Axiametrics Take First title
It was a short but nevertheless competitive season, with five races over four circuits and four different winners.
Team Axiametrics had drafted in Riley Phillips to replace Chris Weatherill, who had moved on to Enduro Motorsport, in what proved to be a title winning move.
It was a short one hour sprint that kicked off the racing at Snetterton, and it came down to a final sprint between Viking’s Nick Nunn/Mark Holme and Axiametrics Phillips, Kristian Rose and Chris Dovell.
At the flag Nunn was the victor by only 0.470 secs from Rose, with Team 7 WASPP’S Ed Worthington/Jay Shepherd securing their first podium in third.
It didn’t go well for Axiametrics in the 4 hour race though, after Dovell was tipped into a first lap spin.
Second place at Thruxton was next however, with Phillips just losing out to Team 7 WASPP in a 12 minute sprint following a safety car intervention, which was followed by victory at Silverstone, sending them to Oulton Park in a duel for the title with Team 7 WASPP.
By winning the final race the Axiametrics trio not only clinched the title, but were the only team to take two wins in the shortened season.
In the final standings Team 7 WASPP only missed out by four points. In only his second season of racing Worthington’s progress came in leaps and bounds, and with Shepherd’s experience, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Their target of a podium was reached in the opening race at Snetterton with third, before improving to a second only an hour or two later. Victory at Thruxton, preceded Silverstone, where both drivers struggled for straightline speed.
They may not have taken the crown in the Oulton finale, but third place made it four podiums out of five.
Outgoing Champions UVio/Team Hofmans Lotus had a win in the Snetterton 4 hour race, but they were one of the teams to struggle for pace.
They were in with a shout into the final sprint at Thruxton, finally netting third for Farquini Deott/Fabio Randaccio, but there were problems at Silverstone when Farquini was involved in an early incident.
Having clawed back to ninth place, they ended the season with eighth at Oulton and third in the championship.
PLR Racing’s Neil Plimmer and Ben Pitch had a fairly consistent year and were only out of the top six at Thruxton, when electrical problems put them out early. They didn’t make the podium, but had a best of fourth at Silverstone.
It all started well for Viking’s Holme/Nunn, with a victory on their home soil in the opening round. Their only other top six finish was at Thruxton and hopes at Silverstone were dashed when Nunn was involved in an early incident. But 10th at the Oulton finale still secured fifth in the Championship.
Chris Hart/Henry Dawes spent time at the sharp end in most races, but the results for their MakeHappen Racing 2Rent/Dominos car didn’t reflect it.
Having taken sixth in the opening round at Snetterton they had to start from pitlane in the second after taking too long over lunch, and then ran out of fuel.
Despite handling problems Dawes brought them home fourth at Thruxton, before a terrific scrap with team mate Greg Evans put them on the podium at Silverstone, which clinched them sixth in the Championship.
MakeHappen Racing team mates Evans/Steve Walton were another crew to be aiming for their first podium when the season started. After a few fourth place finishers in the past, they were out of the running in the opening Snetterton rounds, before taking seventh at Thruxton.
Their quest was finally rewarded however at Silverstone, with third place and only 0.148 secs off second. They weren’t far off at Oulton either, which saw them end the season seventh and only two points off team mates and former champions 2Rent/Dominos.
It was a disappointing year for Andy Bicknell’s DespatchBay Express car. They had started with two fourth places at Snetterton and fifth at Thruxton, with even co driver Marcus Clutton struggling with the cars pace, leaving them eighth in the championship.
The third of the MakeHappen Racing cars had debutant Chris Walton sharing with the pacey Harry Mailer. So often Mailer was the hare and had some huge leads, which then put Walton under pressure.
Walton’s crash at the Thruxton Complex seemed to be the turning point for them, as sixth at Silverstone and was followed by a tremendous second place at Oulton, and ninth overall in the championship.
Completing the top 10 overall was the Greensall Motorsport car of Paul/Ryan Lewis. With Nigel Greensall sharing they had their first podium with third at Snetterton and also made the top 10 at Silverstone too.
Trumans were down to a two driver team this year, with Colin Kingsnorth and Richard Webb sharing. They seemed too involved in almost any incident going, including the first lap Silverstone clash. Ninth in the first round was followed by a seasons best eighth at Thruxton.
GT Radial were another up and down team too. Ellis Hadley was the main stay of the team, with Martin Gibson sharing when Truck Racing duties allowed. They saved their best result to the end, with seventh at Oulton, having only previously made the top 10 in the Snetterton opener.
Team 7’s second car was the Brown family, with Rory’s race leading pace, blended with the increasing skills of brother Sam and the sometimes loose cannon style of father Alan.
Increasingly bad luck tended to follow them when in challenging positions, but they had their best result of fifth at Silverstone, having also come home eighth in the second race at Snetterton.
Track Focused came back for the whole season but without Neil Smith. So it was down to Mike McCollum and Sean Cooper, who saved their best until last too, with ninth at Oulton Park.
Simon Smith/Gary Bate had a couple of top 10’s too. Their Greenheath car was ninth at Thruxton and 10th at Silverstone and promised much more on occasions.
GCI’s Craig Butterworth/Ian Wood had their best result at Silverstone with eighth, but also made the top 10 with ninth in the longer Snetterton race.
Enduro Motorsport’s Morgan Tillbrook/Chris Weatherill were a new partnership and a new team and looked possible race winners with the pace they showed at Snetterton.
10th in the Snetterton race was their best result in the end, as various problems throughout the year left results showing little reflection on their earlier pace.
RAW Motorsport had a second car for Radical racers John and Brian Caudwell. But with Brian unavailable double Radical Champion Dominik Jackson stepped. At Snetterton they had no pace in the car, but Jackson was mixing it with the frontrunners Thruxton. They led briefly after Jackson refused to surrender to the establishment, but the lost time with damage.
Teams regular car once again had Alex Macleod, sharing with brother John and recent BTCC debutant Paul Rivett. Even Rivett couldn’t get the car on the pace and they hired a replacement for the Oulton finale.
Agua Caliente fielded two cars from Thruxton onwards, but didn’t manage to climb the leaderboard, while Enduro ran a second car too in latter rounds.
Veterans Steve Harris, Paul Calladine appeared as the Black Widows and there were a few one-off outings too.
Greensall’s ran the Smeath family at Oulton and Team 7 had the Little’s out at Snetterton, taking sixth place.
CCS Media’s trio of Ciro Carannante/Bob Tomlinson/Alan Honarmand were re-united at Oulton, which also saw the debut of the EDF team.
Former Champion Graham Roberts was drafted in by EDF sharing with the vastly experienced Martin Byford, his first time time in Fun Cup.
The result was third place and a promise by team boss Eddie farrow to be back in 2021 with possibly two cars.
So the Champions are crowned and the season is over, looking forward to hopefully starting next season at Oulton Park on March 27th.
Published by Peter Scherer for Fun Cup, November 16th 2020