Oulton Park International Circuit will host the opening round of the eagerly awaited 2018 Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres this coming Saturday, 17th March, where a sensational grid of 33 cars will line-up to begin the eight month battle over the coveted title.
Making a very welcome return to the picturesque Cheshire track for the first time in three years, the incredibly popular Legends Cars are guaranteed to make a spectacular start to the new motorsport season as part of the first British Automobile Racing Club’s first race meeting of the year.
Heading the entry for Saturday’s event, which will feature three Legends Cars races, is reigning and multiple champion John Mickel (Horsham) who is looking to make it an incredible four back-to-back titles, having won an unprecedented third successive crown last November.
Returning to resume battle with him is the 2017 Vice-Champion Ben Power (Guilsfield, Powys) and the Welshman – who won a prestigious British Touring Car Championship test with HMS Racing last year – is determined to go one better in the title race.
Also looking to unseat the champion will be multiple race winner Steve Whitelegg (Bury), who finished third in last year’s championship and spearheads a four-car entry from WTBS Motorsport. Bill Read (Oldham) is back for his second season and is joined by new WTBS signings Nick Bridgman (Baldock) and Nic Grout (Devon).
Race-winning front-runner Jack Parker (Wolverhampton), who finished fourth in last year’s title battle, is another lining-up to try and topple Mickel and returns for reigning Masters class champion Paul Simmons (Lingfield) and Rookie class champion Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield) mean the entire top six from the outright championship battle are back for 2018.
Connor Mills (Upminster) made a big impression on the series when he made a one-off outing in last year’s season finale at Brands Hatch, taking a superb win on his first outing in cars in 12 months, and is undoubtedly a driver to watch as is rapid multiple race winner Sean Smith (High Wycombe) and series mainstay Nathan Anthony (Horley), who fields the only Se-van in Legends racing.
Others to keep an eye on include Marcus Pett (Boston), who produced some strong showings in his maiden season in 2017, front-runner Rob King (York), who is always there or thereabouts, and the ever-improving Mike Schlup (Cuckfield). Notably, former champion Stephen Treherne (London) is making a welcome return to Legends in 2018 and will almost certainly be in the mix from the outset.
New faces to the grid this year include former Oval racer Sy Harraway (Weston-super-Mare) and motor racing rookie Phil Turner (Hertfordshire), the latter arriving in the Legends Cars National Championship with his 24 Hour Solutions team which runs in support of the Help 4 Heroes charity.
Finnish racer Miikka Riihimaa is another set for his debut in the UK series, bringing a lot of experience from racing 5/8 scale Legends Cars in his homeland, and more international flavour comes from the likes of Belgian racer Guy Fastres and his popular GF Racing squad.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s opening round, Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres owner Phil Cooper said: “Being back at Oulton Park is absolutely fantastic, we can’t wait for the racing to begin on Saturday. We’ve got an incredible entry for the new season, all of our champions from last year return and we have our former champion Stephen Treherne back too.
“So many guys on the grid are capable of winning races and finishing on the podium, I’m confident we’re in for one of our very best seasons ever and an incredible battle for the title. With 51 races this year, it’s going to be an even more action-packed season than usual – and what a way to start on the International Circuit at Oulton! It’s set to be a classic year of Legends Cars racing.”
Qualifying at Oulton Park on Saturday, 17th March, will take place at 09.00 with the first Heat for the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres beginning at 11.30, over a distance of six laps. The second six lap Heat will commence at 14.40 with the eight lap Final rounding out the day’s track action at 17.35.
Live timing throughout the event will be available HERE
2018 Legends Cars National Championship Calendar
Rd1: Oulton Park, Cheshire 17th March
Rds2&3: Brands Hatch, Kent 1st/2nd April *
Rds4&5: Croft, North Yorkshire 21st/22nd April
Rds6&7: Anglesey, Wales 26th/27th May
Rds8&9: Brands Hatch, Kent 9th/10th June **
Rds10&11: Donington Park, Leicestershire 21st/22nd July *
Rds12&13: Snetterton, Norfolk 8th/9th September *
Rds14&15: Pembrey, Wales 13th/14th October *
Rds16&17: Brands Hatch, Kent 3rd/4th November *
*Supporting the British Truck Racing Association
**Part of American Speedfest VI