CATERHAM 270R CHAMPIONSHIP IS SECONDS OUT FOR ROUND TWO AT THRUXTON
After a frantic first weekend of the 2020 season at Cadwell Park, the Caterham Seven 270R Championship is ready for its second meeting of competition this weekend at the epic Thruxton Circuit to see if anyone can catch the points leader, who is already trying to run away after near domination of the opening two races.
The Seven 270R is firmly established as the ‘coming-of-age’ championship for those progressing out of the Caterham Academy, through the Roadsport championship and now into a third year of Caterham racing. Unlike the lower categories, there is no restriction on professional team support or driver experience. The Seven 270R race cars have typically made their way up from the Academy ‘18 (or slightly earlier). They have now developed into race-focused machines, with stiffer suspension and removal of the windscreen and lights (though they can be quickly refitted for road use) giving them a very similar look to their Seven 310R big brother.
That dominant driver from Cadwell was Harry Cook, whose true pace had been brewing over the last couple of seasons and finally had a chance to blossom a few weeks ago. Not only did he manage to claim both race wins, but he also took the fastest lap in each to ensure that he left Lincolnshire with the perfect score, even surviving a late red flag in the first race due to worsening weather conditions and cars spinning off circuit as a result. That didn’t mean he had it easy at all, as in his first race he had to fend off a fast Andrew Murgatroyd in constantly changing weather conditions to secure the first win, while close attentions early on in the second encounter meant he had to push hard to build a gap, eventually winning by over four seconds. On a faster circuit like Thruxton, the question will be if Harry can keep up the same form.
Next in the table comes two drivers that battled it out for the Roadsport title in 2019 – the champion Lars Hoffmann from Germany and his main rival Andrew Murgatroyd. Lars managed to take a podium in each race with a 3rd and 2nd, while Murgatroyd came close to the Race 1 win at Cadwell before settling for 2nd before a 4th in the second. Both are proven race winners, both know how to fight for a title and this rivalry has certainly been brewing since they both debuted in Academy two seasons ago. Hoffmann could still be on a high from winning the championship last year and a track that he’s performed at well in the past, he could have an edge this weekend to try and increase the one-point gap he holds over Murgatroyd.
Angelos Alvanos managed to survive a spin in the wet in Race 1 at Cadwell to take 5th and then 3rd place the next day which helped push him into 4th by the end of the weekend. Four points behind him is Andy Lees, who also took a 4th place and has been able to show that he can run towards the front of the pack on more than one occasion already, so he’ll want to maintain his place in the top five with a couple of strong results this weekend. Ryan Erroll and Neal Evans already look to be embroiled in a battle for 6th just two points apart from each other, and then there’s a large gap down to Giuseppe Felet who qualified well at Cadwell, but bad fortunes in the first race left him scoring no points, and while he finished 5th in Race 2, he enters Thruxton in 8th place ahead of Ben Miller. Finally, there’s Ben Lopez-Appleton, who had a great 2019 season with several wins, but started his 2020 season in the tyre wall in Race 1 before a top 10 finish was all he could muster in the second. Knowing that he’s quick, expect Ben to bounce back this weekend.