FIESTAS BEGIN A NEW ERA ON NEW RUBBER

After plenty of highs, lows and everything else in between for the drivers of the BRSCC Fiesta Championship in 2017, former multiple Mini champion Jamie White came away from the season as the Class D and overall title winner, along with the coveted prize of a test drive in a Motorbase Ford Focus BTCC racer. Now the question is – can he go back to back, or will his rivals amongst all four classes have other ideas? This weekend’s season opener will hopefully provide some initial clues.

Class D is where White will reside once again, with season-long opponent John Cooper returning for another crack at becoming champion. With both drivers having taken the lion’s share of class victories throughout 2017, it will be interesting to see both of the Daniels Motorsport prepared drivers going head to head for the third year in succession. 2016 Class B champion Luke Bannister is all set for his second campaign in his Fiesta Zetec S, while two new names will also grace the class this year. Italian Marco Ricci will make his debut this weekend at Brands Hatch, while young Zachary Lucas is another name new to Fiestas and will be hoping to learn quickly as the rounds progress.

Once again, the fastest class of the four will unquestionably be Class C, for the Mk6 Ford Fiesta ST150. Looking at this year’s list of contenders, the field is set to be even more competitive than it had been last year if it were even at all possible. Bear in mind that 2017 saw 11 different winners in Class C, so this season’s bunch face a tall order even just to match it. Reigning class champion David Nye is back with his sights on the overall prize, with one of his closest rivals set to be Fiesta Junior graduate and race winner Danny Harrison. Despite some bad luck at times, Harrison is one of the quickest men out there and will be hard to beat on his day.

Other Class C regulars from last season who make a return are Richard Ashmole, Richard Dawson, the Faulconbridge duo of Ryan and his father, Mark. Tim Glover is also set to make a heroic return to racing and the class, after an unfortunate accident in testing at Cadwell Park after just one round in Class D put a premature end to his 2017 season. He will be back to pick up where he left off in 2016, while Bradley Kent (brother of TCR UK driver and 2017 Class C runner-up Lewis) goes into his first full senior year after switching from Fiesta Juniors mid-way through last year.

Speaking of Fiesta Juniors, 2016 champion Harry Gooding has elected to begin his senior racing career in Fiestas as he makes the switch across to join his fellow FJC graduates Kent and Harrison, while Class D podium finisher Tom Hutchins has elected to move across to Class C in a bid to improve his progress up the order. Plus, there are two new faces to the class entirely – Charles Plumley will use all his experience racing Mazda MX-5s and BMWs to get to grips with front wheel drive for the first time, while Richard Stevens makes his circuit racing debut this weekend too. Plus, Ollie Hunt (son of 20Ten Racing team boss Simon) is also on the grid this year, looking to put together a solid debut year.

At the time of writing, there are no cars registered for Class B. There are, however, contenders in the running for Class A once again as Mark Court and Colin Newbold will be out to stop reigning class #1, Tim Bennett. Tim is planning to move across to Class D once his new machine is built, courtesy of Daniels Motorsport, so until then he will be piloting his trusty Fiesta Si in the bid to gain a headstart on the competition.

The most significant change for all competitors is the switch from Dunlop to MRF Tyres, so all drivers will be out there this weekend to gain further mileage and setup knowledge on the new rubber, as well as using the break between this weekend and Cadwell Park at the beginning of June to do more of the same.

The drivers will also be fighting it out for some special prizes put on by MRF themselves, meaning that the competition levels are expected to remain just as high and just as fierce!

It’s time for another Fiesta fiesta with the BRSCC, so let’s get out there and get this show on the road!

Scott Woodwiss

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