The new season is now finally upon us for the BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres, and after an extending period of waiting thanks to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the postponement of motorsport in the UK, the first rounds of the season at Cadwell Park are finally ready to get underway this weekend.
Let’s take a look at who’s expected to be racing this weekend, which sees the Fiesta Championship joining the grid of the currently in-form Hyperdrive ST-XR Challenge, a long-standing and popular Ford series since the 1980s and one that effectively formed the basis for what the Fiesta Championship eventually turned into today, while still running to its own identity and building its grids nicely in 2020..
In terms of potential favourites for the title, there are certainly a few candidates from the off. JamSport team boss Jamie Going has been a stalwart of the championship for the last few years and is always in striking distance when it comes to grabbing a podium place and even a win. Having been in contention for the title more than once in past seasons, there’s no reason why Jamie can’t be there again. Some of his closest competition is sure to come from the two Watkins brothers, Joshua and Samuel. Both are proven race winners with Samuel being a frontrunner in the early part of the season in 2019 before incidents and problems at Silverstone and Pembrey curtailed his charge. If both have strong cars underneath them, they are sure to be at the front straight away.
There’s a decent influx of new drivers taking on the Fiesta Championship for the first time onboard the much favoured Mk5 Fiesta ST150s too. Experience racer Rob Smith will compete in the senior level championship while his son Sid learns his craft over in the Fiesta Junior ranks, and Rob will be keen to make an impression on his Fiesta debut. Young karter Dominic Bush is ready to race too, piloting a Specialized Motorsport entry overseen by long term Fiesta veteran Simon Horrobin and will want to get some solid mileage under his belt. Spencer Stephenson is another new face to the paddock and he will enter the weekend as something of an unknown and keen to ensure he’s one to watch. Plus, last year’s Fiesta Junior champion Olly Turner makes a long-awaited step up to the senior ranks piloting the same car that took him to the Junior title in 2019. With plenty of track experience after three years in FJC and getting quicker all the time, Olly’s sure to be a dark horse.
Another interesting addition to the grid is former Michelin Clio Cup and Ginetta racer Luke Pinder, who will drive one of the 20Ten Racing ST150s prepared by Simon Hunt’s outfit. Back in Clios, Luke was the Road Series champion in 2015, followed by 3rd place in points a year later in the Race class. This means that with plenty of front-wheel drive racing mileage behind him, he will surely get up to speed pretty quickly in a car that should feel similar to that which he’s driven before. Also on the grid this season with 20Ten Racing is Ethan Rogers, who debuted in the final couple of rounds last year before committing to a full 2020 campaign. Ethan has already proven to be a rapid young talent and he’ll be hungry to make a successful start to his Fiesta season this weekend. London based Italian Marco Ricci also makes a welcome return to the paddock again, driving the only Mk7 Zetec S on the entry list for the opening rounds.
All that said, that’s not everyone on the entry list, as there are in fact two special entries into the Invitation class that will be of particular interest. Both former champion David Nye and John Cooper will each pilot a Mk7 Fiesta ST, each with turbocharged engines that are sure to be put to the test on Cadwell Park’s almost never-ending sequence of winding corners. These two cars are almost guaranteed to be the quickest in the field and who knows – it may well give us a glimpse of what’s to come in the Fiesta Championship in the future…
So, another exciting Fiesta campaign is ready to get underway – who’s your favourite for the 2020 title? Let’s find out!
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