FIESTA CHAMPIONSHIP HEADS TO SILVERSTONE WITH MORE NEW TURBO FIESTAS FEATURING

The BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres may be racing through strange times given everything that’s happening in the world right now, but as the 2020 season progresses, there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future of the championship. With the new spec Fiesta ST180 Turbo cars making their debut at the opening rounds at Cadwell Park as an invitation class, 2021 onwards is looking bright, but before then we’ve still got this season to finish! Next up on the calendar is a trip to the Home of British Motorsport, as Silverstone welcomes the competitors for their second outing of the year. Once again, they will be sharing their grid with the Hyperdrive ST-XR Challenge.

Leaving Cadwell, Joshua Watkins led the championship points with Luke Pinder marking his debut weekend in a Fiesta by ending it just six points behind, both scoring a win in the process. This weekend, neither are set to appear on the entry list, which means that the highest placed driver that is going to be on the grid at Silverstone is rookie Spencer Stevenson. He impressed many with his consistency over the two days in Lincolnshire and even manage to grab a 2nd place in the final race of the weekend on the Sunday. He appears to have grown in confidence with the car very quickly and seeing how he tackles a faster and wider circuit such as Silverstone will certainly give an indication as to whether his pace will carry over. Just behind him in 4th in the standings is Ethan Rogers, a former Junior Saloon Car racer that switched to the senior Fiesta ranks towards the end of 2019. He marked the start of his first full season of Fiesta racing with a 3rd place, and with the 20Ten Racing squad supporting him all the way, this could be a great opportunity to potentially grab the points lead and carry an advantage over to Donington Park next month.

Next up come two drivers that probably should be higher up in the standings had they not suffered misfortunes in the first Cadwell Park race. Samuel Watkins rebounded from retirement in that race to score a 2nd place and a win to put him 5th in points and having been a regular front runner and possible championship contender more than once in the past, there’s no reason why he couldn’t still make an impact and leave Silverstone at the leader. Someone also gunning to make progress is last year’s Fiesta Junior champion Olly Turner, who came to Cadwell with a car that he said felt “perfect” and it definitely showed. Had he been able to start Race 1 had his driveshaft not given out, he could have added to his two 3rd place finishes which both also included the fastest lap in each. There seems to be a new fire that’s been lit underneath him and OIly’s newfound determination and pace could serve him well with a great chance to grab more silverware.

Others on the grid will be hoping to make more progress from the opening rounds, too. Dominic Bush began his first weekend of circuit racing with Specialized Motorsport with a solid haul of results and Silverstone will be a great chance to build on them further. JamSport team boss Jamie Going is always a contender to score a decent finish or two, but he’s got some ground to make up after his Race 1 exclusion at Cadwell. On his day, Jamie is just as fast as anyone on the grid as is also a proven race winner, so don’t count him out for a second to pop up at the front at any time. Rob Smith appears to be settling in well too, and will be looking to ensure both he and his son Sid who races in FJC both get the best scores possible as they work together in a proper father-son duo. Plus, our favourite London-based Italian driver Marco Ricci is back for more in a championship he thoroughly enjoys and will be hoping to keep pace as the only Mk7 Fiesta Zetec S on the grid.

There’s also some welcome returns being made at Silverstone with three familiar names to those who follow us back on the grid. Zachary Lucas makes a welcome return once again with Specialized Motorsport to a circuit that saw him pick up his first overall win in the championship at the beginning of last season. Zachary is always quick and he will definitely want to make his mark straight away. Robert Stevens will also be back in the paddock too, a driver that always managed to rack up a string of steady and consistent results and will certainly look for more of the same this weekend. Plus, Richard Ashmole is another returnee ready to thrust himself back into the action, a driver that on his day can definitely match the front runners and give them some headaches. He will want to be troubling them straight out of the blocks on this occasion, for sure. Plus, we also have one new driver in an ST150, but someone who is rather experienced and also tasted his fair share of success at club level. Ben Winrow has succeeded in many different championships over the years, including becoming champion in Clio Cup UK in 2008, the Production BMW Championship and the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB, alongside finishing runner up in the Sigma class in Caterham Graduates a couple of years ago. With all this know-how and a 20Ten Racing prepared Fiesta as his weapon of choice, he could well feature as a front running driver all weekend long, so watch out for him.

Speaking of Mk7 Fiestas, the Invitation class welcomed the first two new Fiesta ST180 Turbo cars onto the grid which were piloted by John Cooper and David Nye. The pair enjoyed running them both and demonstrated the direction that the Fiesta Championship is heading in 2021 when the plan is for these cars to be welcomed into their own points scoring class. Both are back for more to continue the development of this new class, but intriguingly enough they won’t be the only cars in the Invitation ranks. Two more ST180 Turbos are ready to race this weekend and they’ll both be piloted by a pair of rather capable drivers. One will see Danny Harrison back behind the wheel of a Fiesta for the first time since 2018 when he competed for what was then the Class C title in an ST150. More recently, he’s been plying his craft in Britcar at the wheel of one of the awesome Praga sportscars as well as providing driver coaching to one of the new Fiesta Junior drivers, but now is his chance to offer his skills and feedback on the new car for the first time in a racing environment. The other car, prepared by former double champion Jamie White and his JRW Motorsport outfit, will feature none other than BTCC favourite Paul O’Neill, who of course has years of front wheel drive experience from his days racing in touring cars. This will be his first time racing in the Fiesta Championship and in one of the new cars, and he’s sure to apply all of his speed and expertise to get the maximum out of the machine across all sessions. We’re excited to see what he can do and to hear some of his feedback too!

All in all, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited and to look forward to this weekend’s Fiesta Championship action, with more new ST180 Turbos, a former BTCC racer on the grid, new and returning faces and the chance for those drivers sitting 3rd and below in the points standings to grab the lead by the end of the meeting. Strap yourselves in, this is going to get intense!

Scott Woodwiss

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