Reigning Champions 2Rent Dominos Back On Top
It had been a long time in coming, but Chris Hart and Henry Dawes finally joined the list of Fun Cup winners for this season, as their 2Rent Dominos car came out on top of a three way fight with JPR Axiametrics and Team Viking.
Andrew Dunn had drawn pole for IF Motorsport and led as far as Brooklands on the opening lap, before Charlie Kennedy nipped through on the inside, followed by Apollo’s Guy Wenham, Concorde’s Will Chappell and Agua Caliente’s Rob Perry.
But Hart was charging for 2Rent Dominos and from fourth on lap two, he was ahead a lap later, with Chappell and Kennedy swapping and changing for second, as Dunn slipped to fourth.
As Hart’s lead started to grow, Kennedy and Chappell continued to exchange until the 10th lap, Kennedy headed for the pits with an engine failure and Chappell had dropped to fifth. “I started to get fuel starvation out of Luffield, it spluttered and I lost two places,” Chappell explained.
Perry had become the new second man, under tremendous pressure from FNS’s Steve Walton and Racelogic’s Jon Tomlinson, with Chappell just holding on too.
Walton was into second at Brooklands on lap 12, but it was a seven car train for second place, giving Hart an ever increasing lead.
Tomlinson and Perry both had spells in second, but on lap 16 Walton spun at Luffield and stalled, which left Perry leading the group again, from Tomlinson, Chappell and UVio’s Fabio Randaccio.
After the first 30 minutes Hart was 5.27 secs clear, with Randaccio, Tomlinson and Perry continuing their battle, before Axiametrics Chris Dovell latched on too.
It was frantic action and it continued to the first pitstop window. “I got a little rub at the start, but didn’t hit anyone, then got the lead through Maggotts. I was watching them behind me and as soon as they worked together they started to close,” said Hart.
“Our car was well set-up, but I needed to work with the others. I panicked a bit when two cars came by though,” Perry added. “We were so much quicker on the brakes at Brooklands and Copse but stayed behind to help us close on Chris,” Tomlinson explained.
Dovell had pitted from third to hand to Kristian Rose, “it was a good stint but not world Class Weatherill pace, the car was great though,” said Dovell.
Rose had the lead at the one hour mark, with Nick Nunn second after taking over the Viking car from Mark Holme. Dawes was in third, while UVio’s Farquini Deott, Concorde’s Andy Clarkson and Apollo’s Ryan Burke completed the top six, after Agua Caliente‘s Matt Hogg had slipped to eighth, behind GT Radial’s Martin Gibson.
It then started to become a three-car battle, with Axiametrics, Viking and 2Rent Dominos, while UVio looked on. The lead had continued to swap and change up to the second driver change, with Viking the first of the lead trio to pit.
With Hart back in for 2Rent Dominos, he led from the 77th lap, as Weatherill gradually started to consolidate second over Holme. But Axiametrics were back ahead just before the 2 hr mark brought up 100 laps.
The lead trio had a lap on the rest. “So far so good, we had been close to Viking in testing and qualifying and now the race, so it’s just a case of staying there,” said 2Rent Dominos Dawes. “I was happy in my stint just driving around with Henry,” Viking’s Nunn replied.
Although UVio had been fourth, Randaccio had been caught by DespatchBay’s Marcus Clutton and Racelogic’s Julian Thomas, with Clutton completing the halfway stage ahead of the former champions, while Racelogic were inches behind in sixth. ”It was difficult for us as the top three worked together and we had no straightline speed and ran solo,” Farquini explained.
“That was the best we could do, as it’s so hard to pass,” said Clutton. “All good, but we could do with a safety car,” Thomas added.
Apollo were still seventh but struggling for pace too, while GCI, Concorde and PLR completed the top 10.
But Agua Caliente’s hopes had been dashed, “we had a small fire after a wire to the starter motor rubbed on the chassis,” Perry explained.
The order remained fairly dormant during the second half though, as 2Rent Dominos, Axiametrics and Team Viking continued to dispute the podium places, while behind them DespatchBay had lost ground as Racelogic, UVio and Apollo settled in the top six.
Team Viking began to lose touch a little as Axiametrics kept the pressure on 2Rent Dominos, but Dawes led for the last 26 laps and had the honour of taking the team’s first win of the year, keeping them well in contention to retain their title. “It was hard work today and this was long awaited,” said Dawes. “It’s all on for Oulton now,” Hart added.
Axiametrics were 5.682 secs down at the flag. “I couldn’t wait to get in for that final stint, I got quite nervous waiting,” said Weatherill. “Fairly happy with that,” Rose added.
Although Team Viking were still a clear third, Racelogic got themselves back on the lead lap too for a solid fourth. “It could have been better, but in my second stint I was catching and then spun at Becketts,” said Nunn.
It had been a difficult race for JPR UVio though, fifth but a struggle throughout. “We had some contact so were limping along at the end too,” Farquini explained. But bring on Oulton,” he added.
Apollo had been holding sixth at the end of the third hour, but Zoe Burke pitted with an ongoing power problem, “no top end pace and we had struggled for the whole race really,” said Guy Wenham. Then in the closing minutes Clutton had just got ahead of GCI for sixth place, when they collided at Becketts. “I was turning in and he just hit me hard on the back wheel,” said Clutton as he limped to the pits to retire.
“I had pad knock off at Copse and total brake failure at Becketts, I took to the grass to avoid Nick in the Viking car but couldn’t avoid Marcus,” Craig Butterworth explained after dislocating his shoulder in the incident.
So Colin Kingsnorth and Richard Webb finally secured sixth, from Concorde, with RAW Motorsports Paul Rivett with Alex and John Macleod, and Greensall Motorsports Ryan and Paul Lewis next home, while DespatchBay’s Clutton, Andy Bicknell and Riley Phillips were still classified 10th.