Standby for action as bumper grid heads to Silverstone this weekend for MX-5 SuperCup season opener

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Reigning champion Luke Herbert's title defence begins at Silverstone on Saturday. PIC: JON ELSEY

Anyone who saw any part of the 2017 BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup season will no doubt have witnessed a championship where the levels of competition skyrocketed to new levels. While many of the leading drivers have been in the SuperCup and its previous incarnations since it began, last year saw an influx of talent with racing CVs that boasted experience and success from racing Porsches, BMW, Lotuses, Caterhams, Ginettas, Radicals and even junior rallycross. This proves that the SuperCup provides a true test for any drivers to master the Mazda MX-5.

For those who are new to this championship, all drivers pilot the Mk3 or Mk3.5 2.0L Sport version of Mazda’s ever-popular little sportscar. With all cars running on Avon Tyres, GAZ Shocks and a championship-specific ECU engine map from Sanspeed, this provides a level playing field for all those competing to tackle a car that’s easy to get to grips with but takes real skill and effort to unlock its full potential. Despite this, seeing the mix of new names and established runners duke it out together on track is something that never disappoints and always puts on a great show.

Let’s detail the drivers to watch out for this season. First off, 2017’s title winner Luke Herbert has elected to defend what he dubbed as the most challenging but satisfying championship win of his career. Now proudly sporting the #1 for this season, Herbert will know that he now becomes the benchmark that the rest of the field have to live up to – and beat.

So who will be most likely to halt Herbert’s charge to back-to-back titles? Jack Harding is a name you have to count in, having finished last season strongly with a flurry of victories in the final rounds. With 2nd place in last year’s title race still fresh in his mind, Jack will want to go one step better this year. Also looking to bounce back with a vengeance is 2016 champion James Blake-Baldwin. A character-building title defence last year has seen him more determined than ever to put things right, so watch for his progress this weekend and this season. Also set to be in the hunt is former BRSCC Porsche champion Jonathan Greensmith, a race winner in 2016 and always a frontrunner on his day.

Other names to throw into the hat include multi-BMW Compact Cup champ Steve Roberts, whose impressive half season yielded a podium finish at Snetterton, something he’ll be keen to build on. Simon Baldwin, the 2016 Mk1 Masters champion in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship, makes a full time switch to Mk3s in the same stable as Blake-Baldwin, with the pair sporting virtually identical liveries. In addition, watch out for Aidan Hills (2017 rookie of the year), Colin Bysouth, Carl Garnett, Sam Tatler and Richard Wicklen.

Plus, there some new boys to also consider. William Stacey is a young charger who found success in the Lotus Cup in the past couple of years and is being touted as one to watch, as is former Ginetta Junior racer Tom Parker. Jack Sycamore moves into Mk3s after racing Mk1 MX-5s for the past few seasons, while additional Lotus Cup converts Xavier Brooke and Mark Swarbrick are also here too. Kristian White will also make his SuperCup debut after previously competing in Toyota MR2s.

We must give a shoutout and thanks to our loyal sponsor George Grant of Clapham North MOT, whose brand features on this season’s windscreen strips and rear numberplate section. George himself will also contest the full campaign in his own Clapham North branded MX-5, as he competes for the Masters title for drivers aged 45 and over – or the more experienced drivers as we like to call them!

Get ready for what could be the most memorable SuperCup season of them all. With the added influence of the TCR UK support package, anyone who succeeds here could set themselves up on the road to future glory. We’re ready, the drivers are ready – are you?

Scott Woodwiss

Confirmed entries

1                    Luke Herbert                                                                       

2                    Jonathan Greensmith                                                                       

4                    James Blake-Baldwin                                                                       

5                    Alec Livesley (M)                                                                       

6                    Tom Parker                                                                       

7                    Alex Miller                                                                       

8                    Aidan Hills                                                                       

10                  William Sharpe  (M)                                                                       

11                  Colin Bysouth                                                                       

16                  Simon Baldwin   (M)                                                                       

17                  Nicholas Dunn                                                                       

19                  Carl Garnett                                                                       

23                  Mark Swarbrick                                                                       

28                  Kristian White                                                                       

33                  James Kell                                                                       

35                  Alex King                                                                       

37                  James Harris                                                                       

43                  Jack Harding                                                                       

44                  Darren Stapleton                                                                       

53                  Steven Boyles / Ashley Boyles                                                                       

56                  Steve Roberts                                                                       

62                  William Stephenson                                                                       

66                  Sam Tatler                                                                       

69                  George Grant  (M)                                                                       

70                  Xavier Brooke (M)                                                                       

71                  Geoff Gouriet (M)                                                                       

76                  Richard Wicklen                                                                       

77                  Jeremy Crook  (M)                                                                       

80                  Nick Boon                                                                       

85                  Ian McDonald  (M)                                                                       

91                  Jack Sycamore                                                                       

93                  John Stack  (M)                                                                       

99                  Nick Rutter                                                                       

192                William Stacey                                                                       

223                Garry Townsend  (M)

(M) Indicates Masters competitor                                                                        

Next Race

Snetterton 300 - 20th - 21st Apr 2019

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