Hugely successful Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres racer Steve Whitelegg has this morning, Thursday, 9th January, confirmed a welcome return to racing after a year away – and the 2018 Vice-Champion is targeting nothing other than title victory.
Announcing the news on the opening day of the Autosport International Show at Birmingham NEC on the Legends Cars stand, Bury racer Whitelegg revealed he will be competing under the Bridgeman Motorsport banner with added technical support from Cresta Racing.
Whitelegg, who debuted in Legends Cars back in 2008, has been a consistent championship challenger and multiple race winner in Britain’s best big grid racing for a number of years. After ending the 2017 season third in the standings he went one better in 2018 as Vice-Champion with his own family-run WTBS Motorsport squad.
Now, after a year on the sidelines having sold his team to fellow racer Nick Bridgman (Baldock), Whitelegg will reunite with the squad and has set his sights on mounting a serious bid for his first Legends Cars crown in a championship which just gets better and more competitive every season.
“I’m delighted to be able to announce I’ll be back in Legends this year and I can’t wait to get the season underway”, said an overjoyed Whitelegg, “I sold everything to Nick [Bridgeman] at the end of the 2018 season and that was the end, but I did three races in Scottish Legends early in 2019 and I was bang on the pace even though I hadn’t driven at Knockhill since I was a novice.
“That planted the seed again, I really missed being part of the National Championship last season so now I’m back – with the blessing of my wife! I’ve bought another car which is being built and I’ll run under the Bridgeman banner, plus we’ll have the help and support of Colin Smart from Cresta Racing who will oversee the engineering as he did for WTBS.”
Whitelegg added: “I’ve got unfinished business in Legends, it’s a fantastic championship and the racing looked as good as ever last year with a lot of drivers really raising their game. I’ve got to come back to try and win it, so that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
Legends, of course, have a big presence at Birmingham’s NEC over the next four days as part of the 30th anniversary Autosport International Show. Located at Stand 2590 in Hall 2, the Legends display – in conjunction with touring car team HMS Racing – features the No.29 Se-Van ‘show car’ of Nathan Anthony (Horley) and the No.247 car of racer and championship sponsor Phil Turner (Potters Bar).
In addition, seven drivers – Anthony among them – are part of the spectacular ‘Live Action Arena’ across the four days at the NEC. Also involved are 2019 champion Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield), Vice-Champion Sean Smith (Marlow), race winners Connor Mills (Upminster) and James Hall-Morton (Cleckheaton) and preparation expert Matt Roach (Rayleigh).
Also making an unexpected return to Legends during the ‘Live Action’ performances will be the category’s first ever champion, and winner of the maiden World Championship, Tick Steward (Essex) who will be driving the same ‘Old Spice’ liveried car he won the world title with two decades ago.
Commenting on the Autosport presence and Whitelegg’s return, championship owner Phil Cooper said: “It’s absolutely wonderful news Steve is returning to Legends for the new season and I’m sure I speak for the whole grid when I say everyone is thrilled to have him back in the championship, he’s one of the quickest and most competitive drivers of recent years.
“It’s great news for us going into our 26th season, and we’re excited to be able to announce Steve’s return here at Autosport International on the first morning. We’re also very much looking forward to seeing the seven Legends racers in action in the Live Action Arena, it’s set to be a spectacular show and, of course, marks the first time in almost two decades Tick Steward will have been with us!”
Media and trade visitors will be attending the Autosport International Show today and Friday, 10th January, before the two public days on Saturday, 11th January, and Sunday, 12th January. More event details and ticket information can be accessed at www.autosportinternational.com
In other news, the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres calendar for the 2020 season has seen a change with the penultimate event of the campaign now set to take place at Silverstone International Circuit on 10th/11th October. Pembrey in South Wales had originally been scheduled to host the Legends Cars one week earlier.