Burgess falters to hand Bladon 20-point lead !

28th  August 2016

Burgess falters to hand Bladon 20-point Sunoco 200 Challenge lead

Steve Burgess failed to capitalise on an opportunity to close down Sunoco 200 Challenge points leader Max Bladon at Brands Hatch last weekend despite recording a brace of Radical Challenge second place finishes.

The gap between the pair has ebbed and flowed in recent weeks but now stands at 20.58 points - an increase of 1.88 - with just a handful of rounds remaining in their respective series.

Burgess now requires Bladon to drop a signifiant number of points over the course of his final two Mini Challenge Cooper events while at the same time scoring heavily himself if there’s to be any late change at the top.

Another driver to lose ground over the weekend was Shane Kelly who entered his latest F3 Cup event fifth in the Sunoco 200 Challenge standings. His high potential maximum average score meant a good showing at Brands Hatch would have catapulted him into contention. Instead, two fifth place finishes saw the Briton drop a place to sixth in the standings and, crucially, 35.16 points behind Bladon.

The rest of the top-10 comprises British GT3 Am and GT4 drivers, plus Mini Challenge JCW’s Charlie Butler-Henderson, while George Line’s below-par F3 Cup weekend has seen him drop 4.67 points and three places to 13th.

But there was better news for series rival Robbie Watts whose two pole positions and race victories helped him climb from 39th to 17th. Although well out of title contention, his rapid rise perfectly demonstrates the difference one good weekend can make to a driver’s overall Sunoco Challenge score, which is calculated as an average across the season.

While Bladon’s Mini Challenge Cooper campaign resumes this weekend at Cadwell Park, the chasing pack of British GT drivers comprising Rick Parfitt Jnr, Jon Minshaw and Mike Robinson will have one final chance to post the clubhouse lead, as it were, during the championship’s Donington Park season finale in a fortnight’s time.

Parfitt Jnr is currently best placed of the trio in third and would score a maximum of 92.89 points should he manage to claim pole position, win the race and set its fastest ‘Am’ lap. That’s not as far fetched as it sounds given that he and Sunoco Whelen Challenge points-leading co-driver Seb Morris must win if they’re to have any chance of also claiming the British GT3 title.

Indeed, with the only Sunoco Whelen Challenge-eligible series in action last weekend being the Radical Team Challenge, and none of its drivers featuring in the title chase, Morris also has an opportunity to set a potentially winning score in a fortnight’s time at Donington. His advantage remains just 4.38 points over Marco Cencetti who still has two Radical Euro Masters SR3 events remaining. 


Remaining Sunoco Whelen Challenge-eligible events:

September 10/11: British GT Championship (GT3 Pro) - Donington Park

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:

September 3: Mini Challenge - Cadwell Park

September 10/11: British GT Championship (GT3 Am & GT4) - Donington Park

September 10/11: Radical Challenge, F3 and GT Cup - Silverstone

October 1: Britcar Endurance - Oulton Park

October 28-30



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

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