After what seems like an eternity since the final round of the 2016 season last November, the fast paced MRF Legends Cars Championship returns to action at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this coming weekend, 25th/26th March, for the eagerly awaited curtain-raiser to the brand new campaign.
With an outstanding entry of almost 30 cars expected on the grid for the championship opener at the 1.2-mile Kent venue, all eyes will be on the Legends Cars competitors as they deliver their ever-popular brand of all-action racing as part of the British Truck Racing Association weekend.
Blink and you’ll almost certainly miss some overtaking in the Legends Cars with the short, sharp races guaranteed to deliver more action in half a dozen laps than you’ll probably see in an entire season of Formula One.
Add into the mix a tremendous blend of youth and experience, with no fewer than six Legends Cars rookies set to make their respective debuts at the weekend, and we’re all set for some classic action from the 5/8 scale 1930 replica Fords, Chevys and Dodges.
There is also the small matter, of course, of the opening salvo being fired in the battle for the huge prize of a fully-funded British Touring Car Championship test at the wheel of Handy Motorsport’s podium-finishing Toyota Avensis. All in all, it’s set to be a magnificent season for the Legends.
With less than a week to go until the first of the eight race weekends which comprise the 2017 season, 27 drivers are entered for Brands Hatch with reigning champion John Mickel heading the list as he seeks to add to the back-to-back titles he won in 2015 and 2016.
Mickel certainly won’t have things all his own way though with top three championship finisher from last year Jack Parker back to mount his own challenge, as is the current Masters champion Paul Simmons, who was fourth overall last season and competing as team-mate to Mickel this year, and the always rapid Ben Power who is a former series runner-up.
Rookie champion Sean Smith returns for his second season on full circuits, having previously been a multiple championship winner on the Ovals, and will surely be battling for a higher overall finish than the excellent top eight placing achieved in 2016.
The quest to follow Smith as the top rookie this year will feature a terrific battle between the equally determined Zac Hughes, Dan Budd, Paul Groves, Miles Rudman, Paul Simkiss and Marcus Pett, all of whom will be on the grid at Brands.
Local interest at the weekend will come courtesy of Sidcup’s Tom Grainger who, when he isn’t racing himself, works as a mechanic in the British Touring Car Championship with top team Motorbase which, incidentally, is based just down the road from Brands Hatch in Wrotham.
Horley’s Nathan Anthony is another for whom Brands Hatch is his ‘home’ track and he’ll be out to battle for podium silverware at the wheel of his iconic Se-Van, one of the most identifiable entries in the championship.
“Brands Hatch is a fantastic circuit and always popular with the fans and drivers alike, so we can’t wait to be back there for the first round at the weekend”, said Phil Cooper, MRF Legends Cars National Championship owner, “With 27 drivers currently entered for the season-opener, we’re absolutely delighted with the size and quality of our grid – which we know is set to grow further.
“You can never predict what’s going to happen in Legends Cars, always expect the unexpected. With such depth of talent ready to line-up on the grid at Brands, though, we can be confident in saying the weekend’s races will be absolutely fantastic. It’s been a long winter, we’re elated to be back!”
On Saturday, 25th March, the opening qualifying session of the 2017 MRF Legends Cars National Championship will commence at 09.00 with the first race of new season set to follow at 11.05, race two scheduled for 13.25 and race three beginning at 16.00. On Sunday, 26th March, qualifying two will start at 10.00 with the subsequent three races taking place at 12.40, 15.20 and 17.25.