End of season finale. Silverstone previewRory Johnson
Building on the 17 strong grid at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago, Silverstone International will see 22 entries for the final two rounds of the 2017 campaign. With the luxury of the F1 pits and garages, the weekend sees the season out in fine style.
Silverstone is a double points round, and with competitors dropping their two lowest scores from the year, there are many ways the championship could yet play out.
Brands Hatch saw Matt Tidmarsh take full points again in Class A and he goes into the final two rounds in a commanding position. However, the fat lady has yet to sing, with double points for the two Silverstone races both Lee Hollin and Andy Pretorius can still win the championship, but only if disaster strikes for Tidmarsh.
Pretorius has finally replaced his ailing engine, and a new Mazda MZR heart beats beneath the bonnet of number 77. Pretorius will surely be looking to end the season on a high. Will the extra horses give him enough to challenge Tidmarsh and Hollin?
Hollin gave Tidmarsh a lot to think about at Brands, only 0.06s separated the two on fastest lap times. Hollin has been improving all year, but has yet to take his maiden victory, Silverstone may give him that opportunity.
Tidmarsh may choose to be cautious as he attempts to secure the Class A championship, but as the current leader of the Grove and Dean National Driver rankings he’ll need some fast laps to stay at the top of that table.
Chris Webster returns for the final round, he and Tidmarsh had race long battles at the first meeting of the year – also Silverstone but on the National circuit. Tidmarsh took the honours in both opening rounds, Webster will want a reversal this time out.
A four way battle for the top step of the podium looks likely.
Baker, Johnson, Moody and Rawlinson are sure to continue where they left off two weeks ago, but will also likely be joined by Bailey who returns for the final rounds. Moody will be hoping not to have a repeat of their coming together at the start of the year.
9 Mk1’s will swell the grid for the final two rounds. The Class B championship prize looks certain to fall to Josh Malin, only a DNF by Malin would give Danny Grist any chance of stealing the championship.
Ben Norfolk will be looking to build on his podium from the last round and give Malin and Grist more than just each other to worry about.
Silverstone also see’s the return of Michael Kirk, having won his only MaX5 entry in the opening round on the Silverstone National circuit he is sure to be in contention.
So a four way battle for the class B podium is a real possibility.
Phillip Little also returns to the championship for Silverstone and will likely to be mixing it with the Laslett camp. This battle could also have an international flavour as we are joined by Bryan Bursey from Canada. Having competed in the Targa Newfoundland rally and Spec Miata series in Texas, Bryan has seized an opportunity to make a one off appearance on the iconic Silverstone circuit.
While Loversidge has the most points in class C, after dropped rounds Halliwell and Roddison remain the leaders and are separated by 15 points. Halliwell and Roddison shared the spoils at Brands hatch, and were seldom separated by more than few 10ths. Roddison will need some luck if he is to take the crown from Halliwell. Even maximum points for Roddison will not secure it without help Loversidge and Shipley, or mechanical issues for Halliwell.