POWER PRATT SUPER TEAM GOES THE DISTANCE IN CATERHAM TEAM ENDURO AT SILVERSTONE
Despite intermittent showers dotted across the day’s action, nothing dampened the spirits of the competitors competing in the BRSCC’s first race event of the season with the special Caterham Motorsport Team Enduro taking centre stage on its first ever running.
After a qualifying session affected by wet track conditions, the front row was unsurprisingly locked out by the paid of teams exclusively running Caterham 420Rs, with the Two’s Company pairing of Ian Sparshott and Chris Bates taking pole ahead of the Team OLARCH Racing trio of Rob Watts, Jack Sales and Alex Jordan. Initially the two teams swapped the lead in the opening laps before the race settled down for its duration. While Two’s Company ended up leading for most of the opening stint, a series of penalties would eventually see them lose laps and 1st place to Team OLARCH, who ended up remaining unchallenged for most of the race despite the best efforts of Sparshott and Bates attempting to reel them back in. In the end it was Watts, Sales and Jordan who came away with the class and overall win, coming home a lap ahead of Two’s Company. The hope for next season is that more 420R teams will join the entry to make it an even more intense competition within the class.
The bulk of the entry was within the Super Teams, mostly consisting of a Roadsport, 270R and 310R each (with the exception of one team running two 270Rs and a Roadsport). Pole in that class went to Team G with Gordon Sawyer, Jim Irlam and James Crocker, with former 310R champion Lee Bristow lining up alongside for Solo 64 with Giueseppe Felet and Mark Tredwin. From the rolling start, the leading group made look as if they were contesting a regular 310R sprint race as the opening 25 laps saw no less than 13 lead changes between four teams (both front row Super team starters Sawyer and Bristow, plus LFP3 (Jay McCormack, Sam Jefferson, Guy Berryman) and Team UPEM (James Beardwell, Simon Goodwin, Craig Atkins). Eventually, Team G would take a stint in the lead before a number of teams took turns at the head of the Super Team field throughout the car change cycles, with PT Sportscars Premier (James McCall, Andrew Murgatroyd, Harry Senior) ended up leading the bulk of the laps throughout the 4 hour race.
Other teams that also took turns in the lead included Solo 64, Team G and LFP 3, but while this was all going on one trio had been steadily making progress while keeping out of trouble. The three drivers of the Power Pratt team (Martin Pratt, Oli Pratt, Tom Power) started back in 19th position overall and slowly and quietly moved up the order as the race went on, until eventually taking the lead for the first time on Lap 134. From there, they battled with Solo 64, PT Sportscars Premier and LFP3 until eventually Oli Pratt closed down the latter’s Guy Berryman to take the lead and go on to win the Super Team class. PT Sportscars Premier charged through to pick up 2nd place in class just 14 seconds back, while Solo 64 took the final podium place a lap behind the class winner. FCA Flyers (Paul Fielder, Ben Lopez-Appleton, Douglas Christie) completed a steady effort to clinch 4th place, while late leaders LFP 3 managed to pick up the final top 5 place, despite a late stop and go penalty for exceeding individual driving time.
There is much interest for another Team Enduro for next season, which should hopefully see more teams and drivers within the Caterham Motorsport paddock participate this time next year. The main Caterham season gets underway back at Silverstone on the National circuit once again, with the opening championship rounds for Roadsport, 270R, 310R and 420R all kicking off on April 6/7.
Elsewhere on the timetable, a quartet of support races provided action for most of the morning. In the pair of BRSCC Saloon Car Trophy races, the favourite to dominate on paper was Lewis Kent in his Hyundai i30 N TCR that campaigned in TCR UK last season and is set to do so again this year. The wet qualifying, mixed with a technical issue during the session, led him to qualify 2nd alongside the BMW M3 of Lucky Khera with Garry Wardle’s VW Scirocco starting 3rd and young Ben Creanor lining up 4th in his first ever circuit race in his own BMW E36 M3, having only turned 16 the day before. Khera ended up dominating Race 1 as Kent suffered a driveshaft problem that left him several laps down in the pits, but still able to rejoin and finish a lowly 15th. Jasver Sapra, also in a BMW M3, took 2nd place but was closed down by Creanor throughout the second half, before the youngster settled for a superb 3rd place on his racing debut. Drier track conditions for Race 2 helped Kent storm through the field and eventually pass Khera midway through to take the win, with Lucky finishing 2nd and Sapra completing the podium again in 3rd.
Over in the BRSCC Sports Car Trophy, sports prototypes the entry and both races. Ashley Hicklin was able to power his Radical SR3 to two overall race wins, albeit having to put his foot down in the first race after Robert Rees came close to overhauling him. Hicklin won Race 1 from Rees, while Clive Hayes caught and passed Dave Porter’s Radical after a choice to start on wet tyres backfired as the track dried out. The second race was almost a disaster for Hicklin as he stuttered on the line from a standing start, but soon he was able to climb his way back to the front to eventually win. Rees looks as though he could have been on course for two 2nd places, but a spin left him finishing 3rd behind benefactor Alastair Smart.
For a full breakdown of the results from the Silverstone race day, click here – https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/191131