So, who's it going to be - Langridge or Blackwell-Chambers to be champion? - Photo: Jon Elsey

It's becoming common practice that the fate of the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship title usually comes down to the final weekend of the season and yet again it will be the case for the 2019 edition, with two drivers ready to square off for one of the most coveted club racing championship titles in the UK.

It's been an amazing back and forth year in the MX-5 paddock with both John Langridge and Will Blackwell-Chambers locked in what has seemed like an eternal struggle at the head of the points table. Will may have had the initial advantage over the first part of the season, but John's consistent scoring of wins and podiums has helped him slowly but surely eat away into the points gap until he eventually moved ahead. Interestingly, Blackwell-Chambers has ended up winning more races with five to his name this season compared to Langridge's three and that could be an interesting stat if the points end up on a tiebreak on dropped scores.

So, how can it be settled in favour of one driver or the other? For Langridge it's fairly simple, as he needs to make sure that Blackwell-Chambers doesn't outscore him by more than 7 points, otherwise it will be a third title in a row for WB-C even on a tiebreak, thanks to his greater number of wins. For Blackwell-Chambers, three wins plus at least one fastest lap will do the trick to overhaul Langridge, however there is still a way for John to win the championship if the scores end up level. Should both drivers wind up on five wins, this requiring Langridge to win at least two races to match WB-C, the tiebreaker could be 2nd place finishes as Langridge heads into the weekend with six to his name compared to four from Blackwell-Chambers. But even then, it relies on these numbers not being equal come the end of the weekend, as then it would go even further down to 3rd place finishes! Whichever way you look at it, it's going be an incredibly close affair that is certain to run all the way to the final race of 2019.

But even though the title fight is the main story this weekend, there's a chance that neither will be the driver that heads the field as given the recent run of form, that duty could well fall once again to Joe Wiggin. The former BMW Compact Cup frontrunner has been something of a gem in terms of new drivers this season as he took the first few weekends to get to grips with his new surroundings. A superb debut at Brands Hatch was followed by shaky fortunes at Pembrey, Cadwell Park and Anglesey, but after the summer break everything changed. Since then, Wiggin as only finished anywhere other than 1st place just once in nine races, showing an incredible run of form not seen since the day of domination by Tom Roche. If the championship was solely run over these last four meetings, Wiggin would certainly have won the title but while there's a slim yet unlikely chance of bettering both Langridge and Blackwell-Chambers, this would require both to suffer disastrous weekends in the process. Nonetheless, this form from Wiggin will give him a tonne of confidence heading into 2020 where he will almost certainly be a favourite to championship glory.

Outside of the top three, who else is there to watch out for that could even end up as catalysts in the title battle? Adam Bessell will be best of the rest in attendance due to Oliver Allwood's absence from the entry list at the time of writing, and 2019 will be a season that he can look back on with fond memories, especially taking his first win at Anglesey earlier in the year. Bessell has been a constant top 5 threat and could do well again here. Jason Greatrex comes next in the overall standings and also leads the Masters contest for drivers aged 45 and over, keen to break the stranglehold that double champ Martin Tolley has had over the last two seasons. Greatrex came close to an overall win last time at Donington, so his pace could spring a surprise or two if Silverstone is favourable.

Steve Foden has shown plenty of improvements over the season and came close to his first race win at Donington, just missing out to eventual winner Wiggin. Running with defending champions Mike Comber Racing has helped Foden make great progress and he will hope to round off the year with a strong weekend. Matt Pollard, Martin Tolley and Marcus Bailey round off the top 10 with Pollard rounding off a strong second season after his rookie of the year status from 2018, while Tolley and Bailey will be doing all they can to halt Greatrex's charge to the Masters crown.

As you've come to expect, plenty of this year's usual suspects, familiar names and faces are back for one last weekend of action in 2019, with two returnees being rather significant. 2018 vice champion Samuel Smith makes his second appearance of the season, potentially in a bid to help Blackwell-Chambers in his championship quest, while AB Motorsport team boss Ali Bray will be looking to give himself a slightly belated birthday present with a good result in one of his own cars.

Plus, there's another influx of new drivers joining us for the final rounds with Robert Bond, Lewis Fox, Brandon Abraham, Niel Dauncey and Kian Donaldson all making their MX-5 Championship debuts this weekend. Welcome to the paddock!

By far, this has been the best supported and most popular season in the championship's history, with over 100 drivers registered and racing with us over the couse of the year. With the title hanging in the balance, it should be a thrilling conclusion to an incredible MX-5 Championship campaign!

Scott Woodwiss

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Silverstone International - 21st - 22nd Mar 2020

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