A giant leap forward for the PaddlUp Caterham Roadsport squad
The 2022 Caterham Roadsport Championship got back underway in Norfolk on 20-22 May and the PaddlUp team was out in force, on what was a very sunny weekend at Snetterton.
The racing itself was as gung ho as ever, resulting in several high-speed impacts and drivers largely walking away unscathed – a testament to the quality of engineering that goes into designing and creating a Caterham racing car.
There were, however, two competitors in the Academy class who were hospitalised following an incident on the back straight. Everyone at PaddlUp would like to wish them a speedy recovery.
Qualifying would see Marc Jones (#2) secure a top-three result as he posted the third-fastest time with an excellent lap. PaddlUp Co-Founder Joe Priday's (#84) efforts, meanwhile were hindered by a gearbox issue that meant he was unable to change down from fifth to fourth, an estimated half a second in lap time was lost and Joe inevitably lined up 14th on the grid for the opening contest.
The first lap would see our dynamic duo battling amongst the highly competitive pack. Jones would slip back to fourth – a position he would hold until the end of the race – rounding out a strong comeback from a disappointing first event at Brands Hatch. Priday gained a place on the opening tour, avoiding a huge barrel roll at Turn 1 in the process. A mid-race skirmish meant he then fell to 17th on lap three and 18th on lap four before a valiant fight-back elevated him to 16th at the flag.
The start of the second race would see a phenomenal getaway for Priday, vaulting forward three positions and up into 13th while the #2 car would hold station in fourth towards the front of the pack. As the race progressed, the #84 car relinquished two positions dropping back to 15th by the time the chequered flag fell. Jones held on to fourth place for the majority of the race before engaging in a penultimate lap battle in which he briefly held the runner-up spot, but ultimately conceded the podium places thanks to slipstreaming on the final run down the back straight, eventually finishing fourth.
Joe Priday, Driver and Co-Founder, PaddlUp commented: "It was quite frustrating to have the issue in qualifying with the gearbox. I think we could have been well inside the top ten if it wasn't for that but that's racing! It was still a big step forward for the team after Brands and I think we have some promising pace moving forward for the rest of the season."
Marc Jones, Driver, PaddlUp added: "We had some great racing out there last weekend and that is what Caterhams are all about! I'm gutted to have missed out on the podium by such a narrow margin but there are a lot of positives to take away from Snetterton. We'll definitely be aiming for some silverware next time out!"