SILVERSTONE JUNE 19/20 PREVIEW – ZEO PROTOTYPE CUP
A new chapter of the BRSCC’s vast roster of Formulae gets underway this weekend at Silverstone as Sunday will mark the first-ever races of the new ZEO Prototype Cup, a dedicated contest for all shapes and sizes of sports prototype racing cars, both open and closed top. The National circuit is the chosen layout for these rapid racers to stretch their legs on the long straight and make the most of the downforce available in the long corners. These should be two fast and exciting races!
The Zeo Proto Series has been created by Excool’s Duncan Williams, an experienced racer who has competed in sports prototype racing for a number of years. The series will feature six classes and will be open to any and all sports prototypes and sports racing cars wishing to compete, with both open top and closed top examples permitted to race.
Duncan himself will be competing in this first series, piloting the very same Norma LMP3 chassis that he used to compete in both the LMP3 Cup and giving it a chance to not only dust off the cobwebs but to also put it up against a fantastic variety of cars. 14 in total will take to the grid, six of them being the evergreen Radicals that populate a series like this. Some have raced on BRSCC shores before including Alastair Smart, Dominic Langdon-Down and Norman Lackford, plus Chris Child, Robert Gillman and a brand new SR10 chassis to be driven by Tony Freeman.
The beauty of a series like this is the potential for a fascinating variety of different chassis to take part. Graham Charman brings a Juno to the party, a car that’s already got history in competing in sports prototype racing with us before on many an occasion, while the interesting CTR 01 will be driven by Matthew Chamberlain, sibling of experienced racer Richard who is best known for his heavily developed bright orange Porsche 935 that regularly takes part in the GT Cup Championship. Andy Chittenden will be on track in an 2018 MCR, something which you would normally find racing in Sports 2000, as you would originally also with the ever familiar Jenvey-Gunn TS6 of former OSS champion Mike Jenvey. The car has recently been competing in Time Attack events on and off, so to see it back to circuit racing will be a wonderful sight. Lee Collar is also entered in a rather unique machine called an ADR 3, which is also rather uncommon and a welcome addition to the entry.
There is one car, however, that’s sure to grab quite a lot of attention. Jay Shepherd and Ed Worthington, teammates in the Fun Cup Endurance Championship over the last couple of years, are now moving into sports prototype racing with a car that will officially make its UK racing debut this weekend. The UK NP-01 Evo is a closed-top spec racing chassis that is commonly raced over in North America with as many as 60 currently in competition. Sporting a striking-looking body and a tuned 2.0 litre Mazda engine in the back, the car is not only set to be raced in the ZEO Prototype Cup but also possibly demonstrated on track on Saturday during the lunch break. There are whispers of more of these cars possibly heading overseas to join this one, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.
It’s felt like a while since we had some true sportscar racing here at the BRSCC and now it’s finally made a comeback. The ZEO Prototype Cup looks as though it’s set to go from strength to strength following this weekend and Silverstone will be the perfect first venue for this weekend’s entry to showcase just how good the series is and how much better it can still become with more cars on the grid. This will be the fastest and noisiest racing all weekend – which suits us just fine!