The Milltek Sport Civic Cup reaches its fifth meeting of the season this weekend, as Round 10, 11 and 12 of the championship take place over 12-13 August at Cadwell Park.
The Lincolnshire venue, known as the ‘mini Nurburgring’ for its challenging twists, turns and topography and beautiful scenery, hosts the second of three triple-headers this year. The extra points on offer could be crucial in determining the destiny of this year’s championship and its coveted prize of a JAS Motorsport TCR test drive in Italy.
It’s currently extremely tight at the top of the standings, with Dan Thackeray leading Alistair Camp by one point once dropped scores are taken into account.
Motion Motorsport man Thackeray is the only driver with more than one win to his name this season – he actually has three, including one at Knockhill last month – which demonstrates how well he has been going among a super-competitive field. Thackeray won last year’s season-opener at Cadwell Park so clearly has a liking for the circuit.
Pro Alloys Racing driver Camp, the 2021 champion, has looked to be the benchmark over the past two weekends since solving the mechanical issue that hampered his start to the season. A win at Oulton Park was followed by pole position at Knockhill although a track-limits penalty and illness impacted his scoring in the races in Scotland.
Camp’s experienced team-mate Ryan Bensley lies third in the standings, just seven points off the pace. Bensley bounced back from his own mechanical woes in the season opener to win at Croft. He has since been arguably the most consistent performer, never finishing lower than fifth in the past five races. But having already used up his two dropped scores, Bensley cannot afford any more non-finishes.
Will Redford is the third Pro Alloys driver in the title hunt. The young gun is currently fifth in the standings, 41 points off the summit. Redford needs a strong run at Cadwell to make some inroads into that deficit and keep himself in the hunt after a slightly disappointing weekend at Knockhill last time out.
Infiltrating the Pro Alloys trio is Area Motorsport’s Max Edmundson who lies fourth in the points. Along with fellow teen sensation Redford, the Durham youngster has been the revelation of the season, demonstrating prodigious pace as the only driver to have twice topped qualifying.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride, and a disastrous weekend at Croft looked to have ruled him out the championship fight. But along with his Area crew, Edmundson has worked hard to polish those rough edges and the result was a fine weekend at Knockhill. Two second places and a maiden victory rewarded him with a massive points haul that has lifted Edmundson right back into contention.
Jack Harding (Ben Sharpe Racing) and Morgan Bailey (MJB Motorsports) are two more who have ridden that rollercoaster this year, as demonstrated by their massive collision at Oulton Park. Harding was a winner on the opening weekend of the season and led the points after Croft in May before that Oulton non-score.
He and the team worked wonders to ready a new car for Knockhill and their efforts were rewarded with second in qualifying. But mechanical dramas in the races were another major setback that left his title hopes hanging by a thread.
Car problems seem to have been following Bailey around this year, and then he copped some heavy damage from the Oulton Park incident. But the North Lincolnshire man, last year’s championship runner-up, will be looking to get back to winning ways on his home circuit, a venue where he was a winner last year.
Another driver to look out for is Harvey Caton, who runs as a privateer. The rising star has been a podium finisher this year and, with better luck, could be a more regular challenger at the front of the field. He currently lies second to Max Edmundson in the Paul Winfield Trophy standings, for rookie drivers and those without podiums in the previous two seasons.
The Goodyear Diamond Award, for drivers aged over 40, is a very tight contest. Mark Hughes (whose FN2-shape Civic stands out among the majority of EP3-shape cars) currently leads the way by just nine points over Simon Welch, with newcomer Anthony Gannon only 13 further back.
The trio will be locking horns again this weekend, with former Renault UK Clio Cup driver Jeff Alden (another FN2 runner) also returning to the fray.
The Milltek Sport Civic Cup cars will be on track four times across the weekend. A busy Saturday (12 August) starts with Qualifying at 0950hrs. Race 1 is due to get underway at 1355hrs, before Race 2, featuring a top-10 reversed grid, is at 1710hrs. Race 3 serves as the weekend finale and is timetabled for 1050hrs on Sunday (13 August) morning.
All Milltek Sport Civic Cup races are streamed live and can be watched on the BRSCC’s official YouTube channel here.
To find out more about the Milltek Sport Civic Cup, visit https://civic-cup.co.uk/ for more info and how to get involved.