2013 SEASON REVIEW: FUN CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
Team Racelogic came out on top of what was a very competitive Fun Cup season. Photo: www.ajbphotographic.co.uk
The success story of endurance motor racing for 2013 was undoubtedly the Fun Cup. The Championship returned to one class in 2013, resulting in a phenomenonally successful year. 33 teams entered the eight UK rounds; each event averaged approximately 70 drivers and the competition was at an all-time high. There were 4 different overall winners and a variation of 8 different teams graced the podium throughout the season.
Team Racelogic was the success story of the year, winning half of the events and setting 2 fastest laps along the way. Drivers Julian Thomas, Nigel Greensall and Joachim Ritter proved a force to be reckoned with from the get-go, but it was by no means an easy ride for them!
OultonPark’s 4-hour season opener was eventful for Thomas and Greensall (with Ritter absent). New 2013 Fun Cup rules stated that the winners of the previous round must start from the back and so, they found themselves in 23rd place at the start.
Greensall, having reached the front of the pack, suffered a fuel surge problem due to an overoptimistic fuel strategy and this was just the start of their problems. A few safety cars throughout the race ensured that their lead was always just the bare minimum and a slow final pit stop for Thomas pushed them back to P5. However, their determination never ceased and the competition from Honeywell, Nimbus Data, Team O’BR and Eco was not enough to prevent victory for the Team Racelogic duo.
The next round at Donington Park was a double header, with Racelogic and Honeywell topping the bill in a hugely popular round, which hosted 30 Fun Cup cars and over 80 drivers. Honeywell snatched the 1-hour race victory and Racelogic were back in business later that day, winning the 4-hour event.
It was Team O’BR who ruled the next round at the Snetterton 5-hour race. Mark Burton and Graham Pattle were joined by the super quick Peugeot works driver, Bradley Philpot. A handful of teams ran at the front and kept the OBR crew on their toes, but their clever strategy paid off in the final stint and allowed Philpot to pull away from Greensall in P2.
Brands Hatch hosted a 4 -hour event at the end of August and yet another different team dominated the top step of the podium. This time is was Eco racing’s Tom Mills and Paul Abraham who were kings of Brands and the championship was still very much alive.
Next up, was Anglesey, where Racelogic scored a double victory and sealed the championship after the second of two 3-hour races. A victorious Julian Thomas was glowing in his praise of the revised class system saying, “What a fantastic and super competitive year for Fun Cup. It makes such a difference to have all the cars identical. It has been extremely close this year, with the fastest lap going to a number of teams throughout the season and no race has been won by more than a handful of seconds”.
The season finale was at a buzzing Oulton Park, for a 4-hour race, in October. The event witnessed several hard fought, close battles, but it was Honeywell who crossed the line first. In the final stint, a Safety Car had thrust the team into the clutches of Racelogic, but Neil Plimmer was strong on the restart and the victory was Honeywell’s!
Le Mans Classic racer, Sean McInerney and James Thorpe, plus Oliver and Nigel Reuben were the UK success story of the world’s longest circuit race – Spa 25-hours. Over 90 Fun Cup cars competed and they finished 9th overall and 1st for the UK, despite starting from the back of the grid, due to technical problems.
Looking ahead to 2014, Fun Cup will be welcoming all of our regular teams back, as well as some newcomers. This means even larger grids and tougher competition.
A 9-hour ‘day in to night’ event at Donington Park on the 1st November will undoubtedly be one of the season highlights. Added to this, we will be introducing a mandatory pit stop time and a new minimum weight for car and driver.
Bring it on!