Stunning entry makes every round a ‘Race of Champions’

Stand by for action! The BRSCC MX-5 SuperCup kicks-off at Brands this weekend. Pic: JON ELSEY

It’s been an agonisingly long winter but the wait is finally over as the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup returns to UK racetracks this weekend. With an amazing 40 drivers already confirmed for the Brands Hatch season opener it’s looking like 2017 will be a mighty year for the highly competitive one-make series.

Towards the end of last season, the hype surrounding the championship was at an all-time high, but fast-forward to 2017’s first meeting and that hype is now off the charts!

Building on the remarkable success of 2016 - which saw James Blake-Baldwin put one over on arch rival Tom Roche to clinch the title - this year’s competition could well be described as the ‘Champions League’ of Mazda racing. Simply glancing through the extensive entry list for the Kent triple-header reveals a plethora of title holders. The quality of driving talent contained within that list is simply phenomenal.

The cream of this year’s sublime crop is headed by James Blake-Baldwin. The Surrey racer who followed in Rob Boston’s wheel tracks to become a back-to-back champion in both Mk1 and Mk3 MX-5 disciplines returns to defend his crown. Also back for more is last year’s runner-up Jon Greensmith, the ex-Porsche and MX-5 Mk1 champion is no doubt keen to go one better and has a brand new car to underline his intentions. Then of course, only a fool would discount the aforementioned Tom Roche... Dubbed 'Mr MX-5', he’s a five-time Mk1 title winner who is desperate to add the elusive Mk3 prize to his impressive trophy portfolio.

Add in to the mix a host of legendary former Mazda champions including Brian Chandler and Ben Short and you will see why everybody’s so fired up by the impending campaign.

But why stop there, when you have the return of 2011 and 2012 title-holders Rob Boston and Luke Herbert to contemplate? The pair have been away for several seasons successfully carving out names for themselves in other competitions and topping their classes in Lotus Elise and Renault Clio series respectively along the way.

Champions are also coming in from club motorsport circles further afield. Richard Styrin leaves his trio of Porsche championships behind to take on a new challenge, while Steve Roberts includes dominating the 2013 and 2015 BMW Compact Cup on his racing CV alongside a brace of Formula Ford titles. Other names to watch are former Caterham champion Nathan Bell and former British Junior Rallycross title winner Aidan Hills who makes a switch to circuit racing in a bid for further success. A return to SuperCup action for 2012 Locost champion Mike Comber means he’ll be out to recover the race-winning form he showed three seasons ago.

In total these drivers have secured championship silverware an incredible 28 times between them - the SuperCup grid has never boasted as many talented drivers as this before.

With such high numbers for this season, don’t be lured into thinking that the championship will only be played out by those named above. Oh no, in the incredible ‘supporting cast’ you’ll discover drivers of the calibre of Jack Harding. While not a champion yet, the young Yorkshireman will certainly be amongst this season’s favourites and will be looking to continue the rich vein of form that saw him take four wins at the end of last year.

You'll also spot former BTCC race winner and fan favourite Paul O’Neill. The TV presenter and occasional SuperCup racer has been a regular podium visitor in his previous MX-5 outings and will undoubtedly be one to watch. As will Nick Dunn who is no stranger to racing a Mk3 and knows how to win, while Sam Tatler has plied his craft racing Mk1s elsewhere before plumping for SuperCup this season. Adam Bessell is also one to keep an eye alongside Liam Murphy, Carl Garnett, Tom Collins and Simon Goddard to name a handful. How on earth do you pick out a favourite from all that?

It’s a testament to how cost-effective and popular the SuperCup has now become with record grid numbers expected all season. With all eight weekends being triple-headers, there are 24 races to somehow decide who comes out on top. That said, a little bird has told us that there may be one or two appearances this year from current BTCC front-runner Tom Ingram.

With drivers of this quality the action is set to be closer than ever come lights out on Saturday afternoon.

The 24-round championship will also visit Cadwell Park, Silverstone, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Anglesey and Croft before the season finale at Donington Park in October.

Jon Elsey and Scott Woodwiss


Confirmed Competitors

1   James Blake-Baldwin

2   Jonathan Greensmith

3   Liam Murphy

7   Alex Miller

8   Andy Coombs

9   Alec Livesley

11  Nathan Bell

13  Gregg Catton

14  Jake Bailey

15  Simon Mason

17  Nick Dunn

19  Carl Garnett

21  Simon Fleet

23  Adam Bessell

25  Tom Roche

26  Duncan Harris

27  Jim Hart

29  Paul O'Neill

35  Alex King

41  David Willoughby

43  Jack Harding

46  Simon Goddard

50  Luke Herbert

52  Steve Dolman

56  Steve Roberts

58  Mike Comber

66  Sam Tatler

67  Simon Orange

68  Ben Short

71  Geoff Gouriet

76 Richard Wicklen

77 Jeremy Crook

80  Aidan Hills

85  Ian McDonald

88  Colin Bysouth

92  Rob Boston

93  Aldo Riti

99  Richard Styrin

176 Brian Chandler

223 Garry Townsend


View the meeting timetable HERE

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