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Roberts and Deott Crowned 2017 Fun Cup UK Champions – 17th thOctober 2017

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Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott produced a stunning drive to clinch the 2017 Fun Cup UK title. The final race of the season saw all three championship contenders battling all race long, but a tactful drive by Roberts at the end gave the JPR-UVio team their second consecutive championship title.

The stage was set for the final race of the season with the reigning champions starting 25th with their two championship rivals going from 20th and 30th. However, there was an extra sense of tension in the air.

Several teams had been experiencing excessive wear on the front brake pads, which led to the championship organisers finding there was a bad batch of brake pads in circulation from the supplier. Soon after a bulletin had been released for teams to take two mandatory 5minute pit stops in the race to check, and if necessary, change the front brake pads.

Deott took the start quickly making up 7 positions on the first lap. His progress was slowed but only briefly due to the appearance of three safety cars within the first 20 minutes. By the first round of pit stops, Deott had climbed 23 positions and handed the car over to Roberts in 2nd place.

During the second stint, Roberts battled briefly with Track Torque Racing before both drivers thought better of it, deciding to save the fight for position for later in the race. The second pit stop window was the first of the two mandatory 5-minute pit stops, with a weird sense of calmness in the pits amongst the teams as everyone went about their driver changes and refuelling very casually after determining their brakes pads were ok to continue with.

As the race tipped past the half way point Roberts was back in the number one machine but down in 4th after getting blocked in the pits by other cars filing into the pit lane during a safety car period. However, Roberts soon got onto the back of the two leaders who happened to also be his two championship rivals. For the remainder of the stint, the three championship contenders were enthralled in a three-way battle for the lead with a fourth car soon joining them.

Roberts said: “It was super close between all of us; no-one was giving an inch to anyone else. I managed to sneak ahead with another car that had overtaken both our rivals on the pit straight but made a mistake trying to go for the lead myself a few laps later and fell back into 3rd ultimately. Anthony [Reid] had his elbows out after that so I just sat behind him for the time being.
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Deott was back in the car and managed to catch and pass the DespatchBay.com car along with the Team Trooper car but then dropped down to 3rd behind Track torque Racing. The rest of the stint remained steady for all cars with the sense that the big battle was soon coming.

The final round of pit stops came and went and with a quick driver change, the JPR-UVio team managed to leapfrog Track Torque Racing back into 2nd. Roberts was back in the car for the final stint and chasing down the Team Trooper car.

Roberts said: “We were ok at this point as we were winning the championship. I caught Team Trooper up and thought I’ll try and get past if I get a good chance to try and avoid Track Torque from catching me. But as I drew alongside going into the Old Hall [corner] he came across me and hit my right front wheel. Luckily there was no damage to the car but it ticked me off a bit.”

A lap later, Roberts tried the same move again but instead of getting hit he dropped to 3rd as Track Torque Racing had dived up the inside of both cars to take the lead and at this point the championship title. Roberts then decided to make a tactful but risky decision to move over and let the fast closing DespatchBay.com car through into 3rd, with the hope that they would be able to overtake the two leading cars.

A few laps later it looked like Roberts tactic had paid off with the DespatchBay.com car first finding a way past the Team Trooper car and half a lap later past the Track Torque Racing car as well. With both cars comprised, Roberts was able to sneak through to move into 2nd place.

The championship title was back with JPR-UVio but not before a late race scare when Roberts ran wide onto the grass on the exit of Druids dropping him back towards the clutches of Track Torque Racing. Roberts soon regained his momentum and pulled out a small gap where they stayed until the chequered flag.

After 32 Hours of racing this season it all came right down to the wire, but Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott held there nerves to win the 2017 Fun Cup UK Championship and take their second consecutive title.

Roberts said: “That was an amazing race. The skill and intensity of the top 4 cars on track was immense and it showed with how close we were all racing as the pit wall was flooded with people. In the end it all came down to the last 20 minutes, with the championship outcome changing every lap between the three championship contenders. I made a risky decision letting DespatchBay.com through but luckily the risk paid off. I want to say congratulations and thank you to both Track Torque Racing and Team Trooper for pushing us hard all year long. It feels great to win this year as it was even tougher than last year and to be double champions is a nice feeling too!”

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Double Podium for Roberts in Anglesey Double Header- 27thSeptember 2017

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Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott raced long and hard to finish 2nd and 3rd to take over the Championship lead ahead of the final round.

Rounds 5 & 6 of the Fun Cup UK Championship took place at the picturesque circuit of Anglesey in North Wales. The circuit made the perfect backdrop for two 3-hour races with one during the light of day, and the other taking completely during the cover of darkness! This was an important weekend for the JPR-UVio squad as two races meant two lots of points up for grabs in the ever-close championship fight.

Round 5 got underway with Farquini taking the start for the team at the back of the grid after winning the previous race, and as usual wasted no time in making his way towards the front. By the first round of pitstops, the team were in 2nd place from 22nd on the grid.
Roberts jumped aboard the number 1 machine and set about to try and catch the leaders who had established a 20 second lead.

Roberts said: “The car was feeling good and I was concentrating on trying to close down the gap to 1st place however as I tried to pass some lapped cars, one of them came across on me and put me half on the grass. That wasn’t too bad but the small dip between the track and grass edge was enough to rip half of the front splitter off which made the car start to understeer.”

With the loss of front downforce affecting the car’s handling, the team decided to swap the front bonnet at the next pitstop albeit costing them time and seeing them drop down to 8th place. Deott began the teams fight back up the order once more and with less than an hour to go, the JPR-UVio squad were leading the race.

With half an hour left on the clock, disaster struck as the team were handed a Stop/Go penalty for allegedly overtaking under yellow flags. The team served the penalty straight away and lost minimal time dropping from 1st to 2nd.

Roberts jumped in for the last stint and had a comfortable 2nd sitting 8 seconds behind 1st place and 8 seconds ahead of 3rd. Roberts gave it his all but could only match the leaders pace so the team finished in 2nd, albeit not without a fast approaching 3rd place trying to worry them in the closing laps.

Deott said: “I thought the penalty was a bit harsh. I was past the broken-down car before I overtook a backmarker but not quite past the next marshal post showing a green flag. It was annoying but the main thing is we scored more points than our nearest rival.”

With the first race finished, the teams have but a few hours to check over and repair the cars before heading out the night race.

Round 6 got underway with Roberts this time taking the start from a handy 4th place drawn from the grid ballot. Roberts quickly jumped into 2nd place after the first lap but couldn’t make any ground on the leader, instead scraping with 3rd place for much of the first stint.

For much of the race, the JPR-UVio team struggled with pace losing out to two other teams in the end to finish in 3rd place. Still a great result to finish on the podium not once, but twice in the same day.

Roberts said: “We did an excellent job in the day race albeit for a few mistakes which possibly cost us the win I reckon. But in the night race we seemed to lose some pace and just struggled with grip from the tyres after a while. We’re a bit subdued from it all but in the end, we can’t complain really after scoring two podiums. So overall it was a good day.”

After a long days racing, the reigning champions now lead the championship but with only 6 points between the top three teams, there’s still everything to play for! The Fun Cup UK Championship now heads to Oulton Park for the 4-hour season finale on the 14th October.

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Roberts Wins Snetterton 6 Hours – 8th August 2017

Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott drove a storming race to take their second win of the season after 6 hours of racing.

After the long summer break, the Fun Cup UK Championship returned to racing at the Snetterton race circuit in Norfolk. The fourth round of the championship consisted of a 6 hour race with 11 mandatory pit stops and a 32 car grid; every team had their work cut out for them.

After drawing a starting position of 19th from the grid ballot, Roberts took the start for the JPR-UVio squad and wasted no time in moving up the field.

Roberts said: “I had a great reaction to the lights and was able to jump a whole bunch of cars off the rolling start. That put me into a nice little gap so I didn’t have to worry about anyone else whilst the field made its way round the first few corners. After that I just kept a sensible head. I knew we had the pace so I just took my time in picking my way past people.”

At the first round of pit stops, Roberts had just managed to take the lead of the race before pitting to hand over the number 1 machine to Deott. Deott carried on where Roberts left off and after the first 2 hours of racing, the JPR-UVio team had established a huge 1 minute lead over the chasing pack.

As the race continued into the 3rd hour, the heavens opened, almost immediately. Within minutes the track was flooded with water to the point there was large patches of standing water in numerous places around the circuit.

The safety car was understandably scrambled to neutralise the race whilst the worst of the heavy rain passed. The heavy rain persisted for almost an hour before finally easing off to allow the racing to resume.

During the safety car period, the team lost time in a pit stop dropping them down to 3rd place. Undeterred, Roberts and Deott pushed on to later regain the lead at the 4th hour mark and began to rebuild their lead once more.

By the 5th hour mark the JPR-UVio team had pulled out a 40 second lead to 2nd place. With just 25 minutes to go the safety car was deployed again for a car stopped on track, triggering a mad rush whilst everyone dived into the pits altogether.

Deott took the final stint with the team’s championship rivals (Team Trooper) in 2nd place. Luckily for Deott he had a cushion of 8 backmarkers between himself and Harry Mailer, driving the Trooper car. The race resumed for a final 15 minute sprint to the flag and Mailer wasted no time; dismissing all 8 backmarkers in just 2 laps. With each lap Mailer appeared to be closing in on Deott.

But after 6 hours of racing in very changing conditions, the JPR-UVio team managed to fend off their rivals once more to take victory at Snetterton, their second win of the season.

Roberts said “That was such an exciting race. All the drivers and teams did a great job in the changing conditions. The race started off in sunshine, we had a freak thunderstorm midway through with cars making huge bow waves as they passed through the standing water, and then the race finished in sunshine again, how bizarre! The team did a great job both with the strategy and to give us a great car for the race.”

Having closed the gap to their championship rivals again, the reigning champions have taken the championship lead on dropped scores. The Fun Cup UK Championship now heads to Anglesey in North Wales for a double header meeting on the 23rd September, with a 3 hour day race and a 3 hour night race.

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Podium Finish at Brands Hatch for Roberts – 7th June 2017

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Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott fended off their closest championship rivals to finish in 2nd Place.

The JPR-UVio team travelled down south to Brands Hatch for the third round of the Fun Cup UK Championship. With the reigning champions winning the previous round, they were starting from the back of the grid as per the championship regulations.

Deott took the start again in the number 1 machine and was probably thankful for starting the back due to a big crash involving three cars on the first lap. Once the wreckages were cleared away the race was back underway with Deott making good work again moving up to 5th place by the first pit stop.

The second hour of the race saw a succession of safety cars due to crashes and cars falling into gravel traps. After the halfway mark, the JPR-UVio team moved into the lead and established a small but healthy lead over the chasing pack. Roberts said “It was always going to be busy with a grid of 29 cars but with the added effect
of the short Brands Indy circuit, we were coming up behind backmarkers almost every lap. We were struggling with the car a little bit as the brakes were locking up quite easily; making it difficult to get the car stopped into some corners but our pace was still relatively good.”

After the final round of pit stops the JPR-UVio team came out in 2nd place. Unfortunately,they were unable to make an impact on the leader so Roberts focussed all his attention to the chasing Team Trooper car with Ex Touring Car and Le Mans driver, Anthony Reid at the wheel in 3rd place.

With 20 minutes left in the race it was set to be another thrilling finale as Reid had managed to close the gap to Roberts and when the pair came up behind a bunch of backmarkers, Reid surprised Roberts up the inside at the second corner. Roberts had the bit between his teeth though and was glued to Reid’s rear bumper. The battling pair came up behind another backmarker into the first corner with Reid choosing the outside line, Roberts cut back and
shot up the inside of both cars to retake 2nd place.

For the remaining 10 minutes, Roberts defended heavily and managed to hold off Reid to claim 2nd place at the chequered flag. Roberts said “This was a bit of a tough race for us. We didn’t seem to have the ultimate pace
in the car this time but I was determined to finish ahead of Team Trooper since we are fighting them in the championship. Thankfully I managed to fend Anthony [Reid] off and we gained some valuable points over them, which we’re happy about.”

The reigning champions now sit 2nd in the championship, a mere 12 points adrift from the
championship leaders as the Fun Cup UK Championship now takes a 9-week break before
the fourth round at Snetterton in Norwich for a 6-hour race on the 5th August.

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Roberts Wins at Home Race – 10th May 2017

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Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott took victory at Oulton Park after an action packed 4- hour race.

The second round of the Fun Cup UK Championship saw the reigning champions draw a grid spot of 26th out of 29 starters. Not the best starting position but with a 4-hour race ahead of them, the JPR-UVio team were unfazed.

Deott took the start this time making very short work of moving up the order, making up 15 positions on the first lap! A further 5 positions followed on the next lap moving the JPR-UVio team up from 26th place to 6th place by the end of the second lap.

A close battle ensued between the top 7 cars. Deott lined up for an overtake on the car in front, however, the car jinked out (looking to overtake the next car in front), catching the front of Deott’s car and knocking him onto the grass. The result was the removal of the front splitter and the Number 1 machine dropping to the back of the lead pack.

Deott said “I had a run on the car in front but then he jinked out and just caught the front of the car which pushed me onto the grass and ripped the front splitter off. It was lucky it didn’t damage the radiator.”

The first round of pit stops came during the first of many safety car periods and the team elected to change the front end as they would lose less time. Roberts jumped in the car and set straight to work again on the restart making up 3 positions on the first lap moving the team up to 5th place.

A second safety car appeared just one lap later after one of the lead cars went off at the final corner with a sticking throttle.

Roberts said “It was nearly a case of de ja vue as I began to draw alongside a backmarker, but he mustn’t have seen me as he squeezed me off the track, sending me on a bumpy ride over the grass. Luckily there was no damage this time round.

On the next restart, Roberts made swift work of moving the Number 1 machine up into the lead and over the next 2 hours, the JPR-UVio team pulled out a gap of 25 seconds over second place. Sadly their comfortable lead was taken away from them with another safety car period.

The pit lane was a hive of activity with almost every team taking their final pit stop under the safety car. With Roberts back in for the final stint, the JPR-UVio team came out in front with the second and third place cars directly behind them. The race would come down to a final 20 minute sprint to the flag.

Roberts lead at the restart with second and third place in hot pursuit. After a couple of laps, Roberts pulled a small gap of 2 seconds to the chasing duo but this was short lived as the Team Trooper car had moved into second place with Ex Touring Car and Le Mans Driver, Anthony Reid at the wheel. Reid began to nibble away at Roberts’ small advantage, but the JPR-UVio driver fought back to pull the gap back out to 1.5 seconds. It was an intense battle but on the final lap, Reid caught a backmarker going into a yellow flag zone and had to slow briefly. This was enough to give Roberts an extra few seconds of a gap which he held to the chequered flag to take JPR-UVio’s first win of the season and seventh win in total.

Roberts said “I had it all to do in the last stint trying to fend of the two cars behind me and when I saw Anthony Reid starting to get closer, I was beginning to get a little worried. But I kept my cool and just made sure not to make any mistakes, and I was able to keep them both at bay. It was great to take the win at my home circuit, the car was great to drive and the team did a great job with the strategy.”

The Fun Cup UK Championship now heads to Brands Hatch in Kent on the 3 rd June for the third round of the championship for another 4-hour race.

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Solid Points For Roberts At Silverstone – 12th April 2017

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The first round of the Fun Cup championship saw Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott finish in 8th place to score some solid points.

The 4-hour race began with Roberts taking the start for the defending champions at the back of a 32 car grid (as per Fun Cup regulations). This did not deter Roberts as he soon scythed his way through the pack up to 2nd place in a mere 20 minutes where he then found himself in an enthralling battle for 2nd place.

However, a rare mistake from Roberts saw the JPR – UVio driver make contact with a backmarker resulting in steering damage for the Number 1 machine.

Graham said “I was trying to keep my head and just beginning to settle into a rhythm for the rest of the race but I had another car all over me racing me like it was the last lap every lap. In the end, I was ahead and came up to backmarker. With the other car behind distracting me so much I thought the backmarker had seen me but it turned out he hadn’t.”

The resultant damage lead to a lengthy pit stop for the team fixing the steering damage which cost them 4 laps and dropped them down to 24th from 2nd.

Undeterred as any defending champions would be, the JPR-UVio duo set about a recovery drive with Deott now at the wheel. Over the next three hours, both drivers showed great skill and pace working their way back up the order, and as the chequered flag flew the team finished a very creditable 8th after a very challenging race.

Graham said “The earlier contact knocked the tracking out on our steering and although the team fixed it as best they could, we lost too much time in the pits which we couldn’t fully gain back. The car was still producing good lap times but it wasn’t ideal. Still, it’s good points for the championship and we’re already looking forward to the next race!”

The JPR-UVio team will be looking for a return to form as they head to Graham’s home circuit at Oulton Park in Cheshire for the second round of the Fun Cup championship on the 6th May

Roberts Returns To Defend Fun Cup Title – 2nd February 2017

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The 2017 season will see Graham Roberts once again competing in the Fun Cup UK championship, partnered by Scott Fitzgerald, in a bid to defend their championship title.

2016 saw Graham and Scott produce blistering pace all year to seal the Fun Cup title with 3 wins, 4 podiums and 1 fastest lap.

The Fun Cup championship is a one-make endurance racing series consisting of cars that are race designed, single-seaters, with super-strong space frame chassis underneath a fun, classic VW Beetle fiberglass body. The races are all endurance, between 3 and 6 hours, complete with pit stops, driver changes and action packed close racing. And to spice things up even more, the grids are all drawn from a ballot at each round.

2016 was Fun Cup’s biggest year yet with a 30 car grid at the final round, however, the 201 season looks set to see even more cars lining up on the grid. The championship has been gaining more and more recognition and features both professional teams and drivers.

Graham said “The level of drivers in the championship is fantastic and makes for plenty of close, hard but fair racing. We had a great season last year, winning the title, which shows our fast and consistent pace. The JPR team also prepped a great car which I cannot fault. It will certainly be a challenge but we will be looking to defend our championship title this year.”

The opening round commences at Silverstone with a 4 Hour race on 8th April.Follow Graham’s progress in the championship via social media and the Fun Cup website at www.funcup.co.uk.
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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography
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JPR-UVio Crowned 2016 Fun Cup UK Champions – 10th October 2016

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Graham Roberts and Scott Fitzgerald kept their cool in the final race of the season to clinch the 2016 Fun Cup UK Championship. The worthy champions drove a solid, sensible race to cap off a fantastic season of 4 podiums, 3 wins and 1 fastest lap out of 7 races.

The JPR-UVio pair went into the final round leading the championship with a 24 point gap to second after dropped scores, and were feeling confident of their chances as they only needed to finish in 10th if their rivals won the last race.

With the team lining up at the back of the grid after winning the previous round, Scott was behind the wheel for the race start. During the first stint Scott made good steady progress to move the team up to 10th by the first round of pit stops. Graham jumped into the car and after the first of many safety car encounters, Graham maintained the team’s momentum to move into 3rd place by half race distance.

Graham said “I had a brief heart in my mouth moment when I took the apex of Knickerbrook chicane a bit too tight and just caught the edge of the tyre wall. Luckily it just seemed to glance off the side of the car.”

As the race wore on, JPR-UVio were holding a solid 4th place sitting comfortably behind the leading trio which included their championship rivals. Just after the final pit stop window opened the safety car was brought out for a car off track, but the team were too slow to react in order to capitalise on their rivals. No harm done however as although the team dropped down the order, so did their championship rivals.As the chequered flag flew the JPR-UVio pairing crossed the line in 11th place which was enough to see them secure the 2016 title by 14 points after dropped scores.

Graham said “It’s been a remarkable year for us. We showed we had fast, consistent pace throughout by leading every race and taking 3 dominant wins. To win the championship is an immense feeling and such a relief after everyone’s hard work. It’s going to take a while to really sink in but for now it feels great!”

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Double Podium For JPR-UVio In Fun Cup Anglesey Double header
– 27th September 2016

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Graham Roberts and Scott Fitzgerald showed brilliant pace and determination to secure two podium finishes in stormy weather conditions. The JPR-UVio pair earned crucial points to leap frog their rivals into the championship lead with only one round remaining!

The double header meeting at Anglesey sees the Fun Cup championship run two 3 hour races as opposed to the usual 4 hour event, but with a twist. Unlike other championships, the second 3 hour race starts and finishes completely at night giving the drivers another challenge to deal with.

The first race got underway with Scott starting at the back of the pack again due to winning the previous round, he slowly but surely picked his way through the pack from 24th to 5th by the first round of pit stops. The torrid stormy weather of the last two rounds seemed to follow the Fun Cup circus to Anglesey as high winds and rain began to Graham jumped into the car for a double stint and continued Scott’s good work by moving the team up into the lead after a brief safety car period, and pull out a small gap to second place.

However at the next pit stop, a piece of flailing bodywork had to be taped back into place costing the team nearly a minute in the pits. With the car back out on track the team set about making up lost ground and by the end of the last pit stops the team managed to make it out of the pits back in the lead, but only just.

With second and third place bearing down right on their tail, and the car suffering from understeer after an earlier off track excursion, the JPR-UVio team decided to use their heads and let both cars past as they were not fighting either teams in the championship.

At the chequered flag, the team finished in a fine 3rd place crucially ahead of their championship rivals.

Graham said “There was no point in us fighting the two cars at the end of the race. We’re not racing them in the championship and the car was a bit of a handful after I had a small off beforehand, so 3rd is good for us.”

With the first race done, the teams had to get themselves ready the do it all over again but this time under the cover of darkness. The weather was still playing a strong factor as driving in the wet is one thing but to do it at night is another.

The team got a lucky grid draw that would see them start on Pole Position for the second race. With Graham starting this time, he was enthralled in a great tussle for the lead in the first stint. After the first round of pit stops, the team took over the lead but had pressure from 2nd place.

As the race wore on into the night, the JPR-UVio team showed their blistering consistent pace as they pulled out yet another impressive lead to take their third win of the season by 50 seconds.

Graham said “It’s been another great weekend for us. Our aim was just to not make any unnecessary moves or mistakes and be ahead of our two championship rivals in the races, which we managed. A big thank you and well done have to go to all the teams, mechanics, drivers, organisers and especially the marshals for putting up with the difficult weather conditions once again.”

The JPR-UVio team now lead the championship with only one round remaining. The Fun Cup championship now heads back to Graham’s home circuit, Oulton Park in Cheshire for the final 4 hour race on 8th October.

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Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

Two Wins In a Row For JPR-UVio – 31st August 2016

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Graham Roberts and Scott Fitzgerald proved themselves to be masters of the weather. Despite torrential rain, high winds, thunder and lightning, the fast pairing won their second race in a row.

After a sudden heavy downpour just before hand, the 4 hour race at Silverstone began under safety car, with the JPR-UVio team starting dead last as a result of winning the previous round. Graham took the start and worked his way through the pack to get the team up from 24th to 6th by the first round of pit stops. At this point the safety car was put out as the rain became torrential and drivers were struggling to keep their cars going in a straight line.
The team made a good pit stop managing to leap frog from 6th to 4th in the process, however their joy was short lived after the timing screen showed every car from 4th place 1 lap down on the top three.

Graham said “I almost knew that was going to happen before we even pitted. The safety car missed the top three when it came onto the track, so as we were caught up behind the safety car, the top three were able to speed ahead, get their pit stops done and put a lap on the rest of the field as we all came into the pits.”

The JPR-UVio pairing now had some work to do if they were going to improve on 4th place. At the race restart, Scott wasted no time in un-lapping himself from the leaders and set about chasing down the top three.

Over the next hour and a half, the team managed to not only catch up a full lap to the back of the top three, but also pass each team to move from 4th to 1st whilst surviving another torrential downpour in the process. From then on the JPR-UVio team were unchallenged and pulled an impressive 1 minute and 7 second gap to 2nd place; nearly lapping the whole field on their way to a second win of the season.

Graham said “The car was great in the wet but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a challenge to keep it pointing in the right direction at times. The two heavy downpours we had were just unreal; the car was wheel spinning at 100mph and squirming underneath me. It’s a credit to all the drivers for driving so well and of course all the marshals, teams and mechanics for working so hard in the horrendous conditions.”

With their recent victory, the JPR-UVio team now move up to third in the championship standings with three rounds remaining. The Fun Cup championship now heads to Anglesey on the 24th September for a double header with two 3 hour races; one in the day and one at night.

Image credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

JPR-UVio Drive To Storming Win – 15th June 2016

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Graham Roberts and Scott Fitzgerald drove a storming race to take victory in the third round of the Fun Cup UK championship at Snetterton, despite losing an impressive lead twice through safety car interventions, a stop/go penalty and ever changing weather conditions varying between hot and humid and torrential rain.The 6 hour race got underway in usual fashion with everyone driving like it was a 10 lap sprint. Scott took the start for JPR-UVio and began quickly moving his way up the order from 16th on the grid to leading the way by the time of the first pit stops.

The first of two heavy downpours coincided with the first pit stop window meaning each driver would be jumping into a bit of an unknown as no-one had driven on the new Giti tyres in the wet before. This didn’t worry Graham (who was now in the car for a double stint) as after a brief safety car, made a blistering restart to lead the chasing pack by 12 seconds after just one lap!

Over the next two hours Graham had built up a huge 1 minute 30 seconds lead in the JPR-UVio machine to second place. Sadly this was all taken away from them with another safety car period.

At the halfway mark, Scott jumped back into the driving seat as the track surface began to dry out. Having fallen behind initially in the awkward damp conditions, he was able to put the hammer down once a dry line emerged to retake the lead at the fourth hour. This was sadly in vain as the team were given a stop/go penalty for avoidable contact with another car.
Graham said: “During my first stint I was coming up to lap a backmarker. Just as I was passing the other car I hit a patch of water and the car just aquaplaned straight and sadly I bumped into the other car. Both of us re-joined the circuit so I felt that the penalty was a bit harsh but that’s racing.”

The penalty dropped the JPR-UVio team down to fourth place but determined to get back to the front; the team did a superfast pit stop to leapfrog the top 3 back into the lead. Graham set about building a gap up once again and set the fastest lap along the way. The second downpour of rain arrived and with another safety car triggered a mass flurry in the pits with all teams pitting under the safety car.

JPR-UVio came out the pits in second with Scott behind the wheel after being leapfrogged by the championship leaders who opted to not take on any fuel to get a faster pit stop but risked running out towards the end of the race. No matter as Scott made a decisive move for the lead up the inside at the hairpin with 30 minutes to go much to the delight of the team on the pit wall. With the lead back in their possession the JPR-UVio team gave themselves just enough of a gap to hold on take an outstanding victory.

Graham said: “This has to have to have been the best race I’ve ever had. It had everything with mixed conditions, safety cars and even a penalty thrown our way but every time we managed to come out on top. Both me and Scott drove a cracking race from start to finish and this is exactly the result we needed after being robbed of a potential win last time.”

The result bumps the JPR-UVio squad up from 9th in the championship standings to 4th only 28 points behind first place as the championship reaches its halfway mark. Round 4 of the Fun Cup UK championship will take place at Silverstone, the home of British motorsporton the 27th August.
Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography
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Podium For Roberts On Britcar Debut – 7th June 2016

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Graham Roberts showed great determination to claim a podium finish on his Britcar debut.The weekend saw Roberts race in the third round of the Britcar Endurance championship at Donington Park partnering regular Mini Challenge driver Jono Brown. The young pair were driving a Chevron GR8 run by Track Torque Racing. The Chevron GR8 is a GT4 spec car with a Nissan 3.5 litre V6 engine with 260hp and ran in Class 3.

With only a day’s testing before race day to get to grips the more powerful machinery than Roberts is used to, there was a steep learning curve ahead. However the 23 year old ended the day feeling happy with his initial performance.

Moving to race day saw Roberts slowly but surely improving his lap times in the morning practice and qualifying sessions around the Donington Park GP circuit. The team qualified 3rd in class and 9th overall with Roberts team mate assigned the duty of taking the start.

The race got underway and the top four in Class 3 were all in close proximity, however 30 minutes in and the Track Torque Racing machine came into the pits for an unscheduled stop with Brown complaining of a clutch issue. The car was pulled into the garage and the team set about stripping the gearbox off the engine to replace the faulty clutch component.

50 minutes later and with the car fixed, Roberts took the wheel to try and recover lost ground and once again with more time in the car, he was able to set faster and faster times to set a personal best and the team’s fastest lap of the race. After 40 minutes, the team pitted to take on fuel and change drivers.
After 3 hours of racing the chequered flag fell with the Track Torque Racing Chevron finishing 3rd in class and 11th overall.

Graham said: “I knew it was going to be a tall order to be able to jump into a new car and do well straight away. But over the course of the weekend, I felt more comfortable with the car each time I went out on track and we managed to finish on the podium which is just great.”

Next weekend (11th June) sees Roberts return to racing in the Fun Cup UK championship for the third round at Snetterton in Norfolk where he’ll be hoping to make amends for the previous round’s result.

Roberts To Drive Chevron In Britcar At Donington Park – 25th May 2016

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Graham Roberts is set to get his first taste of GT4 spec machinery as he teams up with Track Torque Racing to drive their Chevron GR8 in the third round of the Britcar Endurance championship.

The Chevron GR8 has a 3.5 litre V6 Nissan engine with 260 bhp sent to the rear wheels transmitted via a Hewland 6 speed sequential gearbox with Geartronics paddle shift. The car will be running in Class 3 in the Britcar field which is for cars with a mid-range Britcar Endurance Performance Indicator.

Graham said “I’m massively excited to get the chance to drive a GT4 spec car and the race can’t come soon enough! I’ve raced and won at Donington Park before, so hopefully I’ll be able to make a big impact on my Britcar debut.”

Graham will be racing the Chevron at Donington Park on 4th June in a 3 hour race partnering Mini Challenge driver Jono Brown.

Electrical Trouble Robs JPR-UVio Of Potential Win – 9th May 2016

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A disappointing end to an otherwise brilliant weekend for Graham Roberts and Scott Fitzgerald saw the JPR-UVio team going from leading the race by 30 seconds to finishing in 18thplace and 10 laps down.

The second round of the Fun Cup UK championship took place at Graham’s home circuit at Oulton Park (7th May) with another 4 hour race around the International circuit. The team went into this round full of confidence after winning here by over 45 seconds at the end of last year!

Having learnt a few lessons about the new tyres for this year at the previous round, the team did no more than 7 laps in Saturday’s morning warmup session in order to save the tyres for the race.

Lining up on the grid in 4th from the earlier grid draw ballot, Graham took the start and after some super brave overtaking around the outside of two cars at Island bend and a further car into Lodge corner, he was at the head of the field and began trying to pull a gap to the chasing pack.

After a few laps Graham was reeled in by the chasing Team Racelogic car thanks to the big slipstreaming effect on these cars. The JPR-UVio man tried to work together with the Racelogic car leave the rest of the field behind. Sadly this tactic didn’t quite work and soon both cars were enthralled in a thrilling battle with 5 more cars for the race lead for the next half hour, with a change of lead almost every lap.

After the first pit stop the team managed to pull a gap of 8 seconds to 2nd place and after the second pit stop the team came out with a 20 second gap to 2nd place. With Graham back behind the wheel he soon increased the gap to 30 seconds, driving a second a lap almost each lap faster than anyone else. Unfortunately, things then started taking a turn for the worst.

The pit to car radio has packed up meaning the team were unable to capitalise on pitting just when a late safety car came out which dropped them down to 13th place. On the restart, Scott began the team’s recovery drive by climbing up to 11th place after a few laps but then thing got even worse.

Scott said “The car spluttered a few times then cut out on me. It was completely dead.”

Once towed back to the pits the mechanics swung into action into the find and fix the problem as quickly as possible. It was discovered that the battery had shorted itself and cooked itself and the car’s electrics with it. A new battery, coil pack and regulator were fitted, the engine fired back into life and the car headed back out on track.

Over the last hour of the race, both drivers drove as fast as they could to rescue some points and finished the race in 18th.

Graham said “We’re very disappointed with the end result but we have a lot of positives to take away from this race. The car will get repaired and I’m already looking to the next race to make amends.”

The Fun Cup UK championship now heads to Snetterton in Norfolk for a 6 hour race on 11th June.

Images credited to Andy Leivers Photography

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Top Four Finish For JPR-UVio At Season Opener – 11th April 2016

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Graham Roberts and Scott Fitzgerald fought a hard race to finish a solid 4th Place and earn some good points towards the championship.

The first round of the Fun Cup UK championship kicked at Brands Hatch (9th April) with a 4 hour race around the Indy circuit. The championship had changed its tyre supplier from Nankang to Giti for 2016 so there was a lot to learn, and even more to prove, on the Friday test day. The test day went well with both drivers feeling confident on the new tyres and showing quick pace.

Saturday morning began with a wet morning warmup session. This would be the first time the majority of people had a chance to drive on the new tyres in the wet. Again both drivers felt confident in the wet conditions with Graham initially posting the fastest lap by 1.5 seconds, but as the session progressed the track began to dry out and subsequently other drivers were going faster.

The earlier ballot for drawing the grid saw the team line up 10th on the grid with Scott taking the start on a now dry track. In the first hour, Scott made steady progress up to 5th. A safety car came out late in the pit window andthe team took the opportunity straight away to pit for fuel and a driver change with Graham jumping in. The fast pit stop allowed the team to leapfrog three cars into 2ndand then Graham made a brilliant move around the outside of Paddock Hill bend on the race restart to take the race lead.

Now in front, Graham got his head down and began pulling out a 7 second gap to the rest of the field. Another pit stop at the second hour dropped the team down to 3rd due to taking on extra fuel in a bid to have shorter stops towards the end of the race.

Scott was at the wheel and being challenged for 3rd by reigning champions Team Racelogic, until a backmarker lost control right in front of the pair. Scott managed to narrowly avoid the spinning car but the Racelogic car had nowhere to go, T-boning the backmarker and putting both cars into the gravel.

With Graham back in the car he set about chasing down 1st and 2nd who were a few seconds up the road, but he had to be quick as ex-BTCC star Anthony Reid was chasing him down at the same time. Graham managed to catch and pass both cars to regain the race lead but then set about defend furiously as he had a fast Reid right on his tail. Reid a bold move around the outside of Paddock Hill bend to get ahead but Graham was undeterred and followed Reid in close proximity right up to the last round of pit stops.

The team’s final pit stop was slick and allowed them to leapfrog back into the lead, but only just, for the final 30 minutes of racing. Scott stuck his elbows out and made the JPR-UVio car as wide as possible. Sadly a loose lock nut on the left rear damper (which was later discovered) made the car a bit more of a handful and the team slipped back a few places to finish 4th at the chequered flag.

Graham said “This was always going to be a close race with the first 20 cars all within 1 second of each other on lap times. It’s a shame about missing out on a podium finish but 4th is still good and it’s great points for the championship.”The Fun Cup UK championship now heads to Graham’s home circuit, Oulton Park in Cheshirefor another 4 hour race on 7th May.

Images credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

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Roberts Aiming For Title In Third Fun Cup Season – 20th January 2016

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For the 2016 season, Graham will be competing in the Fun Cup UK championship again partnering Scott Fitzgerald in a second attempt on taking the title. After a rollercoaster ride in 2015, with mechanical failures affecting 4 of their 8 races; the JPR-UVio pairing raced hard and still managed to finish 2nd in the championship.

The Fun Cup championship is a one-make endurance racing series consisting of cars that are race designed, single-seaters, with super-strong space frame chassis underneath a fun classic VW Beetle fiberglass body. The races are all endurance, between 3 and 6 hours, complete with pit stops, driver changes and action packed close racing. And to spice things up even more, the grids are all drawn from a ballot at each round.

2016 will see the championship enter its 15th year of racing, and it looks set to be the toughest year yet. The championship has been gaining more and more recognition and features some professional teams and drivers.
Graham said “The level of drivers in the championship this year is fantastic and makes for plenty of close, hard racing. We had a pretty up and down season last year but I’m confident we can do an even better job than we managed last year.”

Graham and Scott will be testing before the season gets underway with a 4 hour race at Brands Hatch in Kent on 9th April. For the full season calendar, visit www.funcup.co.uk.

Image credited to Mhpic – Marvin Hall Photography

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