ROCKINGHAM READY TO RUMBLE!
The Toyo Tires Porsche Championship gets underway at Rockingham this weekend. Photo: Ian Forinton
Rockingham is the venue for this weekend’s BRSCC meeting, the first of many to be run by our busy Midlands Centre this season and what a start it is shaping up to be, with twenty-two races packed into the two days!
The proceedings get underway tomorrow morning with a guest championship leading the way. The Track Attack Race Club’s Nippon Challenge will field thirty cars of Far Eastern origin, allied with a handful of entries in the French Trophy Challenge.
The Arrowpak Euro Saloons & Sports Car Championship will start their season with a double-header and the usual eclectic mix of marques will be on display. With neither the 2012 champion, nor indeed any of last year’s class winners out for the opener, the way is clear for several other drivers to lay down an early claim for championship honours.
The new BRSCC Mazda MX5 Championship makes its debut at Rockingham and the signs are very promising with thirty-six cars entered, necessitating the grid being split into two groups. Cardiff’s Tom Roche has accumulated three MK1 titles in his relatively short career and takes time off from his British GT campaign to race at Rockingham. Tom will undoubtedly be the favourite but he will be challenged by the likes of Alan Henderson, Charlie Charman, Ed Gay and Alex Preston, amongst others.
The BRSCC Porsche Championship was one of the success stories of last year and with new backing from Toyo Tires, as title sponsor, and Jasmine PorschaLink and Webheads as support sponsors things are looking good for an even better year ahead. Class A winner Rick Styrin will be on the grid of twenty-three cars eager to defend his Boxster title. Class B champion Steve Potts has moved up from the Production Class to the ‘full-fat’ Boxsters and he will be eager to lay down an early marker. In the 924 class, a warm welcome goes to David Jones, Peter Smith and Colin Morison who will all make their championship debuts this weekend.
The BRSCC Formula Jedi Championship is the Club’s only ‘slicks & wings’ championship and indeed the only single-seater championship at the meeting. A great effort has been made to get sixteen cars out for the opening double header, which will see the returning Scot Andrew Dunn as one of the favourites. Lee Morgan is also one to keep an eye on, the Runcorn driver having won the last two rounds of the 2012 season.
With new backing from Vortex Performance Exhausts, the Ford Fiesta Championship will start as it left off last year. Thirty Class C STs made up the grid at Brands Hatch last October and thirty STs will line-up at Rockingham. Nicholas Bowers and John Langridge, who were second and third respectively last year, will be hoping to go one better, especially with champion Jason Cooper absent. The 2012 Fiesta Junior champion, Charles Ladell, has graduated to the ST class so it will be interesting to chart his progress as the season unfolds. In the same championship, classes A, B and D run together in separate races from the fully subscribed Class C. David Elsom has just got his Si ready in time to start the defence of his Class A title, while Class B protagonists Ken Bateman and Keith Chapman will be the early favourites in the Zetec category.
Seven Fiesta Junior cars will take to the track in the second year of the championship, also backed by Vortex. JJ Ross was third last year and he will be aiming to put the experience he gained to good use and launch an all-out assault on the title. With more drivers expected to join the junior championship before the next outing at Snetterton, the seven runners at Rockingham will be determined to get a head start in the points table.
The Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship is the odd one out this weekend as they are the only ones not to have a double-header, which makes the nineteen-car entry a good turnout for a single twenty-minute race. 2012 champion Roger Evans is back to defend his title in his 147 GTA as are class winners John Griffiths (A2), Graham Seager (C) and Neil Smith (E).
Another series from the Track Attack Race Club’s portfolio, the MR2 Racing Series has attracted an impressive entry of twenty-one Mk1 cars and five Hyundai Coupes will join them for the double-header.
Finally, eleven Smart Cars will have three outings in the 4TwoCup. For the first two races, the 4TwoCup will join forces with the Arrowpak Euro Saloons before joining the grid with the Alfashop Alfa Romeos for their last race on Sunday.