FOUR-WAY CATERHAM ROADSPORT TITLE FIGHT TO CONCLUDE AT BRANDS HATCH
We love a tight championship battle that goes all the way down to the season finale and in typical Caterham Motorsport fashion, it’s happening all over again in this year’s Avon Tyres Caterham Roadsport Championship. As the final rounds at Brands Hatch on the Indy circuit beckon this weekend, three drivers head to Kent separated by just three points on dropped scores, with a fourth waiting in the wings should results go his way. You can guarantee that this is going to be a nail biter and the calculators will definitely be out in force to work this one out!
The Roadsport championship is the next step on the Caterham ladder for the Academy drivers and their cars from the 2018 season, enabling them to enjoy another year of racing with the friends they have battled against in the hugely successful Academy series. With only light modifications, the Roadsport race car is a simple development of the 2018 Academy car; its performance significantly enhanced by the addition of a rear-anti roll bar and a switch to track orientated, yet still road legal, Avon ZZS tyres.
Let’s try and break down the connotations of what could potentially happen this weekend, shall we? Here’s the easy bit – Stuart Bell leads Lars Hoffmann by two points with Andrew Murgatroyd a further point back in 3rd place, while Will Rossetti in 4th position some 15 points off the lead with a maximum of 72 points up for grabs from the last two races. With that out of the way, let’s now have a go at working out who needs to do what to be champion.
With the top three all dropping zero scores thanks to DNFs throughout the season, none of them can afford a slip up or bad weekend because, as cliché as it sounds, every single point counts here at Brands Hatch. If Bell ensures he can finish ahead of Hoffmann and Murgatroyd in both races, the title is his. Hoffmann can feasibly do the same thing to overhaul Bell in the standings and claim the title for himself, especially if he wins both races even with Bell picking up fastest laps in both; anything less than that and it could get complicated. Murgatroyd can also snatch it provided he outscores both of the top two by at least four points, which is possible if he wins both races, but then he would need neither Bell or Hoffman to score a fastest lap all weekend either. The matter of winning a race is far easier said than done of course, and there’s plenty of other connotations that can take place, however that seems to be the easiest way to explain it.
Then there’s the curious case of Will Rossetti. With two wins and more fastest laps than anyone else this season, Rossetti is a clear threat to any of the top three’s plans to claim the title. While he has a 15 point deficit to make up on leader Bell, and while it’s not impossible, it’ll be a mammoth task and will certainly require a hefty amount of luck. Indeed, outscoring all three main contenders by 16 points would certainly do the trick, but in an ideal situation that would mean winning both races with both fastest laps, while Bell and co finishing no higher than 7th on either occasion. It may be highly improbable but stranger things have happened in motorsport so who knows…
Angelos Alvanos comes next in 5th, someone who has been a bit of a qualifying hero across the season and while he’s usually been found buzzing around the front runners and indeed made the podium four times in 2019, that first win has somehow eluded him so far. No doubt on his day, there’s genuine race winning pace, but all he needs is a little more good fortune to help him reach that covered top step for the first time. He remains in touching distance of Rossetti, whilst also keen to keep Ben Lopez-Appleton at bay too. Ben is another multiple race winner with three to his name this season, his most impressive coming at Oulton Park where he bagged a double before another one went his way last time at Donington Park. He could be another fly in the ointment for the championship battle if he looks strong on pace, so don’t be surprised to see him mix it up for the win too.
Tom Brown and Alan Venters look set to square off for 7th place with just seven points between them, while the same also looks set to happen for 9th between Donington race winner Ben Buckley and Giuseppe Felet, who also joined him on the podium that weekend. All in all, there’s plenty of talking points head of the championship showdown and lots of stories to keep track off as the weekend unfolds.
It’s been another fantastic year for our sophomore drivers in Roadsport and we wouldn’t want the title to be decided any other way than a mega season finale. As for who you should put your money on? Best leave it in your pocket, as we can’t pick a favourite considering how close it is at the top!