THE SILVERSTONE SEASON SWANSONG


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The OSS season closes out with a mammoth entry of over 30 sports prototypes – Photo: Miranda Young

What better way to close out another season of racing than once again returning to the “Home of British Motorsport” that is Silverstone in Northamptonshire. On a busy weekend for our BRSCC Midlands who are on double duty, the International circuit and the Wing complex plays host to our perennial Finals Weekend where scores are settled and champions are crowned – and as it happened, every single series that’s here this weekend is yet to be decided.

Let’s start as we tend to do with our pair of Mazda MX-5 series that have certainly had a rollercoaster of a year with some top quality racing to boot. Tom Roche has almost had his name written all over the Mk1 MX-5 Championship crown right from the very start when he commandingly clinched win #1 of the year at Snetterton. Since then, he’s done it 13 more times to arrive here at least 70 points ahead of closest rivals Simon Baldwin, Oliver Allwood and Michael Fisk. He’ll certainly have back-up from Blendini teammate Simon Goddard if he can help it, while the likes of Clive Powles, Jake Bailey, Stuart Symonds and more will all be snapping at his heels to try and steal the limelight. Nonetheless, anything can happen but on paper it looks as though Roche almost well and truly has this one in the bag.

The same definitely cannot be said in contrast to the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup for the Mk3 model. Instead, it’s James Blake-Baldwin that leads Roche in the standings by just 1 point but come the end of the weekend, that’s all it could take to settle which way the championship goes. This year’s contest has really seen the competition levels ramped up exponentially, with a host of drivers such as Jonathan Greensmith, Jack Harding, Liam Murphy and more showing raw pace. Add in guest apperances from BTCC favourite Paul O’Neill and rapid MX-5 peddlers Brian Chandler and Nick Dunn, plus the fact that there’s also a score to settle in the internal Masters championship, and you have the makings of what could possibly be the most nail-biting finish to a season all weekend.

If you want a championship that brings plenty of colour, noise and spectacle, then you have to check out the sensational Excool OSS Championship. This is a Le Mans lover’s dream as sports prototypes from 13 different manufacturers do battles across 6 classes in the same flat-out fashion that you’d see in the World Endurance Championship. As well as class titles, it’s a 3 way duel for the overall crown between 2014 champion Josh Smith’s Class C Radical pr6, Craig Mitchell’s Class B Ligier js49 and Graham Cole’s lightning fast Jade Traxstar. Factor in the likes of outgoing champ Mike Jenvey’s Jenvey-Gunn and Duncan Williams’ Juno, plus a whole of fantastic guest entries, and all this means that you could be look at 3 of the most energetic races of the season.

You can safely say that there’s plenty of energy provided by the fantastic pocket rockets in the Formula Jedi Championship. A simple slicks & wings formula, coupled with a 1000cc motorbike engine in a car that weighs less than half a ton gives you almost 600hp per ton! A four way duel has emerged at the head of the points table with Rob Sayell, Paul Butcher, Dan Clowes and Bradley Hobday all still in contention to become champion. There’s also drivers such as Michael Watton, Lee Morgan and Bryony King to factor in as real threats, so watch out for these little lot to put on a show in their pair of races.

The Toyo Tires Porsche Championship also draws to a close this weekend as Richard Styrin bids to seal yet another title in the Race Boxster class. While it hasn’t all been plain sailing for him this year (just don’t mention Donington!), he’s been a beacon of consistency on the weekend it’s all gone right. For sure there’ll be challenges from Richard Avery, Andrew Hack and Kevin Molyneaux to fend off all the to the end, while Andrew Baker takes on his second weekend as the sole Production Boxster. Over in the 924 class, Linda Warren will bid to claim her first title although her task will be made even tougher by the return of Turn Eight Racing’s Pip Hammond, a man who won all 3 races at the opener at Snetterton in April in his very first weekend. Consider him a threat to spoil the party!

Last but by no means least, it’s time for the BMW Race Days Compact Cup to close out its first season on our roster and what a year it’s been. We’ve been really impressed by the competitiveness and sheer enthusiasm that their grids and their drivers bring to every race meeting they contest. Best of all, there’s still several drivers in contention to become champion. Former British GT ace James Gornall is poised as favourite, but it’s certain he’ll be pressed all the way by Steven Dailly, Ian Jones, Joe Wiggin and more. If this weekend acts as a precursor for 2017, we can’t wait to see them back out again next year!

The weather at Silverstone looks fairly mixed this weekend with cloudy skies dominating Saturday and one or two heavy rain showers expected throughout Sunday. This should make one or two championship deciders rather interesting to watch! The full forecast breakdown can be found via the Met Office here – SILVERSTONE WEATHER.

Plus, all the key spectator and competitor information can be found on our Facebook page via this post – SILVERSTONE FINALS WEEKEND. Be sure to follow us on both Facebook and Twitter to never miss a moment of the action!

What a year it’s been and what a way for us to close out the season. Our thanks must go to all of our competitors, teams, spectator, marshals, Club personnel and officials for making 2016 a truly special one. Enjoy this weekend, enjoy the off season and we’ll see you all ready and raring to go for 2017!

Scott Woodwiss