Season 2016 Preview
News Last Updated: 01/02/2016 10:00
The 62nd season of Formula One stock car racing opens at the well appointed Adrian Flux Arena, Kings Lynn on 19th March and meetings can then be found around the country until season end at the Gala Meeting at Birmingham Wheels Raceway on 12th November, totalling 52 dates in all. The 2016 fixture list is very similar to the 2015 one but with the welcome return to the Scottish weekend in June with meetings at the daunting Cowdenbeath Racewall and the ever improving state of the art Lochgelly circuit.
Skegness opens its doors to the F1s on Good Friday followed by meetings at the continually improving Stoke shaleway and the well-appointed Belle Vue, Manchester circuit over the Easter weekend. Six World Qualifying Rounds in April with two more in May as drivers look to earn enough points for a semi-final grid position. Belle Vue at the end of May is the last qualifier on shale with the four remaining rounds on tarmac at the end of June. These will involve some travelling for those in search of those few vital points with two rounds in Scotland and the others at Ipswich and Northampton. The first of the World semi-finals is at Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield at the end of July just two weeks after the European weekend at Northampton. In between those two dates is the Kings Lynn meeting which marks the cut-off date for the National Points Championship. The top twelve in the grading list at that time will go into the National Points Shootout phase with ten hard-hitting action rounds, culminating at Belle Vue, late October to determine the winner of the Championship and the right to wear the Silver Roof in 2017. The second World Championship semi-final is at Buxton in mid-August before the annual trek to the Netherlands for drivers and fans alike for the World Cup weekend. Coventry Stadium, the only stadium still operating since the beginning of the sport, stages the World Final in early September with Rob Speak defending his title. This could be the last World Final to be staged at Coventry as it is due to close its doors for good at the end of the season. Expect a very special night. Shoot out rounds then dominate proceedings through September and October along with a number of 2017 World qualifying rounfds to maintain interest to the end.
Main interest this year will centre on the young drivers challenging the old guard. Youngster Dan Johnson took the National Points Championship last season to add to his growing collection of titles and will looking to add at least one more this season. Another youngster, current British Champion Lee Fairhurst will be looking to defend his title at Skegness in June. Staying at Skegness and one of the now veterans of the sport Frankie Wainman Junior will be hoping to retain his UK Open title along with the World Cup title he won at Venray, Holland last year. Tom Harris put his US racing career on hold to take the European title in 2015 while Rob Speak laid claim to the best stock car racing driver of all time by taking the World title at Kings Lynn to add to the one F1 title he already had and the eight Worlds he won in Formula Twos. The Hunter brothers have shown great promise in their fledgling careers so far with many also watching the progress of Frankie Wainman Junior Junior, the latest in the dynasty, following his F1 debut at the end of last season. Bradley Harrison and Jordan Falding, two more third generation drivers, will be extending their racing activities in 2016 as they too look to make their mark on the sport. Throw into the pot a whole host of other drivers looking to make their mark and a host more eager to maintain their place at the top of the sport and 2016 promises to be a very special season for all followers of short oval racing and particularly those who love to hear that awesome sound of the mighty BriSCA Formula One stock cars as they roar into action