Pembrey Circuit in South Wales welcomes the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres for the first time in two years next weekend, 9th/10th October, at an absolutely pivotal point in the title battle – the penultimate event of the action-packed and incredibly exciting 2021 season.
While the championship fight isn’t exclusively a three-way battle just yet, season-long points leader Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield) and his two chief challengers John Mickel (Horsham) and Will Gibson (Camberley) are undoubtedly the drivers most likely to claim the coveted crown.
Rudman, of course, is chasing his second outright Legends Cars title and he is extremely well-placed heading to Pembrey with a lead of just over 500 points from renowned five-time former champion Mickel. Gibson, meanwhile, is another 300-plus points adrift of Mickel but with 200 points available for a race win – and 12 races in total remaining this year – nothing is decided.
Looking at 2021 race wins, Rudman is head and shoulders above the competition with an incredible 15 victories compared to seven for Mickel and five for Gibson. Jack Parker (Wolverhampton) has four wins and he is fourth in the championship, but with a deficit to Rudman of more than 1,300 points his chances of challenging for his maiden title are very slim indeed.
The only other driver to take more than one victory so far this year is Steve Whitelegg (Bury), the former category Vice-Champion having won twice and currently sitting sixth in the standings one place behind Sean Smith (Marlow). Smith, who has scored very consistently and is just 55 points behind Parker, is somewhat surprisingly still seeking his first triumph of the season.
Former champion Fitzpatrick makes surprise return at Pembrey
Followers of the Legends Cars will be thrilled to see a very familiar face returning at Pembrey for the first time in over a decade – former champion Lee Fitzpatrick will be back with Mickel Motorsport, racing as a guest entry with Luke Ttakoushis who debuted last time out at Snetterton.
Fitzpatrick, who achieved his dream of winning the National Championship for the first time in 2009, will pilot the No.55 car on the second day at Pembrey with series rookie Ttakoushis – who took a top 20 best on his debut – racing on the Saturday.
Also delighted to be back on track next weekend will be Se-Van racer Nathan Anthony (Horley), the Legends Cars mainstay returning to action after being forced to sit-out the Snetterton event due to illness. As a podium finisher at Pembrey during the previous visit in 2019, just 0.6 seconds shy of a maiden win, Anthony will be looking for a repeat performance this time around.
Rookie class pacesetter Andy Bird will certainly be a driver to keep an eye on, having produced a fantastic debut season in Legends Cars. Ninth in the overall championship going into rounds 13 and 14, Bird is ahead of vastly experienced category race winners such as multiple Masters Cup champ Paul Simmons (Lingfield) and Marcus Pett (Boston).
Chris Brockhurst (Westgate) and Charlie Budd (Henley-on-Thames) are next up in the Rookie class battle, the latter ready to resume his inter-family rivalry with brother Daniel Budd (Didcot). Siblings Mark Beaty (Gosforth) and Kieran Beaty (Hexham) will also be battling hard and with a mere 40 points between them in the championship, there really is little to choose.
“We’re at the business end of the season now, just two race meetings to go, and so the six races at Pembrey next weekend are going to be absolutely crucial”, said Phil Cooper, owner of the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres, “It’s a fantastic track and we always enjoy spectacular races when we visit South Wales, and I’m delighted we’re going back to Pembrey after a year away.
“As we saw at Snetterton with Miles Rudman, misfortune in a handful of races – or, indeed, a run of success – can change the championship table quite dramatically. It’s been an outstanding season so far and with another big grid for Pembrey, we’re looking forward to some more spectacular action.”
Cooper added: “I’m absolutely delighted as well to welcome our former champion Lee Fitzpatrick back to Legends Cars with rookie Luke Ttakoushis – they’re running as guests next weekend with a view to entering a Team Car next year. We wish them both a successful and enjoyable weekend.”
Qualifying ahead of round 13 on Saturday, 9th October, will begin at 09.25 with Heat One starting at 11.35, Heat Two at 13.55 and the Final at 16.30. On Sunday, 10th October, round 14 qualifying will get underway at 09.25, Heat One will follow at 11.35, Heat Two is scheduled for 14.15 and the Final is set to commence at 16.50.
Provisional 2021 Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Points:
1st Miles Rudman, 6070pts; 2nd John Mickel, 5555pts; 3rd Will Gibson, 5215pts; 4th Jack Parker, 4755pts; 5th Sean Smith, 4700pts; 6th Steve Whitelegg, 3960pts