2019 SEASON REVIEW – FUN CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
Peter Scherer talks us through an incredible 2019 season for the Fun Cup Championship!
With six different winners, three for the first time, eight crews visiting the podium and 20 making the top 10, you could say that 2019 has been the most competitive Fun Cup season ever!
It was the JPR UVio duo of Farquini Deott and Fabio Randaccio that finally took the title in a battle to the end with outgoing Champions 2Rent Dominos Chris Hart and Henry Dawes who had Neil Burroughs deputise at Croft and Zandvoort.
The season had started well for UVio with a win in the opening round at Brands Hatch, followed by second at Oulton and third at Croft, after Randaccio spun out of contention for the lead when a wheel bearing failed.
But engine problems at Zandvoort dealt their title aspirations a blow, before becoming the first double winners of the season with victory at Anglesey. They were fifth at Silverstone, but a last round with duel with 2Rent Dominos, netted them third and the title was secured.
Three consecutive podiums gave 2Rent Dominos a good start to the year, but it was the penultimate round at Silverstone before they got their win.
Luck was on their side at the Brands opener, coming home after almost running out of fuel, after Hart collected an early penalty. They were third at Oulton too, when Hart got another penalty, but victory only just eluded them at Croft, when Burroughs lost out in a last stint head to head with Trumans Jonathan Hoad.
After taking fourth at Zandvoort in the first race, the paddleshift dropped off in race two and sent Hart off track early on, before Burroughs battled back to finish eighth. But the trip to Anglesey was the only time they finished out of the top 10.
After their Silverstone victory it was wide open for the title and they were in contention throughout the Oulton finale, but second wasn’t enough and they were pipped for the crown by five points.
Trumans were third in the championship and another first time winner, having started the year in a different shade of blue with Colin Kingsnorth sporting new overalls!
They were on for third at Brands until Richard Webb was tapped into a late spin and cost him a place, but after struggling to eighth at Oulton came their moment of glory. Hoad and Kingsnorth had been in contention for most of the day a Croft, but Hoad’s final stint against 2Rent Dominos Burroughs, was one of the years highlights, netting a first win for the team.
After a less than rewarding weekend at Zandvoort they were fourth again at Anglesey, but were out of contention again in the Oulton final.
It was almost a season of two halves for Team Viking’s Mark Holme and Nick Nunn. Without a top 10 finish in the first three rounds, it all came good at Zandvoort. Third in the wet and windy first race got even better, when after five years of waiting they claimed their maiden victory in race two.
After a further hiccup at Anglesey, third at Silverstone and fourth at Oulton secured them a solid fourth overall.
Axiametrics were a new team for this season and if you weren’t called Ch(K)ris you couldn’t join. Kristian Rose, Chris Dovell and Chris Weatherill blended well as a team, dazzling their rivals in their Brazilian World Cup lookalike overalls.
At Brands Hatch gear selection problems left them with eighth, before Rose crashed out at Oulton in contention for a podium. Fifth at Croft was followed by their maiden win in the wet Zandvoort race, after a demon manoeuvre at Tarzan by Weatherill on DespatchBay.com’s Harry Mailer.
They were out of the running in the second race and only 10th at Anglesey, but came back for a solid second at Silvertone and clinching fifth in the championship with sixth at Oulton.
Completing the top six in the final standings were JPR GT Radial, still looking for their first win. Martin Gibson and Ellis Hadley shared with a number of guest drivers through the year.
They had spells in front, but apart from third in the second Zandvoort race when Andre Gies joined them, and second at Anglesey with Jonathan Benson guesting, fifth in the first Oulton visit which was repeated in the opening Zandvoort race, were their only top six finishers.
Andy Bicknell and Riley Phillips had a number of third drivers with them during the year, mainly Harry Mailer and Marcus Clutton, but with James Littlejohn too.
They had the pace at sometime in almost every round, but lost out in the opening round with a wheel bearing failure before taking a win at Oulton in round two. Then there was an exhaust problem at Croft, before Mailer’s late duel with Weatherill got them second at Zandvoort.
Further problems had kept them off the leaderboard until the final round, when Clutton saw off the title challengers to take the teams second win of the year.
FNS were the highest overall championship finishers without a podium finish, but Greg Evans and Steve Walton were on the verge in a number of races. Fourth at Oulton, repeated at Zandvoort were their highlights, but they made the top 10 on five occasions.
PLR’s Neil Plimmer and Ben Pitch started the year with second at Brands Hatch. They were in contention again at Croft, but lost out on a podium at the end to finish fourth. Various maladies then came into play and seventh at Anglesey and Oulton were the best of the other results, with Geoff Fawcett joining them for the latter part of the season.
Completing the top 10 in the final standings were Agua Caliente. They became real contenders with Rob Perry and Matt Hogg, but couldn’t hold on for the results. Fifth at Anglesey was their best, but they made the top 10 in all of the first six rounds.
Team 7 Fun Bikes also showed an increase in pace this year and had spells at the sharp end. Ed Bridle was in second at Brands until a circlip broke and then they had wheel bearing problems at Oulton. Fifth at Zandvoort was their best result.
GCI didn’t do every round but secured sixth at Croft with Craig Butterworth and Ian Wood. Their season finished early though after Butterworth crashed out of seventh place after brake failure at Silverstone and dislocated his shoulder.
The Kennedy team of Charlie Kennedy and Rob Croydon had four top 10 finishers after a catalogue of breakages masked the pace they tended to show early race.
RAW’s Alex Macleod had his brother John and multiple Renault Clio Champion Paul Rivett sharing with him this year. Eighth at both Anglesey and Silverstone highlighted a successful season, which ended with a dramatic shunt with Alan Brown at Oulton.
Apollo had mid-season podium at Zandvoort and Anglesey, but Guy Wenham had a frustrating year with Zoe and Ryan Burke, as once again their talent outweighed the reliablility.
Five other teams made the top 10 too, Team 7 249 at Croft, Tracklife for Hire at Zandvoort, Greensall’s at Brands and Silverstone, Track Focused at Brands and Oulton and Racelogic at Silverstone.
IF Motorsport put up some strong performances, notably Andrew Dunn at Croft, as did Concorde’s Will Chappell at Silverstone, but on March 28th it all starts again at Oulton Park.