Shane Kelly endured tough F3 Cup Spa weekend!

26th June 2016

Kelly’s tough weekend hands Bladon huge Sunoco 200 Challenge lead


Shane Kelly’s tough F3 Cup outing at Spa-Francorchamps helped Max Bladon extend his Sunoco 200 Challenge lead after a relatively quiet weekend of racing.


With none of the senior Sunoco Whelen Challenge-eligible series in action, attention switched to Belgium where the F3 Cup contingent was in action for the first time since mid-May.


Victories in four of the opening six races had seen Kelly emerge as Mini Challenge Cooper class championship leader Bladon’s chief rival for the Rolex 24 At Daytona’s 200-mile support race prize drive next January. And with the latter dropping points for the first time this season over the previous weekend, Kelly had another opportunity to close his 4.45-point deficit even further.


Instead, two DNFs - both as a result of contact - have seen him not only slip to fourth in the standings but also 30.28 points behind top spot.


It also means that Bladon’s average score is a significant 20.28 points more than Radical Challenge ace Steve Burgess, who is up to second, as well as another 5.5 clear of fellow Mini driver Nathan Harrison. Both men will need to be at their very best if they’re to reel in Bladon, who now only needs to remain consistent if he’s to seal the Sunoco 200 Challenge crown.


A decent weekend for Kelly’s F3 Cup rival Daryl Jones might have also helped him emerge as a serious contender. That looked unlikely after the opening race when both drivers tangled, and although third place in the second went some way to steadying the ship, the Team Fox Racing driver now finds himself 46.53 points shy of the Sunoco 200 Challenge lead.


With no Britcar Endurance drivers, who race at Thruxton this weekend, in the Sunoco 200 Challenge hunt, focus now switches to July 8/9 and British GT’s return at Spa-Francorchamps where five of the top-10 are in action. Chief among those will be Rick Parfitt Jnr and Mike Robinson who currently lie 37.48 and 36.38 points behind Bladon, respectively. Both require almost perfect weekends if they’re to remain potential winners.


Meanwhile, Parfitt Jnr’s Team Parker Racing co-driver Seb Morris will also attempt to defend his slender Sunoco Whelen Challenge lead, which is down to just 4.18 points over Radical Masters racer Marco Cencetti.


Next up in the Sunoco 200 Challenge is the Britcar Endurance race at Thurxton, 3rd of July, followed by some great battles within the British GT camp when their racers battles it out at Spa-Francorchamps 8-9th of July!

The Challenge continues...


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