DONINGTON PARK MAY 8/9 PREVIEW: FUN CUP ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
25 cars line up at Donington Park on Saturday as the Fun Cup Endurance Championship roars back into action.
Defending Champion Chris Dovell, Riley Phillips and Kristian Rose lead the entry, but are sporting a new name as Team Olympian.
Also back to try and reclaim their crown are UVio/Hofman’s Lotus with Farquini Deott/Fabio Randaccio, who will be missing their arch rivals Chris Hart and Henry Dawes.
Dawes is doing the Ginetta Supercup this season and Hart is busy sharing a Ginetta G40 in GT Cup with Stephen Walton, as well as karting duties with his sons.
Team Viking are forced to make a change for the opening round too, as Nick Nunn is busy with son Harry’s Mini Challenge commitments, which means Nigel Greensall steps in to deputise with Mark Holme.
Enduro Motorsport are a number of two car teams. Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton have already been out twice this year in the GT Cup with their Mercedes GT4, but have Chris Weatherill/Jon Currie in a second team car this weekend.
GTi Radial are a two car team too, as Ellis Hadley has debutant and Champion Downhill Mountain biker Steve “Sheffield Steel” Peat sharing, while the MJ Tec GITI car has Truck racer Martin Gibson paired with Mini Challenger Scott Jeffs.
It’s a family feel to both Greensall Motorsport entries. While brothers Ryan and Paul Lewis share one car, the second has Simon Smeeth, sharing with sons Sam and Ted, after they sampled the Championship last year.
Aqua Caliente have Matt Hogg and Rob Pery sharing, while the line-up for their second car is Rob Croydon with Derek Basham and Paul Turner.
Eddie Farrow’s EDF Motorsports impressed in a one-off at last years finale, but have returned as a two-car team. Ex C1 racers Adam Cunnington/Kristian Prosser share one car, while Vlad Vassiliev partners Mat Dorkings in the second.
Andy Bicknell has signed up the rapid Harry Mailer for his DespatchBay Express.com car after a season with Make Happen Racing.
But having run three cars last year, Make Happen are down to one with Stephen Walton/Greg Evans.
For Team Trumans now read Stobart Sport, but it’s still Colin Kingsnorth sharing with Richard Webb and occasionally Jonathan Hoad.
RAW Motorsports are also back to one car with Alex and John Macleod once again partnered by Renault Clio UK Cup legend Paul Rivett.
The ex RAW crew of John/Brian Caudwell have now become Team Caudwell.
Championship stalwart Neil Plimmer returns with PLR Racing and has Ben Pitch alongside, while GCI racing have Craig Butterworth/Ian Wood, with Grahame Butterworth, former Fun Cup boss also nominated.
Neil Smith has rejoined Track Focused with Sean Cooper and Ian McCollum this year and CCS Media are back, but notably without Ciro Carrannte. Bob Tomlinson and Alan Honarmand out due to drive, with Steve Johansen joining them.
Team Greenheath will be hoping to continue the progress they made last season with Shaun Bate and Simon Smith, while progress for the 99 JPR Hire car is probably being ready for the race to start. They once again have Steve “Snooker” Harris and David “Scrappy” Clark, but Paul “Killer” Calladine has been replaced by Dominic (“Err he’s very tall”) Jackson.
Finally ex Team Brit duo Warren McKinlay and Martin Compton will be out too as Stand 2 Motorsport, back after their foray into Britcar with Praga.
Qualifying is at 10.35 on Saturday morning for 45 minutes, before the race is due off at 15.00 for four hours.
Unfortunately it’s behind closed doors, but is being live streamed.