The 2023 Student Motorsport Challenge, the inter-series within the BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship, makes it first visit to Brands Hatch on August 19th and 20th for rounds 13, 14 and 15.
The Student Motorsport Challenge has unveiled video marketing specialist Visual PR as a new sponsor and the company will be working with the series for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024. Visual PR is owned by leading motorsports commentator Chris Dawes and provides fully branded live online broadcasts/chat shows to help organisations and individuals bring their information to life. Chris Dawes and Visual PR will be working with the SMo Challenge and its teams to help promote the objectives of the series to the wider public.
In contrast to the previous rounds at a rain-disrupted Snetterton, the seven-car SMo Challenge grid will be looking forward to the forecasted warm and dry conditions as they compete on the iconic 1.2-mile Indy circuit.
South-coast-based Team Northbrook Racing, with its #65 Peugeot 107, head the SMo Challenge standings on 186 points (after adjustment for three dropped scores) which gives Emma Norton’s squad a 43-point advantage over second-placed Barracksport. Driver Richard Jepp was unbeaten in class over the opening nine rounds and secured three second-place finishes in the Challenge at Snetterton.
Formerly OBU Student Challenge in 2022, Harry O’Donoghue’s Barracksport, comprised of a team of Oxford students, enjoyed their first victory of the season at Snetterton after experienced CityCar driver Andy Dyer took the class win in the final race at the Norfolk circuit. Dyer made his debut for Barracksport at Snetterton following the withdrawal of Duncan Horlor who left the Challenge to support his son’s karting career.
Currently third in the Challenge standings, and just one point behind Barracksport on adjusted scores, is South-East rival East Surrey College. Jack Wheeler has steadily got quicker as his experience in the team’s #57 Citroen C1 has increased. Wheeler took his first class win at Anglesey in round 9 and followed that victory with a further two wins and a third last time out at Snetterton. With Jack Wheeler’s previous experience at Brands Hatch, George Keith’s team will be firmly focused on overtaking Barracksport for second place in the Challenge standings.
West Suffolk College and QE Motorsports are currently tied on 125 adjusted points in joint fourth place in the Challenge standings. West Suffolk College has enjoyed some changes in 2023 with former team principal Leon Wilde handing over to Alan Barrett after the Croft rounds following the former’s move to new career opportunity. Haydn Payne took on driving duties in the team’s #38 Toyota Aygo and took his best finish in class with a 5th in the final race at Snetterton.
QE Motorsports, the only team on the SMo Challenge staffed with pupils of school age, joined the Challenge at Croft and driver Arthur Simondet has pushed hard to put the team in joint fourth. Texas-raised and London-based Simondet has enjoyed two visits to the class podium and will want to put the frustrations of racing in wet at Snetterton behind him as the Challenge visits Brands Hatch. Simondet also leads the Novice category in the overall BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship standings and is currently 51 points ahead of Haydn Payne in the Novice standings.
Emilia Vincent, driver of the #174 Wiltshire College and University Centre Toyota Aygo, equalled her best result in class this season when she finished 5th in the Challenge category at Snetterton. The team had repairs to make to the #174 car after its visit to Norfolk and have worked hard to get the Toyota ready for testing on Wednesday ahead of travelling to Brands Hatch to set up on Friday August 18th.
Wiltshire College and University Centre currently lie 6th in class standings, 21 points behind joint 4th-place holders West Suffolk College and QE Motorsports.
Boston College enters its third weekend in the Student Motorsport Challenge when the team competes at Brands Hatch. Driver Liam Browning has never finished lower than 4th in class and has driven to two podium finishes in class over the six races the Lincolnshire-based team has competed in. With Browning’s previous experience in City Cars, Lee Crisp’s squad will be looking to add to their silverware collection in Kent.
Weekend track action for the Student Motorsport Challenge, part of the BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship, gets underway with qualifying at 10.25am on Saturday August the 19th followed by the first 15-minute race at 1.15pm. The weekend’s triple-header concludes with two further 15-minute contests on Sunday August the 20th, the first at 10.30am followed by the final outing for the Challenge grid at 2.30pm.