PRODUCTION GTI READY TO BEGIN SHORTENED 2020 SEASON AT BRANDS HATCH


If someone said at the end of the 2019 season that the next time the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championship would be on track again would be almost a year later, you’d have probably thought we were mad. Yet 2020 being such a strange year for a number of reasons, this is exactly what’s happened. This weekend at Brands Hatch, the championship fires back into life with a healthy grid and plenty of familiar faces making a return.

The top three from last year’s Mk5 Class ranks are back for more once again, with the man carrying the #1 on the window this year looking to keep it for a second year in a row. Simon Hill was nothing short of almost unstoppable in 2019, pretty much claiming the majority of the race wins to wrap up the title before the final race of the season which took place, rather fittingly, here at Brands Hatch. Simon will be happy to get back out there again and he knows that the competition has only remained as strong as it was last year, if not even stronger.

Outgoing champ James Colbourne ended up being Hill’s main pursuer all year to pick up 2nd in the points, while full season rookie Simon Vercoe certainly made an impression in his first full PGTi campaign in 2019. Both took one win each with Vercoe’s triumph also coming at Brands Hatch last year, so he’ll be hoping to take to the top step again provided he can keep both Hill and Colbourne at bay in the process. There’s more strong opposition on the entry list again too, as Simon Hill’s best mate Martyn Walsh and former Mk2 convert Adam Hance come back out to play. Usually when Hill and Walsh end up close to each other on track, it’s a fantastic back and forth battle between the pair providing some superb entertainment. We’d love to see more of the same so here’s hoping they’ll be side by side at some point this weekend! As for Hance, he managed to become a regular podium finisher and he’ll be wanting to make the next step up and claim his first Mk5 class win after several attempts.

The rest of the Mk5 contingent has plenty of returnees that we’re delighted to welcome back. Dawn Boyd showed great promises and several moments of sublime racecraft when battling in the pack and with her car proudly sporting the BMMC shield on the bonnet, she’ll be looking for some great results to do her friends in the orange army proud. There’s also Richard Marsh, Peter Elliston, Paul Blackburn and the father-son duo of John and Spencer Beale, with Spencer ready to make his first Mk5 start after spending a year learning his craft in the Mk2 in 2019. Meanwhile, there’s another Mk2 convert that everyone’s keen to finally see take place. After capturing that title twice before, Chris Webb is ready to make the move into a Mk5 for the very first time and given how quick we know he is on his day, we’ll be watching with interest to see if he can get to grips with it quickly enough to trouble the front runners. There’s also a championship debut for Henry Riley, as he gets ready for his first races in the Production GTi paddock – welcome aboard, Henry!

Plus, there is still the presence of a Mk2 Golf GTi on the grid this weekend. Daniel Baker will be looking to do his best to complete both races and above all else enjoy his visit to Brands Hatch as the sole class representative. Taking the flag both times and grabbing the points that go with class victory will be his main objective here.

Scott Woodwiss