Rockingham preview: Class C

So far, this season’s Quaife Fiesta Championship has provided plenty of action with healthy grids and exciting racing to match. The rounds at both Snetterton and Silverstone were anything but dull, which is steadily setting the scene for the championship early on. This weekend at Rockingham the field is set to be split into two groups, something which has been utilised in previous meetings. Such has been the reinvigoration of the Fiestas’ popularity, it’s no surprise given the increased grid sizes over last season.

Class C is where the brunt of the field can be found running towards the front. The popular Mk5 Fiesta ST model allows for the contingent to have a grid all to itself, meaning the racing can be just as intense as those where traffic from other classes is involved. Specialized Motorsport’s Samuel Priest has the points lead after a win and two podiums and seems to carry a renewed vigour this season. His consistency in results has helped him create a small gap to a bustling battle that’s already brewing for 2nd place.

This battle consists of Kevin Stirling, Simon Horrobin, Alfonso Skriczka and Nick Sanderson. The quartet are separated by just 4 points thanks to a mixture of top 5 results between them, including a win for Horrobin last time at Silverstone. With all of these drivers appearing to be so evenly matched at this early stage, it’s a scrap that ominously seems to show no signs of losing momentum any time soon. Forcibly playing catch-up (although you’d never know it given his results) is reigning Fiesta Junior champion Aaron Thompson. Two impressive wins should have him closer to the top of the points, however retiring from the first Silverstone race dealt the Jam-Sport driver a blow to his tally. As such, he now sits 6th in class points currently holding an advantage over Ryan Faulconbridge, fellow FJC graduate Nathan Edwards of Daniels Motorsport, team boss Jamie Going and Myles Baker, but it will become evident that Thompson does not intend to stay there!

Further down the class, more drivers are making strides to improve their results. One such example is Samuel Oram-Jones. An impressive display last time out earned him the Driver of the Meeting trophy, showing that with further development he could become a regular front runner if his progression continues. Other examples enjoying a renaissance in the championship are the likes of Nick Pope, Nick Bowers and Mark Godfrey who all are determined not to just be classed as those who make up the numbers – that’s not what any driver’s here for!

In addition, a returnee to the championship comes in the form of Joshua Watkins, whose sibling Samuel previously competed in the Fiesta Juniors. With Samuel plying his craft in the Clio Cup UK, Josh’s commitments meant he was unavailable to start the season. However as the remainder of the Cup’s schedule appears not to conflict with the Fiestas, his intention is to contest the rest of the year in Class C once again. His results last year included a handful of top 5’s, so it’s suspected that he’ll be throwing himself into the field as the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.

You’re always guaranteed a race with this bunch, so enjoy the spectacle they’ll provide once the lights go out and they’re charging head first into the unique oval banking of Turn 1!

Scott Woodwiss

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