Two-time and reigning Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres title winner Miles Rudman (Lichfield) holds the advantage as the all-action pocket rockets return to Wales next weekend, 7th/8th May, for rounds four and five of the 2022 season at Pembrey Circuit.
With an expected entry of around 30 cars for the trip to Carmarthenshire, the Legends Cars will once again bring the absolute best in wheel-to-wheel and bumper-to-bumper competition across the six races scheduled as part of the support package to the British Truck Racing Championship.
Moving to the top of the points table last time out at Brands Hatch, an extremely strong outing with podiums in all six races, including his second victory of the year, Rudman is showing the sort of consistency which was so potent last season.
Even more impressive at Brands a couple of weeks ago was Will Gibson (Camberley) who also took a clean sweep of podiums, but they included four outstanding wins. After a luckless season-opener at Oulton Park, Gibson languished in 17th position in the standings but he arrives at Pembery second in the championship thanks to his exceptional weekend at Brands Hatch.
John Mickel (Horsham), a race winner at both of the first two events, is third in the standings ahead of last year’s Gerard McCosh Napoleon Award winner Sean Smith (Marlow) and former category Vice-Champion Steve Whitelegg (Bury). Ahead of the coming weekend’s action, it’s worth noting Mickel, Rudman and Gibson all won at Pembrey last year – Mickel taking four victories.
Marcus Pett (Boston) and Chris Needham (Altrincham) are tied on points for sixth but the ‘Team Car’ the latter drives will be piloted by Gareth Sheridan (Altrincham), for the first time this season at Pembrey. The top 10 is rounded out by Chris Brockhurst (Westgate), who claimed his first podium last time out, Charlie Budd (Henley-on-Thames) and 2021 Rookie champion Andy Bird (Calne).
Early season points leader Jack Parker (Wolverhampton) will make a welcome return to action at Pembrey, having missed the two rounds at Brands Hatch when partner Lori gave birth to their daughter Starlette just before the event.
One of the most impressive drivers of the season so far is youngster Oli Schlup (Cuckfield), son of Legends Cars mainstay Mike. Schlup Jnr is leading the Rookie class standings, 12th in the overall championship and just 35 points behind multiple Masters class [now the Gerard McCosh award] title winner Paul Simmons (Lingfield).
The Simmons family is another with a father and son entry, and Paul’s son Luke has also starred thus far in his maiden campaign and is second in the Rookie standings from Luke Ttakoushis (Ongar), the latter sharing a ‘Team Car’ this year with former Legends Cars Champion Lee Fitzpatrick (Shefford).
Local interest at Pembrey will come from another of the new 2022 intake, exciting young prospect Ben Higgins (Powys). Although encountering some misfortune over the first couple of events, the son of three-time British Rally Champion Mark Higgins has shown good speed and ability thus far.
The strength in depth in Legends Cars this year is impressive, with the likes of Nick Bridgeman (Baldock), Kieran Beaty (Gosforth) and Mark Beaty (Hexham), Nathan Anthony (Horley) and 2020 champion Daniel Clark (Darras Hall) all likely to be challenging for big results. The Beaty brothers, of course, sponsor this season’s Legends Cars TV coverage through their business Parc Lane Cars.
Another important facet of this year’s racing is the introduction of SulNOx fuel conditioner as the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres strives for a cleaner and greener future, at the vanguard of efforts within motorsport to become more environmentally friendly.
“Pembrey is always a popular track with the competitors and delivers some great racing, and we’re looking forward to being back there next weekend – earlier in the season than is normally the case”, said championship owner Phil Cooper, “We’ve seen some tremendous action already this year and a great battle is developing at the top of the championship.
“We are, of course, delighted to welcome Jack Parker back to action after the birth of his, and partner Lori’s, first child and he will undoubtedly be right at the sharp end as he looks to move back up the points standings. As things stand we’re expecting an entry of close to 30 cars, which will be fantastic, so we’re relishing the six races we have in store at Pembrey.”
Qualifying on day one of the race meeting is set to get underway at 09.00 on Saturday, 7th May, with Heat One following at 11.25, Heat Two at 13.40 and the round four Final at 16.00. On Sunday, 8th May, qualifying will commence at 09.25, Heat One of round five follows at 11.30, Heat Two is set to begin at 13.45 and the Final will start at 16.00.
In the meantime, all of the action from the opening round of the season at Oulton Park is available to watch online via YouTube HERE
Provisional 2022 Legends Cars National Championship Points (after Rd3):
1st Miles Rudman, 1485pts; 2nd Will Gibson, 1335pts; 3rd John Mickel, 1245pts; 4th Sean Smith, 1135pts; 5th Steve Whitelegg, 1100pts; 6th Marcus Pett, 1015pts