REIGNING CHAMPIONS GCI RETURN
FUN CUP ENDURANCE 2023 – ROUND TWO – SNETTERTON – PREVIEW
Round Two of the Fun Cup Endurance Championship welcomes reigning champions GCI Racing for their Seasonal debut at Snetterton, the scene of Craig Butterworth and Ian Wood’s maiden victory last season.
They will be up against former Champions and first round winners Team Olympian, who have their usual pair of Chris Dovell and Kristian Rose, with Riley Phillips, who has rejoined them this season.
No one can discount former multiple champions UVio/Hofmann’s, who are still seen as the team to beat, with Farquini Deott/Fabio Randaccio, who are currently third in the table.
PLR Racing were second at Brands with Neil Plimmer/Ben Pitch and are second in the Masters Class too behind Olympian.
GT Radial had Ellis Hadley and Martin Gibson back together in the opening round, but Gibson has moved to JPR 251 this weekend, with Red Bull R & D engineer Jason Cheetham and Tom Greensall. A former British Truck Racing race winner Gibson has now started rallying this season too.
Hadley is still in the GT Radial car, but this weekend has former Moto GP rider and 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli as his partner. The Leicester based Frenchman was at Snetterton last weekend too, taking top 10 finishers in the Radical Cup UK.
Team Greenheath have the pace and experience to take a win, with ex Caterham star Gary Bate now with Paul Turner as his regular team mate, they were fifth at Brands.
Shire GB is the name this season for the Smeeth Brothers. While Ferrari and GT racer Sam Smeeth has plenty of experience, brother Ted was a total novice before starting Fun Cup a few years ago, but his pace continues to increase, having finished sixth in the seasons opener.
EDF will have their usual busy weekend, with the Vapeclub car of Vlad Vassiliev/Matt Dorkings heading a four-car team. Simon Coles had a particularly good start to his season, until problems took over, and he shares with experienced sports car racer Rob Croydon, while Victor Kara is partnered by Gary Summers.
The Fuelled Up Racing car, has Wendy Ellis-Smith making her seasonal debut, as husband Paul and Paul Taylor share.
Two former Fun Cup race winners have teamed up this year to become Team Viking & Ursus Capital Racing. Mark Holme and Colin Kingsnorth had raced together in the past at Spa, and they are also racing in Class & Historic Sportscar events this year.
AxiaMetrics/GRD Racing made their Fun Cup return this year, after Chris Weatherill was busy racing elsewhere. He had ex VW Cup racer Simon Rudd and Sports 2000’s Neil Burroughs sharing at Brands, but for this weekend Burroughs is absent and Audi racer from the Darkside, Scott Parkin, comes in. Parkin had a couple of outings with Team Olympian towards the end of last season and has undoubted pace.
Team 3 Motorsport’s Andy Bennett, John Perrott and David Postins joined the Championship last season, while Michael Mulligan, Paul and Harvey Booth were the debutants at Brands for Question Tools.
Brandon and Lewis James are the James Gang, but having missed the seasons opener, Paul Calladine rejoins them this weekend.
Former Mini and Euro NASCAR racer Scott Jeffs came close to victory last season, sharing with Martin Gibson. His MJ Tec car wasn’t out at Brands, but he’s back this weekend with Will Abraham, son of former Fun Cupper Paul.
Ex Agua Caliente Teamster Matt Hogg is partnered by Mike Devlin in the 99 Car.
After a great debut at Brands, Team Ratters are ones to watch with the Ratcliff family. Peter has been a successful Caterham racer for many years and although son David raced in Saxmax as a young teen, he hadn’t raced for years until Brands Hatch. John had never raced before at all!
Finally Red River Sport are out for the second time, having debuted at Donington last year. Led by the vastly experienced Sports Endurance racer Johnny Mowlem, he has Bonamy Grimes, another international sports racer and now Classic rally driver, plus Ferrari man Gareth Williams joining him.
There is a 45 minute qualifying session at 9:25am and the four hour race has lights out at 12:50pm.
Published by Peter Scherer for Fun Cup Endurance, May 24th 2023