Race report by Bob Williams
February 23, 2021 – For Round 3 of the MNRL Caterham Superlight World Tour Championship, drivers found themselves traveling to the northern hemisphere, across the GMT, and preparing to race at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimão, Portugal. Bordering the Atlantic ocean, this course features massive elevation changes throughout a lap, with many blind crests and apexes, and a great blend of high-speed and low-speed corners. The course is perfectly suited for the sporty Caterham Superlight featured in this series, and drivers will find themselves making full use of the available gearing in these cars, topping out 6th gear on the end of the main straight.
The 10-minute qualifying session saw drivers pushing into the sub-2 minute range, with the fastest drivers pushing into the 1:56:xxx range. Jason Whited qualified on pole and was poised to defend for the next two sessions.
This series consists of two 25-minute sessions, with 2x tire wear. On a high-speed course with lots of technical features, caring for the tires is a big part of the equation.
The first session began after a rolling start, and Jason was immediately on the gas, managing to set the fastest laps for the next two laps. Gilles Lalonde was on the hunt, followed by Joe Miller, but Jason was able to defend his lead for the entire race, all the while steadily putting distance behind him. Brette Brooks and Peter Holm had some good mid-pack battles, and Brette was in the mix with Gilles and Joe, but ultimately finished 4th with Pete finishing in 5th.
For the 2nd session, the first six finishers of the first session are run in reversed order, resulting in Jason starting in 6th, with Bob Williams leading the pack on the rolling start. Bob was able to defend at first while setting the first two fastest laps of the race, which were quickly overwritten by Jason, followed by Gilles with a 1:56.449, which would stand as the fastest lap of the session.
Meanwhile, Jason was steadily charging from 6th and after 4 laps, once again found himself in the lead. Brette Brooks challenged his lead for the remainder of the race and defended himself by putting a healthy gap between himself and the rest of the field. Bob Williams and Joe Miller had some great mid-race battles for 3rd place, trading the position back and forth a few times.
The finishing order wasn’t cemented until the final lap, where Gilles’s charge from 6th to 3rd was made official.
The season now sits with Jason Whited and Martin Rossi tied for 1st, with only 20 points separating the top 9 finishers. The season is still quite early, with the action resuming in France on March 16th.
MNRL Results Page