The BRSCC Alfa Romeo Championship is making its first appearance at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire since 2015.
The majority of entrants are racing here for the first time and the circuit has had a full resurfacing completed prior to the start of this season. The handful of drivers that have raced at Croft in the past should notice improved levels of grip and adhesion at all points along its 2.1 miles but the unique challenges and characteristics of the circuit still remain and should provide close and competitive racing throughout the field.
Leading the championship after Rounds 5 & 6 at Cadwell Park is the Twin Spark 156 of 2018 champion Tom Hill. Tom returns to Croft with a 15 point lead over the 2017 champion Andrew Bourke who is making his first appearance at the circuit with his twin spark car. In third place and only a single point adrift is Power Trophy class leader Paul Webster, also making an inaugural visit to the most northerly circuit on this year’s calendar.
In the Modified class and making a welcome return to the series is Lincoln based driver Bryan Shrubb in his distinctive Alfa 33 and alongside Bryan is third in class driver Mervyn Miller, making his third appearance of the season in his 3 litre 156 car.
In the Power Trophy, Paul Webster is joined once again by Ben Sharich, Jamie Thwaites and Dave Messenger. In the last couple of months, a lot of work has been carried out by Dave Peddie and the team to get on top of some of the problems that beset the Mito in earlier rounds of the championship at Brands Hatch and Snetterton, and it is hoped that the car will deliver an improved showing this weekend. Also having spent a considerable amount of time overcoming earlier problems encountered at Snetterton and Cadwell is Yorkshire based driver Jamie Thwaites who will be looking for improved reliability in the immaculate 155. Dave Messenger has made an impressive start to the season in the 156 GTA that he acquired from Roger Evans at the end of last season, quickly making the transition from twin spark to power trophy and putting in a string of solid drives. Dave will be hoping for more on his return to the north of England. Completing a healthy grid in the class is Richard Thurbin, not out in his usual Modified Lancia Delta Integrale but this time in a Fiat Uno Turbo, and regular Alfa racer Andy Inman, making his first outing of the year at his local track in his newly acquired Peak Alfa supported 156 3.2 GTA. It’s great to see Andy back in a new car and a different class after many years competing in the twin sparks.
Joining Tom Hill and Andrew Bourke in their Bianco Auto Developments supported twin sparks will be Simon Cresswell, Richard Ford and Martin Jones. Simon returns to Croft in his usual 156 and will be hoping for a repeat of his second place result in his last visit, whilst at the same time hoping to avoid the DNF that he had in race two of the same meeting! Richard Ford in his 156 and Martin Jones in his 147 have had significant replacement and repair works needed following their last outings at Cadwell and will be hoping for improved performances and results this time out.
Once again, we will be sharing qualifying with the Porsche Championship, but unfortunately for both parties, the races are also being combined at Croft. How this will work in practice remains to be seen and we await with interest how the organisers will deal with the combining of a split grid format! Hopefully, this will not detract from the weekend’s activities and we look forward to some competitive and clean track action.