Scherer Race & Rally News
FUN CUP ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
2021 SEASONAL REVIEW
UVIO HOFMANS DOMINATE!
The racing has been close, there have been plenty of incidents and drama, but one thing did change this year and that was the dominance throughout of UVio/Hofmans Farquini and Fabio Randaccio.
The newly crowned Champions showed their intentions in the opening round at a wet Donington Park. Although Track Focused’s Teddy Wilson showed his pace on his Fun Cup Endurance debut, leading for much of the opening stint.
But UVio led for the last 94 laps of the race to seal win number one of the season, from DespatchBay’s Andy Bicknell and Harry Mailer.
Defending Champions Team Olympian with Chris Dovell, Kristian Rose and Riley Phillips were set for third, but Phillips was forced to make a late splash and dash which dropped them to fifth and gave MJ Tec GITI’s Scott Jeffs and Martin Gibson a podium finish on the teams debut.
Nigel Greensall deputised for Nick Nunn to share the Team Viking car with Mark Holme for fourth, with GCI’s Craig Butterworth/Ian Wood completing the top six.
Despite Randaccio having to pit with a rear puncture, UVio came from the back of the grid to win at Silverstone too. DespatchBay were second again too, but there were plenty of problems for other crews.
Sean Cooper was challenging at the front for Track Focused until an alternator belt snapped, Gary Bate’s Greenheath similarly until an HT lead came off.
Enduro’s Marcus Clutton and Morgan Tillbrook broke the throttle cable and Neil Plimmer had the clutch explode exiting the pitlane in the PLR car.
For a while there had been a terrific scrap between Randaccio and Greensall Motorsport’s Sam Smeeth. But there was more bad news for Olympian, when Phillips retired with a blown engine.
Holme and Nunn completed the podium for Team Viking, with GCI, Agua Caliente’s Paul Turner and Rob Croydon and MakeHappen’s Stephen Walton and Greg Evans the rest of the top six.
There were two races at Anglesey, one daytime and one at night.
Colin Kingsnorth’s Stobart Sport car was out early in race one when the engine let go after radiator damage, only for Ellis Hadley’s GT Radial car to go off on the oil. UVio had tyre problems and suffered their first defeat at the hands of title rivals DespatchBay, but still made the podium in second, with PLR joining them. The Greensall car of the Smeeth family, with Nigel sharing too, had won on the road, but were excluded on a technicality. Greenheath were fourth, from MakeHappen, with Stand2’s Martyn Compton, Warren McKinlay and Duncan Rogers completing the top six.
Team Viking had gone out with a hub failure and Olympian were out for the rest of the weekend, after Phillips suffered an engine failure when leading, 15 minutes from the flag.
UVio soon returned to winning ways later in the day, with a masterful performance in the dark. Viking made up for their earlier disappointment to take second, while Greenheath secured their first podium finish.
It was more bad luck for PLR though when they had a driveshaft go while in fifth, similarly MJ Tec, when Gibson lost drive, which brought MakeHappen, Track Focused and GT Radial to round off the first six home.
Oulton Park was the next stop for round five, but there was some early safety car action, after Ryan Lewis suffered a cut out in the Greensall car, Olympian’s Dovell was in the gravel and We Have No Ideas’s Paul Calladine hit the barrier, all on the first lap.
Agua Caliente’s early challenge faded when Paul Turner had manifold problems and Greensall made a rare but infamous mistake, spinning the CCS Media car at Knickerbrook.
There was a terrific climax between Randaccio and Phillips, but it was win number four for UVio, from Olympian and PLR, with Track Focused MJ Tec GITI and Make Happen the rest of the top six.
It was north to Croft for the next round and the first problem for Championship leaders UVio, after a hub failure.
Both RAW’s Paul Rivett and Stand2’s Compton had spells in the lead, but Olympian finally had something to celebrate, as Phillips took the lead to seal the win, despite struggling at the end with a broken downshift. He was pushed hard by Enduro’s Clutton, who held on for second with a broken seat!!
DespatchBay kept their title hopes alive with a strong third, which ended with Mailer triple stinting. GCI, Viking and Stand2 were also in the top six, but there was no joy for former Champion Chris Hart, in a one-off return with MakeHappen and Neil Burroughs, after they broke a driveshaft.
The penultimate meeting of the year back at Oulton was also a two race format, starting with a one-hour sprint.
Rivett and Farquini battled it out at the front, but the safety car wiped out Rivett’s lead, after Bicknell had tipped JPR Black Widows Dom Jackson off at Cascades.
It was win number five for UVio, with Olympian and PLR completing the podium, as Stobart’s, MakeHappen and Viking filled the top six. UVio made it a double win in the afternoon’s Enduro, with DespatchBay and PLR joining them on the podium.
MakeHappen were fourth, which placed them firmly in second for the Championship, with MJ Tec GITI and Agua Caliente fifth and sixth, after Olympian’s Rose crashed heavily into a stricken Scrappy Clark in the JPR Black Widows car.
Early November and the Championship finished where it had started at Donington Park.
Clutton and Tillbrook claimed the win from MakeHappen, who had Burroughs deputising for Walton.
UVio and PLR had been battling for second, but they clashed at the chicane late on. Randaccio was out, but Plimmer was classified fourth after a penalty, which left MJ Tec GITI with Callum Cripps deputising for Gibson, in third, with Stobart’s and CCS Media rounding off the final top six.
So with six wins from nine races it was UVio Hofmans title for Farquini and Randaccio, 30 points clear of MakeHappen’s Evans and Walton, who despite taking one podium, had remarkable consistency.
DespatchBay’s Bicknell and Mailer had four podiums, including their win at Anglesey, while MJ Tec GITI were third overall, starting and finishing the the season with a third place.
Fifth overall were PLR, with three third places which also made them the Masters Champions.
By their usual standards it wasn’t the best of years for Viking’s Holme and Nunn, they had six top six’s, with a second at Anglesey and were sixth in the Championship.
Olympian’s Dovell, Rose and Phillips had a raft of bad luck. They had a strong run mid championship, with their win at Croft, and two seconds at Oulton, before their luck turned again.
Track Focused had had Mike McCollum amd Neil Smith sharing mainly with Sean Cooper and occasionally Teddy Wilson. Wilson was outstanding at the opening round, and they ran strongly as a team throughout, their best result was fourth in round five at Oulton.
Greenheath’s Gary Bate and Simon Smith started on the pace, but after their first podium at Anglesey, the season started to go downhill for them.
Agua Caliente’s Croydon and Turner completed the overall top 10, with two top sixes, the best being in round two at Silverstone.
In the Masters Black Widows Jackson, Clark and Steve Harris were second, from CCS Media’s Bob Tomlinson, Alan Honarmand and the guesting Nigel Greensall and Steve Johansen. Agua Caliente’s Rob Perry, Matt Hogg and Derek Basham were third.
A date for the calendar is March 19th 2022, when it all starts again at Silverstone.