SPORTSCARS AND SALOONS SLIDE INTO SNETTERTON
Slipstreaming definitely won't be in short supply at Snetteron with Caterhams on the bill – Photo: SnappyRacers
Snetterton in Norfolk has become something of a traditional setting for one of, if not the first meeting of our season. Once again, the 300 Circuit is awoken as spring settles in and this time, it’s the turn of Caterham Motorsport to kick off their 2017 on the long straights and variety of corners that Snetterton has to offer. That being said, with slipstreaming at a premium here, the racing is always fast and furious with Caterhams in town!
First of all, let’s look at the Avon Tyres Caterham Roadsport Championship which sees the latest set of graduates from the previous season’s Academy take their next step in their so far short motorsport careers. While last year’s Green Group champion Steven Tozer has elected not to re-appear, White Group champion Ben Gillias will be present. Naturally, he will start as a favourite along with other top names from both groups such as Eric Tiv, Carl Varney, Peter Spencer and Pete Walters. It’ll be fascinating to watch how this lot get in as they move into “Year 2” of their racing education.
Moving up a step, it’s the Alaco Motorsport Logistics Caterham Seven 270R Championship, a rebranding of what was Tracksport last year. Russ Olivant once again is back to go for two titles on the bounce, but many of his main nemeses from 2016 are back to trouble him. Title rival Daniel Quintero has some making up, while Rob Watts and William Lloyd were thorns in Russ’ side on at least one occasion. Also, it’s the return of former Academy White Group champion Andy Perry that will be on everyone’s lips as he’ll be desperate to make up for missing out on a full season last year. All things considered, these 5 should make it an intriguing title battle all year.
Staying on the ladder for what is set to be the final time in its lifespan, the ITC Compliance Caterham Supersport Championship looks all set to provide as many fireworks as it did last season. Several drivers have progressed to higher ranks, leaving a good selection of those choosing to remain as those to keep an eye on. Names that have to be in with a shout for race wins have to include Ben Tuck, Chris Hutchinson, Dan Gore and potentially newcomer Adam Croft, already a title winner in the 924 Class in the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship in 2015. He may feel as though he’ll be thrown in at the deep end with this lot!
Taking its place from next season but debuting this year is the new ITC Compliance Caterham Seven 310R Championship, which features drivers making a move up from last year’s Tracksport Championship. One interesting name to feature here is James Beardwell, who has made the monumental leap after only finishing his debut season in Academy last year. Peter Rimer, Jon Curry, Lee Collins and more will also be throwing themselves into contention as a new generation of racing Caterham turns its wheels in anger for the first time here this weekend.
Last but not least on the Caterham ladder is the rebranded Avon Tyres Caterham Seven 420R Championship, for the fastest incarnation of a purpose built Caterham race car. Interest in this year’s edition has been high with a plethora of quality drivers moving up from last year’s Supersport and beyond. Top additions include Andres Sinclair, Anthony Barnes (2016 Tracksport champion), Damian Milkins, Jack Brown, William Smith and Christina Maple, who all have to deal with the likes of Danny Winstanley and Jack Sales, plus former Honda racers Paul Donkin and Mark Bennett. With so many high quality drivers moving into the top level, it’ll be fascinating to watch this story play out across the season.
Giving support to the cacophony of Caterhams will be a special non-championship event for our ever popular Excool OSS Championship. A pre-season “Trophy” race will help some of the teams and drivers shake down their cars ahead of the first points scoring rounds at Silverstone in May. There’s cars entered representing Radical, Chiron and Zeus in a prologue of sorts before the main event. After going viral in 2016, OSS has blossomed to become a premier place for sports prototype racing with open regulations. This will give you just a taster of what’s to come later on!
Also appearing on our bill are 3 championships from our friends at the BARC South Eastern Centre with the Scrapco/ Avon Tyres Intermarques, Quaife Modified Saloons and Cannons Tin Tops all catered for in their own separate races. There’s brilliant variety here with make and models of all shapes and sizes across the board, from fire-breathing 4WD Ford Escorts and Subaru Imprezas right the way down to Renault Clios, Honda Civics and more. Plus with the Intermarques, the silhouette nature of the body shells make the cars more akin to that of National Hot Rod racing.
All in all, you definitely won’t have a dull moment for this one all weekend. With sports cars, sports prototypes and saloons filling the bill, the fields of Norfolk are set to rock and rumble to the sounds of high performance engines and frantic battles on track. Sit back and enjoy – this should be a good one!
It's set to be a cracking weekend in terms of weather as well, with nothing but clear skies and bright sunshine blazing down on Norfolk throughout both days as the temperature will reach a high of 20 degrees on Sunday – ideal sunglasses weather, we reckon! The full forecast courtesy of the Met Office can be found here – SNETTERTON WEATHER.
Also, all the information you need for the weekend can be found via the following post – SNETTERTON SEASON OPENER.