Somehow we are already three rounds down this year. So, let’s take a look back at round three at Snetterton. We certainly had the weather order right last weekend, with wall to wall sunshine across the three days it was glorious, although some of our drivers might not agree, it sure was hot in those cars!
With six superb races, three for each of our 310R and 420R classes, there was plenty of excitement on track.
Starting with our 420R class, there was action aplenty throughout each race. With championship leader Jonathan Mitchell absent at Snetterton, this was an opportunity for things to become unsettled at the top of the standings, as we head towards the second half of the season.
A new face amongst the 420R drivers at Snetterton was Jamie Winrow. Although a familiar face in a Caterham and certainly in the 7RS paddock, this was Winrow’s first outing in his new (to him) 420R. Winrow is no stranger to race wins and podium finishes, and after a strong performance in testing on Friday, he began his 420R adventure with pole position in Saturday’s qualifying.
As the first of three races began, Winrow remained at the front of pack, however, soon came under immense pressure from Anthony Barnes. Heading into the Snetterton weekend second in the championship standings, Barnes was keen to enhance his title campaign as much as possible in Norfolk, particularly in the absence of Mitchell.
As the pair battled lap after lap, it was Barnes who eventually claimed the victory, just 0.3 seconds ahead of Winrow. A ferocious battle between Mark Stansfield and Harry Senior behind saw Stansfield just have the edge to finish in third place.
In the 420R Sportsman Championship, it was Cameron Cooper who claimed a first victory of the season, ahead of Mark Drain and Matthew Welch.
Onto race two and it was a familiar sight at the head of the field, as Winrow and Barnes continued their thrilling battle for supremacy.
As the lead changed hands lap after lap and the top few positions were unsettled, all eyes turned to the final corner, to see who would have the advantage as they raced towards the finish line. This time around it was Winrow who narrowly edged ahead to secure his first 420R victory, a mere 0.038 seconds ahead of Barnes. Behind, Senior claimed third place this time around, just 0.4 seconds adrift of the top two. Stansfield, Andy Perry and Gary Smith completed the top six, with these six drivers separated by just 1.5 seconds.
In the 420R Sportsman race, Cooper doubled his success, clambering to the top of the podium once again, whilst Philip Callow and Drain joined him in second and third places, respectively.
Race three and the excitement arose once more. With a reverse of the top 10 finishing positions from race two forming this race three grid, our frontrunners were now amongst the mid pack, and we were set for a thrilling finale.
Barnes wasted no time at all carving his way through the field to prime position. After gaining control, he then managed to edge out a comfortable gap, as others battled behind him. With an eventual gap of over seven seconds, it was another triumphant result for Barnes, and a strong addition to his points haul.
Behind, Senior had also managed to steer his way towards the front from the mid pack, however he and Stansfield were soon out of the running after an unfortunate incident. In their absence, it was Gary Smith and Russ Olivant who completed the top three, ahead of Mark Farmer. Sadly, a puncture for Winrow ended his inaugural 420R race weekend prematurely.
Cooper rounded out his weekend with a clean sweep of wins in the 420R Sportsman Championship, also finishing fifth overall in this final race, whilst Drain and Welch joined him on the podium once again.
There was just as much excitement in our trio of 310R races at Snetterton, more Caterham racing at its finest.
It was Stephen Clark who claimed pole position ahead of race one, as we awaited to see how the first 20 minute encounter would unfold. Following a technical infringement for original winner Clark, it was David Yates who was crowned victorious from the first 310R race.
The battle at the head of the field throughout was thrilling to watch, and with positions changing lap after lap, it was anyone’s guess as to who would triumph.
With Yates victorious, it was Caroline Everett who claimed runner-up spot, finishing millimetres adrift of Yates by just 0.1 seconds, with Everett also securing her first podium finish of the season. Michael O’Reilly finished in third place, after another close battle with fourth placed Max Haynes, with the top four some 14 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.
As race two for our 310R grid came around, there was all eyes on the back of the pack. Following race one’s infringement, Clark was forced to start from the very back of the 17 car grid. As those at the front immediately continued where they left off, straight into battle, Clark began to carve his way through the field. By lap four he was amongst the front quartet, before leading the way one lap later.
Despite immense pressure from the likes of Yates, Everett and O’Reilly, it was Clark who secured victory, ahead of O’Reilly, Everett, Yates and David Baldwin, with O’Reilly also securing the fastest lap.
Another reverse grid start for the final 310R race of the weekend saw Clark line-up in 10th place, with O’Reilly, Everett and Yates just ahead.
Before long normal service resumed, with the usual suspects leading the way at the front of the pack. Separated by less than a second, the lead quartet navigated their way around the Snetterton 300 circuit for the final time, with Clark again taking honours, this time ahead of Yates and Max Haynes. Following a non-finish in race two due to mechanical issues, Haynes started the final outing from the back of the grid, however steered his way to the head of the pack before settling in third place, 0.038 seconds adrift of Yates.
In true Caterham racing style, all six races provided a great deal of excitement from start to finish. Next stop on our 2023 race calendar is Mondello Park during 8th-9th July, however before then we have our next Caterham only track day at Cadwell Park on 20th June.
For more details, to book a place on our next track day or to join us on the grid at Mondello Park, follow the links below:
Cadwell Park Track Day – www.7raceseries.co.uk/track/cadwell-park/
Mondello Park – www.7raceseries.co.uk/track/mondello-park/