FIESTAS READY TO BEGIN PART TWO OF 2019 AT BRANDS HATCH

It’s been a long break, but finally it’s time to get racing back underway for the BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres starting with the first of two visits this season to Brands Hatch in the Indy circuit in Kent. As well as the next step in the battle for the 2019 title, this could also serve as a decent precursor to the season finale here in October amongst the Formula Ford Festival.

Last time out at Snetterton, former champion and BTCC ace David Nye was able to clinch a double victory while Ryan Faulconbridge also picked up a win for himself, as both make their bids to become 2019 champion. However, at the top of the table we find Fiesta Junior graduate James Waite leading the way despite the fact he’s yet to win a race this season. Even though he’s come close on many an occasion and taken several podiums, he hasn’t been able to find that little bit extra to pick up his first senior level race victory. Still, Brands Hatch is another opportunity to correct this statistic and James will hope the break has done him good.

Welshman Samuel Watkins has indeed managed to the claim the top spot after picking up two wins at Pembrey earlier in the year, but this season hasn’t been without its share of bad luck either. A nasty accident at the Silverstone season opener put his regular yellow Fiesta ST out of action, so taking over brother Joshua’s red Fiesta was the only option to keep going. Pembrey also saw him suffer engine gremlins that stopped him from starting the final race, but aside from that a steady stream of points have allowed him to sit in 2nd place just 11 points off the lead. Just a point back comes Nye, followed by Faulconbridge in 4th place who really has come of age this season and broken out into a regular frontrunner after working his way up the order over the last few years. Both, along with Watkins, will be gunning for points leader Waite with the aim of closing down the points gap as much as possible.

Just inside the top 5, and just behind teammate Faulconbridge for that matter, is JamSport team boss Jamie Going who has three podium finishes to his name and must never be counted out for a strong result on any given weekend. Jamie is a stalwart of Fiesta racing over the last few seasons and his team has always been front runners at both senior and junior level, plus it’s not uncommon to see him win a race or two each year. Perhaps Brands Hatch will offer up that opportunity? Zachary Lucas and Isaac Smith come next, with both drivers kicking off the season with a win each at Silverstone before their seasons took rather different paths. Lucas has found himself up and down the grid all year, while Smith has been a constant front runner and has gone to on to take some dominant race wins. Smith in particular has shown a great, committed, flamboyant driving style that certainly shows he’s nothing less than dedicated to succeed.

Other key names to watch out for include 2016 Fiesta champion Alastair Kellett. The Irishman took almost two seasons out after claiming the title 3 years ago, but decided to mount up for another assault this year after the regulations changed to equalise the ST and Zetec S models. So far, it’s been a mixed campaign but Alastair has still shown flashes of his title winning pace from time to time, whilst also proving the potential of the upgraded Mk7 Zetec specification. You can also keep an eye on Tom Hutchins, John Cooper and the aforementioned Joshua Watkins (brother of Samuel), who are all set to reappear on the grid this weekend too.

Scott Woodwiss

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