Little more than a week since the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres departed Anglesey in Wales following the fourth event of 2018, the series is now gearing-up to head back to Brands Hatch in Kent this coming weekend, 9th/10th June, for the huge American Speedfest VI.
Marking the category’s first appearance at the annual event, which is expected to attract thousands of spectators and this year celebrates its sixth staging, the near 30-car entry of all-action Legends Cars form part of a very exciting bill featuring all things Americana.
On-track action, alongside the six Legends Cars races which are scheduled across the weekend, includes the likes of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Bernie’s V8s, Speedfest Saloons and Formula 5000 single-seaters. There is also a huge amount of activity off-track too, including live music, auto displays, US truck drives on the Grand Prix loop and a ‘Live Action Arena’.
Notably too, the Legends Cars action on Sunday will be filmed and broadcast live trackside on the huge TV screens which will be situated on Southbank at the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit – so spectators won’t miss a second of the incredible racing.
Heading into rounds eight and nine of the season, which mark the second visit of 2018 for the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres to Brands Hatch, reigning and three-time champion John Mickel (Horsham) leads the title race by more than 400 points and has eight wins.
With 200 points available for a race victory, though, the championship landscape can alter very quickly indeed and that’s what the key rivals to the series leader will be looking to achieve this coming Saturday and Sunday.
Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield), last year’s Rookie Champion, has put together an impressive 2018 up to now and with three wins under his belt he is currently second in the championship just ahead of consistent front-runner Steve Whitelegg (Bury), who also has three victories to his credit this year.
Next up is Jack Parker (Wolverhampton), the early leader of the championship after round one at a snow-hit Oulton Park in March, with Sean Smith (High Wycombe) only 30 points further adrift and Neil Shenton (Middlewich) rounding out the top six.
As far as local support is concerned, race goers are spoilt for choice in Legends Cars with a large percentage of drivers counting Brands Hatch as their ‘home’ track. One of those is race winner Connor Mills (Upminster) who makes a very welcome return to action at the weekend, having missed the last couple of meetings at Croft and Anglesey.
Nathan Anthony (Horley), owner and pilot of the only ‘van’ in Legends Cars racing, is also a Brands local and is searching for his first podium finish of the year having achieved his first at his home venue during the 2017 season finale.
Masters Champion Paul Simmons (Lingfield) and double 2018 race winner Will Gibson (Camberley), who are seventh and eighth in the standings respectively, also deserve plenty of partisan support as does former champion Stephen Treherne (London). Based just a little further south, but still very much Brands Hatch locals, are Rickie Leggatt (Worthing) and Mike Schlup (Cuckfield).
This weekend will also see the very welcome return to action of last year’s Vice-Champion Ben Power (Guilsfield, Powys), who has had to miss the last couple of events. Having taken two wins at Brands earlier this year, Power will undoubtedly be odds-on to be in among the lead contenders.
Additionally, the lure of the huge American Speedfest event has resulted in Glenn Burtenshaw (Forest Row), Scottish racer Gerard McCosh and also former Legends Cars racers Ali Topley (Hadfield) and Dave Ward returning to form part of the packed entry – Ward will race on Saturday only in the ‘Team Car’ he will share with Lee Bourner (Bishop Middleham).
Looking ahead to quite possibly the biggest event of the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season, category owner Phil Cooper said: “American Speedfest is an absolutely fantastic event and we’re thrilled the Legends Cars are going to be part of the festival for the first time – it’s set to be an incredible weekend with huge spectator numbers.
“We always love visiting Brands Hatch, this is the second of three trips there for the championship this year, and the Indy Circuit never fails to deliver unbelievable action. The track is so well suited to the wheel-to-wheel action we’re famous for, and the bump-drafting lap after lap, so I’m confident I can predict six incredible races at the weekend with a fantastic entry of close to 30 cars.”
Day one qualifying for the Legends Cars will take place at 09.00 on Saturday, 9th June, with Heat One following at 12.25, Heat Two at 15.10 and the Final at 18.05. On Sunday, 10th June, day two qualifying starts at 10.20, Heat One begins at 11.55, Heat Two follows at 14.25 and the Final is scheduled to commence at 17.30.
Live timing will be available HERE
Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Points (after Rd7):
1st John Mickel, 3655pts; 2nd Miles Rudman, 3225pts; 3rd Steve Whitelegg, 3205pts;
4th Jack Parker, 2755pts; 5th Sean Smith, 2725pts; 6th Neil Shenton, 2470pts
Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Masters Class Leader (after Rd7):
1st John Mickel, 3655pts
Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Rookie Class Leader (after Rd7):
1st Sy Harraway, 1745pts