Brands Hatch 22/23 October Preview

How could you label this year’s Quaife Fiesta Championship as anything other than a roaring success? Compared to the past couple of seasons, the numbers have been spectacular with entries on average remaining at 30 cars per meeting across the 4 classes. This just shows that Ford’s popular little hatchback is fantastic for those who want a taste of touring car racing for a fraction of the price. Heading into this weekend, the entry is the largest we’ve had all season with at least 40 cars expected across two groups.

Class C, the fastest and currently most popular class for the Mk6 Fiesta ST model, will race separately in their own group with a rather healthy entry to boot. The points table sees Specialized Motorsport’s Sam Priest on top after dropped scores, after a number of wins and podiums and just one retirement at Rockingham. Incredibly, Alfonso Skriczka is in 2nd just 9 points back despite having not won a race all season. This just goes to show that consistency is absolutely vital in motorsport and depending on how fortunes go, he could even end up as champion without a top step visit! Behind them in 3rd it’s expected to be a battle royale as Specialized boss Simon Horrobin, outgoing Fiesta Junior champion Aaron Thompson and fellow graduate Nathan Edwards are only separated by 3 points between them. Myles Baker and Ryan Faulconbridge are just behind in a tie for 6th, however if results go the way of all of these drivers, it could make for an absolutely fascinating end to the championship!

While Class C may be the fastest cars on track, you won’t be seeing one lift the overall crown. That honour looks all but set to go to Irishman Alastair Kellett in Class D as he bids to become the second champion from the class in 3 seasons, after Ed Cockill managed the same feat in 2014. Right now, he enters the weekend 42 points ahead of Stuart Robbins, with Jamie White and Jessica King trailing in 3rd and 4th. Kellett would need a pretty disastrous weekend to miss out on the title, however looking at his rock solid run of wins this year, on paper it seems highly unlikely.

We’ve also got titles to settles in Classes A & B. The former features its biggest entry of the year, with Peter Dendy-Sadler poised to wrap it up here this weekend. John Bateman took a brilliant pair of wins last time at Anglesey, while Tim Bennett will keep them both company. Over in Class B, it appears that Luke Bannister has it all sewn up ahead of season-long rival Kieran White, however both Derek Robinson and Christopher Horne can cause an upset in terms of race victories if the cars work well.

Being the final rounds on such a grand stage, we’re thrilled to also be welcoming a selection of new and returning drivers for this event across the field. Class A welcomes Adam Lynch, Theo Bridgeman-Williams (an XR Challenge regular), James Styles and a certain Pete Daniels onto the grid, while Class C see an appearance from Dan Turner and also a switch into an ST for regular Class D runner Dana Freeman. At the time of writing, more entries could potentially still be on the way.

There really is no better way for this season to finish, as once again it shares the paddock with the magnificent Formula Ford Festival. What a weekend it promises to be with the title battles all set to go down to the wire!

Scott Woodwiss

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