CATERHAM 310R CONTENDERS READY TO LOCK HORNS AT DONINGTON PARK
So, looking at the script of the Santander Caterham Seven 310R Championship at the beginning of the season, everything looked pretty straightforward with one driver dominating the early stages and likely to lead the way from start to finish. However, recent rounds have changed things up a little and looking at the table, it’s far from being as simple as that. Keep reading and we’ll tell you why…
Caterham’s biggest championship grid sees the ultimate evolution of the Academy car, with drivers and cars now typically entering their fourth year of competition; many with the benefit of professional team support. Looking identical to the Seven 270R that sits below it, the improvements are all under the skin. A power hike to 152bhp is accompanied by a limited slip differential, whilst retaining the Seven 270R’s track biased suspension and Avon ZZS tyres. The result is considered by many to be the best balanced and most enjoyable Caterham ever.
Heading into Spa-Francorchamps, long time points leader Gordon Sawyer was on top having taken two more victories at Snetterton. However, mixed results in the top 10 on his trip to Belgium saw him lose ground to key rival Jay McCormack with a 5th and a 10th now leaving him trailing by 22 points. Gordon is by far a proven race winner with six to his name so far this season and is clearly championship winning material, but he needs to make sure these last three weekends go flawlessly in order to claim the crown he missed out on in 2018. McCormack, on the other hand, may give off the typical cheerful, happy-go-lucky vibe that his native Irishmen usually put out, but underneath he’s fiery, determined and a hard racer that gives as good as he gets. Incredibly he hasn’t won a race so far this season (he won’t thank us for bringing that one up again!) and it would be vastly surprising if he goes the whole campaign without a top step visit. Once again, Jay will be hoping and praying that Donington finally changes that.
The drivers behind them in the standings are all packed full of talent, starting with 3rd placed man Tom Grensinger. Tom has been very impressive since he began racing in Caterhams a couple of years ago, and 2019 has been something of a breakout year for him with four victories to his name, including the double at Spa-Francorchamps last time out. Tom can easily take the fight to his more experience rivals and is proof that youthful exuberance can come out on top if utilised properly. David Yates is another driver who is enjoying good fortunes this season as he has made himself a regular top 5 and top 10 runner, with his best results so far this year being a pair of 3rd places at Snetterton and Spa. Pete Walters and Andrew Perry come next in the standings as two drivers who have won championships at lower levels, with Perry’s podium tally sitting at four to Walters’ three and Pete keen to even up the score this weekend.
The rest of the top 10 in the standings is populated by Michael O’Reilly, Don Henshall (a former race winner), Tim Child and Jake Swann-Dixon, while other drivers entered this weekend that could also throw themselves into contention for strong results include Nathan Bell and former 310R champion Lee Bristow, both proven race winners and able to become the proverbial cat amongst the championship contending pigeons.
Donington Park is a circuit that regularly provides great racing with Caterham championships with several great moments over the last few years. With such a high quality field in store once again, expect more fantastic racing this weekend that hopefully we’ll be talking about for a while!