READY TO RAISE THE ROOF AT SILVERSTONE!
Another huge grid of MX-5 Mk1s will do battle at Silverstone over Easter. Photo: Jon Elsey
After the long winter wait, the BRSCC season finally gets underway this Easter Weekend with not one, but two meetings at Silverstone with the National and International circuits in simultaneous action!
The National circuit will host seventeen races over the two days with the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship topping the bill in terms of entry numbers with fifty-five Mk1’s booked in to contest rounds one and two of the 2015 season. With such a huge grid, the A & B race system will be in place which means there will be four dramatic Mk1 races on Sunday.
With so many drivers in contention, it is difficult to predict a winner but Sam Smith, Darron Lewis, Simon Goddard, Paul Bishop, Simon Baldwin and Clive Powles will be amongst the front-runners as will Brian Chandler. There also maybe a surprise or two from the impressive sixteen championship debutants.
The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup for the Mk3 is also starting the season in rude health with thirty cars ready to go. Mk1 champion James Blake-Baldwin will be hoping to win back-to-back Mazda titles but it is a very strong field including Liam Murphy, who won the final two rounds of last year’s SuperCup so Liam is on a hat-trick on Sunday. Another strong contender will be the reigning Porsche Boxster champion Jonathan Greensmith, who is no stranger to success in MX-5 racing.
Aaron Thompson will also be hoping to achieve a hat-trick of race wins as the Fiesta Junior driver stole the show at the FJC finale at Brands Hatch last October winning both races and has more race wins to his name than any other driver in the field. However, that doesn’t make the Romford racer the favourite. That tag goes to Michael Higgs whose unerring consistency last season took him to second place overall.
The Excool backed OSS Championship enjoyed a prosperous season last term and the nineteen cars booked in for the National circuit suggest another positive year ahead. 2015 is certainly a year of note for Ginger Marshall, who along with Ian Fraser, celebrates the 55th anniversary of their Marshall & Fraser Racing team. On the track, champion Josh Smith will be determined to retain his title at the wheel of his Class C Radical PR6.
Formula Jedi racer Andrew Dunn is probably keener than most to get back on the track having lost what looked like his championship in dramatic fashion at Silverstone in October. His nemesis on the International circuit that day was Jack Lang, but he is racing elsewhere this season so Andrew will be hopeful of winning back the title he last held in 2010. However, Formula Jedi has produced another strong and competitive grid packed with plenty of drivers with the experience to challenge at the sharp end.
Jam-Sport is back as the sponsors of the senior Fiesta Championship, which will have all four classes running on the same grid. Ian Scruton is the only class champion (A) from last season racing this weekend so the wins are up for grabs. Class C for the ST is particularly competitive and it’s anyone’s guess who will put down the early marker. Former FJC champion JJ Ross will be amongst the front-runners and it will be interesting to see how the more recent FJC graduates, Sam Watkins and Jessica King, fare following their step-up to seniors.
Making their debut as a BRSCC series is the Toyo Tires Honda VTEC Challenge, which will field twelve Hondas. They will be accompanied by eight Smart Cars from the 4TwoCup.
The timetable, Finals and race entry lists for the National meeting can be found at NATIONAL
The weekend’s activity on the International circuit is almost another two meetings in one, with the Fun Cup, HRDC Allstars and Touring Greats in action on Saturday, before giving way to Alfas, Formula Fords, 500OA and Karts on Sunday.
The HRDC will get the ball rolling on Saturday with separate races for their Allstars and Touring Greats classes. As they did last season, they have turned out two fantastic grids with both races packed full of iconic cars from the fifties and sixties.
The rest of Saturday afternoon will be taken up with the Fun Cup Championship, who begin their season with a four hour endurance race with twenty-six teams entered. Jon Tomlinson joins the ever successful Team Racelogic pair of Julian Thomas and Nigel Greensall who will be bidding for their fourth consecutive title.
Sunday’s first race is for the Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship, which has a new simplified class structure this year. James Bishop (156) is hoping repeat his 2014 championship success but will undoubtedly be pushed hard by the similar cars of James Ford, Paul Plant and also 18 year-old Tom Hill who will be having his first full season racing a car after many years in Karts. Others who will be in “the mix” are Dave Messenger, Andy Hancock, Steve Potts, Jon Billingsley and Matt Daly.
The early signs are that the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 National Championship is shaping up to be a very competitive, particularly in the Post 89 category. Jonny McMullan and Jake Byrne are travelling over from Ireland and both are expected to put in a strong challenge. Canada’s Patrick Dussault and Thomas Capezzone will also be highly rated as will Chris Middlehurst who is running with Dutch squad, Geva Racing.
Adding more nostalgia to the meeting after Saturday’s HRDC content will be the 500 Owners’ Association Formula Junior races. Peter De La Roche is the man to watch in his Cooper MkV in the P2 class, while Darrell Woods was the pick of last season’s P3 class, and her returns in his Cooper MkVIII.
Finally, the International circuit will host the opening rounds of the BSA Division 1 Superkart Championship for the twin cylinder machines and club championships for F250 National, F450 National and F125 Open. Carl Hulme arrives at Silverstone as the reigning Division 1 champion after securing the number one plate in dramatic circumstances at Donington Park last July. However, he will surely face a stern examination of his credentials from Gavin Bennett and Liam Morley.
The timetable, Finals and race entry lists for the International meeting can be found at INTERNATIONAL
The weather for the weekend looks like it will be cool and cloudy. Full details can be found at SILVERSTONE WEATHER