FOUR FOR THE CROWN AS CATERHAM SEVEN 270R CAMPAIGN CONCLUDES AT SNETTERTON
If the previous rounds at Donington Park told us anything, it’s that the race for the Caterham Seven 270R Championship title is far from calm, as heading to this weekend’s season finale at Snetterton in Norfolk, the top four drivers are separated by less than ten points after dropped scores come into account. That means it could be a tense weekend with just two races left to run in this shortened 2020 season.
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 their 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.
Now we have dropped scores coming into play this weekend, it will mean that drivers will be trying to perform mental arithmetic while also battling with their rivals doing the same. Harry Cook leads the way from Ben Lopez-Appleton by just a single point after their two worst results are discarded and Cook currently needs to drop two more points than Lopez-Appleton. Cook started the year strong with three wins in a row, while at the same time Lopez-Appleton didn’t have the smoothest of starts, but managed to bounce back as the season progressed and has picked up three wins and two 2nd places in the last five races to shoot up the points table. If this form continues, particularly after such a strong showing at Donington Park, the pendulum may remain swinging in his favour. The pressure will be more on Cook to ensure he doesn’t score a worse result than 5th, although if he does he can rely on gaining those points back but in the hope that Ben doesn’t score better.
The next two drivers are Lars Hoffmann and Angelos Alvanos. Lars is the outgoing champion from last year’s Roadsport championship and it wasn’t long ago that he was leading on overall points, but now heading to Snetterton he’s fourth out of the top four and 3rd after dropping his worst scores. He’s only won one race all year back at Thruxton and had finished every race, until retirement from the second Donington race cost him valuable points. Lars will hope that this was just a one-off as he will need to be on form in order to overcome the points deficit. Angelos, on the other hand, should be proud that he’s made great strides over the past 12 months in his pace and speed, turning his qualifying form into race pace that has helped him become a permanent fixture in the leading group. He finally achieved his first win Brands Hatch and aside from that has finished every race and never placed lower than 5th. It’s this consistency that has helped him gain the most points overall, but it does also mean he has to drop two scores while the other three only have one due to them also factoring in a DNF each as well. He may be an outside bet for the title, but never say never.
The rest of the points table shakes out as it should with Andy Lees placing best of the rest with 5th place, a driver who will be hoping to go one better from his sole 2nd place finish at Brands Hatch and has shown great pace at times, including last time out at Donington. Ryan Erroll hasn’t been the strongest driver all round but reaching the flag in every race and banking points each time has helped him 7th on dropped scores, behind the ever fast Andrew Murgatroyd. Andrew should be higher up in the standings, but penalty points accrued throughout the season have pushed him down to P6 at this point. He could still work on rounding off the year with a top-five, but he will feel that he could have achieved so much more from 2020 despite the shortened and compressed season. Also be sure to watch out for Giuseppe Felet too, a driver who was on great form at Donington Park and will be hoping to carry this over to Norfolk this weekend for his final two races of the year.