NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND : Two months since the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres was last in action ahead of its long summer break, the drivers and teams are preparing to return to battle in spectacular style next weekend with an immense 30-car grid ready to hit the track at Donington Park.
Once again featuring as part of the support package for the annual ‘Convoy in the Park’ event at the Leicestershire venue, the Legends Cars are ready to entertain the thousands of race-goers expected to file through the gates at Donington on Saturday, 10th August, and Sunday, 11th August.
In addition to the championship fight, which has already produced nine different winners from the first 18 races, the Donington meeting will also mark an intriguing debut, several high profile returns and also the welcome reappearance of Jack Parker (Wolverhampton) who was recently sidelined after a mountain-biking injury.
Going into rounds seven and eight, reigning and five-time champion John Mickel (Horsham) is in the box seat at the top of the standings after moving to the championship summit for the first time this year during the previous race meeting at Brands Hatch at the beginning of June.
His lead, though, is tiny in Legends Cars terms with just 25 points separating the multiple title winner from closest challenger Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield). With 200 points available for a race victory, and six races to be contested, everything could change by the end of next Sunday afternoon!
Behind the top two in the standings, rising star Marcus Pett (Boston) is third in the championship and putting together a very impressive campaign thus far with four victories under his belt – the most of any driver so far this season.
He is just 50 points ahead of reigning Rookie Champion Sy Harraway (Weston-super-Mare) with Sean Smith (Marlow) and Connor Mills (Upminster) close behind in fifth and sixth respectively. Harraway, Smith and Mills are all multiple race winners in 2019 and only 30 points separate all three.
Young talent James Hall-Morton (Cleckheaton), who achieved his maiden Legends victory during the season-opening event in April, is seventh in the championship with Masters Champion Paul Simmons (Lingfield) eighth, Robert King (York) ninth and Will Gibson (Camberley) rounding out the top 10.
Parker goes into the Donington weekend an uncharacteristic 12th in the standings, more than 100 points behind 11th placed Se-Van driver Nathan Anthony (Horley), as a result of having to sit-out the visit to Brands in June after sustaining a broken collarbone in training.
Boosting the grid next weekend during the fourth event of the season will be the very welcome returns of Dave Ward (Braintree), Pino Palazzo (Edinburgh) and Gerard McCosh (Biggar), plus Mark and Kieran Beaty (Hexham).
Daniel Clark (Darras Hall), who last competed in Legends Cars 13 years ago, is another returning to the grid ahead of a planned full campaign in 2020 with his fiancée Elby Charlton and their Clark Motorsport squad. Clark has spent the last decade-plus competing, and winning titles, in Superkarts.
Donington also marks the competitive debut of Legends Cars preparation expert Matt Roach (Raleigh). Renowned for producing race winning cars year-on-year, Roach will now be dicing on track with those very same cars and customers!
“What a weekend we have in store at Donington”, said Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres owner Phil Cooper, “It feels like an eternity since we were last on track for the American Speedfest at Brands Hatch, so it’s fantastic to be back and especially with such a competitive bumper grid, packed with talent, ready to kick-off the second part of the season.
“Alongside the championship battle, which is very hotly contested, we’re delighted to welcome back some familiar faces and we’re intrigued to see how Matt Roach gets on! It all adds up to what should be six incredible races next weekend and, with thousands of spectators set to attend Convoy in the Park once again this year, it’s going to be a fabulous atmosphere.”
Qualifying at Donington Park will get underway at 09.55 on Saturday, 10th August, with Heat One following at 11.15, Heat Two is set to start at 14.05 and the Final will commence at 15.35. On Sunday, 11th August, day two qualifying will start at 09.25, Heat One is scheduled for 11.25, Heat Two will begin at 14.20 and the Final is timetabled for 17.35.
Legends Racing UK press release / Photos by George McNeill