HEALTHY GRID HEADS TO SILVERSTONE NATIONAL

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Paul Tucker (left) heads the Masters points - will he stay there? - Photo:Jon Elsey

The momentum is already starting to build quickly in the Mazda MX-5 Championship as the teams and drivers move to the Home of British Motorsport for Rounds 7, 8 & 9 of the 2017 season. Silverstone’s National circuit springs into use after a year’s absence when it began the 2015 campaign, but on this occasion so far the points race has pretty much been all about one man.

Will Blackwell-Chambers has so far taken 5 victories from the first 6 races, but despite looking rather dominant on paper he hasn’t exactly been allowed to run away with any of them. On each occasion he’s been pressed hard by his closest pursuers, but the fact that his only non-victory still saw him finish 2nd shows that he’s certainly the main in form. However, unlike Tom Roche who regularly pulled out unassailable leads last season, Will’s being made to work for them every step of the way.

His fellow Mike Comber Racing driver Samuel Smith claimed that one win last time at Cadwell on a weekend where he stood on all 3 steps of the podium and jumped to 2nd in points. Pushing them all the way would be AB Motorsport’s Oliver Allwood, who has come into 2017 revitalised and back on the form that saw him at the front early last year. Two more 3rd places helped put him just 10 points behind Smith in 3rd. The trio at the top already have something of a clear gap to the rest of the field, although there’s one or two drivers who had less than satisfactory Cadwell weekends with ground to make up.

One of which is Michael Fisk who suffered a lack of power all weekend and couldn’t better an 11th place finish. This leaves him 7th in the standings with pure determination to climb back up and a strong weekend here will help him do that. Also one to suffer was Simon Baldwin, who was since elected to throw in the Mk1 towel in order to sample a SuperCup car at a later round of the season. Another one with low key fortunes was Paul Tucker, but despite not scoring a top 10 in either of the races, he still remains best of the rest in 4th place in the standings. Martin Tolley also picked up some hard fought results but again retains a strong 5th in points. On a weekend when fortunes for many were rather topsy-turvy, all involved will hope for a return to normality here this weekend.

Some drivers have really come out of the blocks fighting, including a raft of drivers contesting their first full seasons. 3 notable names are Patrick Lay, Charlie Burge and John Langridge. All 3 made impressive debuts at the end of last season and so far have shown massive strides in terms of progress. From the first round, they all proved to be straight on the leading pace and it surely only a matter of time before at least one Group A podium goes their way.

Also, shout outs must got to those who picked up wins in Group B at Cadwell Park as Ivan Leary, Matt Pickford and Stuart Brittle all grabbed a 1st place trophy for their troubles as a result. Unlike the previous two rounds, the MX-5 Championship competitors will be back to standalone grids once again after sharing a Group B grid with a small portion of SuperCup cars at Brands Hatch and Cadwell.

A small mention should also go out to Callum Warner and Jon Pethick, two names that are brand new to the Championship and both of which are making their debuts here this weekend – welcome to the grid, chaps!

At the time of writing a bumper entry of 55 Mk1 Mazda MX-5s are set to descend on Northamptonshire the potential for that number to even reach 60, a figure met at the 2015 season finale at Donington Park. With that said – seconds out, Rounds 7, 8 & 9!

Scott Woodwiss

Next Race

The 2018 calendar will be announced shortly.

Last Race

Donington Park 14th - 15th Oct 2017

Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 Will Blackwell-Chambers 2216 2042
2 Oliver Allwood 2130 2000
3 Joshua Jackson 2166 1974