SPORTSCARS, SUNSHINE AND SILVERSTONE


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Mike Jenvey is the man everyone has to aim to beat in OSS this season – Photo: Miranda Young

It’s our 4th visit to Silverstone in 5 weeks, which means we really must love the Home of British Motorsport that much to keep on coming back so often! Today’s race day takes place on the National layout, with a mixtures of single seaters, sports cars and touring cars all locked in to put on a show.

If you’re a fan of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Endurance Championship, then thankfully we have something that’s going to cater to the tastes of anyone who loves all things LMP – the Excool Open Sportscar Series (OSS). This multi-class championship is designed to allow open-top, Le Mans-style sports prototype racers of all shapes, sizes and builds to compete on track at the same time. This season’s field is quite possibly the biggest in OSS history with a grid-busting 32 cars set to take the start of a triple header of races. Reigning overall champion Mike Jenvey will be the man to beat in his self-titled Jenvey-Gunn TS3 as the season kicks off here this weekend, although carrying #1 makes him an automatic target. With chassis from constructors such as Radical, Juno, Jade, Nemesis, Ligier and more, this championship is all about high speeds, high downforce and high adrenaline – this one is not to be missed!

Speaking of those last three points, if you want all of that but in single seater format then Formula Jedi will be right up your street. With a 1000cc bike engine, slick tyres and an effective aero package, these “pocket rockets” allow drivers to experience incredible cornering speeds and performance for less than you might think. Dan Clowes and Rob Sayell shared a win each at Snetterton, so both will want to continue adding to their tallies here. Michael Watton is also a definite front runner, although mechanical woes prevented him from showing his true pace come the races. Expect a firm bounce back here today.

Another championship kicking off a new season today is the Dunlop TVR Challenge, which gives a home to those who love to race the incredible British brutes from Blackpool. There’s 4 classes featured which consist of models such as the Chimaera, the Cerbera and what has been described by some as one of the finest cars to ever have it’s own one make race series – the almighty Tuscan. TVR enthusiasts have ability to keep the manufacturer alive on the race track which we’re grateful for. Motorsport without a manufacturer like TVR would be a little less entertaining, so savour the sight of these machines on track!

Another marque racing fans adore is Alfa Romeo, so fortunately the Alfa Romeo Championship helps to bring a touring car flavour to the day. 3 classes allow for a range of modifications and specs, with those designated, to Modified, Power Trophy and Twin Spark Cup cars. There’s an increased Modified field out in force featuring the McMahons of Barry and Roger and Vincent Dubois, while Ray Foley looks set to star once more in the Power Trophy. It’s the Twin Spark Cup where you’ll find the brunt of the entry, with top drivers such as Tom Hill, Andy Hancock and the vastly experienced Dave Messenger all expected as front runners.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Honda VTEC Challenge and Smart 4Two Cup running a combined grid for a pair of races to complete the timetable. As with the Alfas, ther’s 3 classes on offer with the Hondas, in this case being Production, Tuner and Super Tuner. It gives all lovers of the JDM marque a chance to race competitively in a variety of Integras, Civics and CRXs. If you had to look for favourites to win outright, Rob Burkinshaw’s Tuner class Integra and Martyn Kemp’s Super Tuner Civic Type R are definite contenders. Running alongside them is the quirky and entertaining Smart 4Two Cup. It’s only takes a small selection of inspired drivers to look at the humble Smart Car and see its potential on the track. 9 cars are expected to run in tandem with the Hondas, so they’ll add an extra element to proceedings as well as providing a unique and fun spectacle!

In terms of the weather, it’s set to be absolutely beautiful conditions! Clear blue skies, bright sunshine and a high of 23 degrees are set to help make today’s racing even better. Our suggestion? Sunglasses and shorts should see you right as you sit on the banks and grandstands watching a fantastic day of motorsport. For the full details of the forecast for today, you can find them courtesy of the Met Office here – SILVERSTONE WEATHER.

Also, the final instructions, timetable and entry list for today can be found here – SILVERSTONE RACE DAY.

Scott Woodwiss