The Milltek Sport Civic Cup heads to Silverstone this Saturday (30 September), as the home of British motorsport plays hosts at a crucial stage of the season.
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 all take place on a single day of action and the championship could hardly be closer going into its penultimate weekend. With some exciting additions among the 26-car entry as well, this is one not to be missed.
It’s three years since the Civic Cup last raced on the 1.64-mile National circuit which guarantees a closely-packed field and plenty of action. Back then, Bruce Winfield scored a double on his way to winning the championship. Could that be an omen for whoever comes out on top this weekend?
Currently leading the standings is 2021 champion Alistair Camp, who finished second to Winfield in both 2020 races at the circuit. The Pro Alloys Racing driver has only one race win to his name in 2023 but his consistency has put him on the podium in half of the 12 races run to date.
As the only past Civic Cup champion on the grid, Camp knows what it takes to close out a title and will be a tough man to beat.
Breathing down Camp’s neck, just a single point behind once dropped scores are applied, is Area Motorsport’s Max Edmundson. The youngster has displayed terrific pace all year as two wins and two pole positions attest. Having tempered his slightly overenthusiastic streak in the second half of the season, Edmundson has matured into a genuine championship contender.
Third in the table, just five points further back – which is next to nothing when you consider 40 points are on offer for a win – is Dan Thackeray. The Motion Motorsport driver’s three wins are the most of anyone, but a difficult weekend at Oulton Park – largely not of his own making – was a setback.
The fourth and final driver realistically still in the title hunt, albeit in need a very strong weekend at Silverstone, is Ryan Bensley. The experienced racer, a team-mate of Camp’s at Pro Alloys, has only once finished outside the top six after a disastrous opening weekend at Snetterton when he failed to score.
Wins at Croft and Cadwell Park have kept Bensley in the hunt. If any evidence were needed of Bensley’s commitment to his championship challenge, look no further than his outing in another series at Silverstone last month to ensure he was prepared for this weekend.
The races at this weekend’s triple-header are the last that can be counted towards the two dropped scores drivers are allowed, as both races at next month’s Brands Hatch season finale must be counted in their championship totals.
Camp currently has by far the largest amount of dropped points (39); it means that if he has any poor results this weekend, he has those in his pocket to fall back on if required, which could be crucial.
Camp and Bensley are just two of an eight-strong line-up for Neil Greenland’s Pro Alloys Racing outfit. Young gun Will Redford has also been a race winner this year, while Alex Kite and Owen Hillman (who contested the same Silverstone race as Bensley) will also be aiming for big points and may look to take advantage of the top-10 reversed grid in race two.
Alongside Travis Chapman and Jackson White, also joining the team this weekend is Loui Hounsell who was the runner-up in last year’s Production class.
Edmundson too has plenty of support within Rob Baker’s Area Motorsport team. Alongside regular Tommy Knight, the squad is also fielding Sam Kirkpatrick and Lewis Kent – both title-winning drivers in other championships.
Kirkpatrick, a one-time MG Trophy champion has already raced for the squad twice this year, ahead of a planned full-season campaign in 2024. Those outings included qualifying fourth on debut at Croft and scoring a podium at Oulton Park. So impressive have Kirkpatrick’s performances been that he lies ninth in the championship despite having contested only two of five race weekends.
Two-time TCR UK champion Kent needs little introduction. The front-wheel-drive tin-top expert has mainly focused his attention this year on supporting younger brother Bradley’s TCR UK campaign but kept his hand in with a one-off Britcar outing. He will be contesting this year’s final two Milltek Sport Civic Cup race weekends in the car that Kirkpatrick pedalled earlier in the season. Kent might only be racing for fun, but he won’t be satisfied unless he’s at the sharp end.
Elsewhere on the grid, Ben Sharpe Racing is set to be a single-car outfit at Silverstone after budget-strapped Jack Harding called time on his season. Ryan Jenkinson makes his return to the Civic Cup after a 10-year absence, driving the car raced by Dan Macdonald earlier this season.
Kinetic Motorsport team principal Dave Buky – a podium finisher at Oulton Park – returns to the fold this weekend, while Chris Nylan joins Motion Motorsport to run alongside Thackeray.
Harvey Caton has consistently been one of the leading privateers this season. Lying seventh in the points, he will be gunning to claim that elusive first victory after coming so close at Croft earlier in the year.
Adding variety to a field largely comprising EP3-model Civics are the two Dave Marshall Racing FN2-shape cars of Marshall himself and Mark Hughes. Marshall is on a high having taken his maiden race win last time out at Cadwell Park and will be looking for more of that winning feeling.
As well as the overall championship, there are two more contests within the Milltek Sport Civic Cup that are nearing their conclusions. In the Goodyear Diamond Award, for drivers aged over 40, Hughes currently holds a narrow advantage over Team Squelch man Simon Welch, with Anthony Gannon also still in contention.
The Paul Winfield Trophy is for rookies and drivers without podium finishes in the previous two seasons. Edmundson holds a healthy 76-point lead over Caton and will hope to sew the title up this weekend.
The Milltek Sport Civic Cup is in for a very busy day at Silverstone with qualifying and three races all squeezed in to Saturday’s action. Qualifying takes place at 0900hrs with Race 1 set to start at 1105hrs. Race 2 follows at 1330hrs, with the finale timetabled for 1720hrs.
To find out more about the Milltek Sport Civic Cup, visit https://civic-cup.co.uk/ for more info and how to get involved.