ONE LAST HURRAH AROUND ROCKINGHAM AWAITS MX-5s
Six races and a maximum score of 612 points are what remains to be won in the final two weekends of the 2018 BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship, the first of which takes place at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire. While it may, sadly, be our last ever visit to the venue before it closes track activity for good at the end of the year, it has always been a place that has provided brilliant racing on the occasions the championship has visited. Hopefully this weekend will produce more of the same considering what’s at stake.
Heading into the penultimate meeting of the year, it remains incredibly close at the top of the points standings between the two drivers battling it out. Defending champion Will Blackwell-Chambers remains just four points ahead of Mike Comber Racing teammate and key rival Samuel Smith, although considering the latter’s fortunes last time out at Anglesey, the form book certainly seems to be favouring Smith. Down on the Welsh Coast, Smith collected victory in all three races to remain right on WB-C’s tail. In contrast, Blackwell-Chambers only saw the podium once by finishing 6th, 4th then 3rd, but doing enough thanks to dropped scores to remain on top. It’s almost certain that the race for the title is now between just these two drivers, but which one will have the edge this weekend?
Back in 3rd place and 34 points away from 2nd placed Smith is Brian Trott, who spearheads a trio of AB Motorsport cars snapping at the heels of the top two. Trott has yet to win a race this season but has come close on more than one occasion, while teammates Oliver Allwood (4th) and John Langridge (5th) have at least one to their name so far. All three have been able to get in and amongst Smith and Blackwell-Chambers numerous times in some superb on track duels, so race winning pace is most certainly available. It’ll just be down to the trio to get out on track and unlock it further as the weekend unfolds.
Holding down 6th in points and looking to support both of his drivers in their title bids is MCR team boss Mike Comber, a former race winner and champion in Mazda MX-5s himself. Comber has picked up a brace of wins himself at Cadwell Park earlier in the year, however he’ll probably be resided to perform a support role Smith and Blackwell-Chambers and try and allow them to battle without too much disturbance from those around them. Should it all go wrong, Comber does at least have the pace to win races, which could prove costly if he wants to take points away from his rivals.
With no Charlie Burge (7th) present this weekend, nor Sebastian Fisher (11th), it’s left to the likes of Jason Greatrex, Martin Tolley, Stephen Foden and co to continue to fight it out for points places to maintain their top 10 status. Out of the above three, Greatrex has had arguably the better season, even coming close to winning his first race but desperately missing out by the narrowest of margins to Allwood in a nailbiting Snetterton photo finish. Foden has made further steady progress throughout this season, while Tolley still remains in the lead of the Masters championship. However, with Trott’s consistent results helping him climb the Masters table at a substantial rate of knots, one has to wonder if Tolley has another to maintain his grasp on the lead.
Another strong entry of over 40 cars in total is present, once again with most of the usual suspects and familiar names and faces that grace the paddock on a regular basis. Kevin Brent makes a welcome return this round to re-familiarize himself with some old friends and foes, while we give a warm welcome to Rafal Drzscacz, who’s no stranger to MX-5 racing himself but makes his very first appearance on BRSCC shores this weekend – welcome to the grid!