Caterham Academy 2024 – Croft – The first race!

After the first event in April at Curborough the Academy drivers have been itching to get started at Croft for the first race of the season. As part of the Academy package all drivers had a Caterham exclusive test day on the Thursday before the first race, this introduced the drivers to their first test day which in itself is a learning experience, a test day is quite different to a track day in many ways, first you need a race licence to take part in a test day and the overtaking rules are very different to a normal track day. This is a great way for the drivers to get up to speed and learn the circuit before qualifying and race on the Saturday. The conditions on Thursday were a little damp in the morning but dried up in the afternoon, this was a great opportunity for the drivers to get a feel for their cars in changeable conditions.

Saturday has arrived and everyone is getting set for their first ever qualifying session. Once everyone was ready in the assembly area they were all released out for qualifying, there was a couple of red flags due to a couple of trips to the gravel but nearly everyone managed to get a time on the board ahead of the race in the afternoon. The conditions for the whole day were dry and sunny which gave the drivers the confidence to try and build on their practice on Thursday.

Moving onto the race, white group went first, they lined up on the start line, these are 20 minute races so it is important to pace yourself and not put too much heat through the tyres as they will start to drop off. Once the lights went out everyone charged into the first corner, there was a little bit of contact through the field but nothing notable that caused any issues. Same for the green group, they were very clean through the first corner. There was some great battles through the field in both groups, some comings together which caused a couple of DNFs but nothing to major. Importantly everyone had a fantastic time and the feeling in Parc Ferme was electric, everyone was so pumped, excited and also relieved to make it through their first proper race! All these drivers are not fully fledged racing drivers!

The next round is at the world famous Silverstone circuit on the full GP layout, please stay tuned for more updates!

For more information on the Caterham Academy and how to take part please give us a call on 01932 240 611.