For the first time in several years, the BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres returns to the fast and flowing Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire as the second half of the season goes into full flow with just three race weekends and nine races left in the 2018 campaign.
The battle at the top of the overall points standings is getting closer and closer with each passing weekend, as two drivers in different classes are separated by just 19 points with many more still up for grabs over the next few weeks. Class C currently leads the way with former Fiesta Junior champion Harry Gooding heading the pack from his JamSport team boss Jamie Going. Gooding’s pace has been consistent all season as a front runner, while Going began to find his form at Snetterton by taking two race victories. The pair also finished on the podium twice more at the previous meeting at Castle Combe, with both producing 1-2 finishes in Gooding’s favour on both occasions, taking their tally to four for the year. The form book suggests they are the drivers everyone has to chase, but as we know in motorsport that can change in a split second.
They are not the only driver that have managed to win races this season, of course. Defending Class C champion David Nye was able to pick up a pair of victories at Cadwell Park followed up by another at Castle Combe, helping him sit 4th in the class standings. Just ahead of him is Danny Harrison, another FJC graduate like Gooding, who has also hit the top step when he produced a clean sweep at the opening triple header of the year at Brands Hatch back in March. Since then, a minute dip in form across Cadwell Park and Rockingham has corrected itself throughout the last two meetings, having never finished outside the top five in the last 6 races.
Speaking of consistency, the same can also be said for Ryan Faulconbridge, another Jam-Sport stablemate. He sensationally took his first pole position at Rockingham, swiftly followed up by his first win and, like, Harrison, hasn’t really left the top 5 since with Castle Combe the only exception. Another podium at Snetterton didn’t do his points tally any harm and if results go his way, there is still time to catch and overhaul both Nye and Harrison ahead of him. The spread between 3rd and 5th in the standings is 39 points heading into this weekend, so it’s not an impossible task.
Other drivers to watch out for to contend for the podium include Myles Baker, Richard Ashmole and Tom Hutchins, while Joshua Watkins returns this weekend and brings younger sibling Samuel back along for the ride too, so watch out for this pair of Fiesta STs moving around the pack.
In Class D, Jamie White continues to press his advantage as he quests to add a second Fiesta title to that of 2017, plus his multitude of championship successes racing Minis. In all of the races he’s competed, Jamie has only failed to win his class once and that was back at the beginning of the year at Brands Hatch. Aside from this, a constant accumulation of race wins, pole positions and fastest laps leave him heading the table by 66 points from his nearest challenger. That comes in the form of rookie Zachary Lucas, whose first season in Fiestas really has been a baptism of fire. Having already taken two class wins at Cadwell Park in White’s absence, Zachary hasn’t finished lower than 3rd all season and taken 2nd place in all of the last five races. He’ll certainly be one to watch for the rest of the season and beyond heading into next year.
The rest of Class D is also made up of Luke Banniser and Tim Bennett, both whom have also visited the podium on more than one occasion this year, while London based Italian rookie Marco Ricci reappears once again having missed out on Castle Combe.
As for Class A, the battle between Colin Newbold and Mark Court will resume once more this weekend, with Court looking to make further inroads on Newbold’s current points lead. Picking up three class wins, two fastest laps and a pole position certainly helped, but with a gap of over 100 points still to claw back, it certainly won’t be easy!
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