Latest Student Motorsport Challenge

East Surrey College’s Wheeler Makes it two in a row at rain-soaked Snetterton

Jack Wheeler made it two in a row as the East Surrey College driver brought the #57 Citroen home for his second victory in class of the day in the Student Motorsport Challenge Sponsored by The Motorsports School, at Snetterton. The Shoreham-based production engineer also took his second overall podium of the weekend with a second place finish in round 11 of the 2023 BRSCC Nankang Tyres CityCar Cup Championship.

Second in class and fourth overall was the #65 Team Northbrook Racing Peugeot 107 driven by Richard Jepp. Completing the class podiums was Andy Dyer in the #11 Barracksport Citroen who finished fifth overall. With Boston College’s Liam Browning finishing fourth in class and sixth overall, Student Motorsport Challenge entries filled four of the top six overall finishing positions, another first for the Challenge in only its second year of competition.

The 15-minute contest got underway in challenging conditions with heavy rain covering the 2.97-mile Snetterton 300 circuit. Starting from second on the grid, Wheeler got away to a flying start, moving into the lead going into the first corner, before pole-sitter Stuart Bliss in the #18 Toyota Aygo got the advantage on the exit of the Bomb Hole and finally passed for the lead on the exit of Coram. Wheeler held on to the bumper of Bliss before Elliot Lettis drew up to the leading pair and passed Wheeler, demoting the East Surrey College driver to third.

Richard Jepp, meanwhile, had hung on to fourth overall and second in class but lacked the pace to trouble the top three as the race drew to a close.

Elliot Lettis passed Stuart Bliss for the race lead just as the red flag was shown. Due to the count back regulations meaning that the race result was drawn from the lap preceding the lap before the red flag was shown, Lettis was demoted to third and Wheeler was given second place behind Stuart Bliss.

East Surrey College Team Principal George Keith was delighted that his team had returned to the front of the pack, enjoying even greater success than they had seen in 2022.

East Surrey College Team Principal George Keith (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

“In this weather, the result was absolutely brilliant,” said George Keith. “We got the set-up right, the geometry and the tyre pressures. Jack is a fantastic driver. You could see at the start of the season he was learning the ropes and gaining confidence with the car and now he’s right at the front of the grid.

“There was no point Jack chasing Elliot for the win (before the red flag) as we know Elliot is quick. We got the points we wanted and now we should have overtaken Barracksport for second in the Challenge standings so we’re very happy.”

Emilia Vincent in the #174 Wiltshire College entry drove another solid race to take fifth in class and 11th overall and was happy at the progress she and the team are making.

“I’m moving forward steadily and am pleased with the progress we’re making,” said Emilia Vincent. “This is my first time driving at Snetterton and also driving this car in the wet so I’m happy with our progress and looking forward to hopefully racing on a dry track tomorrow.”

Haydn Payne in the West Suffolk College entry finished sixth in class with the SMo Challenge results completed by Arthur Simondet in the QE Motorsports Citroen who finished seventh in class after off-track contact resulted in damage to the front of the #12 car.

The final race of the weekend’s triple-header gets underway at 11:10 on Sunday July the 23rd.