Rockingham 17/18 June 2017 Preview

Somehow it’s hard to believe that the BRSCC Fiesta Championship has already hit the half way stage in 2017, yet here were are at the Rockingham Motor Speedway with all four classes in attendance and separate grids allowing the faster Class C cars a chance to duel on their own. This leaves the remaining 3 classes (A, B & D) to fight amongst themselves, as more drivers across the board turn out for the first time this season.

Class C
One of those drivers making their first appearance of the year is reigning Class C champion Samuel Priest. Having missed the first 3 meetings which appears to have left his chances of retaining the crown this year, Priest has a lot of catching up to do. That said, let’s not forget that last season his form was incredibly consistent and it was that consistency that helped him to the title. He’ll certainly have enough back up as he ventures out this weekend.

That back up is sure to come from his Specialized Motorsport teammates Lewis Kent, Nathan Edwards and team boss Simon Horrobin. Kent so far has a commanding lead in the class points and has been the most consistent out of those within it so far. Horrobin is only back in 3rd while Edwards’ fortunes turned round dramatically with a pair of podium finishes at Silverstone. Sandwiched in between Horrobin and Edwards is 20Ten Racing’s Joshua Watkins, who has one win to his name from Cadwell Park, while the top 5 is filled out by ex-BTCC man David Nye and Lee Dendy-Sadler, a driver who took his first ever overall Fiesta win in Race 3 at Silverstone. Other race winners I the field from this season are Samuel Watkins, brother of Josh, and Danny Harrison, making this an ultra-competitive class with no certainty on who will win the next race.

Josh Gollin is also a driver that, while at times has so far shown to be a little over-enthusiastic out on track, does have raw speed within him and will do well when he finds a happy medium. Ryan Beck, Jamie Going and Ryan Faulconbridge are also strong drivers, while Morgan Jones is a welcome addition to the grid as he makes his Fiesta Championship debut this weekend.

Classes A, B & D
Before Silverstone, Jamie White looked as though he was on course to steamroller his way to the Class D title and with it the overall crown. Fast forward to after Silverstone and it may not be that simple. Because it wasn’t White, but in fact John Cooper who would dominate all 3 races that weekend to firmly thrust himself back into the picture. White had to spend his weekend battling with Jack Youhill and Stuart Robbins just to grab a podium, so all 4 are key names to look out for here. The rest of the class is populated by the likes of reigning Class B champion Luke Bannister, Penny Jones, Thomas Hutchins and Shaun Andrews

Class A is now looking like a 3 horse race between Tim Bennett, Theo-Bridgeman Williams and Colin Newbold, with all 3 out in force this weekend and keen to make an impact. Bennett was the man to beat at Silverstone, however the other two drivers have also tasted their own success so far. Meanwhile, Sean Banks is continuing his incredible progress under the wing of Specialized Motorsport in Class B but his task has become that little bit more difficult now that both Chris Horne and Derek Robinson will be out to stop him. Banks does have a substantial points lead having attended all 3 meetings to date and will want to build on it further.

So, with split qualifying session and split grids, the drivers will get to enjoy more space on track to set their lap times and battle it out for victory and the podium. Don’t be surprised to see one or two upsets this weekend because in this year’s Fiesta Championship, as has been proven more than once already, anything can happen!

Scott Woodwiss

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