North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit welcomes the hotly anticipated second event of the Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM next weekend, 29th/30th July, where the thrill-a-minute pocket rockets will be back as part of the British Touring Car Championship package.
Having begun in spectacular style at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit BTCC meeting in early May, the Elite Cup wowed the tens of thousands of spectators there and won an army of new fans for the 5/8 scale American-style 1930s racers.
Jack Parker (Wolverhampton) emerged at the head of the Elite Cup points table after the opening two rounds, taking a pair of wins during an unexpected return to racing for Mickel Motorsport – as a stand-in for multiple Legends Cars Champion John Mickel (Horsham).
Fellow Elite Cup race winner Will Gibson (Camberley), who made history by winning the first ever Legends Cars race at a BTCC event, is second in the standings as the category heads to Croft. He is just 70 points behind Parker, with 200 points up for grabs for a race victory and six races scheduled.
Irish racer, and rallying ace, Robert Barrable (Swords) is an excellent third in the standings, claiming victory in the Brands Hatch contest which was broadcast live on ITV4, with Connor Mills (Upminster) and Andy Bird (Calne) next up – the latter two winning in the sister Legends Cars Championship with allgrowth Ltd at Brands last month during the American Speedfest race meeting.
Also in the top 10 in the Elite Cup standings are Ben Higgins (Abermule), son of multiple British Rally Champion Mark Higgins, Oli Schlup (Cuckfield), Matt Knight (Shoreham-on-Sea) and Chris Needham (Altrincham). Meanwhile, from a local perspective, Croft is very much a home event for brothers Mark Beaty (Gosforth) and Kieran Beaty (Hexham).
The lead Rookie class contender currently is the impressive Tyler Read (Weedon), equal 15th in the standings with Nick Bridgeman (Baldock). Read’s closest Rookie challenger is Andrew Rogerson (Maidenhead) who will arrive at Croft 110 points shy of his rival.
Then there is the not insignificant news of a very welcome return to Legends Cars for 2011 Champion Stephen Treherne (London). Making his first appearance in the category for seven years, having most recently raced in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship, Treherne will pilot the car owned by friend and fellow racer Jonty Norman (Wakefield).
“Jonty came down to my house in London for a night out, we had a few beers and he convinced me to do Croft!”, explained Treherne, “I last raced in Legends with a one-off in 2016, before that it was my championship winning season back in 2011. Actually, I did have a run at Knockhill a couple of weeks ago to blow off the cobwebs but other than that it’s only the FIA historic stuff.
“I had kids, rebuilt a house with my Dad and so did nothing with racing for a good five or six years after winning the Legends. I don’t know if I’ll do more than Croft, I want to see Jonty back in his car for the Knockhill BTCC rounds so we’ll see what happens.”
Phil Cooper – Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM Owner:
“Everyone is absolutely raring to go for the second of our three Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM events alongside the BTCC. The first two rounds at Brands Hatch back in May were spectacular, and we’re looking forward to more of the same at Croft – our first time racing there since 2021. Of course, it’s going to be fantastic to have Legends Cars live once again on ITV4 as well.
“Jack Parker made an outstanding start to the Elite Cup but there isn’t a lot, in terms of the points or speed and ability, between the leading contenders. We’re delighted to see Stephen Treherne make a very welcome return to our grid as well, it’s always fantastic to see a former champion come back. It really should be another superb weekend of Legends Cars racing.”
Following two test sessions at Croft on Friday, 28th July, qualifying will begin at 10.20 on Saturday, 29th July, with Heat One of round three scheduled to start at 12.35, Heat Two at 15.05 and the round three Final set to begin at 17.15.
On Sunday, 30th July, round four’s action will commence with Heat One at 13.25, Heat Two at 15.50 and the Final at 17.40. Races one and two on Sunday are set to be screened live on ITV4 with live timing throughout the weekend courtesy TSL Timing.
Legends Cars racing in the UK is supported by JLM Lubricants, Allgrowth Ltd, Carless, Vital Equipment and MRF Tyres.
2023 Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM Standings (after Rd2)
1st Jack Parker, 760pts; 2nd Will Gibson, 690pts; 3rd Robert Barrable, 625pts; 4th Connor Mills, 615pts; 5th Andy Bird, 540pts; 6th Marcus Pett, 530pts