It was back to two cars for RAW Motorsports in the Fun Cup Endurance at Croft, with the Tachosys backed car of Alex and John Macleod with Paul Rivett, rejoining Fuelled Up Racings’ Paul and Wendy Ellis-Smith with Jamie Price.
The Tachosys trio were seventh quickest after qualifying. “It’s as good a place as we have been in Fun Cup,” said Rivett. “We spent the time in free practice well and are in good shape,” John added. “Yes we are close to our best, the team have got us there and feeling good,” said Alex.
Team mates Fuelled up were 18th, “we took it fairly easily, but confident now,” said Paul. “It was nice to practice properly for me this time, particularly the driver changes,” Wendy added. “We starting to trust the car more,” said Price.
The qualifying positions count for nought in Fun Cup as Tachosys had drawn ninth for the starting grid with Fuelled Up 13th, but there was late change in the driving line-up when Rivett pulled out feeling unwell.
Alex started for Tachosys and after completing the opening lap in eighth, he slipped out of the top 10 as the 20 car field began to settle. “It was a good start but it got very skittish in the damp and I didn’t want to put it off with such a big lead,” said Bell, after a sideways moment into Brundle.
But after holding a solid 14th, he spun at the Complex on his 10th lap. “I was having fun staying with the pack, then I spun, stalled and it seemed ages before it restarted,” Alex explained.
Price was in 17th busy fending off the attentions of the Black Widows car, but was one of the first to make a stop after 25 laps, with Alex following three laps later.
Despite their earlier incident Tachosys were still 14th after the first hour, with Fuelled Up 18th.
Progress continued for both crews and two hours in Tachosys were up to 12th. “The car felt fine, I picked a few off and some fell of, but we were moving up,” said John.
But more dramas followed, when having climbed to 12th Alex was caught out at the Hairpin on the 69th lap. “I was trying to be greedy, spun and t-boned another car, he admitted as it was game over for the Macleod brothers.
They weren’t the only crew having dramas however, which all played into the hands of Fuelled Up’s trio. Price hadn’t finished his stints earlier due to a “having to leave early,” so it was down to Paul and Wendy to bring the car home.
Into the final hour they were 11th, “we had a loose exhaust early on, so I had to be careful with that. But the car felt really good, I set a target and achieved it, but seeing where we are now I started to feel a bit emotional,” Wendy admitted.
Paul took over for the final stint and his aim was “to stay calm.” He did just that and their reward was 10th overall in only their third Fun Cup race.