Round 1 - Donington (5 hrs)

Sign On: 07.30 In Race Control (1st Floor)

Scrutineering: 07.30 In Pit Garages

Driver's Briefing: 08.15 In The Media Centre

Exclusive Fun Cup Testing: 09.00 - 11.00

Qualifying: 11.10 - 12.00

Race: 13.00 - 18.00

 

TDI Classification

 

Donington Park played host to a huge twenty eight car grid of Fun Cup cars and over seventy drivers on Sunday 1st April. The season opener consisted of a five hour race and a grid packed with racers comprising of Fun Cup regulars, plus, numerous new teams and drivers.

 

The Fun Cup, which is split into a TDI and petrol class, introduced sequential gear boxes for the petrol drivers in this year’s championship and what a popular move that has been, with over twenty teams either converting from diesel, or upgrading their existing petrol racers to the new format.

 

Round one glory was clinched by ex-Caterham Champion Scott Fitzgerald, teamed with ex Lotus racer Ben Pitch and Chris Randall in the JPR/Sloaks 146 TDI car – their very first time together in Fun Cup racing!

 

Having been drawn 8th on the grid from the random ballot, FitzGerald, who started the race for JPR/Sloaks, forced his way into 2nd, to chase Mini racer Max Hunter, in the 252 Happy Racing TDI, who had stormed his way into a massive twenty second lead. But, sadly, whilst trying to  close the gap, the JPR team made a crucial error, by pitting for their driver change before the mandatory passing of the “pit window open” board on the start finish straight.

 

Pitch took the next session for the JPR team and was forced to carry out Fitzgerald’s “stop and go” for his mistake, which pushed him from 2nd to 4th. Next out was Randall who moved up to 3rd before handing back to FitzGerald, who was now chasing down the Happy Racing team, which was a comfortable ten seconds ahead. Last year’s champions, Team Honeywell, suffering a handling problem, were sandwiched between them.

 

But, it wasn’t long before FitzGerald’s determination and hard work came to fruition and he steamed past Honeywell and then ex-BTCC team owner Jason Porter, in the Happy Racing car; only to be forced off track when Porter collided with the back of the JPR car, which flung FitzGerald through the gravel at Goddards and sent Porter off course too, sadly leaving him with an under-steering car. Team Honeywell seized the opportunity to slip past Porter, whilst FitzGerald regained composure and managed to pull away.

 

It was now all down to the final fuel window and driver change. The Honeywell car had already fuelled for two sessions, so only a driver change was required whilst the 146 car needed both elements – the question was, could last year’s champions close the gap?

 

Despite an unbelievably fast, twelve second stop to change drivers, it was not to be Honeywell’s day and the JPR trio maintained their advantage to the flag, followed by Team Honeywell and Happy Racing, who completed the final step of the podium.

 

Petrol Classification

 

Team O'Br, car 207 and drivers Mark Burton, Graham Pattle and Ben Lack were delighted with victory in the petrol class. The random grid draw of 22nd was a disappointing start to the race, but Pattle charged through the pack in the first stint. A swift change over to Lack ensured that they were 2nd in class after one hour. This was maintained during the second hour, but problems for the stiff competition of car 101, Racelogic, placed the O’Br team in the lead at the half way mark.

 

Consistent performances from the team ensured that they maintained the lead for the rest of the race, but on the last changeover, their one lap lead was reduced to three seconds when under the safety car, they were held at the end of the pit lane under a red light! Burton recovered from their setback, to set a strong pace for the remainder of the race, finishing 4th overall and 1st in class with a twenty second lead.

 

Mark Burton, said: “Thanks go to the mechanics Jason, Luke and Eddie, together with team coach Eugene O'Brien, for getting the best out of the car and drivers.”

 

The second podium spot was taken by car 263 Scarab/Indigo Racing with a new petrol sequential car. Bram de Groot and Stephen Johansen returned as the drivers for 2012, having previously raced together last year.

 

Johansen started the race from the random grid draw of 21st place and climbed up the order to 10th by the first pit stop. There was a hectic moment however, when a stone was flicked up by the 207 car in front, which hit the windscreen directly in the middle, causing it to crack and forcing Johansen to briefly go off the road into the gravel, but only losing eight seconds in the process.

 

De Groot then took over, maintaining a steady pace and a trouble free stint. However, their driver change at the next pit window was far from smooth! De Groot could not undo the belts, the seat was too stiff and he then stalled!

 

Johansen’s second stint was drama free and he was up to 6th place overall by the next change over. After another muddled pit stop, the race ran fairly smoothly for the team. De Groot drove the final stint and brought the 263 Scarab/Indigo Racing car over the line in 5th overall and 2nd for the petrol class.

 

Stephen Johansen, said: “A huge ‘thanks’ goes the pit crew of Marty Denson, Brian Johansen, Alan O’Neil and Dave Stanton for this weekend. Scarab/Indigo Racing would also like to say a massive thanks to Phill de Groot King from Trackcars4hire, for the pre-season work, preparing the car for its first race and for the excellent support over the race weekend.”

 

The 3rd step of the podium was taken by Ben Gill and Andrew Beverley in the Jolly Roger White car 257, finishing 3rd in class and 6th overall. 

Round 1 - Donington (5 hrs) PETROL RACE RESULTS

  • Position Car No Team Points Scored
  • 1 207   Team O'BR - Wave 9   60
  • 2 263   Scarab Racing   55
  • 3 257   Jolly Roger White   50
  • 4 99   JPR - Uvio   48
  • 5 88   JPR   46
  • 6 262   Track Focused   44
  • 7 110   JPR   42
  • 8 107   JPR - Honeywell   40
  • 9 128   TBA   38
  • 10 111   Jolly Roger Black   37
  • 11 188   Global Racing   34
  • 12 104   Team OBR - XCat   32
  • 13 1   Team Racelogic   30
  • 14 214   Team Tiger   28
  • 15 108   TBA   26
  • 16 103   JPR   24
  • 17 200   TBA   22
  • DNF 21   SPR   DNF
  • DNF 248   CCS Media Racing   DNF
  • DNF 158   TBA   DNF
  • DNF 105   Porsche Brooklands   DNF

Download official classification

Round 1 - Donington (5 hrs) DIESEL RACE RESULTS

  • Position Car No Team Points Scored
  • 1 146   TBA   60
  • 2 147   TBA   55
  • 3 252   TBA   51
  • 4 65   AC Motorsport   48
  • 5 59   Exodus AC - Motorsport   46
  • 6 106   TBA   44
  • 7 209   TBA   42

Download official classification

Round 1 - Donington (5 hrs) Photo Gallery

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