PREVIEW: 2018 MSA British Rallycross Championship – Part 1

by Matt Bristow

With the 2018 MSA British Rallycross Championship season opener less than two weeks away we’ve taken a look at who and to look out for over the coming season.

The biggest news for this season is the inclusion of the new rallycross circuit at Silverstone to the calendar for the season opener and the season finale.

What the iconic British circuit has in store is unknown; With only a handful of laps covered at the launch of the newly built RX circuit, the track has never been raced on.

The first round is to be held on the full World Championship track configuration, while the final round will be on the National layout.

This year also sees the omission of Hot Hatch, which is now solely a clubman class within the BTRDA championship.

2018 MSA Junior Championship

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The Junior Championship that was dominated by Tom Llewellin in 2017 is looking like it will once again be packed with action. Cousins James and Tom Constantine return along with Morgan Wroot. Joining them are new drivers Ben Sayer, Luke Constantine, Matilda Procter and Marius Solberg-Hansen.

One to Watch: Morgan Wroot – as long as he can build on the experience of 2017 he should be the car to beat.

2018 Swift Sport Championship

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The ever popular Swift Sport Championship sees most of the top 10 2017 drivers return to vie for success in the new season. However, Simon Ovenden will have his work cut out to defend his crown.

Not only by 2017 runners up Rob Shield and Morgan Bailey, but a whole host of experienced Swift drivers, who on their day are capable of a winning drive, including Rob Maynard, Don Macleod, Christian Hainsworth, Max Weatherley and Joe Booth.

They will be joined by new driver Chris Scott, brother of S1600 driver Darren Scott, and graduating juniors Tom Middleton and Tom Llewellin. Llewellin, who in his first time out in a Swift Sport at round 9 last season (when he had already secured the Junior title) swept aside the entire field including the would be champion Simon Ovenden.

One to Watch: Tom Llewellin demonstrates driving ability and experience well beyond his age, without a doubt this young driver has a bright future.

2018 BMW Mini Rallycross Championship

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Another exciting class that has developed over the past few years and most definitely one that will attract a lot of attention this year is the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship.

Boasting a bumper twelve car entry for the first round current champion Martin Hawkes will have a real fight on his hands if he hopes to maintain his championship crown. During the 2017 campaign, it was less than 50 points between them all.

Drew Bellerby will certainly be out to go one better in 2018. Look out for current British Hot Hatch Champion Leigh-Anne Sedgwick who has made the class switch this year.

David Bell and Andy Hawkes will also make a return as will Bradley Durdin who will be hoping for a less troublesome year.

Rob Methold finished his maiden year in Rallycross in 2017 getting better and better and should not be discounted.

Round 1 sees the return of the Hudson brothers Kris and Keifer as well as Sarah Upton and Frankie Helliwell. Sometimes RX150 driver Richard Moore also debuts in the class along with Stratis Hatzistefanis.

One to Watch: Drew Bellerby she was unlucky in 2017 but was still consistent despite the setbacks. 2018 could well be her year.

2018 RX150 Championship

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The RX150’s are the closest thing to a supercar with regards to power to weight and always guarantee close racing.

Keep an eye out for their guest drivers at each round, in the past this has included the likes of Andreas Bakkerud, Janis Baumanis and Osian Pryce.

Three time champion Chrissy Palmer will be looking to add another title to his collection.

But 2017 debutants Georgia Shiels and Irishman John Ward along with experienced RX150 pilot Stephen Jones will be looking to topple the champ.

One to Watch: If he ‘Can keep it lit’ John Ward could well be the headache that Chrissy Palmer doesn’t want in 2018

2018 Retro Rallycross

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There is always something poetic about the Retro class, quite possibly just the sheer amount of diversity on display.

Without a doubt Ray Morgan will be there or there, don’t be hoodwinked by the looks of his Ford Escort it’s every bit as good as the day it was first built.

If Escorts are your thing, Kevin Feeney’s Mk2 is a thing of beauty.

Long term commitment from these guys is hard to gauge as parts can be hard to come by. Have you tried to buy an original Metro 6R4 anything?

It is nice to see that James Harrold is back after a year out driving the simply awesome VW Beetle. Watch out for new cars at every round!

One to Watch: All of them who doesn’t like a bit of Retro!

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