National Series 2019 - Let's Get Started

The 2019 National Series for BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, sponsored by Rob Speak’s Skegness Raceway, is about to explode into life this weekend with the opening two Rounds of the eleven Round competition.

The Race For The Silver Roof will begin at Smeatharpe Stadium, Taunton on Saturday 28 September (5.00pm), and swiftly continue at the Mendips Raceway, Bristol on Sunday 29 September (1.00pm).  By the end of this weekend, two of the eleven Rounds will have been contested and the early leader board will have taken shape.  Who will sit on top of the chart at the end of the first weekend when the racing is held on two tarmac circuits?

From there, the second weekend of action will switch to two shale circuits, with Round 3 at Stoke on Saturday 5 October (4.30pm) and Round 4 at Sheffield on Sunday 6 October (12.30pm).  An even clearer indication as to the outcome of the competition will be available by the end of the second weekend, once all drivers have had the opportunity to race twice on their preferred surface.

On the eve of the 2019 Shoot Out, all the talk and anticipation is focussed on just how wide-open the National Series is set to be.

Having come so very close in 2017, former World of Shale and Benevolent Fund Champion 606 Andrew Palmer has the experience of being a front runner in a National Series.  A highly skilled racer, Palmer is expected to score heavily at the shale Rounds and supplement that with good consistent scoring at the tarmac Rounds.  At the start of the 2019 season, Palmer and 905 Rob Mitchell (who finished third in the 2017 National Series) targeted finishing top of the World Championship points chart, to secure their respective places in the National Series.  By early July, they had achieved their aim, and hence both drivers have had plenty of time to be ready, willing and able to play their part in the 2019 Race For Silver.

Gala Champion 24 Jon Palmer and former World and European Champion 101 Kelvyn Marshall have had even longer to prepare for the National Series.  Their invitations were made in the closed season, as part of the early preparations for the 2019 Shoot Out.  Palmer, one of BriSCA F2’s most spectacular racers, will make his National Series debut this season.  Marshall will continue his ever-present record in the National Series, and having finished sixth in 2017 and third last year, can he go all the way to land the title this time around?

In stark contrast to those who have had a lot of notice as to their involvement, former double World Champion 968 Micky Brennan received an unexpected eleventh hour invite into the National Series.  When BriSCA F2 promoters met in late September, discussions were held about a Wild Card entry into the 2019 Shoot Out.  Active UK mainland drivers who had won the World Championship in the last decade were thus selected, and Brennan gleefully accepted the surprise offer.  Having twice worn the gold roof with pride, can he now add a silver to his collection of honours?

For 618 Ben Lockwood and former Gala Champion and Benevolent Fund Champion 560 Luke Wrench, the 2019 National Series will mark their third successive appearance in the competition.  Lockwood has finished tenth and fourth, whilst Wrench has placed fifth and eighth.  Each driver is probably expected to score better on tarmac than at the shale rounds, but in such a wide-open contest, they will be hopefully of being at the sharp end of the battle for the silver roof.

Despite only attending the five shale Rounds last year, 298 Jake Walker still finished in sixth place in the 2108 National Series.  With a tarmac car available for him this year, Walker plans to have a stronger involvement in the competition.  In 2017, 184 Aaron Vaight missed the opening Round of the National Series, but competed in all other Rounds to eventually place eleventh.  His return to the Shoot Out this year is likely to see him attend every Round, when he will be keen to be challenging for a much higher finish.

The remaining six drivers in the 2019 National Series will each be making their debut in the competition.  183 Charlie Guinchard will be the youngest driver in the National Series, and it is incredible to think that, twelve months ago, he had not even raced a BriSCA F2.  The teenager leads the way in the Novice of the Year title race, having risen steadily through the grades in his debut season.  801 Jack Cave is enjoying his best ever season, culminating in a return to the star grade.  Whilst the tarmac Rounds are likely to be the most productive for him, he is an occasional shale racer.  995 Michael Lund and European Champion 788 Stephen Mallinson will certainly be training their attentions on the shale Rounds, as that is where they do the bulk of their racing, although Mallinson has made a string of tarmac appearances recently, to suggest he certainly cannot be discounted from adding silver to the red/yellow chequers he has won in 2018 and 2019.  Finally, 127 Matt Stoneman will offer a further westcountry presence in the National Series.  Stoneman is the reigning Track Champion at Taunton and Bristol, which suggests he could well be a strong contender to be leading the National Series at the end of the first weekend.

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  • PIC 152 BY AJ

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