NORTHERN SPORTS & SALOONS HEADLINE ACTION-PACKED RACE MEETING AT CROFT
Two events in a fortnight to decide Northern Sports & Saloons titleCroft Circuit is gearing itself up for a bumper double treat of top club-level motor sport – headlined by the Darlington & District Motor Club’s massively popular Northern Sports & Saloon Car Championship and beginning this weekend 10-11 September.A staggering EIGHTEEN races are in store for the public attending this weekend’s event, being organised by the DDMC itself – eight on Saturday and a further ten on Sunday.Some 70 competitors are subscribed for the NSSCC’s races at what is the championship’s spiritual home. Other categories in action include the highly charismatic Equipe GTS – for historic production sportscars such as MGAs, MGBs, Triumph TR3s and 4s, Morgan 4/4s and Plus-4s, Sprites, Midgets and many more – plus four further hotly-contested series for Mazda MX5s (both MK1 and MK3 classes) and MGs.Public arriving at Croft (off the A167 just south of Darlington) in any model of Mazda will receive half-price admission (just £6). Admission for children aged 15 and under is FREE all weekend. Visit the www.croftcircuit.co.uk website or call the circuit on 01325 721815 for more details.The event is the first of two race meetings at Croft in the next fortnight – another bumper fixture, run by the famed British Automobile Racing Club, is in store on the weekend of 24-25 September.Respectively, these mark the penultimate and then title-deciding final rounds of the Northern Sports and Saloon Car Championship with up to 70 competitors expected in action. In fact the NSSCC now stands as one of the best-subscribed championships to be run by a local motor club anywhere in the UK with an astonishing 27 marques and 43 different models on the grid across nine different classes from ‘tiddlers’ to ‘big bangers’ depending on engine size. Each class title remains up for grabs with the highest-scoring driver from those then being crowned the NSSCC Champion of 2011.On sheer pace, Jeff Wilson’s sensational Lotus Elise ‘silhouette’ is a firm favourite for victory – he has won every time out this year – but two missed rounds earlier in the season look set to cost the established Newcastle-upon-Tyne racer dear as he is back in sixth in the overall standings. Instead victory in class in all ten races to date mean BMW driver Mike Cutt from York almost has one hand on the trophy already.Class E3 leader Martin Lightfoot (Stockton-on-Tees) is Cutt’s nearest rival in his Striker TR, closely followed by other class B protagonists Ken Hall (Middlesborough) in his mighty MG Metro 6R4 and Mike Williamson (Stockton-on-Tees) in his Mitsubishi Evo IV.After a tough opening to the season, reigning 2010 Champion Paul Moss (Darlington) lies fifth in his Citroen Saxo as the leading class D scorer. And it is class D which appears to be the most wide open with three different winners in the last three races alone and four drivers – Moss, Bishop Auckland duo Simon Gibson and Peter Dixon as well as Jason South (Harrogate) – all in contention for honours.Countdown begins to Croft’s R.A.C Rally stageMeanwhile Croft Circuit, the North East’s premier motor racing venue, is counting down to its stage of this year’s high-profile Roger Albert Clark historic car rally featuring a mouth-watering entry of many of the machines that wowed the nation on the RAC rallies of old during the Sixties through to the early Eighties.Ford Escort MK1s and 2s, Vauxhall Chevettes, Porsche 911s, Opel Asconas, Saab 96s, Mini Coopers and even the odd Lancia Stratos, Renault 5 Turbo and Talbot Sunbeam are among the expected entries for the four-day event – regarded as one of the finest of its kind in the world and which stops off at Croft on the afternoon of Saturday 3 December.The circuit’s paddock will become a major service area for the teams, drivers and their cars before the flat-out action begins on a specially-designed stage incorporating much of the race track. More details including timings and ticket prices will be announced in the near future.