Seven championships kickstart campaigns in Silverstone thriller

26 Mar 18

Seven championships from the British Automobile Racing Club kicked off their 2018 seasons this past weekend (March 24/25) at Silverstone.

Tackling the National layout of the popular venue, high sped edge-of-the-seat thrills were on order in contrasting conditions of rain and sun.

Battling the wet weather on Saturday, the Hyundai Coupe Cup roared into life with a record 24-car entry list. Now entering what is it’s third full season as a standalone series, the one-make tin top category produced a memorable two encounters around Northamptonshire venue.

Like he did on countless occasions last year, Steve Kite proved to be the man to beat as he stormed to a brace of victories, both by more than three seconds. Kite fended off Alex Cursley and Wayne Rockett in the opener before then leading Rockett and Neil Hurren in race two.

The theme of dominant doubles continued in the Michelin Clio Cup Series as Ben Palmer kickstarted his title defence in fine style. With the number one adorning his car for this year, Palmer underlined why he is the benchmark by romping to victory by more than 19 seconds in race one ahead of Simon Freeman and John Hamilton.

Both Hamilton and Freeman locked out the podium in race two but both could only watch on again as Palmer took the chequered flag, this time by just two seconds. In the Road class, Nic Harrison also enjoyed a strong start to the defence of his crown by picking up a pair of wins.

In the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship, Nick Reeve had a dream debut as he took a clean sweep, claiming a pair of pole positions and then converting them into wins.

A five-car entry produced plenty of thrills ’n’ spills with Gus Burton winning on the road in race one after making a robust move on Reeve on the penultimate lap. Following a review, the positions were swapped by officials, giving Reeve the win.

The Specialized Motorsport driver proved to be in a league of his own in race two as he led Lorcan Hanafin and Burton to vault himself to the top of the championship standings.

Ben Kasperczak was in similar form in the Junior Saloon Car Championship, another one-make series that caters for drivers 14 to 17-years-old. At the wheel of his brightly coloured Citroen Saxo, Kasperczak stormed to a brace of victories to establish himself at the helm of the points.

Jemma Moore, Steven Chandler, Tony Rodriguez and Lewis Saunders all also picked up silverware across the two races too.

In the Mighty Minis Championship, Scott Kendall kicked off the defence of his title in style with an impressive victory in race one, taking the chequered flag ahead of Neven Kirkpatrick by four tenths of a second - a sizeable gap in Mini terms.

Race two proved to be a much tighter affair with a host of cars all dicing for top spot. In the end, Jo Polley made it a debut to remember as she took the win ahead of Greg Jenkins, Kendall and Kirkpatrick - a mere tenth of a second covering the four of them.

A diverse range of tin top thrills were also provided by the Classic Touring Car Racing club, which boasted more than 80 cars competing in a range of classes.

The amalgamated Classic, Historic Thunder Saloons & Blue Oval Saloon Series races brought outright victories the way of Dale Gent and Dave Cockell. The Pre 66 Classic Saloon & Historic Touring Cars saw Jonathan Lewis emerge victorious in both races at the wheel of his Mini Cooper S.

Rounding out the action at Silverstone was two races from the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Catering for fans of single seater machines from yesteryear, Mike Gardner and Benn Tilley were the drivers to beat as they shared the spoils, taking a win apiece.

For the full classification of results from all championships, click here.