The British Racing & Sports Car Club continues its commencement of the 2024 racing season as it now moves on to the long straight and technical corners of Snetterton’s 300 circuit in Norfolk, for its first visit of the year to East Anglia for two more days of track action on this weekend.

Snetterton’s full layout is a test of any car’s power and handling and should provide an intriguing test for those competing. There’s an excellent variety on display again with the usual typical mix of sprint and endurance racing, with four championships already back on track after beginning at Silverstone a few weeks ago, while three more are ready to begin all over again for another year.

Back at Silverstone, the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 paddock burst back into action with all three championships locking in their first results of the season on the International circuit. Now just three weeks removed from when they began, it’s back to the track at Snetterton for outing number two of 2024.

The GAZ Shocks Mazda MX-5 Championship proved to be just as competitive and entertaining as usual, with Thomas Langford setting his stall out early with a trio of races to dominate the top step. Now his next task will be to continue all that good work and keep up the win streak to maintain a 100% win record for 2024, and to increase his streak to seven MX-5 Championship wins in a row since the final race at Silverstone last October.

His competition is sure to once again be those who battled him for the podium places, such as Adam Sparrow, Jack Noller and Luke Pullen. Plus keep an eye on Oliver Graham making his first appearance of the season here at Snetterton, a circuit at which he secured a podium finish in damp conditions and will certainly want to succeed once more.

Paul Bateman proved to the driver everyone had to chase in the end in both Downforce Radio Mazda MX-5 Clubman Championship races, and this gives him a six point lead heading to Snetterton. Beau Parry and both Del and Jake Paice shared the podiums between them behind Bateman, and they’ll certainly be in the mix again.

Others to watch will certainly be Jamie Turner, Russell Halley and Simon Waterfall who all had their moments throughout their day’s racing and will want to get up to speed pretty quickly against those around them.

All three races in the Clapham North MOT Mazda MX-5 SuperCup were thrillers in their own right with plenty of the intense racing that characterises the championship is highly accustomed for. Snetterton is another chance for the battles to continue in earnest, though hopefully in better weather conditions than 2023’s visit.

From Silverstone, Patrick Fletcher is just six points ahead of defending champion Aidan Hills in the Pro class with Joe Wiggin in P3. The likes of Tom Griffiths, Oliver Allwood, James Cossins, Jack Brewer, Nic Grindrod, Leigh Britten and more will certainly be looking to score some strong results, especially Britten after his race three win. In Club class, a win and two second places gives Aimee Watts the class points lead at this initial stage, but her competition is sure to be strong once more from Ollie Hall, Clive Powles, Wilbur Tiley and co to try and top the standings post-Norfolk. Plus, it seems a certain Colin Turkington isn’t quite done with SuperCup just yet, as the four time BTCC champion is back out for another guest drive to continue his pre-season warm-up.

On the endurance front, racing fans have two contests to enjoy. The first will be for the Silverlake C1 Endurance Series which comes back to Snetterton after concluding 2023 at the same venue back in October. Almost fourty cars are set to take the start of the first three hour race of the year, with many of the top teams back on the grid.

These include Quattro Formaggio, CATDT, CSC/ FDL Packaging, Alpha-Trojon (known before as Trojon Motorsport), Silverlake, BPC Motorsport, WRC Developments and regular winners Emax Motorsport. All of them have to count themselves as firmly in contention to start 2024 in winning fashion come the chequered flag.

The other endurance test comes on Sunday with the PBS Brakes SuperSport Endurance Cup, which like the Mazda MX-5s is out for their second race of the year just three weeks removed from the Silverstone season opener. Despite ending up as winners in slightly bizarre fashion, Keir McConomy and Bart Horsten will be hoping to take overall honours again at Snetterton, while the outright points lead is shared between Julian McBride’s BMW M3 in Pro-B and George Grant and Abbie Eaton in Clubman-B.

One of these two is likely to still be up top come Snetterton’s conclusion, but there’s sure to be plenty of competition up and down the order. Looking down the entry list, there’s the usual line-up of BMWs, MINIs, Renault Clios and Mazda MX-5s along with more usual suspects and returnees from Silverstone too, meaning it should be another excellent two hours of flat-out long-distance racing.

Back with sprint racing, the Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup is back for more fun with a bumper 30+ car grid featuring plenty of new names joining many of the returning stalwarts from previous seasons. Initial favourites have to be Stuart Bliss, Joe Moss, Richard Jepp (more on him and his team in a moment) and Christopher Mackenzie, but others who are sure to want to put themselves in the mix include Nick Ramsay-Gough, Haydn Payne, Richard Snuggs and Adam Reynolds amongst this bumper grid.

On track at the same time for the third season in succession, the Student Motorsport Challenge brings together teams from colleges, universities and other educational establishments to compete on track together to give their students valuable real world motorsport experience. Two time defending champions Team Northbrook Racing not only go for the three-peat this year, but do so with two cars for Richard Jepp and newcomer Ari Barker. Also on the SMC grid, teams from Barracksport, Boston College, West Suffolk College, Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, and newcomers City College Norwich will be out to take Northbrook’s crown.

Producing excellent variety on their grid too will be the opening two races of this year’s BRSCC Evolution Trophy. This being an overarching series which features four in one on the same grid – the Ricci Concept Classic VW Cup, Finsport Renault Cup, Mazda MX-5 Mk4 Trophy and the BRSCC BMW 1 Series SuperCup. Whilst all four will race amongst their respective categories on the grid, the on-track action between them should be just as entertaining, as inter-category battles tend to put on a great show. Expect this grid of VWs, Renaults, MX-5s and BMWs to put on a great spectacle.

Written by Scott Woodwiss


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