Stratford racer Scott Jeffs revved up for remaining Fun Cup Endurance Championship rounds
AS the Fun Cup Endurance Championship reaches its climax, Stratford’s Scott Jeffs is hoping for a late charge to seal a top three finish in the overall standings.
The 23-year-old and team-mate Martin Gibson are currently fifth in the standings as the championship heads into its final three rounds.
Jeffs and Gibson, who drive for MJ Tec GITI, have been consistently in the points throughout the year and are just 42 points behind the leading Uvio/Hoffman’s Lotus team.
Rounds eight and nine, which are one- and four-hour races respectively, take place at Oulton Park on Saturday, 16th October before the curtain is closed on the season with another four-hour endurance race at Donington Park on Saturday, 6th November.
While Jeffs feels the title is out of reach, he’s confident the team has what it takes to finish in the top three come the end of the year. “We had a third place at Donington Park in the wet, but the conditions was changing throughout. That was the first race of the year and a really good way to start,” said Jeffs.
“Since then we’ve had a lot of top ten finishes and a couple of top-fives, but as we’re a new team it’s difficult to get everything right.
"You always run into a few problems or you don’t get the tactics right in terms of the set-up of the car, but that’s all part of the learning curve.
“It’s unlikely that we can win the championship, but we’re definitely on for a top three finish if we have a good couple of results in the last rounds.
“The two tracks that are coming up we are very familiar with.
"Donington Park is fairly local being in the East Midlands while Oulton Park is a track I have been to so many times in the past, so I’m hoping the experience there will give us the results we need to finish in the top three.”
The Fun Cup Endurance Championship was launched in the UK in 2002 as a step forward in motorsport with the clearly defined objective of providing cost effective, close, exciting and above all, fun racing for all competitors.
The concept was originally conceived in Belgium, based on the success of endurance karting. From small beginnings, it has taken off to massive success with regular grids topping 30 cars in the UK.
So how did the opportunity for Jeffs to join the Fun Cup grid come about? “My dad Mark owns the MJ Tec garage in Stratford and one of his tyre suppliers used to offer Fun Cup drives,” said Jeffs.
“I had a go with the team and really enjoyed it. I did it a couple more times and then as we got to know the team more, parent company GITI came to us and asked us to run a car for them with senior engineers.
“GITI came to us with the sponsorship and the marketing package, asked me to drive and asked my dad to lead the team and provide the mechanics.
"We then got Martin Gibson on board, who races lorries. The Fun Cup is a good option compared to other series.
"It’s really cost effective because you get a lot of track time for how much you’re paying.”
While the car looks like a classic Volkswagen Beetle, it’s not the real thing. Jeffs explained that underneath is a space frame chassis with a cage over the top, and the body is made to look like a Beetle.
In the back is an old VW Golf Mark II engine with a sequential gearbox.
While it’s not very fast, the car weighs around 700kg and produces around 135bhp. With a top speed of 120mph, the car is designed for close racing instead of fast racing.
“The racing is really good,” added Jeffs. “I’m actually surprised by how close the racing is. Throughout the year we have some one-hour and three-hour races, but mainly they’re four-hour endurances and they’re really close.
"There’s about 25 cars on the grid and about ten teams have a poke at the win. Throughout the whole four hours you are constantly battling for the win.
“Previously at Croft and Oulton Park, right until the last five or ten minutes there were five teams battling for the win, so it really does come down to the wire.
"The crucial thing is staying on the lead lap. If you get lapped and then the safety car comes out, you can’t regain that lap. You can try to unlap yourself, but that’s very difficult.”