Two in a row for JPR UVio in torrential downpour
Having thought the weather had been bad for the last round at Snetterton, British summer time once again eclipsed itself. But regardless of the darkness, thunder, lightning, standing water from torrential rain and blustery wind, the Fun Cup continued for four hours of action, with JPR Uvio’s Farquini Deott and Graham Roberts taking their second successive victory.
The first two laps were behind the safety car due to rain but from the green flag Henry Dawes led the way for Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos, with Tom Mills quickly working the Eco 209 car into second, from Harry Mailer’s Apollo Motorsport and Tim Wheeldon for Team Honeywell.
Mills led into Copse though on lap seven, but had CCS Media’s Nigel Greensall following him through.
There were a number of lead exchanges before Greensall got by at Brooklands and started to consolidate over Mills, but Mailer and Dawes remained close, with Wheeldon lying in wait. “It was awesome for a while, then just lethal, and I had a triple spin on the straight,” said Mills. “I knew I could get a better drive on the lead group and sat back, but then it worsened and I could hardly steer,” added Wheeldon.
The inclement weather caused a lot of slips and slides and allowed Mills to close again and lead briefly before Greensall took it back. Mailer and Dawes kept swapping and changing too, before Mailer darted into second, only to find himself in fourth a lap later. “I aquaplaned on the straight, flat in fifth, hit the brakes at Brooklands and went wide, a lap after Tom had done similar and I gained the place,” Mailer explained. “I didn’t drop back I was just trying to stay on the track,” Dawes added.
“The water was so bad that a river at Becketts was trying to send us onto the GP circuit and accelerating on the straight you hit water and it slowed you down,” said Greensall.
But the clouds were darkening and the rain got harder as the first 30 minutes was completed so out came the safety car which coincided with the first pitstop window.
Ciro Carannante had taken over the lead CCS Media car, but the safety car remained out for another seven laps, as the one hour mark was reached. CCS had a 4.1 second lead over Paul Abraham in the ECO 209, with Neil Burroughs in for Track Torque, struggling with one wiper and misted windows.
Deott was in for JPR Uvio in fifth, while Honeywell’s Neil Plimmer had a couple of exchanges with Racelogic’s Julian Thomas for fifth and sixth. But Deott had gone a lap down which he recovered quickly as he mounted a challenge for fourth.
As lead the trio had settled, it became a duel for fourth between Deott and Plimmer. I”I think it lasted for the whole of my stint, even though I went off at Brooklands and lost nothing,” said Deott. “It was mega we could have just kept on with that,” Plimmer replied.
But half distance arrived with more clouds and it became almost night like. Another round of stops had been made and it was ECO 209 out in front by 17 seconds from Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos, while JPR Uvio had finally made a break from Honeywell for third, but Apollo, CCS Media, Racelogic and DespatchBay.com had all gone a lap down.
The safety car was out yet again though with unrelenting rain, which from the green flag left five cars in contention for the final 90 minutes.
Deott quickly made a move on ECO 209’s Paul Turner and gradually built his lead, while Apollo dropped out the frame after Mailer pitted with a misfire.
Plimmer was back in the Honeywell car and managed to oust Track Torque’s Burroughs for third into Luffield. “But the next lap I caught a group of three and then braked earlier than I expected. I locked up and jinked to avoid a big off, onto the grass and into the gravel,” he explained.
Uvio’s lead grew further into the last hour they were 13 secs up on ECO 209, with Track Torque still third, but Greensall joined the trio on the lead lap after unlapping the CCS car.
Greensall had made it up to third when Turner pitted but ECO 209 recovered the place when JPR Uvio, Track Torque and CCS all made their final stops at the end of the pitstop window, only to be handed a one minute stop go penalty, which left them chasing in fourth but a lap down again.
Deott finally took the flag over a minute clear to record their second successive win of the season. “It wasn’t as stressful as Snetterton but a challenge for us to keep the speed up as well as being aware of others in those conditions and keep out of trouble ourselves,” he said. “We had one warning about the release from a pitstop, but that was all apart from working hard to get back after the safety car lost us time,” Roberts added.
Dawes brought the Spa class winning Track Torque car in second and was the only other car on the lead lap. “Elements of luck and skill without those wipers,” he reckoned.
Into third and a surprise podium finisher were CCS with Carannante at the wheel. “Can’t remember our last UK podium, but obviously ECO’s penalty was a bonus for us” he said.
ECO 209 were classified fourth, with DespatchBay.com and ECO 91 completing the top six. “It was hard at the end as we almost had rear wheel steering after a hit on the back,” said DespatchBay’s Andy Bicknell. “We have the pace now we need the luck,” added co driver James Littlejohn.
Defending Champions Racelogic had looked set for sixth until a late driveshaft breakage brought Jon Tomlinson in for an extra stop and dropped them to 16th.
MCAC Racing, Team Addison, Honeywell and Trumans rounded off the top ten as the weather finally abated.
1 JPR Uvio (Farquini Deott/Graham Roberts) 158 laps in 4h56m11.890s (63.50mph); 2 Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos (Henry Dawes/Neil Burroughs) + 1m07.449s; 3 CCS Media (Nigel Greensall/Ciro Carannante/Bob Tomlinson/Alan Honarmand); 4 ECO Racing 209 (Tom Mills/Paul Abraham/Paul Turner); 5 DespatchBay.com (Andy Bicknell/James Littlejohn) +2.281s; 6 Eco Racing 61 (Alan Brown/Rory Brown; 7 MCAC Racing (Matthew Jones/Morgan Jones/Philip Jones/Gareth Jones); 8 Team Addison Racing (Bill Addison/Martin Addison); 9 Team Honeywell (Tim Wheeldon/Neil Plimmer); 10 Trumans (Colin Kingsnorth/Julian Bricknell/Richard Webb). Fastest lap Harry Mailer (Apollo Motorsport) 1m17.886s (75.82mph).