2013 SEASON REVIEW: BOOKATRACK.COM CATERHAM R300 SUPERLIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP


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When it was all said and done, Ollie Taylor was 2013 R300 champion. Photo: John Cooper

Caterham’s premier championship has firmly established itself as one of the most competitive and exciting race series in the country. A strong grid of quality drivers ensures that the top level Caterham racing is amongst the most exciting.

2013 marked a season of high drama for the ever-fiery R300 championship. It opened in relative calm style at Snetterton with R300 returnee, Ollie Taylor taking both wins. In fact, carbon copy podiums saw Terry Langley in second and Flick Haigh in third; apparently setting the scene for the remainder of the year.

But drama was to unfold at Anglesey when a first lap, first corner incident resulted in Haigh being taken out of the race. This would mark the start of a torrid year for the former Caterham champion, who had shown much promise in the R300 and was expected to become a race winner. Taylor took another two wins, with reigning Supersport champion (and pre-season favourite for the title) Aaron Head, Ed Hayes, Terry Langley and Craig Currie all taking a podium a-piece. Langley and Currie would finally get the better of Taylor at Zandvoort with a win each. Another win at Donington would mark Langley as Taylor’s chief rival, whilst Stuart Leonard managed to snatch a cheeky last corner victory whilst the leaders were napping. Then the series moved to the GP circuit at Brands Hatch…

When Ollie Taylor moved out from behind Langley, Langley’s mirrors went from being filled with the yellow car of Taylor to the yellow car of Stuart Simpson. Unaware of the change and that Taylor was now coming alongside, when Langley jinked left out of the tow from Leonard, he clipped Taylor sending him into a spin. Re-joining the track backwards, Taylor was collected by Hayes, who in turn was found by Kurt Brady, Jonathan Mitchell and Brad Smith. Guest driver Jamie Orton would eventually win the restarted race with a depleted field. The following day, Taylor was miraculously repaired and back on the grid, albeit at the back. More drama would come from track limit infringements, which would jumble the race order at the end, pushing guest drivers Orton and former British GT champion Bradley Ellis back a few places. Simpson was rewarded with the (deserved) win. Taylor would be rewarded with third. As if there had not been enough action already, Parc Ferme resulted in more, when several cars were found to be equipped with a non-standard part in the cooling system, resulting in their exclusion.

Oulton Park finally delivered wins for Aaron Head, fending off newcomer Danny Winstanley who finished on the podium in both races, his first ever outing in an R300 suggesting that he could be a force to be reckoned with next year. Taylor was back on top at Silverstone and a win in the first race was enough to secure the title for the Suffolk driver. Langley would finish second (having finished second in Tracksport to David Robinson a year earlier) with Stuart Leonard third, having quietly racked up points all year long.

You can see the final points table at 2013 R300 SUPERLIGHT POINTS

Simon Lambert