilp has elected to make the switch to the Compact Cup and should he get to grips with his new car quickly, he may well be a dark horse for this year. If he proves to be immediately on the pace, then Dailly and co may have a reason to make nervous glances across the paddock…
All in all, the BMW Compact Cup looks set to provide seven more weekends of exceptionally brilliant racing, something the series is known for across club motorsport and intends to continue building on this season. Let’s go racing again!