CATERHAM SEVEN 310R’s HEAD TO DONINGTON WITH MURPHY ON TOP
The Caterham Seven 310R Championship usually puts on some of the best racing on any given Caterham Motorsport race weekend with such a competitive field of drivers. It’s been a thrilling contest this year particular and now it moves to a true drivers’ favourite – Donington Park. It’s a venue which hardly ever produces a bad race and given how competitive the 2020 season has been in the 310R ranks, we expect this weekend to be true to form.
Caterham’s penultimate step on the ladder 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.
It’s James Murphy that currently tops the points table heading to this weekend’s meeting, with the former Roadsport champion looking to add to his tally of two races wins and never finishing lower than 4th place. This has helped him rise to the top and on a circuit that he’s sure to enjoy very much, James will want to make sure he leaves Donington with two more pieces of winner’s silverware and maintain his grip on the championship lead. Just two points behind is Gregory Monks, who has managed an excellent run of four 2nd places from the previous two weekends on two circuits that are arguably the trickiest for Caterham racers to succeed at – Thruxton and Brands Hatch. A former Academy title contender, Greg has been in this position before and has a real chance of stealing it for himself, provided he can get one over Murphy at some point this weekend.
Lewis Thompson made an impression on the championship throughout last year and in 2020 he’s really found another gear. Sporting his attractive iridescent livery on his car, Lewis has been able to clinch his first race win back at Thruxton and has ensured he’s finished in the top five at the chequered flag each time this year. This puts him in 3rd, seven points away from the top and still in with a very real shout of stealing the ultimate prize away. On overall points, there’s a notable gap down to 4th place to Tom Grensinger, the Speedworks supported driver that has won twice but hit a stumbling block when he retired from Brands Hatch’s second race. While this means he will have no points to drop, it also means he cannot afford any more slip-ups, otherwise his title chances fly out of the window.
Going down the rest of the top 10, it’s a pretty close run affair from 5th down to 9th on full scores with just eleven points separating them. Chris Moore hasn’t finished higher than P5 all season, but has managed to climb to the same position in points thanks to his upkeep of top ten results, and is two ahead of James Wingfield, who is three ahead of Matt Shepherd, who is five ahead of Tom Allen. All three have had a similar mix of results between each other whilst occasionally showing a flash of pace higher up the order, so there’s always a chance they could spring a surprise given the opportunity. There’s also a possibility that Caterham’s very own racing CEO, Graham MacDonald could yet finally get that first championship race win on UK shores before the year is out. Having had his best chance so far come at Thruxton but only able to collect two 9th places at Brands Hatch, perhaps Donington will be kinder to him this time!