It's a European Summer race weekend set for typical British weather! - Photo: Jon Elsey

This weekend the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship makes history for itself as for the first time since its inception, the drivers will be heading outside of the UK for a European round. The location – the mighty Zolder circuit in Belgium, where over 20 drivers will make the trip across the channel to compete in front of a foreign audience, some of which experiencing it for the first time.

Thankfully, our championship contenders have all opted to head out to continue the duels from the first couple of rounds. Points leader Oliver Allwood consistently remains a thorn in Tom Roche’s side as the AB Motorsport driver capitalized on a misfortune Race 3 for Roche at Anglesey to snatch the points lead and the chance to go to Barcelona for the European MX-5 Cup Final. Roche’s mind will now be focused on taking a maximum points haul from Belgium. His pace in the first two weekends has been nothing less than ominous, however Allwood has been surprising a lot of people with his ability to keep up, no less at Anglesey. The pair are surely set to continue what could become a season long battle this weekend.

Simon Baldwin will also be another driver that is likely to run at the front and give his two rivals an extra incentive to go faster. Currently on two podiums for the year and never finishing outside of the top 10, last season’s one-time points leader has certainly proven that he’s still very much in contention for this year too. Just ahead of him is the incredibly consistent James Harris, who is revelling in his first full season after a part time campaign last year, yet will be absent from this weekend’s festivities. 4th placed Clive Powles won’t be, however, so he’ll be hoping to capitalize on his recent form with a couple of podiums from Anglesey.

Other front running drivers who are making the crossing to Belgium include Paul Tucker, Paul Bateman and Simon Woods, all of which have secured more than one top 10 this year already and will hope that Zolder is kind to them on this occasion. Simon Goddard also returns this weekend, once again running double duty in the Mk1s and the Mk3 SuperCup. In terms of potential improvers and surprises, some good shouts will be Ivan Leary, Bryn Griffiths, Richard Collins, Lewis Field and Paul Maguire. The latter four have all seen both their fortunes and their pace make a steady rise, while Leary is back after his weekend-ending incident at the start of race 1B at Snetterton. The #25 is back up to full health and raring to go once more.

The full entry for this weekend’s European action reads as follows:

5              Richard Collins

16           Matt Pickford

17           Russ Lindsay

18           Clive Powles

20           Paul Maguire

25           Ivan Leary

29           Adam Craig

30           Paul Austin

42           Paul Bateman

46           Simon Goddard

48           Simon Baldwin

61           Lewis Field

63           Oliver Allwood

67           Simon Orange

68           Paul Tucker

80           Anthony Hutchins

88           Stuart Symonds

101         Simon Woods

111         Danny Green

125         Tom Roche

Looking at the weather, while it did originally look fairly decent it looks like it’s taken a turn for the worse as rain and wet conditions are forecast for the weekend. Even so, temperatures are still going to be rather high. Amongst the thunderstorms, it’s still set to go as high as 26 degrees! You can see a full forecast via Accuweather HERE.

Also, the full details of the weekend can be found on the BRSCC website HERE.

Scott Woodwiss

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