PaddlUp's Caterham Roadsport swansong
Whilst half of the Caterham Motorsport fraternity took to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for their title decider, the Academy and Roadsport contingent returned to Silverstone for the second time this season, the first visit producing one of the team's season highlights.
The home of British motor racing hosted a triple-header across the weekend (15-16 October) this time on its International layout which would see what has been a thrilling season reach a tantalising conclusion.
It was PaddlUp Co-Founder, Joe Priday who seized the initiative in Saturday Morning’s nail-biting Superpole session by heading out onto the track in clear air whilst the rest of the pack was jostling for the all-important slipstream. As the seconds ticked down in the session, Priday ended up with the fifth-fastest time. Meanwhile, Marc Jones battled through illness to qualify 15th.
With the perfect opportunity to convert a strong qualifying into an equally strong race result on Saturday afternoon, Priday got away from the line well. Unfortunately, before he had a chance to gather momentum he was unexpectedly broadsided, irreparably damaging his side-mounted exhaust and putting pay to his race one efforts. Jones, on the other hand, climbed an astonishing 10 places through the changeable conditions to come across the line in fifth with Priday 18th.
The PaddlUp cars were on the move on the opening lap of Sunday morning’s race two, Jones launched up to fourth and Priday made up four places to 14th. It wasn’t to be, however, as the #84 car fell down the order once more ending up 20th on the second lap. Jones wouldn’t fair much better, having battled amongst the top four for much of the race, the last corner of the last lap would spell disaster. As Jones attempted a last-gasp manoeuvre around the outside of Charlie Lower, Lower hit the inside kerb and bounced wide into Jones' path sending him into the gravel and an eventual seventh-place finish.
The third and final race of the weekend would be held on Sunday afternoon and provided both drivers with a shot at redemption before the season was out. Jones’ race was one of patience, holding seventh place in the opening stages before moving up to fifth by the halfway point.
By the final lap, he’d closed in on the battle for third and emerged top of the pile after a hair-raising three abreast moment into the penultimate corner, earning himself a well-deserved podium. Meanwhile, Priday fought valiantly through the field with some daring overtakes to finish 10th after a trying weekend.
Marc Jones said: “It was such a good race. The three who finished behind me all deserved that. We went three-wide into the chicane so I’m lucky to have come out of it in front but it’s good to finally be back on the podium! I need to chill out now though, time to get a beer!”