The drama’s are usually saved for the race in the Fun Cup Endurance Championship, but it was a different story for the Fuelled Up Racing crew, run by RAW Motorsports.
The trio of Paul Ellis-Smith, Paul Taylor and Jamie Price, who had debuted at Silverstone, were due to share again for the four hour race at Oulton Park. All three drivers had tested at the Cheshire circuit the day before but during the pre-race briefing on Saturday morning, Taylor started to feel unwell.
Fortunately Wendy Ellis-Smith was at the circuit too and had to bring forward her planned Fun Cup debut, due to have been at the next round at Croft. “I did a track day in the car a month ago but qualifying would be my first time here in the competitively,” Wendy explained. “I was going to spend the morning at a spa before the race, but had no time to really think about it,” she added.
As expected they were the slowest of the 19 crews, with three novices competing against experience and some Pro drivers and started from the penultimate row of the grid. Paul was taking the opening stint, with Wendy going second and Jamie Price third.
For the first few laps Paul was following EDF Motorsports and We Have No Idea, but soon realised he was quicker in a number of places and started to mount his challenge. As they crested Hilltop for the 12th time he went for the inside at the Knickerbrook chicane and was ahead of No Ideas Paul Calladine.
A lap later he found himself in an identical position to challenge EDF’s Victor Kara, which he did successfully and was up to 17th place. But as the head of the trio his next target was some distance away and suddenly the challenge went into reverse and a couple of laps later he was back where he had started.
“I had decided to hang back a bit at the start, then I had a go and it just got better and better. But I went off at Island Bend, quite early into the corner, as I think it probably stopped me going off in a bigger way,” he reckoned.
Shortly afterwards it was time for the first stop and the handover to Wendy. She continued to challenge for any progress they could achieve by the end of the second hour, they were in 17th place. “I just got on with it, but I don’t think it was really registering with me what I was doing at the time,” she said.
After Price had his first stint, it was time for Paul to take his second, with the trio ending the third hour now 16th. “I just wanted to make sure I looked after it for the others,” said Price.
They finally finished came home 15th after four hours of frantic action and are already looking forward to the next round at Croft on May 14th.