CATERHAMS AND MAZDAS SET TO DOMINATE SNETTERTON WEEKEND
We’re seriously enjoying making frequent trips to Snetterton this season! Fresh from a visit from Maranello’s finest with the Ferrari Challenge UK the previous weekend, the BRSCC East Anglian Centre springs back into life once more as Caterham Motorsport wheels its way back into Norfolk once more for two days filled with slipstreaming, photo finishes and incredible club motorsport. With a supporting casts of Mazda MX-5s and tintops, this has all the makings of another classic weekend of racing.
All five divisions of Caterham Motorsport are banded together in the paddock once more, starting as always with the Caterham Academy Championship and two grids of novice drivers learning their craft at over 100mph! Alexander Conway has been the king of the circuits so far after picking up races wins at both Cadwell Park and Oulton Park, as well as a 2nd place at the Curborough sprint, to lead the standings heading to Norfolk by 12 points. David Morgan finds himself in 2nd in points after finishing in the same place at Oulton, while Roger Gaunt, Dimitri Melas and David Gracey all give chase in the top 6, with Cadwell runner up James Venning also one to watch too. Over in the White Group, it’s even closer as Tom Wyllys and Blair Mcconachie have already marked themselves out as the early championship favourites, trading wins and 2nd places in the first three events to leave Wyllys ahead by two points. James Fowler and Adam West have also joined them on the rostrum so far this season and will be looking to break up their dominance, while Wes Payne, Daryl Cresswell and Christopher McMahon will also hope to be in the mix in and amongst the top 5 placings.
Lars Hoffmann’s incredible run of consistent podiums finishes and race wins in the early stages of the Avon Tyres Caterham Roadsport Championship have allowed him to assume the leads of the standings as the series approaches the halfway stage. With a 10 point advantage over Silverstone victor Stuart Bell, the German will be hoping his luck continues in this weekend’s pair of encounters. Angelos Alvanos is yet to win a race this season but holds 3rd place thanks to strong results from each of the opening three weekends, while race winners Andrew Murgatroyd and Will Rossettii will be hoping to add to their tallies come the end of the weekend as they look to make inroads back to the top of the table.
This year’s Motul Caterham Seven 270R Championship is already shaping up to be one of the best and most competitive for years with four different race winners produced out of the first six races of the season. Despite only registering one to his name so far, last year’s Academy Green champion Justin Heap has made a phenomenal transition to the middle class of the Caterham ladder, with his ability to finish no lower than 4th so far arguably making him the most consistent driver in a championship where strong results at every round are key to securing the title. Fellow race winners Daniel French and Daniel Halstead are tied on points for 2nd place but 13 behind leader Heap with work to do in order to close that gap. Neil Fraser and Greg Monks have also been beacons of consistency while last year’s Roadsport champ James Murphy, Toby Clowes and Silverstone winne Matt Sheppard will surely also be in the hunt.
Gordon Sawyer had been the early man to beat in the Santander Caterham Seven 310R Championship, however despite winning the first four races of the season he doesn’t lead the points heading to Snetterton. After a less than satisfactory day at Oulton Park that saw a retirement from Race 2, it’s the ever present Jay McCormack who sits on top having finished on the podium in all but one of the six races runs of far, including four 2nd places. His “teammate” Tom Grensinger had a stellar event in Cheshire, coming away with a pair of wins to help him sit in second place a mere five points away from the lead, while Sawyer’s DNF left him demoted to 3rd as a result with almost 20 points to make up for. With as a many as a dozen drivers all capable of at least scoring a podium let alone a race win, don’t be too surprised if an unexpected name ends up on the rostrum this weekend.
In the top line Avon Tyres Caterham Seven 310R Championship, it’s anyone’s guess as to who the true favourite for the title is at this stage, with four drivers merely separated by 9 points. So far, John Byrne has taken the most race victories with three currently on his record, but he also became the victim of a DNF at Oulton Park which saw him relinquish the points lead to main rival David Henderson. David himself picked up his one and only victory so far in the first race that day, and the 2nd place later on helped him head the table by just a single point heading to Norfolk. While yet to take him a 1st place trophy themselves just yet, both Tim Dickens and Henry Heaton remain in striking distance to not only clinch one but also move into the firing line for the title, so don’t be surprised to see either of them succeed here. Keep an eye on former double champ Aaron Head and Croft race winner William Smith too.
Aside from Caterhams, another grid is full to bursting across the paddock in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championhip with over 50 cars entered for this weekend yet again! So far, it’s all about the mega title battle that’s brewing between double defending champion Will Blackwell-Chambers and former Fiesta champ John Langridge. Both drivers have had their fair share of race wins and the odd mishap, but it’s WBC who remains on top by 22 points on dropped scores. With 3rd placed man Ben Short not confirmed to compete at the time of writing, it leaves the door open for Anglesey winner Adam Bessell to move up a place, while Jason Greatrex, Joe Wiggin, Oliver Allwood, Jack Brewer, Steve Foden, Matt Pollard, Martin Tolley and Marcus Bailey will also be in the hunt for podiums, top 5s and top 10 finishes.
Their sister competition in the paddock, the Mazda MX-5 Super Series, has further potential to add to the already impressive list of race winners that have featured so far this season. At this stage, six different drivers have taken home silverware on the top step, with Anglesey’s three races seeing the Series sharing the grid with the MX-5 SuperCup. On that weekend James Kell, Joe Marshall and Darren Kell (father of James) all ended up finishing a race each as top Super Series runner, with Darren back on the grid once again. Simon Fleet, Alex Miller, Matt Pickford and regular SuperCup racer Bradley Kent are also set to be in the mix, while Patrick Collins and imon Orange also make a welcome return.
Last but certainly no means least, the fantastic Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championship begins its second half of the season, with runaway Mk5 class leader Simon Hill se tot continue his dominance after scoring six overall wins from the first seven races including the hat trick last time out at Anglesey. Simon Vercoe, James Coulbourne, Martyn Walsh and Adam Hance will be amongst those out to stop him, while Tim Hartland looks to maintain his advantage at the head of the Mk2 class field from Chris Webb, Pete Milne and Spencer Beale.