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The Caterham Motorsport campaign begins in Norfolk this weekend with a two day BRSCC East Anglian Centre run meeting on the Snetterton 300 circuit, which features eighteen races.
The Roadsports are the first of the four Caterham championships out on the track and reigning Academy champion David Webber arrives in Norfolk as the hot favourite for the title. Webber was dominant in his Academy group last year winning all but one event. Not to say that Webber will have it all his own way. The brothers Wigg; Olly and Ben, will be taking part in a championship round against Webber for the first time this weekend. Olly Wigg had the upper hand over his younger brother throughout last season, but Ben Wigg’s performances improved significantly throughout the year and Wigg senior will be wise to watch out as much for his younger brother as for Webber.
In the Supersports, Stephen Nuttall begins his quest for a fourth consecutive title and although the Stockport driver comes to Snetterton as the firm favourite, there is a raft of drivers who have the potential to take the crown as well. Heading the group is Spanish youngster, Andres Sinclair who finished last year with ten podiums and the runner-up spot behind Nuttall in the Tracksports. Other Tracksport graduates who are likely to challenge are Nick Portlock, Tony Mingoia and Richard Noordhof, while experienced Supersport campaignersJames Robinson and Clive Richards will also fancy their chances.
Few would bet against Aaron Head taking a second successive R300S title this year. The 22 year-old Essex driver made his Caterham debut at Snetterton in a Roadsport at the last round of the 2010 season, finishing second in his first ever car race; an indication of what was to come. Supersport champion in 2012 and missing other championships more through bad luck than anything else, Head dominated R300 last year, taking more than half of the available wins. So is there anyone that can challenge the pink-caged car this year? David Robinson and Lee Wiggins would respond in the affirmative. Robinson did get the better of Head a few times last year and Wiggins can match the champions pace when he is on his game.
Jack Sales progresses to Tracksport as reigning Roadsport champion and is reunited with most of the drivers he has competed with since 2013. The Kent based driver won the title in dramatic fashion at the last race of season and he looks like the man to beat this year, but Snetterton was not a highlight for him. Henry Heaton is a dangerous rival and does have form at Snett – winning on the track in Roadsports, only to be excluded post-race for a technical infringement. Chris Hutchinson, Christian Szaruta and Lee Bristow are also likely to be in the shake-up of what is sure to be a very competitive season.
Away from the Caterham content, Aaron Thompson arrives at Snetterton as the FJC leader after the Silverstone opener. The Romford driver had a fantastic start to the season with a clean sweep of pole, two race wins and two fastest laps. Leading the chasing pack are Michael Higgs and Connor Grady who are both tied on fifty-five points and shared a P2 and P3 apiece at the Easter meeting. The in-experienced Connor had a particularly good weekend at Silverstone and showed his pace by topping the times in the first free practice session. However, Michael will have very fond memories of Snetterton having won his first ever FJC race at the Norfolk circuit this time last year.
In the senior Fiestas, once again backed by Jam-Sport, the ST class was dominated by Simon Horrobin at the Silverstone season opener two weeks ago. David Nye set the pace in the Class D Zetec S. The older A Fiesta Si class was well won by Jamie Styles as was the B class Fiesta Zetec 1400 by new driver Stuart Robbins. All four class winners won both rounds so their rivals will need to make some inroads this weekend if they are to mount a serious challenge.
It is a big weekend ahead for the Teekay Couplings Production GTis as their new MK5 Series makes its race debut with a host of familiar names joining from the Mk2s, including current champion Simon Hill and Martyn Walsh. Also joining the fray are OSS regulars Craig Fleming and Darcy Smith. There is a very health entry of Mk2s with twenty-six cars lining-up to dispute the first two rounds of the championship. Eighteen year-old Dean Clayton is the hot favourite but Tom Witts and Jason Tingle will make sure he has to work for it.
Finally, joining us from BARC SE for tomorrow only is the Avon Tyres Intermarque Championship where Vauxhall Tigras seem to be the preferred body shape, although there is variety in the form of a BMW Z4 driven by Simon Smith, plus a couple of Mercedes SLKs piloted by Richard Smith and Paul Adams. Chris Brockhurst is one of the favourites amongst the Tigra fraternity but will face stiff opposition from Malcolm Blackman, Tommy Field plus Lewis and Daniel Smith. Joining the Intermarque grid is Ultimate Saloon competitor Kevin Wendt.
It looks like the weather at Snetterton will be dry on both days, with Saturday the sunnier of the two. A full forecast can be found at SNETTERTON WEATHER
More information about the Snetterton meeting can be found at BRSCC SNETTERTON RACE WEEKEND
18 April 2015
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