JENVEY ‘GUNNS’ HIS WAY TO EXCOOL OSS TITLE
Jenvey never left the podium on his way to OSS glory – Photo: James Roberts
Following a successful weekend at the recent meeting at Brands Hatch, Mike Jenvey had done enough to put his rivals out of reach and clinch both the Class B and overall titles for the 2015 Excool OSS Championship, aboard his self-developed Jenvey-Gunn TS6.
A multiple champion in both Formula Vee and Sports 2000, Jenvey made a guest appearance in the championship in 2010, before OSS was backed by current title sponsor Excool. He made an instant impact by claiming an outright race victory piloting a Sports 2000-spec car. Up to this point, Mike had also been integral to the development of the original Gunn chassis, proving to be a key figure in helping the factory develop its own cars for competition.
After gaining an initial flavour of what the championship could offer, Jenvey was sold on its ethic. The OSS gives the opportunity for anyone to race any form of sports prototype, with examples from manufacturers such as Radical, Wolf, Juno and Ligier. Along with this, it provides a fantastic platform for young, up and coming engineering talent to allow their creativeness and talent to shine through and develop their own creations, as the series is relatively free on restrictions regarding car development and specification.
With this in mind, Mike joined the championship full time in 2013 and set about using it as a proving ground to develop his Jenvey-Gunn chassis. His aim – to turn it into a machine capable of winning races and challenging for the title. It’s safe to say that his first two seasons with the car were “learning years” with a non-score in ’13 and 54 points in ’14. However, Jenvey persevered and entered the 2015 season with optimism and a determination to succeed.
The season opener on the Silverstone National circuit bore fruit with two 3rd places and then an overall victory in the third and final race of the weekend. He so very nearly followed this up with a perfect weekend on the high speed banks of Rockingham, claiming pole in both qualifying sessions and wins and fastest laps in the first two races. This was only spoiled when Graham Cole upset the apple cart to claim race 3 for his own.
Jenvey’s win tally increased to 4 with success in the opening Snetterton encounter, before completing a set of podiums with 3rd in race 2 and 2nd in race 3. Last time out at Brands, this was followed by a hat trick of 2nd places, more than enough to not only claim the class B title but to also crown him the overall Excool OSS champion.
With one round still to run at the finals weekend at Donington in October, the race will still be on for second place in the standings. Currently, this is held by the veteran Ginger Marshall, who is celebrating his 55th year of competition as he continues to pilot his unmistakable turquoise Bowlby Mk2. He’ll be hoping his main competition, the Class C Radical PR6 of Graham Hill, falters to allow him to secure an amazing result for an enigmatic machine.
As for Jenvey, he has promised more development work going into the winter, meaning that next season could see the Jenvey-Gunn TS6 at peak performance. Whether or not the rest of the competition will have any solid answer to this remains to be seen.
Interest for the 2016 Excool OSS Championship has been growing over recent weeks and months, with entries already exceeding 20 cars for next year. It’s perfect for anyone with a penchant for Le Mans-style sports prototype, as the cars get to compete in 3 races across the weekend. These races are normally sprint format, meaning that every driver is nothing less than flat out every time they hit the track! Plus, it’s also an ideal place for anyone with a prototype-style machine collecting dust in the garage to get out and race with other cars of a similar nature. To a certain extent, anything goes – the championship has even seen an ex-Dyson MG Lola LMP675 compete!
In addition to close, high quality enjoyable racing, the paddock provides one of the nicest and friendliest atmospheres in national motorsport. Hospitality is provided via the Excool OSS marquee and whoever you talk to, there’s always a real sense of camaraderie and friendship up and down the pitlane. Also, the series has recently been filmed for Motors TV at the last round at Brands Hatch, allowing the championship to gain a wider reach to potential entrants and fans.
If you have a car that would befit this series, think you’d like to give it a go and attempt to stop Mike Jenvey from doubling up on titles, then be sure to check out their WEBSITE.