Fun Cup Endurance 2023  – Rounds Eight & Nine– Oulton Park – Report

Record breaking teenage trio, but Olympian take the title!

It was an early start for the Fun Cup finale at Oulton Park, with lights out for the one-hour sprint race at 10.20.

Team 3’s John Perrott led initially from Viking/Ursus Jonathan Hoad, but Hoad was already ahead as they crested Hilltop for the first time.

Perrott, JPR Team LRS’s Harvey Riby and UVIo Hofmann’s Farquini Deott followed, but Signature RV’s Steve Ruston was challenging to, until he was spun out at Knickerbrook.

Hoad was soon pulling clear as the chasers continually swapped and changed. But UVio/Hofmann’s were heading for the pits. “We had contact at Island and broke a front wishbone,” Farquini explained.

Perrott had also tumbled down the order after the contact with UVio, but when the safety car appeared after six laps, Hoad’s lead was wiped out and was immediately under attack from Ted Bradbury’s for JPR BSP.

“I cursed the safety car, but it was a mega start,” said Hoad. “I was catching before the safety car though, brilliant race,” Bradbury added.

Bradbury and Olympian’s Riley Phillips both had spells in front before the first stops, but during the second stint JPR BSP’s Reza Seewooruthun began to take charge.

Behind him it was still anyone’s, with Olympian’s Chis Dovell, MJ Tec’s Will Abraham and Greenheath’s Gary Bate all looking for a podium finish.

Mikey Porter took over the lead car for the final stint, taking victory by over six seconds, as they became the youngest ever Fun Cup winners with a combined age of just 49. “Reza and Ted did an amazing job, it was down to me to bring it home,” said Porter.

Jeffs finally made it home second for MJ Tec, “I drove sensibly and kept it clean,” he confirmed, taking the flag five seconds clear of Olympian’s Kristian Rose.

PLR’s Neil Plimmer, Axiametrics’ Neil Burroughs and Viking/Ursus Hoad completed the top six, with Greenheath slipping to seventh. “Spun twice in my last stint, I should be dizzy,” admitted Paul Turner.

The safety car was soon in action in the final, when Red River Sport’s Gareth Williams wiped out Bate at Knickerbrook.

Rudd led for Axiametrics from Team Ratters David Ratcliff, Olympian’s Rose, JPR LRs’s Riby and MJ Tec’s Will Abraham, before the race went live again from lap seven.

JPR BSP’s Bradbury and UVio Hofmann’s Fabio Randaccio both worked their way to the front of the chase and on lap 14 Bradbury ousted Rudd from the lead.

The first stops came after 14 laps, but most of the frontrunners waited another couple of laps before their handover. But Seewooruthun was to the fore again, completing the first hour fractionally ahead of Farquini for UVio.

Chris Weatherill was in third for Axiametrics, as MJ Tec’s Jeffs, Ratters John Ratcliff and Viking/Ursus Kingsnorth rounded off the early top six.

Aspiring Champions, Olympian were in trouble though. Rose had been off at Druids after holding an early fourth, but he was stuck in fifth gear. Dovell had taken over but had an alternator connection problem, leaving them in 18th and three laps down.

During the second hour the order had begun to settle, with Team PLR and Viking/Ursus looking for the title after Olympians problems.

Hoad/Kingsnorth had the lead for Viking/Ursus, but both UVio/Hofmann’s Farquini/Randacio and Axiametrics’ Rudd/Weatherill and Burroughs were just a fraction behind, with JPR BSP’s Bradbury/Seewooruthun/Porter, EDF’s Simon Coles/Rob Croydon and MJ Tec’s Jeffs/Abraham the rest of the top six.

The calculators were out in the pit garages to sort out points, dropped scores etc. “We had a stop go after I locked up and went through the chicane,” said PLR’s Plimmer as they were down in ninth.

The green flag was waved as we started the final hour and Farquini immediately began to push Hoad for the lead, but within a couple of laps Bradbury was out in front again, from Farquini, with Hoad third and Ratcliff fourth, but Plimmer was up to fifth for PLR.

The safety car was out again after 60 laps as we began to approach the final pitstop window. Almost all of the crews pitted together, creating a chaotic pitlane. They came in the order of UVio, JPR BSP, Viking/Ursus, Axiametrics, MJ Tec, PLR, Signature RV and Ratters, but Marcus Clutton came out fifth for Signature, having taken MJ Tec’s Jeffs at the stop, but Abraham had also taken PLR’s Plimmer.

After seven safety car laps it was green with just over nine minutes on the clock. Farquini still led for UVIo, but it was three abreast around Shell for second. It was Porter and Hoad in second and third over Hilltop, but Clutton had ousted Burroughs for fourth, then Porter gave Farquini a little tap into Knickerbrook. “My brakes didn’t work so well,” said Porter.

Burroughs then pitted for a stop go, but Hoad shot into second exiting Island and Clutton followed, before Farquini touched the grass and was suddenly down to fifth.

Clutton was pushing hard for the lead, “Jonny was blocking me as his right, so I went for it and decided to rough him up a bit into Druids,” Clutton admitted.

The Signature car led out of Lodge and onto the final lap, but Hoad was then forced wide at Old Hall, as Porter shot by, with Farquini following a lap later.

So it was a first Fun Cup victory for Signature RV’s Ruston/John Whitehouse/Clutton, “We all did our bit but that’s why invested in that man, Clutton,” said Ruston.

Porter added a second place to the sprint race win for JPR BSP, “I just went for it,” he admitted. “I knew he would,” Bradbury added.

Farquini brought UVio/Hofmann’s home third, just ahead of Viking/Ursus Hoad. “A few little nudges here and there, then I got pushed wide, but a good race,” Hoad admitted. “It was hard at the end as my power steering had gone,” Farquini added.

MJ Tec were fifth, “We were down on power a bit on the straight, and maybe it was a mistake trying to hang on, but fairly pleased,” said Jeffs.

Team Ratters hung onto sixth, despite a late stop go penalty. “We all had dramas, but nothing too severe,” said Peter. Behind them were Masters Champion PLR, with Axiametrics eighth after their late penalty and the top 10 completed by Racelogic and EDF 212.

But 15th place proved to be enough to crown Dovell, Rose and Phillips 2023 Champions.


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