2019 SEASON REVIEW – MOTUL CATERHAM SEVEN 270R CHAMPIONSHIP
The middle stage of the Caterham Motorsport ladder sees the Motul Caterham Seven 270R Championship allow drivers to experience another level of competition with the original car they started their Academy journey with two years ago, with many seeing this as the “coming of age” championship.
After scoring the Academy Green Group crown two seasons ago and just missing out on Roadsport honours the year before, Daniel French set out to take championship glory once again. He had to wait until Oulton Park to clinch his first win of the year (despite losing a wheel, but he still took victory thanks to countback on the red flag), having come close at Croft and experienced mixed fortunes at Silverstone. A turning point could have come at Snetterton when an injured finger prior to the event threatened to leave him on the sidelines, but Daniel bravely drove through the pain to incredibly score a win and a 2nd place. For the remainder of the campaign, he remained one of the most consistent drivers in the top 5, eventually sitting out the final race at Brands Hatch with enough of a points cushion to assure himself of his second championship title in three seasons.
James Murphy had been the man that had snatched the Roadsport title from French in 2018, and was able to carry this form through into the 270R ranks, taking two strong top 5s in the opening Silverstone weekend. Croft wasn’t quite as smooth going, but more finishes in and around the podium in the next four races at Oulton Park and Snetterton kept up an all-round consistent run of solid points hauls. Had this continued at Spa, the title race may have turned out a little different as poor fortunes in Belgium cost him crucial results, but he bounced back in fine style with three wins and a 2nd place from the final four races to secure the runner up spot. No wonder they nickname him Superman!
3rd place in points went to Justin Heap, who skipped a level after winning an Academy title the year before, but proved that he could swim in more competitive waters. The season was filled with a variety of top 5 results, including four podium finishes and wins at Silverstone and Snetterton as high points in the year. His form tailed off a little towards the end of the year which allowed Greg Monks to challenge him in the standings, and despite tying on points it would be Heap that took the higher place on countback of victories.
Fellow race winners included Matt Sheppard, Daniel Halstead, Tom Allen and Caterham’s very on racing CEO Graham MacDonald, who took his first championship race win at Spa – something he STILL hasn’t stopped talking about since!