BUMPER BRANDS HATCH WEEKEND IN STORE


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Caterhams + Brands Hatch = an epic combination tha guarantees action! – Photo: SnappyRacers

Brands Hatch in Kent is “our local” if you want to use that term and it’s always a joy when another race meeting at one of the world’s greatest circuits rolls around on our calendar. As Summer begins to make its long awaited return, we’re in store for some fine racing action here this weekend with epic and exciting sprint races mixed in amongst a fascinating 4-hour endurance race. Action aplenty is definitely what’s in store.

It’s action that’s guaranteed thanks to the presence of the guys and girls of Caterham Motorsport, making their 3rd stop of the season after a memorable sojourn to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps. From one great circuit to another, all but one of their championships make an appearance here this weekend.

It is unfathomably close at the top of the Avon Tyres Caterham Roadsport Championship with Pete Walters’ superb pair of victories at Spa pushing to joint leader in the points table with Jay McCormack. Tom John is a solitary point behind while Peter Spencer is a further 4 points behind. This quartet is already starting to emerge as the battle pack in contention for the championship, while Caroline Everett has been a pleasant surprise as she sits in 5th, ahead of reigning Academy White champion Ben Gillias who will need to work hard to retain his status as a front runner. Spa was a tricky weekend for Ben, so expect him to rebound here.

Perennial rivals Daniel Quintero and Russ Olivant still continue to duke it out in the Alaco Motorsport Logistics Caterham Seven 270R Championship as Quintero put himself firmly as the stronger of the two drivers at the moment with a pair of wins. By contrast, a pair of 3rd places by Olivant is definitely nothing to be sniffed at, however it does still mean he dropped points to trail points leader Quintero by 6 points. Alex Jordan, Rob Watts and Adarsh Radia. You can also be sure to keep an eye on Peter Reynolds, Chris Aubrey, Matthew Welch and Andrew Perry to be in the mix too.

As ever, the ITC Compliance Caterham Supersport Championship has been incredibly intense and that intensity continued at Spa. Henry Heaton and Mike Evans shared the spoils of victory, the latter taking his first ever win in a Caterham. Despite this fact, Evans actually heads the points ahead of Heaton, while Chris Hutchinson looked strong for the majority of the meeting and holds 3rd. The quality of the driving talent certainly hasn’t diminished, with Christian Szaruta, Dan Gore and Timothy Dickens all top names. Also a name you must not discount is Ben Tuck as his drive from the back of the grid to the front in Race 2 marks him out as a serious threat for victories if his form continues.

The fastest Caterham championship on display this weekend will be the ITC Compliance Caterham Seven 310R Championship, the latest rung to be added to the roster featuring the ultimate evolution of what was last year’s Tracksport cars. The man who positively stunned the establishment was 2016 Academy graduate James Beardwell, who showed his massive leap had paid off immensely to win his first race in only his second season of racing! Names who were there to give him plenty of hassle included Lee Bristow, Alexander Koeberle, Alistair Calvert and Chris Rankin. Bristow is your points leader from Beardwell and Steve McCulley, so expect all of the above to be contesting the wins this weekend.

Also, making their circuit racing debut is the latest class of “students” in this year’s Caterham Academy Championship, title sponsored in 2017 by CAR Magazine. With some 55 drivers competing across two groups (Green and White) it will mean that we get the chance to see just have these guys and girls stack up in their first ever circuit race, after contesting two sprints to kick off their racing careers. James Murphy, Daniel French and Toby Clowes head the Green Group, while Andy Morgan, Daniel Halstead and Tom Allen are top in the White Group. Plus, watch out for Caterham CEO Graham MacDonald taking his first steps as a racing driver – proving that he can pedal one just as well as his clients!

Aside from Caterhams, there’s an epic 4 hour endurance race on hand for the fantastic FunCup Championship. Rather than strategy and “tortoise and hare” tactics at play, this is an endurance championship that sees the competitors going flat out for the entire 4 hour distance. 2017 has become the most competitive and popular season yet for FunCup yet as 29 cars will be set to take the start on Saturday afternoon. Team Trooper Iron Maiden head the points table from Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos, while reigning champions JPR Uvio are 3rd and riding high after winning last time at Oulton Park. Also, be on the lookout for the likes of Lane Roofing Evolution, Mak Racing, Trumans and Honeywell to name a few.

Keeping to the best of British, the Dunlop TVR Challenge begins its season here this weekend with 5 classes catering for a mixture of cars. In the field will be a small selection of the iconic TVR Tuscan Challenge race car, plus appearances from Chimaeras, a Sagaris and Griffiths. There’s also a few Invitation class cars sporting large V8 and keeping to the spirit of the TVR brand. Reigning champion Mat Smith, competing in Class B in a Chimaera, will be hoping to kick off his title defence in fine style.

Finally, our friends at the Track Attack Race Club make an appearance this weekend with the MR2 Classic Race Series, a spec championship dedicated to the Mk1 generation Toyota MR2. The racing is always close and competitive and is seen as one of the most cost-effective and best low budget methods of going racing. A healthy entry of approx. 25+ cars is expected on the MR2 front, with a small selection of invited cars from both the Nippon Challenge and Tricolore Trophy.

So, plenty of top action in store on track here this weekend, so pick a viewing spot, sit back and enjoy – fingers crossed the weather holds out too!

Scott Woodwiss