Who's going to have the advantages as the Championship hits the coast? - Photo: Jon Elsey

We’re starting to close in on the finale of the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship for 2017 already with just 3 meetings and 9 races left to run. The first of the 3 is this weekend at the beautiful Anglesey circuit in North Wales, one of the most picturesque circuits in Europe and quite possibly anywhere.

Looking back at the last meeting at Snetterton, where mixed conditions saw rain come into play in the final two races of the weekend for the Mk1s, once again the show was all about one man. Samuel Smith took his Mike Comber Racing to a superb hat-trick of victories, all of which coming from pole position. He was able to put himself firmly into the title fight as a result of his successful trip to Norfolk and now has leader and teammate Will Blackwell-Chambers in his sights.

Speaking of which, Blackwell-Chambers will have been relieved to get back on the Group A podium for the first time since Cadwell Park and with dropped scores to thank also, he still heads the points table; something he’s done since the start of the season. While his form hasn’t been as dominant as Tom Roche’s 2016 success, he knows when to turn up the pace and score a crucial result. However, having not won a race since Cadwell, that fact is something he’ll want to put right as quickly as possible before the year is through.

Oliver Allwood has remained in contention all season with a number of podium and top 5 finishes that helps him sit 3rd in the standings. His gap to the lead is only 42 points, meaning a strong result ahead of either Smith or Blackwell-Chambers could really shake things up. The same can be said for 2017’s surprise package, Joshua Jackson – having never won a Group A race prior to this season, Jackson forced himself into the front running pack with two wins at Silverstone, followed by a run of six podiums through Oulton Park and Snetterton. He’s only a further 10 points behind Allwood, so perhaps he could be the dark horse for the title?

5th place overall is where current Masters points leader Martin Tolley sits, as constantly makes himself a presence in the top 10 and came so close to winning overall for the first time at Silverstone. On his day, Martin is a formidable force to be reckoned with so let’s see how he copes with Anglesey’s elevation changes. Brian Trott is another name that pops up around the top 5 every now and again, while Charlie Burge is one of a selection of impressive rookies from this year’s championship that have made stellar progress all season, including Patrick Lay and John Langridge.

As well as that little lot, the rest of the field is populated by the usual suspects with familiar names such as Richard and Patrick Collins, Kevin Brent, Sam Gendy, Simon Woods, Russ Lindsay, Anthony Hutchins, Jason Greatrex and Clive Powles to name but a few. In addition, we should see the first appearance of the season from Danny Green as well as the debut of his father Brian, while youngster Jake Styles is also set to take to the track for the first time and test his skills against the seasoned regulars.

Anglesey is always a firm drivers’ favourite and they love coming here, especially during the summer when the weather is set to be at its finest. Fingers crossed that the forecast stays dry and sunny and the action on track matches the temperatures that could be in store!

Scott Woodwiss

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Snetterton 300 - 10th - 11th Apr 2021

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