CATERHAMS SET FOR ROCKINGHAM SHOWDOWN


CATEGORIES:

As ever with Caterhams, Rockingham will host some close racing this weekend. Photo: Rick Wilson

It is the Caterham Finals this weekend at Rockingham and the BRSCC Midland Centre will be paying their final visit of the year to the Corby track for a sixteen-race schedule, featuring all rungs of the Caterham motorsport ladder.

First up is the Avon Tyres backed Roadsport Championship and it is delivering what it does best; a to-the-wire, nail-biting climax to the season, with two evenly matched drivers fighting it out to the last. It has been more than four months since leader and 2011 Academy champion, Elliott Norris, last took to the top step of the podium at Donington Park seven races ago. Since then, the man of the summer has really been second placed driver Brad Smith. The 26-year-old from Sutton Coldfield has won the last six races and now looks to have the measure of the once peerless Norris.

Aaron Head secured the Supersport title at Snetterton last month so the focus at Rockingham will on an exciting second-place showdown between old rivals Lee Wiggins and Jeremy Webb who are realistically the only drivers fighting over the scraps. Wiggins enters the weekend with a three-point advantage over Webb. In fact, you could call it four as he has the tiebreak advantage as well, but Webb isn’t done yet. The self-supported driver from Kent has been in tougher positions before and really pulled it out of the bag to defeat his nemesis (Wiggins), so expect the green car of Wiggins and the yellow car of Webb to be battling it out at the front of the field for victory.

The Superlight R300 Championship is the current pinnacle of the Caterham Motorsport ladder and the hot favourite to secure the coveted title is Paul Wilson. The Newbury based Sales Director just needs an eighth place finish for him to secure the title. Only DPR Motorsport team-mate Mark Shaw and SPY Motorsport’s Ian Payne can rob him of the crown if he should have a disastrous weekend. Shaw and Payne are level on dropped scores, but Shaw has scored points in every race this year; the only R300 driver to do so, putting him in a strong position for second place.

With six different winners so far this year, Tracksport races are highly unpredictable and incredibly close. Crossing the line for the last race at Snetterton, just 0.029s separated the top three positions. McMillan Motorsport’s Terry Langley leads the title fight with a three-point advantage over David Robinson once the two dropped scores are taken into consideration. Both have made eight appearances on the podium this year, but Langley has taken three wins to Robinson’s two, giving the Sales Development Manager for Cadburys the advantage.

Hertfordshire driver Alex Gurr comes to Rockingham as the Octane Caterham Academy Group 1 champion elect, having secured the title in style at Snetterton last month with a win and fastest lap, maintaining an unbroken string of wins since the second round. Behind him rages an epic battle for the runner-up spots on the championship podium with five drivers in with a chance. Matthew Lawrence currently holds second position but Brian Caudwell, Matt Dyer, Tristan Judge and Zolton Csabai all still have an outside chance.

The battle for the Academy Group 2 title is much tighter and is a straight fight between Stephen Nuttall and Pete Fortune. Stockport based Nuttall has a two-point advantage over Fortune once the single drop score is taken into account (Academy drivers count their six best results out of seven for the championship). Importantly, he has a psychological advantage with his black car having finished ahead of Fortune in every race. However, if the distinctive technicolour dream car of Fortune takes its first win with Nuttall directly behind, it will be a tiebreak situation. With three wins a-piece, Nuttall will take the crown having taken two second place finishes during the year.

Away from the Caterhams, the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championship will bring eighteen Golfs to Rockingham for their final double header of the season, with both races on Sunday. Simon Hill, fresh from a two week holiday (or secret testing) in Spain will be hoping to knock John Mawdsley from the top spot. Both Hill and Mawdsley will be fighting it out to be crowned the 2012 Teekay Couplings Production GTi Champion.

Guesting at a BRSCC meeting for the second time this season is the Quaife Intermarque League and the Cannons Motor Spares Tin Tops – both from the BARC South East stable. Chris Brockhurst will be hoping to take advantage of the absence of Intermarque form man Tommy Field, to claim a win in his Vauxhall Tigra. Tin Tops have featured an interesting selection of front-runners this year. Usually it is Ian Butler’s mighty Ford Focus RS that heads the pack, but Nigel Craig took two wins at the Lydden meeting in June. Since then Graham Heard has steered his BMW to four wins, so Butler will probably not have it is own way this weekend.

To see the entry lists, Final Instructions and timetable visit CATERHAM FINALS WEEKEND