RARING TO GO AT ROCKINGHAM
Graham Seager will enjoy his last race as #1 in the Alfa Romeo Championship – Photo: Paul Stone
It’s our 3rd and final visit of the season to the amphitheatre that is the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, which plays host to a mix of saloons and sportscar as well as the now unique sight of some oval racing thrown in for good measure. It should be an enjoyable weekend with the addition of a championship or two to close out as well.
The main spectacle this weekend will come from the enigmatic pair of Mazda MX-5 series on display here in Corby. A little later in the calendar than last season, both feature only their second triple header of the season and a vast amount of points on offer as a result. In the Mk1 Championship, long term points leader Tom Roche’s win tally currently sits at a dozen victories and there’s plenty of drivers such as Oliver Allwood, Michael Fisk and even teammate Simon Goddard who will all be out to stop him. Simon Baldwin is another you can never count out, while there’s certain to be lost of fun and games provided by the likes of Paul Tucker, Clive Powles, Stuart Symonds and more.
In comparison, there’s a titanic scrap going on for the MX-5 SuperCup title with 3 meetings and 6 races left to run to decide it. After contrasting weather conditions for both races at Donington, it resulted in a first win in the championship for Jonathan Greensmith having found a burst of pace during the summer break. This preluded an incredible 6-way battle for victory in the 2nd race with James Blake-Baldwin coming out on top. That win, along with Roche only managing a 2nd and 6th all weekend, helped JB-B move back to the points lead on dropped scores by just 2 points. Greensmith does have an outside shot if fortunes go his way, whilst other top drivers to throw themselves into the mix include Liam Murphy, Jack Harding, Simon Goddard and perhaps a certain reigning Mk1 MX-5 champion in the form of Brian Chandler, making his Mk3 SuperCup debut this weekend too.
Our only other representative from the Club’s roster this weekend will bring a touch of Italian flair and passion to proceedings. It’s time to bring the curtain down on another season for the Alfa Romeo Championship and with the overall crown already settled by Tom Hill, it’s a chance for those competing to enjoy themselves out on track. Tom is also this year’s Twin Spark Cup champion in the process, so ideally he would want to finish off a successful year in style. Of course, you can bet the likes of Simon Cresswell, David Messenger and Roger Evans will certainly have something to say about that! At the time of writing, there’s only one representative each in both the Modified and Power Trophy classes, with Barry McMahon in the former and David Lambourn representing the latter.
The first of our two guest championships on the bill here is the magnificent Scrapco Recycling/ Avon Tyres Intermarques, a series that’s very much akin to that of the National Hot Rods if you happen to be a short oval racing fan. These are silhouette racers for the circuits with cars that bear resemblance to chassis from Mercedes, Vauxhall, BMW, Peugeot, VW and more. Malcolm Blackman currently sits as the runaway points leader in his Vauxhall Tigra with more than 100 points gap over Lewis Smith in 2nd and Simon Smith in 3rd. Mike Thurley and Steve Burrows also populate the top 5, while Chris Brockhurst is also someone who has scored top results throughout this season. They’ll be a sight to see as they wind their way onto and off of Rockingham’s high banking.
Speaking of the banking, this weekend will also see the full oval in use for one of the few times it becomes active throughout the year. That’s because it’s time for the Pickup Truck Racing Championship to join us for the one and only meeting of 2016. Anyone who enjoys NASCAR and particularly the truck series over in the US will certainly want to check these guys out! Currently the table is topped by Freddie Lee who is making a strong bid for the title, as he leads the points from Michael Smith, Mark Willis and ex-BTCC man Lea Wood. If you’ve always wanted to see oval racing just as they do it across the pond, this will be a great opportunity to see some, UK style!
There should be enough here as always to keep you satisfied. Let’s just hope that the weather remains dry as the autumn season makes it approach. Just one more sunshine-filled weekend of racing would be welcomed as the march towards the end of our racing season begins to near it’s end. It’s time to “rock around The Rock” one more time for 2016!
In terms of the weather, it's forecasted to remain dry throughout although the clouds on Saturday may well give the impression that rain is on the way, as it's expected to be very overcast. Sunday will be brighter and the sun may even pop out once or twice, but temperatures won't exceed 18 degrees all weekend, meaning that it should feel rather comfortable. You can find a full breakdown of the forecast via the Met Office here – ROCKINGHAM WEATHER.
Also, the final instructions, supplementary regulations, timetable and entry list can all be found here – ROCKINGHAM RACE WEEKEND.