PaddlUp's Silverstone shake and bake
Following a more promising outing at Snetterton for the PaddlUp Caterham squad, hopes were high heading to the home of British Motor Racing, Silverstone.
The Northamptonshire circuit presents a unique challenge to the drivers, with each lap lasting around two minutes and 30 seconds as well as myriad fast, flowing corners creating an entirely different beast when driven in anger at the wheel of a Caterham as opposed to a Formula 1 car.
During one of the practice sessions, PaddlUp Co-Founder and Caterham driver Joe Priday clattered one of Silverstone's infamous sausage kerbs, damaging the steering and prompting him to pit to understand what damage had been done. The inspection by the Caterham mechanics revealed a broken steering rack that they suspected had been broken since Knockhill in 2021.
Unsurprisingly, when Joe jumped back in the car the following session, he experienced a significant pace increase, before recording the second-fastest time in qualifying, putting his car on the front row of the grid for the first race.
With rain falling during the formation lap, Joe anticipated the change in conditions and opted to tweak his brake bias accordingly. Unbeknownst to him, it was moved forward instead of the intended rear bias leading to a surplus of understeer. Despite leading into the first corner, Priday quickly dropped through the field like a stone and ended the race in an unenviable 23rd position. Jones meanwhile, had an eventful race and finished ninth.
Priday's Race 1 result left him with a mountain to climb during the second contest and, after starting 23rd on the grid, he did just that. After just five minutes of running, the #84 car had scythed its way past seven drivers and up into 16th, after another five minutes, he was up to 12th. While Joe was making his way up the order, Marc was embroiled in a battle of his own on the fringes of the top ten.
The second half of the race would see incidents aplenty, which the PaddlUp drivers masterfully avoided elevating Marc and Joe to fifth and ninth respectively. The closing stages would see the pair embroiled in a five-car battle for fifth place, lasting several laps and perpetually building in intensity until the final flag fell. The dynamic duo employed a shrewd 'shake and bake' slipstream tactic to great effect. Joe would eventually claim sixth place, a mighty effort from 23rd on the grid with Marc following him home in seventh.