Now an FIA Recognised International Series, it’s anyone’s guess who will emerge the victor this season, the class of drivers and teams higher than ever in 2012.
Current UK Cup and Masters champions Mark Smithson/Stuart Moseley return with the #1 on the nose at Silverstone; they’ll be looking to put a difficult first UK Cup round at Snetterton behind them, and get their title retention back on-track. Team-mates Tony Wells/James Littlejohn proved that winter testing and racing works, leaping to the top of the timesheets early on in their new SR8 RX. However, it was recent Radical convert, 2010 750MC MR2 champion Zac Chapman, who took a surprise win in the season’s first race, followed up by a second-placed finish later in the day. Radical stalwart Manhal Allos took the second win of the day, and he’ll be looking to make 2012 ‘his year’ after a great 2011 campaign.
Whilst the UK Cup competitors already have two races under their belt this year, it should be interesting to compare their pace with that of the European racers, raring to go since the 2011 season concluded at Valencia last October. Amongst these will be Christian Kronegard and Nigel Taylor; both having joined Mark Electrical Racing in 2012, the former narrowly missing out on the title, whilst the latter re-joins Radical racing for his first season since 2007.
Challenging them will be Slim Racing's Ben Bailly, a driver who made a big impression last year following seasons in FIA Formula Two and Formula Renault. Other Masters Class teams to follow include Blancpain Endurance Series converts Lionel Comole/Christophe Jouet, former British GT Champion Alex Mortimer and SpeedFactory Racing's Igor Urien, whose speed impressed at Valencia last autumn.
In the Supersports Class for the SR3 RS, look out for current title-leaders Gary Kane/Nick Padmore, Padmore returning to Radical racing in 2012 after an absence of five years. RAW Motorsport's driver/manager Rob Wheldon will be looking to scoop the title in his first season as an independent team, RAW is also fielding the new pairing of Jeremy Cottingham/Will Schryver.