Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, the traditional home of the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season finale, stages the 2020 title decider this coming weekend, 7th/8th November, where six dramatic races will determine the destiny of the coveted crown.
While the 2020 season may have been shorter due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a truncated calendar, the amount of sensational racing packed into the six rounds so far has been absolutely vintage stuff.
Taking of vintage, one of the category’s most famous names – possibly the most – is set to make an unexpected return to action at the weekend for the first time in close to 20 years. That’s right, the first ever domestic and World Champion in Legends, Tick Steward, is going to be back on track!
After appearing in the Live Action Arena with the Legends Cars at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham back in January, Steward now returns to circuit racing and will be aiming to roll back the years – although he will start all races at the back as a non-championship registered driver.
Returning to the current title battle ahead of rounds seven and eight at Brands, Daniel Clark (Darras Hall) sits atop the driver standings having put together an ultra-consistent challenge. Impressively, the current season is his first full Legends Cars campaign since 2006.
Having raced Superkarts extremely successfully in the interim period, winning titles, Clark made a one-off return outing in Legends at Donington Park last season and was instantly on the pace. Can he become the latest name to be added to the roll call of Legends Cars champions?
That said, Clark’s lead is only a mere 20 points over five-time former champion John Mickel (Horsham) who, in turn, is just 30 points ahead of series mainstay Jack Parker (Wolverhampton). In fourth is reigning champion Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield), only 15 points shy of Parker.
With only 65 points separating the four main contenders, and with 1,200 points up for grabs across the weekend’s six races, it truly is anyone’s guess who will lift the title in a battle which truthfully could not be any closer. This really is one of the tightest Legends Cars battles in history.
It’s not all about the aforementioned quarter either, with fifth placed Will Gibson (Camberley) still well in contention just under 200 points adrift of Rudman. Close behind him, only 20 points the gap, is Connor Mills (Upminster) and as a Brands Hatch specialist he is more than capable of surging to the top of the table before the final chequered flag falls on Sunday afternoon.
So many fantastic stories will be played out just days from now – can Clark claim a deserved maiden crown? Will Rudman be able to achieve the successful title defence he craves? Can Mickel break his own record with a super sixth championship victory? Can the ever consistent and quick Parker finally break his duck in terms of Legends Cars titles?
Mathematically, of course, the remainder of the top 10 in the standings can’t be discounted which means former Vice-Champion Steve Whitelegg (Bury), Neil Shenton (Middlewich), Mike Schlup (Cuckfield) and multiple Masters Cup winner Paul Simmons (Lingfield) can all have a say.
There could also be some major spoilers in terms of the race wins and podiums during the season finale. One such driver is Chris Needham (Altrincham), the former Superkart star has been superb in his debut year in Legends and took a maiden victory last time out at Snetterton. Former champion Robin Fountain (Boston) is almost always there or thereabouts, as is Steve McGill (Bo’ness) too.
There is also a welcome Legends Cars debut at the weekend for ex-Ginetta racer and former Mini Se7en Challenge Champion Charlie Budd (Henley-on-Thames), who is racing as a guest entry in the Brands finale as a pre-cursor to a full campaign in 2021 when he will be joined by his brother David.
Looking ahead to the final weekend, championship owner Phil Cooper said: “It’s been a challenging year for motorsport as a whole with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ve worked hard with the BARC [British Automobile Racing Club] to deliver a strong championship and I think we can be very happy we’ve certainly delivered that.
“To be going into the final two rounds this weekend with so little to separate our top four drivers in the championship, and the prospect of six outstanding races, I really do have a feeling it will go down to the last race on Sunday – possibly even the very last lap. Whoever wins the 2020 title will most certainly have deserved it after such a hugely competitive, short, sharp season.”
Cooper added: “Of course, it’s going to be absolutely fantastic to see Tick [Steward] back on track in a Legend in competitive action. As our first ever champion, the first World Champion and also the first driver to actually buy a car when I brought the category to the UK in the mid-1990s, it’s wonderful to welcome him back.”
Opening qualifying at Brands Hatch is set to get underway at 09.00 on Saturday, 7th November, with round seven’s first Heat beginning at 11.40, Heat Two following at 13.10 and the Final starting at around 15.50.
On Sunday, 8th November, qualifying starts at 10.00, Heat One at 12.05, Heat Two at 13.50 and the round eight Final will commence at 15.25.
Live streaming of all of the race action from Brands Hatch will be shown on YouTube, the 247.tv Facebook page and the Legends Cars National Championship Facebook page.
Provisional Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Standings:
1st Daniel Clark, 2770pts; 2nd John Mickel, 2750pts; 3rd Jack Parker, 2720pts;
4th Miles Rudman, 2705pts; 5th Will Gibson, 2510pts; 6th Connor Mills, 2490pts