Advantage Morris and Bladon - nearly there!

12th September 2016

Advantage Morris and Bladon as Sunoco Challenges enter home straight

This year’s Sunoco Whelen and 200 Challenges took a step closer to completion last weekend after a busy two days of racing up and down the UK. Indeed, while the senior class recorded its first leading benchmark score, the junior category has all-but been decided.

Sunoco Whelen Challenge: Morris stakes his claim

Long-time leader Seb Morris was the first of this year’s Sunoco Whelen Challenge contenders to post a final average score of the season after his British GT Championship campaign concluded at Donington Park on Sunday.

The Welshman might have missed out on the GT3 title but third position in the race helped him to fractionally increase his Challenge benchmark. 80.06 points is therefore the target Radical racers Marco Cencetti, Alex Kapadia, Marcello Marateotto and James Littlejohn will all be aiming for over the course of their campaigns’ final six races.

Of that chasing pack it’s undoubtedly Cencetti, currently second with 75.37 points, who has the best chance of overhauling Morris. The Italian can still score a maximum of 93.84 by qualifying on pole, winning and setting fastest lap over the course of each remaining Radical Euro Masters SR3 round, which equates to 140 points per race. However, an average of 91.8 per race would also be sufficient to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona prize drive in January 2017.

Meanwhile, fellow Radical drivers Kapadia, Marateotto and Littlejohn must record perfect scores at their final events to have any chance of beating Morris’ score.

Sunoco 200 Challenge: Bladon all-but champion

Max Bladon is now almost guaranteed to win this year’s Sunoco 200 Challenge, and the Rolex 24 At Daytona support race entry that goes with it, after chief rival Steve Burgess lost ground in the standings last weekend.

While Bladon enjoyed a weekend off, Burgess knew that only a perfect performance would give him a realistic shot of catching the new Mini Challenge Cooper class champion. But, instead, the Radical Challenge ace could only finish fourth and second in his two races, leaving him 20.32 points adrift in the Sunoco 200 Challenge standings with just one weekend remaining.

Burgess’ potential maximum average mark is therefore 96.78 points, 5.17 more than Bladon’s minimum. That means the latter would have to non-score during his final three races at Snetterton on October 29/30 for Burgess - who now requires a faultless outing at the same venue three weeks earlier - to snatch an unlikely Sunoco 200 Challenge crown.

Bladon’s minimum score also ensures that no driver other than Burgess can now claim the title. Rick Parfitt Jnr’s third place and fastest Am race lap at Donington Park helped the British GT driver maintain his third place in the standings. His final average score of 87.39 points is 6.72 more than newly crowned British GT4 champion Mike Robinson’s total, while GT3 title winner Derek Johnston’s Am pole and second place sees him tied fourth on 80.67.

F3 Cup racer Shane Kelly was another who needed to score heavily to retain any hope of catching Bladon. But, despite scoring two fastest laps, his third and fifth places ensure he can now finish no higher than second.

Elsewhere, Jon Minshaw began the weekend fourth in the points and with a slight chance of catching Bladon. However, his accident put paid to that and his British GT3 title hopes.


Remaining Sunoco Whelen Challenge-eligible events:k

Sep 30 - Oct 1: Radical Masters SR8 & Euro Masters SR3 - Monza

October 29/30: Radical Masters SR8 & Euro Masters SR3 - Jerez

Next Sunoco 200 Challenge-eligible events:k

October 1: Britcar Endurance - Oulton Park

October 8: Radical Challenge - Snetterton

October 29-30: Mini Challenge - Snetterton



About the Sunoco Challenges

The Sunoco Whelen Challenge is provided in partnership with Whelen Engineering in the USA and Anglo American Oil Company Ltd in the UK. Drivers from selected Sunoco-fuelled championships compete against each other throughout the season with a chance to win a fully paid-for race seat in a Whelen-sponsored Prototype in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January 2017. The Prize consists of pre-race test days, including the ROAR before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and a fully paid for race seat in the Action Express racing run Whelen sponsored Prototype during the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January 2017.

Eligible series for the 2017 Sunoco Whelen Challenge are: British GT3, Radical Team Challenge (Pro-drivers) and Radical European Masters (Classes SR3 & SR8).

The Sunoco 200 Challenge is run by Anglo American Oil Company Ltd. and provides the winner with a race seat in the Sunoco liveried Mustang Boss 305R. Also included is travel, accommodation and a Sunoco 200 Challenge race suit. The winner will race in the 200 mile long BMW Performance 200 race on the Friday before the iconic 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona. As well as that, the driver who wins the challenge gains the full American experience!

Eligible series for the 2017 Sunoco 200 Challenge are: Britcar, F3 Cup, GT Cup, Radical Solo Challenge (AM), MINI Challenge (all classes), British GT4 and NEW for 2016, British GT3 (AM only).

For media enquiries please contact: Anders Hildebrand

Email: anders@aaoil.co.uk Mobile: +44 (0)7802 968016 Tel: +44 (0)1929 555970

Website: www.sunocochallenge.com - www.aaoil.co.uk

Twitter:@sunoco_uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/sunocouk