Britain’s best big grid racing makes a very welcome return to Pembrey Circuit in South Wales next weekend, 5th/6th October, as the stars of the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres resume battle for the coveted title in the category’s 25th anniversary season.
With just 12 races remaining in the 2019 campaign, six to be contested at the Carmarthenshire track and six more during the championship finale at Brands Hatch in November, the title fight is heating up very nicely with Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield) in the box seat at the top of the standings.
Rudman, who was Rookie Champion a couple of years ago, has put together an extremely consistent season and after taking the lead in the title battle at Donington Park in August, he continues to lead the way after the most recent event at Snetterton 300 Circuit.
His closest challenger heading to Pembrey is Sean Smith (Marlow), another former Rookie champ and the most successful driver in terms of race wins so far this year with five to his credit up to now – Rudman having won four.
Going into rounds 11 and 12, Smith is only 155 points behind Rudman and with 200 points available for a victory in each of the six races which will be contested at Pembrey there is quite clearly plenty of scope for the championship picture to change on this most crucial of weekends.
Let’s not forget the ever-present threat of John Mickel (Horsham) either, the five-time and reigning Legends Cars Champion is currently third in the standings but only 70 points adrift of Smith. While it may not have been the most straightforward season for Mickel, he has just two race victories under his belt, consistent scoring means a record-breaking sixth crown is very much a possibility.
Fourth, fifth and sixth in the championship are Sy Harraway (Weston-super-Mare), Marcus Pett (Boston) and Will Gibson (Camberley) and all three are proven multiple race winners in 2019 with Harraway and Pett having four victories apiece and Gibson three successes. Just 120 points split all three, and Gibson is only just over 600 points away from championship leader Rudman.
“Pembrey is always one of the most eagerly awaited weekends of the season for all of us within the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres, it’s a fantastic track and this is obviously a key point of the season in the title battle”, said championship owner Phil Cooper, “It’s very close at the top of the standings and Pembrey could be absolutely pivotal, in fact I’m certain it will be.
“While, mathematically, there are still 14 drivers who could win the championship in the 25th anniversary year, we’re realistically looking at one of the current top six as being the eventual champion. The way Miles [Rudman] and Sean [Smith] have performed this season they are certainly the favourites and you can never discount John Mickel. We can’t wait for six incredible races.”
Woodcock and McAndrew join grid for Legends’ second visit of season to Wales
Joining in the on-track fun at Pembrey just a week from now will be one familiar face from the Legends paddock, team mechanic Stuart McAndrew (Wakefield), and championship newcomer Leonard Woodcock (Chichester).
Woodcock, who is a stunt co-ordinator and stunt-rigger for his own business Stunt Flying, will make his maiden appearance in the category next weekend ahead of a planned full season next year with a ‘Team Car’.
Stunt Flying is the UK’s biggest stunt rigging business and Woodcock has an incredible CV with work on Hollywood blockbusters, such as Star Wars VII The Force Awakens, Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. His son, Dylan, is a multiple British Motocross Champion.
“One of my mates, Paul Hughes, raced Legends years ago and I’ve always fancied having a go”, said Woodcock, “It’s a championship you can jump into easily and it seems like a great place, I’ve had one drive of the car so far and everyone was really helpful – especially Matt at MSR who looked after the car for me. I just want to jump in at Pembrey, have some fun and see what happens!”
McAndrew, meanwhile, is well-known in the Legends family as a crew member for drivers such as Mick Mercer, Stephen Treherne and Jonty Norman and will now get behind the wheel himself for his first ever competitive action in Norman’s car. He will be racing with support of GCS Wakefield.
“I just fancied it”, said McAndrew ahead of his debut, “I’ve been around the Legends for about 10 years with Jonty, Mick and Stephen, they’re all short though and I’m pretty big so we’ve had to make some modifications so I can get in it! There will possibly be more races I hope, it’s all dependent on what happens family-wise as we’ve got twins on the way as well…so that might change any plans.”
Qualifying will begin the weekend’s track action at Pembrey next Saturday, 5th October, at 09.00 with Heat One following at 10.50, Heat Two at 14.20 and the Final will begin at 16.25. On Sunday, 6th October, qualifying will start at 09.30, Heat One begins at 11.35, Heat Two will get underway at 14.00 and the Final will commence at 16.05.
All of the Pembrey races will be filmed by Digitex Television, and sponsored by 24hr Solutions, for broadcast at a future date on Amazon Prime, BARC TV, Motorsport.tv and the Front Runner channel.
Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Points (after Rd10):
1st Miles Rudman, 4380pts; 2nd Sean Smith, 4225pts; 3rd John Mickel, 4155pts
4th Sy Harraway, 3845pts; 5th Marcus Pett, 3780pts; 6th Will Gibson, 3725pts