A bright and successful future is being crafted for Caterham Motorsport competitors, with a new pan-Europe endurance series in the pipeline for an all-new model, plus revisions to the existing UK series designed to reduce costs for competitors and to swell grid sizes.
The most exciting development is a new championship. A new Caterham is to be unveiled next month and full details of the race series will be announced at that time; it can be revealed that two-driver races are planned at some of Europe’s most charismatic circuits.
The UK’s premier Caterham championship, the Powertrain Caterham R400 Challenge, will next season feature two classes - one for the 1.8-litre, 200bhp MG XPOWER-engined R400 and another for Roadsports with 1.6 MG engines. A new Avon all-weather tyre is to be adopted across the board.
"The Caterham is the most-raced car in the world," said Caterham Cars managing director Simon Nearn, "and that is a position we intend to retain, with new championships coming on stream in the Middle East, Australia and Europe to join those already prospering in such places as France, Germany, Turkey, Japan and the US.
"That every grid place in next year’s Caterham Academy was sold by June is an indication that motorsport at starter level is still in rude health; we hope that our revisions higher up the Caterham ladder of racing opportunity will bring with them better value for competitors and, as a direct result, improved grids and an even better spectacle."
The 2005 Caterham championships in detail:
evo Caterham Academy
With every place on the 2005 grid long since sold out – repeating a trend seen every year since the introduction of the concept - the Academy is the biggest success story in UK motorsport. Fifty-six new drivers will be introduced to the track next year thanks to the Academy, taken through their ARDS licence test and into a multi-discipline championship offering a taste of sprinting, hillclimbing and circuit racing.
Motorsport News Caterham Roadsport Challenge
The 2004 Academy intake can next year slot straight into the Roadsport B class with their cars largely unchanged. A roaring success since its introduction two years ago, the Roadsport B championship regularly provides grids of 25-plus cars and some breathtakingly close action… More of the same successful formula is expected in ’05.
Within the Roadsport Challenge, the Inter class, introduced in 2004, will have its own stand-alone grid next season. Very similar mechanically to the Academy/Roadsport B machines, the Inters are allowed to adopt wide-track front suspension and racing dampers for better handling. Upgrade kits are inexpensive and many of the ’04 B grid are expected to make the move to Inters, whose races will feature at the same BRSCC-run meetings as Roadsport B.
Powertrain Caterham R400 Challenge in association with Autosport
In common with many domestic championships the R400 Challenge has suffered a decline in competitor numbers during 2004. To address this and make the championship more affordable for competitors, Caterham is to introduce a range of new ideas. Chief among these is a two-class structure, with drivers of Roadsport A models invited to join the grid and to compete for their own separate championship title. Both the Roadsports and the R400s will adopt a new Avon all-weather treaded racing tyre, significantly reducing costs. The revamped dual class championship will continue to run at prestigious promoted race meetings at top circuits around the UK.
Autosport Caterham Eurocup
Next year the Eurocup will enter its fifth successful season in conjunction with the German domestic Caterham championship, a partnership which has this year seen in excess of 25 UK-based Caterham competitors travelling to top European circuits like Hockenheim, Nurburgring and Dijon. The successful Eurocup formula is to be retained for 2005, with a visit to Spa-Francorchamps added to the mix.
Caterham’s new European endurance series
An all-new Caterham race and road car is to be unveiled to the world next month. Full details of the championship being created for it will be announced at this time; plans include a two-driver, 45-minute race format with twin races at each of six meetings. Slick racing tyres have been specially created for the new car by Avon. The calendar has yet to be finalised but current plans include events at Nurburgring, Spa, Donington Park, Estoril, Dijon and Monza.Published 10 September 2004