Posted on In General
Defending champions Farquini Deott and Graham Roberts’ Team JPR UVio car heads the entry for the opening round of this year’s Fun Cup at Silverstone on April 8th. But, there are plenty of aspiring champions throughout the field who are determined that the UVio duo don’t repeat their 2016 feat.
Although former Champions Racelogic are back, they have not committed to a full season. “We are doing the first three and then see how we are doing,” said team boss Julian Thomas. Jon Tomlinson and David Denyer complete their line-up again.
Track Focused are running two cars, one for the familiar Sean Cooper/Neil Smith/Mike McCollum, but the second for the vastly experienced Clint Bardwell and novice Dean Warriner. “I am doing the VLN Championship in Germany too in a BMW, but Dean is a work colleague. He’s been doing Trackdays and wanted to race. This will be his first one,” said Bardwell.
Team Lane Roofing go from strength to strength too, with a three car team. Chris Weatherill/Nigel Griffiths/Geoff Fawcett share the first car. “I think last year was the most competitive since I started racing in Fun Cup, and can’t see this year being any less so,” said Fawcett.
Griffiths was more or less in agreement, “It’s so much more professional now and the others are harder to beat. We used to just go for it in the last stint, but we like to be competitive,” he added.
Gary and Kurt Lane are in the second car, while Jordan Lane and Daniel Gullick complete the squad. “We want to win of course,” Jordan commented.
Having been title challengers for the whole of last season, Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos are setting their sights on this year’s crown, “we want the title this year for sure,” said Chris Hart. Although he is hoping to be fit for Silverstone, he is recovering from a shoulder injury from a skiing holiday, so Neil Burroughs is on standby again to join Henry Dawes.
In the second Track Torque car is a former karting rival of Hart’s: Greg Evans made his Fun Cup debut at Oulton Park last season, but sharing with him, Steve Walton will be making his debut.
Last year’s other title contenders Eco 209 are back with a change in their team. Guy Wenham has now replaced Tom Mills and joins Paul Abraham and Paul Turner.
Paul Wighton’s Team Trooper may have lost Anthony Reid, but they have gained experienced Endurance racer Jake Rattenbury and Harry Mailer, who is now nearly old enough to drink the podium Champagne. Wighton and Antonio Armelin complete the quartet. “We are here for the title. We have the talent and are covering all bases with the team,” said a confident Wighton. “I want to win now, I have been close enough,” Mailer added.
Having tasted the Champagne from the lower steps last year CCS Media are keen to stand on the top too. Nigel Greensall and Bob Tomlinson recently tested at Silverstone in the absence of their other team mates. Ciro Carannante was away skiing and Alan Honarmand was celebrating his birthday. “The aim is for us all to be as close as we can to Nigel’s times, that’s all,” Tomlinson reckoned. “We just want to be near the front and have fun really,” Greensall added.
Last year’s Kinetic team having debuted this year are now MAK Racing. Chris Webster and Michelle Hayward are back, but having lost James Harrison, they have gained former single seater and Le Mans 24hr racer Stuart Hall.
“I knew the crew chief Andy Kirk from when I did some GT4 and I had been coaching Chris and Michelle at Brands. With not having the Monaco Historique (Stuart won one of the F1 races last year) I only have some GT3 races in the Creventic Series with a Mercedes. So when I was offered a seat with the Fun Cup I accepted,” said Hall.
Team DespatchBay.com came close to their maiden victory too last season, “the aim is to improve on last year and have fun,” said team boss Andy Bicknell. James Littlejohn joins him again but may have to miss a couple of rounds due to British GT commitments.
Bicknell’s 171 car is now in the hands of Team Agua Caliente. Rob Perry and Derek Basham have raced before, but in boats. Dave Clarke has karting experience, while the fourth member Matt Hogg is an ex biker.
There is an influx of youth too with Junior Saloon ace Charlie Kennedy moving up to head the Jason Kennedy Racing team. His team mates are yet to be announced, but BTCC racer Stewart Lines tested the car at Silverstone recently.
Scott Mansell has been a regular over the years with Global Racing, but now joins business partner and Radical racer Richard Baxter in the driver61.com car. “The aim is reliability and some top three finishes,” said Baxter.
Jay Shepherd’s Fun Cup Academy is running two cars with a blend of youth and experience. Amber 1 has Chris Dovell sharing with the Bridle twins Edward and Christopher, both making their car racing debuts. “We have tested enough and I think we are ready to race now,” said Edward. “I am looking forward to Anglesey,” Christopher added.
The second car has Mathew Jones, formerly of MCAC Racing sharing with novice Danny Henrey and Anthony Dunn. “The rest of the family have got other things to do this this year, so I am catching up on their experience,” said Jones.
Trumans are back with Colin Kingsnorth/Julian Bricknell/Richard Webb/Jonathan Hoad. “We had some good results last year and want the same reliability,” said Bricknell.
Neil Plimmer and Tim Wheeldon are back with Team Honeywell and can never be discounted. Apollo have two cars entered for Silverstone, Joe Tuckey and Ben Pitch share one, but the second car crew have yet to be announced. Team Brits two car team is yet to have the driver pairings confirmed too, from Warren McKinlay, Jimmy Hill, Tony Williams and Andy Searle.
Viking Storage remain unchanged from last season with Jim Hadfield, Mark Holme and Nick Nunn, while there are three other JPR entered cars. Martin Gibson/Ellis Hadley share the GT Radial car, while On the Piste will be selected from Dominic Jackson, Steve Harris, Mark Burton and Graham Pattle. Newcomers Katarina Kyvalova, Simon Clarke and Neil Glover will share the JPR 103 car.
Bring on the 4 hours of Silverstone!