After more than six months of sensational racing across England and Wales, the final two rounds of the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season will be contested next weekend, 6th/7th November, at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent – but who will win the coveted 2021 crown?
Realistically the fast-paced, all-action campaign has come down to a two-horse race in the battle for the championship title with season-long points leader Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield) and five-time former champion John Mickel (Horsham) duking it out.
Rudman, who is seeking his second Legends Cars crown after winning the championship in 2019, has been the pace-setter all season long with some dominant performances and fantastic drives through the order. His tally of 16 race victories thus far very much speaks for itself.
Mickel, with 11 wins under his belt, heads to Brands Hatch as the ‘form’ driver after bagging four outstanding victories at Pembrey in South Wales last time out. With an unprecedented sixth crown tantalisingly close, the ‘Legend of Legends’ does, however, go into the last six races 390 points adrift.
There is plenty of scoring to do, though, and with a total of 1,200 points up for grabs at Brands there’s every chance a final race decider could be in prospect – and that would be a fitting end to another outstanding season of bumper-to-bumper, wheel-to-wheel racing from the pocket rockets.
With that in mind too, third placed Will Gibson (Camberley) still has a mathematical chance of winning his maiden title but to achieve that would require a disastrous weekend of gargantuan proportions for both of the two main protagonists. Gibson has won six races so far this year.
Four-time 2021 race winner Jack Parker (Wolverhampton) is fourth in the standings more than 500 points clear of Sean Smith (Marlow) who, very surprisingly, is still seeking his first victory of the year in what has been an ultra-consistent return to the championship after a year on the sidelines.
The championship top six is rounded out currently by Steve Whitelegg (Bury), a two-time race winner this season and a former Legends Cars Vice-Champion. Some very strong scoring of late has enabled Whitelegg to all-but seal a finish in the top half dozen in the standings.
Andy Bird is next up in the overall standings, no mean feat in his maiden season of Legends Cars racing. As the lead Rookie class driver, and by a margin of close to 1,200 points, Bird is already an outright podium finisher and clearly has the ability to win races – he really is one to watch.
Nick Bridgeman (Baldock), Marcus Pett (Boston) and out-going champion Daniel Clark (Darras Hall) round out the top 10 in the overall championship, the latter having experienced a more challenging season than most would have expected. Fans will be willing him on to end the year on a high.
As always in Legends Cars, the racing is fast and furious with two Heats and a Final on each day of the meeting. With grids for the Heats drawn by ballot and the highest scoring drivers from those beginning the respective Finals from the back of the grid, the absolute best action is guaranteed.
The tried and tested, and incredibly popular, format employed by the championship for the 5/8 scale motorcycle-engined chargers provides superb opportunities for drivers other than the regular title contending front-runners to shine.
Local racer Nathan Anthony (Horley) is still seeking his maiden category win at the wheel of his popular Se-Van, the only ‘van’ in Legends Cars racing, but as a past podium finisher at his home track he will be trying as hard as ever. Another driver who counts Brands as his local track, Paul Simmons (Lingfield), is already a race winner this year in Kent and could very easily do it again.
Another name to mention is Mark Beaty (Gosforth) who, having been improving fantastically well throughout the season, claimed his maiden podium finish last time out at Pembrey. As usual, he will be joined during the season finale by brother Kieran Beaty (Hexham).
Looking ahead to the championship finale, Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres owner Phil Cooper said: “Here we are, after 42 incredible races this year we now have just six more remaining before we find out who will be crowned the 2021 champion. Once again, the drivers and teams have delivered us an incredible season of racing all the way up and down the grid.
Round 15 qualifying will begin at 09.00 on Saturday, 6th November, with Heat One set to start at 10.35, Heat Two at 12.50 and the Final at 14.50. On Sunday, 7th November, Heat One of round 16 is scheduled to get underway at around 10.20, Heat Two will follow at 12.20 and the Final will begin at 14.15.
Provisional 2021 Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Points:
1st Miles Rudman, 7090pts; 2nd John Mickel, 6700pts; 3rd Will Gibson, 6145pts; 4th Jack Parker, 5655pts; 5th Sean Smith, 5135pts; 6th Steve Whitelegg, 4720pts