28 Jun Anglesey Gears Up For Class Battles
The 2020-21 MSN Circuit Rally Championship comes to finale this weekend with a double-header at Anglesey, taking in both the NDCivils Lee Holland Stages and the Altratech SMC Stages over two days.
As a result, with in effect double points up for grabs, the battles for the classes go down to the wire.
Here we give you a rundown of what could happen…
Chris Newton in his Vauxhall Nova has picked up maximum points from the first 3 rounds of the season, and should quite easily wrap up the Class A title. Set-up by Championship sponsors CSG Motorsport, Team Newton have absolutely smashed Class A. With James Hardy, and Barrie Marshall missing out this weekend, it opens the door to Rob Jones in his Ford Fiesta when retired last time he visited Anglesey. Good results on both rounds, should see him add to his 4th in class finish at Oulton and gain a potential podium finish.
Chris Ruck, might have not have had the overall success he had last year, but he remains on course to retain his Class B title. Having done a lot of work on his Corsa over the past year, maximum points on the first two rounds have set up his class title charge, although it won’t all be plain sailing for him at Anglesey this weekend. With Mark Peterson not competing, his main competition comes in the form of Richard Kay and Alex Cannon. Gap of 30 points to Cannon though should see him safe.
As an aside, the NDCivils Lee Holland Stages sees the return of Class B favourite Ashleigh Morris, who will be competing at Anglesey fresh from taking on the Argyll Rally in the SRC. She returns on the Sunday as co-driver for her brother.
Rather like Class A, Class C seems to be a mere formality, with Josh Payton taking maximum points on all 3 rounds so far. He surely will be able to turn his attention to the overall championship. He’s seeded 7th on the Altratech SMC Stages. Oliver Hunter, currently third in the championship will take second provided he finishes at least one event, while with so many class members not taking party, John Carroll, bottom of the class so far has the potential to break into the top 3.
Class D is potentially the most intriguing classes, with a plethora of drivers taking part.
Leading the way currently is Nick Whale, whose consistency has helped him open up a 14 point lead. However, with an entry only in so far for Round 4 but not 5 it gives others the chance to pounce.
David Henderson sits second, and full points in both his rounds gives him a glorious opportunity. Any slip up though could be Martin Hodgson’s gain. Full points on the first round before Christmas at Donington set him up nicely this campaign before he followed that up with second in class at Snetterton. Retirement at Oulton sees him come into Anglesey in third, but with every chance of victory.
Slightly further back, Ciro Carannante also has a chance in his Porsche, while Peter Jackson will also look to take advantage of any slip-ups. Last year’s overall champion Barry Morris returned at Oulton Park last time out and having taken a second in class award there harbours faint hopes of a top 3 class finish. He starts first on the road on the Lee Holland having won the event last year.
This class is also home to the battle of the LotusBits crew, with Cathy Sewart, having made the step-up in power this year is ahead of Mike Taylor.
Greg Williams surely has Class E1 sewn up having amassed 84 points so far. He only needs 8 points from 2 rounds to ensure he wins. Michael Stanley doesn’t feature, leaving his second in class open to be taken. Gary Russell will hope for more of what happened at Snetterton rather than Donington or Oulton, to give him a chance.
However, the precocious Joe Cunningham in only his second rally in his Ford Fiesta will look to build on his superb showing at Oulton Park. He picked up maximum class points and a place on the podium at the Neil Howard despite having picked up his car just 4 days before. With more time on his side. Adrian Spencer will be looking to do similar as well having finished second in class t Oulton.
E2 is the battle of the R5’s. Mark Kelly sits atop Kevin Procter having won at Oulton Park last time out. Consistent throughout the season, Procter will look to pounce on any mishap Kelly makes in his quest for class and overall honours. He’s just 14 points behind. With former front-runner Frank Bird and current fourth in class Charles Payne not competing this weekend, CSG Motorsport Rob Hughes should take advantage and take third.
If any of the front-runners slip up on both events it does open the door for Paul Wedgbury in his Skodaru, John Griffiths, and ND Civils Neil Roskell to get top honours. However, it would take, a massive points swing involving one of them winning class honours on both rounds and all the top 4 mentioned above falling by the wayside. Stranger things have happened though.
With no historics taking part this weekend, Benjamin Smith takes top honours in Class H, and with it the mantle of first-ever MSN Historic Champion. He narrowly beat Terry Pankhurst to the crown by two points.
The MX5 class comes down to a two-horse race, and which one would you back. Paul Gorge took maximum points at both Donington and Oulton Park, but a retirement at Snetterton has meant that Steve Dolman, who won that round, still retains a chance. Straight shoot-out for victory.
As the only competing GT car, Chris West has the GT class sewn up. Music to his ears.
Make sure you join us at Anglesey this weekend. We will be live on our Facebook page courtesy of SpecialStageTV enabling you to catch all the action.