SMITH SWEEPS THE COMPETITION AT ANGLESEY IN MX-5 SUPERCUP
Samuel Smith has ensured that he’s currently the man that everyone still has to beat, as the defending Mazda MX-5 SuperCup champion produced a near-flawless performance all weekend at the latest rounds of the 2021 season at Anglesey in Wales, as the competition ended up chasing him all weekend.
Well, they almost chased him for the entire weekend! The start of the first race saw Smith having to do the chasing himself as he latched onto the rear of Patrick Fletcher’s car and pressured him from the outset, with Jack Harding in close pursuit. A superb dive inside of The Hairpin on the opening lap saw Smith steal the lead away, which was apt timing as moments later the safety car was called after Richard Amos lost control approaching the Rocket complex and collected Nick Dunn’s car on his way through; both drivers were OK in the aftermath and both cars were repaired for Sunday’s races.
A long safety car period while the incident was cleared up meant it would be a sprint towards the flag in the final minutes. Smith’s restart was strong enough to ensure he wasn’t to be troubled, just as well when Fletcher and Harding went into combat over 2nd place behind him in an intense duel to the end. Harding made the same move as Smith had earlier at The Hairpin to to take the position, but by this time Smith was already a couple of seconds up the road and untouchable. Smith, Harding and Fletcher filled out the podium places respectively, followed by teammates James Cossins and John Langridge in the top five.
There was a sense of deja vu when Race 2 began as Smith was beaten away again from the front row albeit this time by Harding, but just like he did the day before Smith was immediately on Jack’s tale from the off. While he didn’t repass him on the opening lap, it took a few laps of consistent pressure to finally crack Harding’s strong defence, but it wasn’t without drama. The pair touched under braking for Rocket, sending both drivers sliding wide and almost bringing Fletcher back into contention, but Smith managed to make his move stick and resisted Harding’s initial retaliation to again gain a few car lengths and lead the field home to the flag, taking his second win of the meeting. Fletcher settled for another 3rd place behind Harding, with Langridge going one position better with 4th and Brayden Fletcher collecting one of his best results of his SuperCup career with 5th.
Damp conditions would make the third race fairly tricky, but not even they could stop the charging Smith from moving up from his partially-reversed grid spot into P3 by the end of the opening lap. It wouldn’t take him long to then pass first Patrick Fletcher and then leader Cossins, but while he was busy resuming his place at the head of the field, one driver was stealing the show behind him. After retiring earlier in the day, Will Blackwell-Chambers had to start back in 32nd on the grid but then proceeded to put in the drive of his life to carve his way through the field and eventually catch the battle for 2nd between Harding and Fletcher. Despite an incredible performance and trying at every possible chance, Will just couldn’t breach the podium and had to settle for 4th place, while Smith rounded off his easiest win that weekend with Harding and Fletcher again on the rostrum in the same order; Langridge would again finish off the top five.
There’s a shorter break than usual before the drivers are back out in action, this time travelling east to the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk on July 31st, where the warm summer temperatures will have to match the red hot on-track action the MX-5 SuperCup always provides!