2015 SEASON REVIEW: AVON TYRES CATERHAM ROADSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP


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Webber regularly had a thorn in his side in the shape of Olly Wigg (#8) – Photo: SnappyRacers

The Roadsport championship is the next step on the Caterham ladder for Academy drivers & cars from 2014. With light modifications and a change to track orientated tyres, this enables them to enjoy another year of racing with the friends they have battled against in the hugely successful Academy series. 2015’s Roadsport grid was comprised of a combination of drivers from the two 2014 Academy groups, joined by novice drivers entering or rejoining Caterham racing.

The season could not have started in more dramatic or controversial style for the newly experienced racers. Academy champion David Webber opened his account with victory at Snetterton, but only once property developer Olly Wigg, who had been first past the flag, had been excluded for a relatively minor technical infringement; Caterham’s strict rules to ensure all cars are identical came into play here. Wigg’s supreme speed was apparent in the second race of the weekend, when he came from the back of the grid to catch leader Webber. Their rivalry seemed to have boiled over when the two made contact at the end of the Bentley Straight, sending Webber barrel rolling out of the race. Closer inspection of the mandatory in-car videos and TV footage showed that inexperience led both drivers to touch unintentionally.

With DNF’s for the two favourites, the way was clear for a new leader and Academy runner-up Paul Aram took up the mantle with strong finishes in the opening races and Benjamin Wigg, Olly’s younger brother, also picking up a win at Donington. By the third weekend at Zandvoort, Webber was back up to speed (using a different car to his original) and Olly Wigg was back. The pair of them instantly showed why they had been expected to do so well and shared all but one of the ten wins available in the coming rounds. However, having sat out of Donington and picking up just a single point from Snetterton, Wigg was playing catch-up from a long way back leaving the championship podium potentially open for others.

52 year-old Webber would go on to win the series commandingly, proving you do not need to be a youngster to win, although he only scored four wins during the year. Aram withdrew from the series mid-season, paving the way for Anthony Barnes to fill the runner-up position with a text book display of consistency and a win at the Silverstone finale, cementing his position as one of the championship’s front-runners. All the while, Wigg Snr was charging up the rankings, with six wins and podium finishes for those he didn’t win. This enabled him to pass the podium challengers of Steve McCulley and Damian Milkins to take the third and final step.

At 74, Osmond Jones was the oldest driver to take part in a Caterham race in 2015, although there was only a single appearance at Castle Combe for the semi-retired doctor. This left 61 year-old Andy Ebdon to be the oldest of the championship regulars in Roadsport. Ebdon spent the second half of the year in the top ten, with a personal best of 6th in the final round of the year, boding well for even better results in Tracksport next year.

The road-legal Roadsport race car is a simple development of the 125bhp Ford Sigma powered 2014 Academy car; its performance significantly enhanced by the addition of a rear anti-roll bar and Avon ZZS road legal track tyres.

Simon Lambert