The 2022 Student Motorsport Challenge, the inter-series within the BRSCC Nankang Tyres CityCar Cup Championship visits the Trac Môn Anglesey Circuit at Ty Croes, Anglesey, Wales for rounds Five, Six and Seven over the weekend of June 18 – 19.
In its inaugural season, the Student Motorsport Challenge will see five entries on the grid for its visit to Wales with the addition of a team comprised of students from Oxford Brookes University who will be running a rental car provided by the Championship parts supplier Essential Racing under the team name of OBU Student Challenge Team. After visiting the Student Motorsport Challenge paddock at Snetterton in May, the team has decided to enter for selected rounds of the 2022 season ahead of building their own car in readiness for a full-season assault on the 2023 title.
The OBU Student Challenge Team Citroen C1 will be driven by Paul Toolan.
OBU Student Challenge Team Principal Hugh O’Donoghue: “It really is exciting to be on the grid for our race in the Student Motorsport Challenge this year. We came down to Snetterton for the previous rounds to see how it all ran and we immediately knew that if we got ourselves involved in this, it would be a great thing for us to do, not only our education but for setting up the rest of our careers, so there’s a lot of excitement.
“Our original plans were not to enter this season but to enter for next season with our own car and it’s coincidence that we managed to find a driver in the last couple of days and we put a team together to go racing this season. We’re very much entering Anglesey with the perspective of ‘we’ll see how it goes’ but hopefully we’ll have the resources and the ability available to us to at least go racing for the rest of this season and build our own car for next season where we’ll be racing full time.
“Our objectives for this weekend are to get settled with the car. On Friday our driver has booked a practice session so we will be saying hello to the driver and the car for the first time, getting our environment settled and getting comfortable with how we’re working and then maybe shock some people! We’re very much just taking it easy and getting ourselves involved for this weekend.”
After the first four rounds of the SMo Challenge, East Surrey College heads the standings with a perfect 60 points after four victories from Andy Burgess in the team’s #57 Peugeot 107. Commitments elsewhere means that Andy Burgess and the team are not competing at Anglesey, leaving the door open for another contender to take Student Motorsport Challenge honours over the three rounds this weekend.
Second in the standings currently is SHU Karting on 36 points. The Sheffield Hallam University Karting team will unfortunately not be present for the Anglesey rounds but plan to return later in the season.
MET Motorsport, currently fourth in the standings on 24 points travels to Wales without regular driver Richard Jepp. Richard Jepp missed scoring points at the opening two rounds at Oulton Park due to damage at the end of Race One but the team worked tirelessly to put a new car on the grid for Snetterton. Jepp revelled in the opportunity to repay the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College team for their efforts by talking two second-place finishes in Norfolk. Replacing Jepp for the Anglesey rounds will be regular Silverlake C1 Endurance Cup competitor Andrew Jones.
Jones has done most of his racing in the C1 Endurance Cup and first competed in the Race of Remembrance in 2018. A project manager in the nuclear industry by profession, Richard Jones is looking forward to his first experience of sprint racing in the Student Motorsport Challenge.
MET Motorsport driver Andrew Jones: “I’m looking forward to this a lot as it’s actually my first ever sprint race. I’ve only ever done endurance racing so I’ve never done standing starts. Endurance racing, I think, tends to be a bit more gentlemanly as drivers take the approach that you’ve got a few hours to race round so there’s little or no door-rubbing. I’m really looking forward to some close battles which you really don’t get in endurance racing.
“I’ve never driven this car before so my first time in the car will be qualifying.
“I’ve met the team and they all seemed like a nice bunch of guys. I’m hoping that some of my experience in helping to run a team will help them out. Hopefully I can give them a couple of pointers and it’ll help Richard and it’ll help the team as well.”
Andrew Jones hopes to return for further SMo Challenge rounds in 2022 as well explore the opportunities for a full-season campaign in 2023.
“I hope so. Towards the end of the season, I’ll speak to JP Latham (series organiser) and see if there are any teams in the North-East that are doing the same thing and I’ll get in touch with them.”
Also fielding a new driver will be Coleg Gwent (Blauneau) who sat out rounds three and four at Snetterton last month due to sickness. Richard Cooper will be at the wheel of the team’s #23 Peugeot 107 sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Ron Skinner and Sons Ltd car sales.
After making their racing debuts in Norfolk, both Leon Wilde in the #26 West Suffolk College Toyota Aygo and George Jones in the #9 Coleg Gwent Newport Citroen C1 will continue to build on their experience at Anglesey. Leon Wilde left Snetterton brimming with confidence and ideas as to how to improve both his driving and the operation of the West Suffolk College team so we can expect both drivers pushing harder for the three rounds in Wales.
Student Motorsport Founder and series organiser John Paul ‘JP’ Latham: “We’re delighted to see how the Student Motorsport Challenge grid is growing. It’s sad that the leading car in the standings is not able to attend this weekend due to driver absence but we’re thrilled to see Dan Lockett and Coleg Gwent Blaenau return, focused on earning points after missing the Snetterton rounds due to sickness.
“We are equally delighted that Oxford Brookes University is joining and that they see the value in Student Motorsport Challenge. It is a statement of confidence in the series for one of the leading universities in motorsport to come to see us at Snetterton and make a concerted effort to get involved before they commit to a full season in September. They’re keen to learn and we warmly welcome them to the paddock.”
Track action for Rounds Five, Six and Seven of the BRSCC Nankang Tyres CityCar Cup Championship gets underway at Trac Môn Anglesey Circuit on Saturday June 18 with qualifying at 09:40 followed by Race One at 14:15.