CATERHAM 420Rs JOIN BRITISH GT AT BRANDS HATCH
The Avon Tyres Caterham Seven 420R Championship is the fastest of those to be found on Caterham Motorsport’s factory roster. A bespoke chassis coupled to a 2.0 Ford Duratec engine, a sequential gearbox and Avon tyres allow some of Caterham’s fastest drivers to battle it out on some of the best circuits in the UK and also Europe. This weekend, the 420Rs find themselves on the British GT Championship timetable for the second time this season, on this occasion tackling the exhilarating Brands Hatch GP circuit as the second half of the 2018 campaign takes flight.
Last time out in the sand dunes of Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands, no-one was able to stop DPR Motorsport’s William Smith from taking a daring double of victories. Up until that point, his best result all year had been a 3rd place at Knockhill supporting the TCR UK Championship rounds, but the trip across the Channel on to continental Europe seemed to unlock something that helped him get the better of his rivals on that occasion. Now currently sitting 3rd in the points and his confidence riding high, he will be hoping for a continuation of that form this weekend.
As for the championship leader, last year’s champion Danny Winstanley has done his best to pick uip where he left off from 2018. From eight races, he’s won half with his best weekend coming at the Silverstone 500 support races where he too did the double. Aside from this, he hasn’t finished off the podium once and it’s that consistent stream of substantial points finishes that he’s been consistently able to bank race upon race that’s kept him in charge at the head of the table. His 24 point lead over 2nd placed Sean Byrne certainly isn’t insurmountable by any stretch, but Danny’s never usually a driver that’s easy to get the better of.
That being said, Byrne has only been able to do so twice this year so far – once at Snetterton thanks to a red flag saving his graces, while the other came last time at Zandvoort when he pipped Winstanley to 2nd place. Knockhill was the blot on his copybook, however, as 8th and 16th place finishes saw him lose valuable points – those of which he may look upon come the end of the season as results that may have made the difference between being champion and coming 2nd. Nevertheless, Byrne’s pace is undeniable and whenever there’s a chance to put one over his main rivals, he can and will take advantage.
Henry Heaton has had a superb debut season aboard his 420R as he’s used 2018 to find his feet in the top category. A former Academy champion, Heaton has taken a string of top 10 finishes with his best coming at the beginning of the season at Snetterton. Never known as someone to give in, Henry will certainly be giving his all to stay within the frontrunners and constantly develop. Others who have had superb results and indeed visits to the podium include David Henderson, Jack Brown and John Byrne. All have the ability to win races with the right amount of both form and luck, so be sure to keep an eye on them up and down the field to capitalise on any mistakes from the cars around him.
Alexander Koerberle has done well to transition from the 310R Championship, but is still finding his feet at the same time in his debut top flight season. Former Tracksport champion Anthony Barnes continues to go from strength to strength, while at the same time keep an eye on Stephen Nuttall, Mike Evans and Tom Eden. All three have had their brighter days whilst also experiencing their fair share of bad luck. Whether or not it will work in their favour on Sunday remains to be seen.