MX-5s Set to Star at Snetterton Starter

Can Simon Baldwin (front) banish his bad luck run of 2015? - Photo: Jon Elsey

The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship enters its 4th year at championship status and its rate of its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. With approximately 40+ Mk1s set to descend on Snetterton, it will be another stacked grid in prospect for fans and competitors alike. As is usually the case with such a large entry, the A and B race format is set to be in use again, meaning 4 races and 4 times the action.

This season starts with an interesting yet exciting prospect – the first 4 of the top 5 drivers in last year’s championship points have moved on to pastures new, as champion Brian Chandler, Darron Lewis, Ben Tuck and Sam Smith progress to pursue other interests. This leaves the championship wide open for anyone to step up and claim it. With 8 race meetings and 19 races across the year at the UK’s best loved circuits, including the first ever European round at Zolder in Belgium in June, there’s a long way to go before a firm title favourite emerges.

For those remaining in the field, an initial favourite has to be Simon Baldwin, who led the points standings for the majority of the year before poor luck in the final few rounds put paid to his charge. He will be determined to right the wrongs of the latter half of 2015, but will be hard pressed to replicate his form. Simon Goddard, Paul Bishop, Paul Tucker, Martin Tolley and Clive Powles (all of which filled out the top 10 in last year’s points) all return for more, so expect all 6 to be frontrunners once again from the outset.

Beyond them, there could be a raft of drivers who could step up and make progress. James Harris put in some strong top 10 finishes at throughout last year as part of a sporadic campaign contesting all but 3 meetings, so he could have enough to throw himself into contention if he runs a full season. Oliver Allwood also finished well in the races he contested early in the season, while Simon Woods, Michael Fisk and more will hope to improve as the year progresses.

As with any new season, it brings on new drivers, one of which is Go4It Racing’s competition winner Andrew Adams. With a history racing in autograss, Andrew should certainly be able to handle himself especially in tricky conditions. He joins Clive Chisnall, Jake Bailey, Jack Warry, James Love and Martyn Canning as this season’s initial wave of newcomers – a warm welcome to one and all and the very best of luck for this year!

The entry list for the opening round at Snetterton reads as follows:

5  Richard Collins
8  Michael Fisk
14  Jake Bailey
17  Russ Lindsay
18  Clive Powles
19  Oliver Robinson
20  Paul Maguire
23  Martin Tolley
25  Ivan Leary
29  Adam Craig
32  Andrew Adams
35  Matthew Simmonite
37  James Harris
41  Kevin Brent
42  Paul Bateman
44  Paul Bishop
48  Simon Baldwin
56  Bryn Griffiths
61  Lewis Field
62  William Stephenson
63  Oliver Allwood
65  Joseph Nehorai
66  Nick Riley
67  Simon Orange
68  Paul Tucker
74  Clive Chisnall
80  Anthony Hutchins
81  Richard Breland
88  Brian Trott
93  Jack Brewer
99  Patrick Collins
101  Simon Woods
107  Sam Bailey
111  Danny Green
117  Michael Close
125  Tom Roche
132  Jack Warry
188  Jake Simpson
291  Martyn Canning

It’s a step into the unknown for the MX-5 Championship in 2016 with no telling just who has what it takes to be champion, however it’s a season in which there’s certain to be action, drama and above all else incredible racing.

Scott Woodwiss

Next Race

Brands Hatch - 23rd - 24th Mar 2019

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