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Caterham Graduates Racing Club to run special first-timers race at Snetterton

The Caterham Graduates Racing Club will run a special race for new drivers at Snetterton this year.

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The 20-minute contest over the 17-18 August weekend, which is being promoted as a ‘Friends and Family race’, is only open to those who have never competed or held a race licence.

Drivers can use any car that is normally eligible for Caterham Graduates races, which spans models up to and including the Caterham Seven 310R.

The idea originally came from one of the club’s members, and is designed as a way for people to experience racing in a less daunting environment and without having to pay for equipment.

“James McCall, who runs our driving standards team, approached us with the idea of getting people who come with us to race meetings to support us a chance to experience it for themselves,” said CGRC chairman Matthew Willoughby.

“It’s open to anybody who might want to dip their toe in the water. It’s a one-off, with minimal barriers to entry, for people to give it a go and see if they like it – it’s about the experience, having fun and saying you’ve done it.

“If some of the drivers then decide that they want to do more racing with us, that’s great.”

Photo by: Scott Mitchell Photography

While those taking part will still need to have passed an ARDS test, the club will be able to guide participants through that process and then help them borrow a car or other equipment.

“If you know someone who’s already racing a suitable Caterham and has got the kit, then that’s a big hurdle out of the way, although various teams who support drivers in our championship have cars available to hire,” added Willoughby.

“We don’t want people thinking they have to spend big money on equipment for one race. It’s about being inclusive and trying to increase the number of people participating.

“It’s not great times economically and anything we can do to help more people in, the better.”

He said Snetterton was deliberately chosen for the Friends and Family race because the 300 layout is one of the longest circuits in the UK.

“There will be a big spread of ability and pace and having a track three miles long means there shouldn’t be much lapping, which reduces the pressure on the drivers,” said Willoughby. “It’s nice and wide and it’s ideal for it.”

Anybody wanting further details should go to the CGRC website – cgrc.uk.

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