The 2022 Student Motorsport Challenge, the inter-series that forms part of the BRSCC Nankang Tyres CityCar Cup Championship, returns to Norfolk for Rounds 8, 9 and 10 on the Snetterton 300 circuit with its largest grid of the season so far. Seven teams will be competing for class and overall honours around the iconic 2.969-mile (4.778 kms) circuit, the second longest race track in the UK.
East Surrey College, with its #57 Peugeot 107, returns for the Challenge’s second visit to Snetterton and Aston Martin product specialist Andy Burgess, driver of the #57 car and unbeaten in class over the opening four rounds of the Challenge, will be looking to retake the top spot in the team standings after three convincing victories by rival MET Motorsport last time out at Anglesey.
Emma Norton’s MET Motorsport, the team name for the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College entry, welcomes back Richard Jepp to the driving seat of the yellow #65 Peugeot 107 after personal commitments prevented him from competing at Anglesey. Currently leading the class standings on 69 points, nine ahead of East Surrey College, the fiercely competitive Jepp will be looking to consolidate that lead as the 2022 season passes its half-way mark in the Norfolk sunshine.
Dan Lockett returns to driving duties in the #23 Coleg Gwent (Blaenau) Peugeot. Lockett first raced in the opening rounds at Oulton Park where the team scored a pair of second places in class. Richard Cooper substituted for Dan Lockett at Anglesey but the #23 car sees the return of its team principal for Snetterton where he will be looking to improve on fourth place in the class standings.
The confidence of Leon Wilde, driver and Team Principal of the #26 West Suffolk College Toyota Aygo and new to racing for 2022, has been improving with every track session the team has taken part in. Round 8 will be Wilde’s sixth competitive session of the season and after a trio of fourth places last time out at Anglesey, the West Suffolk College driver must be thinking that an assertive and trouble-free drive could be rewarded with a class podium at their ‘home’ circuit.
George Jones and the #9 Coleg Gwent (Newport) Citroen C1 will be on the grid at Snetterton where. Coleg Gwent (Newport) joined the series at Snetterton in May and George Jones has put the #9 Citroen C1 on the podium in all the five races he has competed in so far. It may be ambitious for the Newport squad to be thinking about class wins at this stage but any issues with the front runners could see Jones competing for class honours in what is his debut season in the C1.
Sheffield Hallam’s SHU Karting team missed rounds 5,6 and 7 at Anglesey but return for the SMo Challenge’s second visit to Norfolk. Alex Walker will be taking over the driving duties in the #25 Citroen and will be the third driver for the South Yorkshire-based squad. Walker began his racing career, as many drivers do, in the sim racing arena, winning his first virtual title in 2020. Sim racing combined with karting experience at Liverpool university means that Walker is now looking forward to making his car racing debut at Snetterton.
#25 SHU Karting driver Alex Walker: “I’m anticipating my debut at Snetterton with great excitement and a little nervousness as this will be my first time out on a full racing circuit. Racing has been something I’ve wanted to do for many years and I’m on countdown now to getting out on track. I very much want to do the best job I can for the Sheffield Hallam University team.
“I know many of the team as they race in the University Karting Championship so I am not someone who is unknown to them. We’ve been talking a lot over the past few weeks and we are working really well together so I can’t wait to get to the circuit and get the weekend underway.”
After making its Challenge debut at Anglesey, Oxford Brookes University’s OBU Student Challenge Team has entered its second event as it plans for a full-season entry in 2023. Paul Toolan, brother of series parts supplier Simon Toolan, piloted the #77 Citroen to three second-place finishes in Wales but, for Snetterton, Ben Creanor will be taking over the driving duties. Creanor began his racing career in karts and won his first trophy in only three meetings. In 2015 Creanor made his debut on short ovals in an ORCi Ministox.
Creanor used e-sports to develop his driving skills and, in 2018, was selected as one of just 25 drivers to receive support from NASCAR to guarantee a place on the NASCAR Whelen EURO Series for the 2019 season. The young Scottish pilot finished 16th in the 2019 standings, driving the Mishumotors Chevrolet Camaro. Ben Creanor’s campaign will be sponsored by his own company; Creanor’s Fleet Transport Ltd of Dunfermline.
#77 OBU Student Challenge driver Ben Creanor: “Finding sponsorship is always tough and the pandemic made that job even more difficult. I’ve started a logistics business and the whole plan is that, if I can’t find anyone to sponsor me, I’ll sponsor myself. I’ve known the guys at Student Motorsport for a couple of years throughout the pandemic and I thought that the Student Motorsport Challenge was a good way to get back into the competitive environment again with a really good team behind you.
“I’ve always felt that a strength of mine is to adjust to a new car and track, combined with my knowledge of setting up a race car. OBU Student Challenge has already shared some of their data and it looks fantastic. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how we can work together to get the results that their work and commitment deserves.”
An additional feature of the race weekend will be the final of the Student Motorsport Pit Stop Challenge, a contest designed to demonstrate the abilities of the teams and pit themselves against the clock. Six teams took part in the first round when they took delivery of their cars at the start of the season.
The final of the Pit Stop Challenge will take place in the Student Motorsport awnings area in the Snetterton paddock and will utilise a donor car which will be on display throughout the weekend. The contest will simulate a pit stop where the car has been damaged as the result of an ‘off’ due to wet conditions. The teams will have to change all four wheels and adjust the pressures, adjust the suspension, clean the screen, change the driver, replace the air filter and return the tools to their correct places in the tool box and demonstrate a controlled and orderly approach to the pit stop.
The Pit Stop Challenge will be live-streamed with commentary by Ian Waterhouse of My Supercar Live and the winners will be awarded a set of Nankang tyres and a prestigious trophy sponsored by BRSCC and also a detailing kit from the SMo Challenge’s new sponsors CARSPüNK.
Student Motorsport Founder John Paul ‘JP’ Latham: “Snetterton will see the largest grid for the Student Motorsport Challenge so far in 2022 with a total of seven cars. The competition this weekend will be fierce with MET Motorsport having taken the lead in the standings after the previous three rounds at Anglesey so we’re in for an exciting weekend!
“The final of the Pit Stop Challenge will give the teams the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned about working together under pressure and I would like to thank Nankang Tyres and our new sponsors CARSPüNK for supplying the prize. Competition in the paddock will be as intense as it is out on track!
“Interest is already growing for 2023 and the second half of this season will bring many surprises, I’m sure, as teams and drivers grow in experience and confidence. Thank you once again to everybody who has made the Student Motorsport Challenge such a success in 2022.”
Track action for rounds 8,9 and 10 of the 2022 BRSCC Nankang Tyres CityCar Cup Championship, incorporating the Student Motorsport Challenge, gets underway at Snetterton on Saturday July 23rd with a 15-minute qualifying session at 09:25 with the lights going out for Race One at 12:05. The final of the Pit Stop Challenge will begin at 15:00 at the Student Motorsport awning.
Sunday July 24th sees a later start for the seven teams with Race Two at 11:55. The flag drops for the start of the final race at 16:25.
Tickets for the BRSCC Race Weekend at Snetterton can be obtained from www.Snetterton.MSV.com and the weekend’s action will be streamed live on the BRSCC’s YouTube channel.