Everything is starting to get just a little bit serious in the MRF Legends Cars National Championship as the excitement-packed series prepares to resume at Snetterton 300 Circuit next weekend, 9th/10th September, for the sixth event of 2017.
It seems an absolute age since the previous rounds at Donington Park a month and a half ago where Ben Power (Guilsfield, Powys) added four more victories to his impressive tally – which now stands at 12 wins for the year – and surged back to the top of the standings, opening a 140 point lead.
Reigning champion John Mickel (Horsham), who headed Power by 155 points going into Donington, didn’t have the most enjoyable of weekends in the East Midlands during the huge ‘Convoy in the Park’ event but still took a healthy clutch of podium silverware to ensure he remains well in touch.
Third in the title battle heading to Snetterton is Jack Parker (Wolverhampton), another of the series’ multiple race winners. Despite a season of stark contrasts, some great success tempered by terrible misfortune, Parker still has a shot at the championship but has to make big inroads next weekend to overturn the 700-plus point deficit to current championship leader Power.
In the MRF Legends Cars National Championship the cars may be small, 5/8 scale to be precise, but the scoring system is big. With 200 points for a race win, 185 points for second place and 170 points for third, it’s easy to see how the driver standings can change very quickly.
Steve Whitelegg (Bury) is another to have experienced both ends of the fortune spectrum this year and remains well in touch with the series top three, just over 200 points shy of Parker, while the top six is completed at present by top Masters class driver Paul Simmons (Lingfield) and Nathan Anthony (Horley), pilot of the ever-popular Se-Van.
One of the true standout performers at Donington Park, deservedly grabbing the headlines with a sensational and highly emotional maiden car racing victory in atrocious wet conditions, was Will Gibson (Camberley) but he won’t be in action at Snetterton.
So perhaps the sixth event of the season will provide an opportunity for another driver to break through and join the list of 2017 race winners. The likes of Gary Whitelegg (Handforth), Rookie class leader Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield), Sean Smith (High Wycombe) and Robert King (York) will all be challenging as hard as ever.
New to the grid at Snetterton, where the MRF Legends Cars will again be running as part of the support package to the British Truck Racing Association Championship, will be Belgian racers Sebastian Kluyskens and Gilles Verleyen – team-mates of series regular Jean-Michel Poncelet.
As ever, the friendliest and most welcoming paddock in national motorsport will be open for spectators to head along to see the cars, meet the drivers and obtain some autographs across the weekend – you’ll be able to find the MRF Legends Cars competitors in the pitlane garages.
Looking ahead to next weekend’s visit to Snetterton, championship owner Phil Cooper said: “We really are getting into the business end of the season now, Ben [Power] and John [Mickel] have managed to pull away from the others in the title standings but, as everyone knows, the picture can change very quickly in MRF Legends Cars.
“We’re delighted to welcome Sebastian and Gilles, I’m sure they’ll prove to be popular additions to the grid, and I know I can speak for everyone in the championship when I say we’re all very much looking forward to the visit to Snetterton. It’s the sort of track which can throw up some surprises, and some classic bump-drafting along the two main straights as well. Get ready Snetterton!”
Qualifying for the MRF Legends Cars drivers will begin the track action at the East Anglian venue at 09.00 on Saturday, 9th September, with Heat One taking place at 11.40, Heat Two following at 14.30 and the Final getting underway at 17.20.
On Sunday, 10th September, day two qualifying is set to start at 09.00, Heat One then follows at 12.25 ahead of Heat Two at 14.45 and the Final at 17.35. Live timing across the weekend will be available HERE
Provisional MRF Legends Cars National Championship Points:
1st Ben Power, 4930pts; 2nd John Mickel, 4790pts; 3rd Jack Parker, 4185pts;
4th Steve Whitelegg, 3955pts; 5th Paul Simmons, 3605pts; 6th Nathan Anthony, 3310pts
Provisional MRF Legends Cars National Championship Masters Leader:
Provisional MRF Legends Cars National Championship Rookie Leader: