2019 SEASON REVIEW – AVON TYRES CATERHAM ROADSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP
Moving up from their first season of racing in the Academy, the Avon Tyres Caterham Roadsport Championship drivers prepared for their sophomore year of competition, with small upgrades improving the performance of the cars and allowing for closer, faster, more intense racing.
German-born Lars Hoffmann would be the man to take up the strongest title charge, in a season that produced six different race winners. After two top 5s and a 2nd place from the first three races, Hoffman took the first of three wins for the year at Croft, followed two more P2 finishes at Oulton Park, an off weekend at Snetterton and then a brace of wins at Spa-Francorchamps. Another tough meeting at Donington followed, but another couple of 2nd places ended up as enough to claim the Roadsport title, albeit by the narrowest of margins – just one point! It could have been a bigger margin had penalty points accrued through the year not reduced his total in the end.
The man that lost out by one point was Andrew Murgatroyd, who began the year with a 2nd place and a DNF at Silverstone, before sharing victory honours with Hoffmann at Croft. More consistent points finishes came throughout the next few meetings, despite another non-finish at Spa that cost him valuable points, but the final two weekends saw Andrew never place lower than 4th with his second win of the year coming at the Brands Hatch finale. Had he bettered 4th place in the final race, it could have been a different ending in the standings.
Will Rossetti would take the final step on the championship podium, starting the year as a favourite after he took the win in the opening race of the season. He followed this up with more strong finishes both in and just outside the top 5, even managing a second top step visit come the mid-season visit to Snetterton. He too would also rack up penalty points for incidents throughout the year and this plus not reaching the podium in any of the final three meetings left him 22 points back on dropped scores at the conclusion of 2019. But given his flashes of form at times, perhaps 2020 will be different.
As for the other race winners, Ben Lopez-Appleton racked up more than any other driver during the year with four to his name from Oulton Park, Spa and Brands Hatch, but had to settle for 4th place in the final standings. Stuart Bell was a title contender for most of the year with two wins before an incident at Donington put paid to his season early, while Ben Buckley would also take home a 1st place trophy after coming out on top on the same weekend.