CATERHAM SEVEN 270R HEADS TO DONINGTON WITH HOFFMANN AND ALVANOS IN DEAD HEAT
We’re getting towards a crucial stage in the 2020 edition of the Caterham Seven 270R Championship, with Donington Park being the next stop with the end of this unique season coming into view. A tie at the top of the points after the first three weekends mean it’s still very much all to play for to decide who becomes champion by the time we finish at the end of the month.
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.
The draw at the head of the standings is currently between Lars Hoffmann and Angelos Alvanos, two drivers that have been a constant at the front of the pack from the very first race this year. Hoffmann leads off the back of his Roadsport success in 2019 and is aiming for back to back titles in successive years. The German has always found a way back to the leading positions should he either not qualify as well as expected or drop back early on, and given what he went through last year to win a championship he will know what it takes to do it again. Alvanos, on the other hand, is in somewhat unique territory personally. Having occasionally shown his lingering true pace in qualifying last year, Angelos has stepped up this time and managed to finally clinch a first win last time out at Brands Hatch. He’s also made sure he’s been in the fight for victory in just about every race run so far, and buoyed with confidence at this stage, expect him to want to maintain it throughout the meeting and step onto the podium again at least once.
The leading driver in the initial stages was Harry Cook with wins in the first three races, but retirement from Thruxton’s second race meant he can’t afford to lose any more points going forwards. Even though he’s currently 3rd, he’s 15 points back and most likely would be around the same score, if not higher, than the top two. Nevertheless, he’s already proven he’s a quick driver and can take victory when needed, so he will want to redeem himself here. Ben Lopez-Appleton is another race winner this year, managing to do so at Brands Hatch after a shaky start to his campaign. Fortunes improved at Thruxton and now he’s found his winning form, he’ll want to pick up more this weekend.
Even though he hasn’t scored a single top-five finish, Ryan Erroll has still managed the impressive feat of picking up enough points to be 5th at this stage in the championship. He may not have done anything spectacular so far, and that’s not meant to be disrespectful, but Ryan has been able to quietly bring his car home every time and grab points while others have hit stumbling blocks. He’s only two points ahead of Andy Lees, though, and given that Andy was able to collect a 2nd place last time out and has claimed another podium prior to that, it’s expected that he may take Erroll’s place in no time at all. Neal Evans is another driver like Ryan that has mainly hovered around the bottom end of the top 10 but consistently banked points to rise up to 7th at this stage, helped by the fact that just behind him is Andrew Murgatroyd who has scored stronger results but has nine penalty points knocking his total down to 90, five behind Evans. Andrew did have an up and down Brands Hatch, but his early-season form indicates that on his day he can challenge the leaders.
The remaining top 10 drivers are Callan Jones and Giuseppe Felet, the former managing some fairly consistent results despite missing the opening races at Cadwell Park while the latter has been capable of rising as high as the podium positions in the past and is more than capable of managing it again. He appears to have take primary ownership of 5th position this year, something he only had to give up once at Brands Hatch after he retired. Therefore we expect him to resume residence there once again this weekend!