2017-18 LMP Nationals - the season so far...

1/12th Circuit

2017-18 BRCA LMP Nationals - the story so far....

The 2017/8 BRCA LMP series is now well under way, and with two rounds down we can already see the challengers for titles emerging. We take a look at the season so far, and through our crystal ball try and predict who will be sitting at the top of the pile come March at Chesterfield.

As most will know the LMP championship is run over two days, with Saturday seeing all the drivers competing in the 13.5 Stock class, and Sunday seeing drivers split into Sports (13.5 as per Saturday), and Modified (6.5 blinky).

Saturday 13.5 - Our picksDS Car

After two rounds we have a very clear pecking order in the 13.5 class, and with two TQ's and wins it is David Spashett and Roche who look ideally placed to maintain their 2016/7 title. David is getting older, but... like most fine wines he ages well. In the stock class he uses his ability to carry corner speed extremely well, and as a result has looked relatively comfortable this season. A firm favourite in this class.


So who might stop him? Payne Car

Young team mate Ollie Payne has come second at the first two meetings, and looks to be capable of beating David. At each meeting Ollie gets faster, and after winning his second Masters of Foam title in November he is currently full of confidence. If David doesn't win then in our opinion Ollie will, but there are a few who might stop the Roche duo....

Rather than pick one driver from the Associated team we'll pick a few, and here's why. Associated have a great new car, and crucially have a team manager, James Stewart, who is pulling the team together and helping to direct set-up's. This team atmosphere has seen Matt Varrah take a podium, Matt White run incredible pace, Matt Rice take a huge step forward and Mark Stiles push Ollie Payne at the Masters of Foam, throw in Chris Kerswell - more of him in modified - and this team will win a meeting this year.


So far Schumacher and Xray have been quiet this year, although Adam Catchpole has given Xray 2 podiums, and Andy Murray is capable of more. But in truth don't put money on anyone other than Spashett or Payne!


Modified (Sunday)

So far we have only had one heat of Modified at each round, but the cars look great and the racing has been close and relatively clean. It’s been the Spashett and Payne show again in Modified, with both taking a pole and a win. In this class our money is on Ollie, just! Ollie looks confident and relaxed, and David looks less at ease in this class. Both of their Roche cars look fantastic, and both know how to get the best from them, but Chris Kerswell might be the driver to spoil the Roche party. Chris only runs Modified, and practices on Saturday. At Eastbourne he had the fastest car and narrowly lost the final to David, and by his own admission 'was 6 seconds off pole with 5 seconds of mistakes and 8 of the 10 fastest laps' at Birtley and 'would have tq'd if he was more patient (Chris used a ruder word here!). So with two podiums and huge speed Chris is perhaps joint favourite in this class. The question is can last years champion Adam Catchpole find form and make it a four-way battle for the title?


Sports Modified (Sunday)

Vincent CarThe Sports class is hugely close on Sunday and four drivers have been stars over the opening rounds. Mick Farrell won round one with his CRC, and was in contention at round 2 before a car failure. Mick knows how to win and must be favourite. Mark Jewitt and his Xray won round 2, but Mark is missing Tamworth. Mark is driving well and although maybe not the fastest of the lead group he races really well and knows how to get the best from the car. Add Matt Rice, who has taken a leap forward this year and is confident and calm, and Ben Vincent, whose Schumacher is perhaps the fastest in the class, and you have huge competition for the title. This class will see wins spread across more drivers and solid podiums could be enough to end the season on top.

Why not join the drivers fighting for the glory, with four rounds to go it could still be anyone's championship! We visit Tamworth in the midlands in December, and then move to Poole, next to arguably the best beach in the UK (Sandbanks) in January. We then move to Newbury and Chesterfield.

For more information on the series visit https://www.brca.org/12c-events.html and get involved. Tamworth entry is full so get your entry in early to the remaining events to avoid disappointment!

And feel free to tell us why we are wrong in our predictions, (Luke Burley wrote this article on behalf of the BRCA – many thanks Luke - so feel free to correct his thinking!)