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Olympians title, but what a year of racing!!

2023 was a Classic season for Fun Cup, five different winners, the title battle down to the wire and the youngest ever race winners in the Championships history.

The Championship started at Brands Hatch, with Olympian’s Chris Dovell, Kristian Rose and Riley Phillips, taking a dominant win, as PLR’s Neil Plimmer. Ben Pitch just held off UVio/Hofmann’s Farquini Deott/Fabio Randaccio for second.

With a second consecutive win at Snetterton in round two, Olympian were proving the team to beat, but a broken driveshaft in the first race at Anglesey put them out of contention.

They had brake problems too in the second race, but still sealed second, before returning to winning ways at Oulton Park in round five.

But a disastrous Silverstone saw them bounce back at Donington, as Phillips snatched a late win from Farquini. Third in the first race at Oulton’s finale left them in the driving seat for the title, but with Rose stuck in fifth gear and Dovell having alternator problems, Phillips late charge brought them in 15th, Champions by just five points.

UVio/Hofmann’s had six podium finishers, including  double win at Anglesey, but it was only good enough for fourth in the final standings. It was Masters Champions PLR who claimed the runner-up spot, with seven top six finishers.

Second in the Brands opener was their best, but their only retirement came at Donington, when after being stuck in fifth gear earlier in the race, they had an engine failure.

Team Viking/Ursus Capital had Mark Holme and Colin Kingsnorth team up for the first time. They started with a clutch failure at Brands, but soon became frontrunners.

They just missed the podium with fourth at Snetterton, but lost out on another podium when Holme spun and was hit by Jason Cheetham in the first Anglesey race. But with the car fixed, they were third in the night race.

After a second place at Oulton they were winners at Silverstone in a terrific race to the flag, as Jonathan Hoad, deputising for Kingsnorth, just came out on top in duel to the flag with Racelogic’s Julian Thomas.

They were fifth at Donington and with Hoad in for Holme at the Oulton finale, sixth and fourth saw them just miss out on second in the Championship.

UVio/Hofman’s hadn’t been out of the top three until Oulton in round four, but a first lap collision with a spinning car put them out of the running. They fared little better at Silverstone, when having led the race, they had the rear suspension break in the duel for third.

Second at Donington kept them with a slight chance of the title still, but another collision in the Oulton Sprint race broke a front wishbone, and despite taking third in the final race they were fourth in the Championship.

The Axiametrics trio of Chris Weatherill/Simon Rudd/Neil Burroughs looked strong from the start, but despite some good pace from Rudd in particular, they had retired at Brands and then had clutch failure at Snetterton.

They finally got a reward with a strong third in the first Anglesey race, but retired again at Oulton with a loose hub. Having been on the podium again at Silverstone, they were close again in the Oulton final, until a late stop go penalty dropped them to eighth, securing fifth in the Championship.

MJ Tec completed the top six in the final standings with Scott Jeffs/Will Abraham. They missed the opening round, but after taking fifth at Snetterton, they had their best result of the season with second in the first Anglesey race, with Greg Evans deputising for Abraham.

Despite an off at Oulton, Jeffs led the race, before finally finishing fourth, but after retiring at Silverstone they failed to finish again at Donington after colliding with Tom Greensall at McLeans.

They equalled their best result though in the Oulton Sprint race, before ending the season with fifth.

Team Greenheath had a disappointing season, where results didn’t really reflect their pace or competitiveness, with fifth at Brands and Silverstone their best results.

Bate had a sticking throttle at Anglesey and retired from the first race, before taking sixth into the night, when Gary’s Basil Fawlty’s pitstop will long be remembered with his sticking door.

At Donington he went off in the closing stages and in the Oulton final was wiped out by Gareth Wiliams’ Red River car at Knickerbrook.

The EDF cars of Rob Croydon/Simon Coles and Vlad Vassiliev/Matt Dorkings were next up. Croydon’s experience and Coles’ massive improvement brought them two top six finishes and could have been more. Fourth in the first Anglesey race was their best, despite a sticking throttle.

The Vapeclub car didn’t make the top six this season and had a few problems along the way, with only four top 10 finishers, and a best of seventh in the first Anglesey race.

Completing the top 10 in the Championship, were GT Radial, who again had guest drivers mixing it with regular drivers Martin Gibson and Ellis Hadley.

They were fourth at Brands in round one and ran strongly at Anglesey with Dan Silvester/Aaron Cooke guesting. They both led before taking fifth and seventh from the two races.

Jimmy Broadbent joined Gibson at Oulton to take sixth, and in the Oulton final rounds the car was raced by a trio of marshals.

Outgoing Champion GCI only did a few events this season, but Craig Butterworth/Ian Wood were always in contention. Second place at Snetterton, fourth at Silverstone and third at Donington  

Team Ratters were new to Fun Cup, with Father Peter and sons David and John. They had six top 10 finishers, but missed Anglesey. Having started with seventh at Brands Hatch, their best results though were sixth at Donington and in the Oulton final.

The Signature RV crew of Steve Ruston/John Whitehouse started the season with ninth at Brands, but a change of car and adding Marcus Clutton to their line-up saw them end on a high.

Clutton had joined the team from round five at Oulton, but the new car appeared at Silverstone securing them ninth again. They had been 10th in the first race at Oulton’s final, but a storming drive in race two saw Clutton secure a late win for the trio.

Team 3’s Andy Bennett/John Perrot/David Postins were in the top 10 with ninth at Anglesey and eighth at Donington.

Shire GB’s Sam/Ted Smeeth started the season with sixth at Brands Hatch. They came to Snetterton too, but weren’t seen again for the rest of the season.

The Seed Data pair of Matt Hogg/Mike Devlin had more than their fair share of bad luck. 10th at Brands, but then they were knocked off at both Snetterton and Silverstone. They had an eighth and a 10th at Anglesey and a 10th at Donington too.

Red River, James Gang, Easy2Reach and FuelledUp had top finishers too, but it was JPR BSP who were the final stars. Ted Bradbury had shown his pace and led in previous Fun Cup races, but teamed with Reza Seewooruthun and Mikey Porter, they were winners and second at the Oulton finale races, with a combined age of just 49!

That’s it now until April 13th 2024, SEE YOU THERE!!

Published by Peter Scherer for Fun Cup Endurance, November 30th 2023