The Donington double: PaddlUp picks up pair of podiums
The PaddlUp Caterham squad was full of beans after a competitive event at Silverstone last time out. However, the driver's attention quickly turned to Leicestershire and the world-renowned Donington Park circuit where another two 20-minute races awaited the ultra-competitive Caterham Roadsport contingent.
For the opening race, Marc Jones lined up ninth on the grid whilst Joe Priday was 14th as they watched for the red lights. The pairing got away well and wasted little time in making up places through the early-race skirmishes. By the end of lap two, Jones was battling for fifth place and, despite having some rear bodywork removed by another car at the chicane, he duly secured the position by quarter race distance. Priday, meanwhile got tangled up in an incident at the first corner but managed to climb to 12th.
Jones set about chasing down the leading top four. Once he had bridged the gap the top two began breaking away leaving a dicing quartet to squabble over the final step on the rostrum. Marc held his nerve, going three-wide into the final turn as well as passing around the outside of the same corner.
A late safety car deployment bunched the pack up once again, but also spelt disaster for Priday as a car following close behind ran into the back of him. At the restart, Jones conceded third to race-long adversary Chiddicks before falling further back to fifth. Jones was able to reclaim fourth on the last corner of the penultimate lap before snatching the final podium position, slipping up the inside of the old hairpin on the final tour.
Marc looked to be threatening the runner-up spot in the closing stages of the lap but had to settle for third as the chequered flag fell. Although Priday endured several hits, taking on some damage in the first race, he came across the line in 11th and showed promising pace for the following day's contest.
As the lights went out for the start of the second race, the drivers endured tricky opening laps with each of them dropping a position. Contact between several cars at the final chicane meant that Jones lost control of the 125bhp Ford Sigma-powered machine and fell to sixth whilst Priday had latched on to the same group in 10th.
As the closing stages of the race loomed, Jones had fought back to fourth place but by that point, the top three were out of reach. At this point the PaddlUp cars bookended the secondary pack with Joe in ninth.
With a handful of minutes remaining on the clock, Jones' Race 1 rival Chiddicks slowed from an assured third-place, promoting Marc to the final step of the podium once more while Joe climbed to seventh. This would be how the drivers were classified, with the chequered flag being shown early due to an incident on track.
Following the second race, Marc Jones, Driver, PaddlUp Caterham team said: "I had some tangfastics before today's race so I think that's my secret weapon now! It was really hard work out there. The top three walked away but it was a really tough fight for fourth, fifth and sixth. As you can see [gesturing to the missing rear-wheel arch] people were trying all sorts of lunges today but I made it through unscathed."