SILVERSTONE JUNE 19/20 PREVIEW – BRSCC MAZDA MX-5 CHAMPIONSHIP
The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship got off to a tremendous start in its opening 2021 races at Croft with some exceptional racing in both dry and wet weather conditions, with Jack Brewer picking up a perfect hat-trick as he scored the first three wins of his career. After his success in Yorkshire, Jack’s next task is to try and defend his points lead at the next rounds at the Silverstone National circuit where a capacity entry will take to the grid once again.
Jack will of course have ambitions of adding to his win tally after he performed superbly in the opening three races of the year. He managed to resist pressure from all-comers all weekend and now heads the championship table going to Silverstone, where he’ll have redemption on his mind. Last year’s visit saw him come agonizingly close to that first win after he was denied by a pass from Mike Comber on the final lap just three corners from the flag. Now he’ll have a new set of rivals to fend off who will all be determined to put one over him after missing out on the win last time out.
The closest rival at this early stage is Michael Knibbs, a driver who is exceptionally busy these days within the paddock as he performs double duty in the MX-5 SuperCup in the same season. A 2nd place and a 3rd place couldn’t be matched in the third race after he ran wide in the wet following a safety car restart and had to settle for 7th, but even then it’s clear that Michael is going to be one of Brewer’s main rivals this season having made superb progress in pace over last year. Another who looks strong and consistent is Steve Foden, who has come close numerous times to taking a race win on BRSCC shores but always come agonizingly close. This happened yet again at Croft as his superior wet weather pace in Race 3 allowed him to challenge for the win, but could only settle for 2nd place with the fastest lap. If it happens to rain again, perhaps it could be the perfect storm that Steve needs to finally take to the top spot in this championship[.
Fraser Fenwick is another young charger that has already proven himself to be a race winner in the past, and he began 2021 with two 5th places and then a 3rd in the final race to push him to 4th in points after the opening weekend. Sporting a striking new metallic purple livery, it certainly seems as though the saying “if it looks quick, it IS quick” appears to be ringing true and Fraser will be keen to back this up with more strong results. Next is Jason Greatrex, currently 5th overall and also the top Masters driver in their respective points battle, a driver who has only won an overall MX-5 Championship race once before in his career and is no stranger to mixing it up at the head of the pack. Jason got steadily quicker and quicker as the meeting went on at Croft and ended up with a 4th place, so at least one overall podium at Silverstone will surely do nicely.
The rest of the current top 10 is full of drivers who will also be hoping that this weekend goes in their favour, including a couple who already have race-winning credentials. Oliver Graham continues to make steady progress sitting 6th after the first weekend, while Oliver Allwood has it all to do from 7th in points. Two podiums weren’t enough for him to end up outside the top 5, thanks to a spin into the tyres in the final race’s wet conditions. Returning to the circuit he won a race at last year and hoping 2021 will be his time to finally claim the title, Oliver knows he has to get back to winning ways this weekend to keep on pace with those around him at the front. Matt Pollard, Adam Craig and Stuart Symonds come next, all three now consistent top 10 runners with Symonds another one that’s tasted the winners’ champagne. While all would like to get further up the pack, they should be equally happy with a solid haul of points.
As usual, there’s many of the regular names and faces you expect to see every weekend in the championship, plus the first appearance of the year for Seb Fisher, Rob Mugglestone, Paul King, Bill Taylor and newcomer Keith Dalton. Fisher in particular was one of the most improved drivers and really shone at Silverstone last year, so perhaps he’ll be in the right form to wake a few of the leading drivers up with a rapid re-entry into this year’s championship.