It was back to Fun Cup Endurance duties at Brands Hatch last weekend, with the RAW Motorsports run Fuelled Up Racing car of Paul and Wendy Ellis-Smith.
There was a change in the line-up though following their 10th place finish last time out at Croft, with Paul Taylor replacing Jamie Price alongside Paul and Wendy.
In Saturday’s qualifying it was Paul ES who went out first. “I just bedded in the tyres and handed over to Wendy and Paul, plus practice the pitstops and driver changes,” he said.
“We know we are slowest newbies, but the aim is to keep going, be consistent and get the driver changes right,” Wendy added.
In the pre-race draw for grid places they came out of the hat with penultimate place and Paul ES was elected to take the first stint.
He was running in 15th after the opening 10 laps, drama free, but some of their rivals had already had problems.
A safety car intervention after 28 laps allowed the field to close up again, but from the green flag he was busy fending off Coles’ EDF car for 13th, until a 44th lap spin at Clearways.
The first stops started from lap 47, with Ellis-Smith coming in two laps later from eighth. Wendy was due to go second, but there was a late change of plan.
“That was the plan, but Paul went out with Wendy’s earplugs in and so Paul Taylor had to go second,” the team explained.
“It was a sudden change but they were tailor made for Wendy so we had to change the order and I was out earlier than planned,” Taylor added.
The first hour came up after 59 laps, with Taylor holding 14th place, one lap off the lead, but only 24 seconds off the EDF car in 13th.
Although they were up to 12th and still chasing EDF after two hours, they were two laps down and but still consistent.
The hopes were still there for a repeat of the Croft result, as all three drivers continued to alternate.
“I’ll race with anyone, doesn’t matter if we are on the same lap. I managed to put in some solid lap times and got a lot of enjoyment out of it,” explained Paul ES.
“I know I was slowest of our three but I’m feeling more confident out there now,” Taylor added.
Into the last hour they had climbed to 11th, but there was still the elusive two lap gap to gain further places and increasingly difficult top 10 finish.
There were no further dramas and it was 11th place throughout the final hour, “Awesome and I even stuck with the leaders for a while when they lapped me,” Wendy concluded.
The team are next due out at Snetterton on July 23rd for another four-hour battle.