The Milltek Civic Cup returns to action this weekend for a triple header at the famous Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
At just 1.2 miles in length the 27-strong field will have their work cut out finding space around the Kent countryside, ensuring that skill and luck will both play an equal part during qualifying. As a heatwave sweeps much of the United Kingdom, the championship will be delighted after their second race was cancelled due to excessive rain at Cadwell Park last time out.
Going into the weekend, only one race has set the points order with opening round winner Alistair Camp leading the charge after he calmly controlled his grey and pink #29 to a memorable victory in the spray. Despite its tight and twisty nature, ensuring the circuit drew similarities with the infamous Nurburgring, Cadwell proved far from dry in overtakes, stunning those who braved the conditions and setting the tone ahead of Brands.
At just 17 years of age, George Alp-Williams is the series youngest competitor yet has already proven himself this year, qualifying third and leading for some of the dramatic opening encounter before being caught out by the conditions and sliding off into the barriers at The Mountain. Despite failing to score, he’ll be a favourite to continue where he left off last season, beating eventual champion Bruce Winfield to victory in the season finale at Donington Park.
He’ll be far from the only driver looking to make amends though, as MJ Motorsport’s Dan Thackeray continues to look for silverware after claiming pole last time out. Like Alp-Williams, he too was caught out by the rain, though enters this season as the Type R champion, remaining short odds to challenge Camp.
Coming stacked with support this season is Area Motorsport. Occupying four of the top six spots in the championship, it will not only be team leader Camp who’ll be in line for silverware this weekend as Jamie Tonks aims to go one better in his #4 FastR-sponsored Civic EP3. Finishing just three seconds behind Camp at Cadwell, Tonks is another driver with the title on his mind. A fourth and sixth place for Matt Luff and Martin Dalzell last time out will again make them worthy of note for Area as Paul McHugh in the Silver EP3 Type R round out the bumper crew.
Simon Waite heads the Kinetic Motorsport squad in his 2003 Red EP3. At 18 years old, the Civics are not only the oldest in the Cup field, but older than one of the drivers, with Waite determined to prove his competitiveness. Completing the trio of 2003-built cars is Ross Darlington, who had been in contention for a top ten finish before his untimely retirement last round.
The surprise of Cadwell Park had been Phillip Wright. The 32-year-old comes into this season as an experienced Type R racer but wasted no time in getting up to speed with the series, finishing third in the wet, the only non-Area Motorsport driver inside the top four. Fifth on the road at Cadwell had been David Buky, though a post-race investigation for the #51 means Buky will have a two-place grid penalty coming into qualifying. He’d spent much of the race battling with Dalzell and Ryan Bensley, the latter of which will be aiming for another top ten finish.
A seventh place at Cadwell was a strong start for newcomer Chris Mullen. The white #28 EP3, is one of a number of independent entries which includes the 22 year old’s Bradley Lane and Morgan Bailey. Rounding out the bumper Cup Class is Ben Sharpe racing for BSR in his Black EP3, while Ben Mills makes a welcome return in his sole Civic FN2 entry, sporting the #666.
New for 2021 is the addition of the Production Class which sees MJ Motorsport co-owner Mervyn Beckett lead the championship after his class win last round. Made more impressive by the fact his Yellow Civic is 20-year-old’s, he’ll be a tough competitor to beat.
Beckett will be far from alone in his iconic team as three other drivers have joined himself and Jon Peerless for the new year. The Threlfall brothers, Alfie and Harry will be two to watch this weekend after the pair went head-to-head during their damp debut. Younger brother Alfie took pole position and eventually finished second, but Harry, in the black #68 will be determined to hit back after finishing fifth himself.
MJ Motorsport weren’t the only team to pick up silverware though as independent entry Mark Hughes finished third in the grey 2002-built EP3. Finishing close behind him was Rhys Lewis in the black-clad #44, the 28-year-old growing in confidence as he gets use to the car.
Peter Dell of MJ Motorsport and Matthew Stenning completed the finishers in Lincolnshire with Stenning proving his ability to mix with the younger generation despite being the grids elder statesman. Elsewhere, #76 Simon Welch and Nick Charlier will be determined to hit back, entering the weekend ballast-free.
This weekends coverage will be Live Streamed on the Civic Cup YouTube and Facebook pages with Qualifying at 13:00 Saturday 19th June 2021.