Student Motorsport Challenge Powered by Rocked-!T Returns to Oulton Park with Record Grid

Oulton Park 2022 Season - Inaugural SMo Challenge Event

The Student Motorsport Challenge, part of the BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship, returns to Oulton Park for rounds four and five of the 2024 season with a record grid of 14 Challenge cars and a FULL GRID of 38. Oulton Park will see Sussex Motorsports from the University of Sussex joining the Challenge grid for the first time as well as a change of driver for the #26 City College Norwich entry which will see Elliot Lettis, the 2023 CityCar Cup champion, make his Challenge debut at the start of a full season with the Norfolk-based squad.

The Student Motorsport Challenge will be supported at Oulton Park by Rocked-!T, creators of motorsport bags and automotive luggage for the club racer, professional motorsport athlete and automotive enthusiast. Rocked-!t is a family business run by father and son team Keith and Nick and are based in the South of England. 

Rocked-!T Proudly Carried by Founder of the Challenge JP Latham at Croft July 2023

Rocked-!T generously supported the Challenge at selected rounds in 2023 and produces a range of kit bags, helmet bags and branded merchandise as well as providing a bespoke service to create luggage to your specification and requirements from a range of high-quality materials.

Rocked-!t will be sponsoring a prize for the most deserving team, details of which will be announced on our social media channels prior to the race weekend. 

Rocked-!T Bag Promo Image - Croft July 2023

The 2024 SMo Challenge opened with three thrilling rounds at Snetterton in April where double title winners Team Northbrook Racing and their driver Richard Jepp took class wins in two out of the three contests. Jepp was pushed hard however by QE Motorsport’s Joshua Jackson who joined the series for 2024. Jackson took his, and the team’s, maiden challenge victory in Race Three.

Richard Jepp - Winning at Snetterton Opener - April 2024 (Photo: JP Latham)

Oxford-based Barracksport visits Oulton Park with a change of driver in its two-car line-up. Matty Prance will take over the driving duties in the #49 Barracksport GSR Citroen C1. Regular driver James Smith announced at the start of the season that he will be racing in selected rounds in 2024 and Matty Prance will be in the driving seat for rounds four and five. Prance is a former team member of Barracksport and stepped in to replace Duncan Horlor for the Anglesey rounds in 2023. Matty Prance, who is now a Ginetta Design Engineer, drove the #11 car to two podium finishes at the Welsh weekend and will be looking to recapture that form when the series visits Cheshire.

Matty Prance on Podium with Barracksport - Anglesey - June 2023

James Reilly enjoyed a solid start to the 2024 season when he drove the #11 Barracksport Citroen to two 5th-place and one 4th-place finishes at the season opener at Snetterton. Currently fourth in the Challenge standings, Reilly will be looking to challenge for podiums at Oulton Park.

Snetterton Race 1 Podium - April 2024 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

City College Norwich (CCN), new to the Challenge for 2024, had a frustrating start to the season when its #26 Peugeot 107 driven by Head of Engineering Leon Wilde failed scrutineering. Rapid repairs were made and Wilde had just qualified the car in time for the first Challenge race when the engine blew. A new engine was quickly sourced and the team set to work to install the new motor in time for Sunday’s two contests. 

City College Norwich - Car #26 Suffers an Engine Failure (Picture: JP Latham)

Making the decision to focus on ensuring that CCN students have the best learning experiences at race weekends, Leon Wilde has decided to step away from driving duties in the Challenge. From the Oulton Park rounds and for the rest of the season, City College Norwich will welcome 2023 Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup champion Elliot Lettis to take over driving duties in the #26 Peugeot 107. After taking 11 overall CityCar Cup victories on his way to the 2023 title, Lettis announced that he would be graduating and stepping into the Clapham North MOT Mazda MX-5 SuperCup Championship. However, following an invitation from Leon Wilde to join the Norfolk-based squad, the Rolls-Royce production engineer has decided to resume his CityCar Cup career and make his Challenge debut. Elliot Lettis has tested with the team at Brands Hatch ahead of his CCN debut and was pleased with the #26 Peugeot. 

City College Norwich - Brands Hatch - Elliot Lettis Testing 20.05.24
City College Norwich - Brands Hatch - Elliot Lettis Testing 20.05.24

Novice racer Glenn Bee brought the #19 City College Norwich Citroen home for three finishes at the opening weekend at Snetterton, improving his best lap time by two seconds over the course of the weekend. With the revised team structure, Bee will be looking to focus on his driving and build on his Snetterton experience when the series visits Oulton Park.

Glenn Bee - Snetterton at the wheel of the #19 City College Norwich Citroen C1 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Team Northbrook Racing (TNR) enjoyed an almost perfect start to the 2024 season when Richard Jepp, driver of the #65 Peugeot took two class victories and a second-place finish in class to leave Snetterton with a three-point lead in the Student Motorsport Challenge standings. The Harwin-backed driver was pushed hard, however, by QE Motorsport’s Joshua Jackson and Jepp will definitely be under more pressure this season as he seeks to make it three titles in a row.

Joshua Jackson Chasing Richard Jepp in Race 1 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Ari Barker, driver of the sister #87 car and new to the series after making the move up from karting, had a solid start to his 2024 Challenge campaign. Barker, also backed by Harwin PLC and a work colleague of Richard Jepp, finished all three races and improved his best lap time by over five seconds over the course of the weekend. Due to his karting background, Ari Barker has extensive experience fighting for position in packed grids and we can expect the #87 pilot to grow in confidence over rounds four and five.

Ari Barker - Snetterton at the wheel of the #87 TNR Peugeot 107 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Lee Crisp’s Boston College Racing (BCR) enjoyed a positive start to the new season. Nick Abbott, who joined the team as a late replacement for Liam Browning, finished all three races but was frustrated that the pace was not quite there, preventing the #34 Toyota Aygo from competing for top ten finishes in class. After testing subsequent to Snetterton to ensure that the mechanical issues have been ironed out, we can expect to see Abbott pushing hard at Oulton Park.

There were no such problems for young Rory Pickles who had celebrated his 16th birthday just days before his debut at Snetterton. Pickles qualified the #52 AG Block Automotive Citroen C1 in the top half of the overall grid and 6th in class before going on to record two 7th and one 6th place finishes in class and improve on his qualifying pace by over two seconds. As a result, BCR left Snetterton with the #52 car lying 7th in the Challenge standings with the #34 in 11th place. 

Rory Pickles - Debut Race for Boston College Racing - Snetterton April 2024 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

QE Motorsport (Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate) enjoyed a spectacular start to their 2024 campaign. Joshua Jackson, piloting the #27 QE Citroen, opened the weekend by taking the overall pole position before driving to the team’s first overall win and three Challenge podium finishes. Jackson put a daring move on TNR’s Richard Jepp in the final race which gained him the class win but cost Jepp the overall victory. Expect to see Jackson fighting for overall and class wins in both races at Oulton Park.

Joshua Jackson - Snetterton Qualifying - 06.04.24 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Teammate Haydn Payne also opened his 2024 account in a positive manner over the opening weekend. Payne, who joined the Challenge in 2023, grew in confidence over the off-season and qualified 15th overall and 7th in class at Snetterton before driving to three top-six finishes in class. The #72 car is currently 5th in the Challenge and young Haydn Payne will certainly be hunting for his first podium finish of 2024 in the Challenge class in Cheshire.

Haydn Payne - Snetterton at the wheel of the #72 QE Motorsport Citroen C1 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Alan Barrett’s West Suffolk College (WSC) squad saw the debut of Brady Pollock in the team’s #12 Toyota Aygo. Pollock made his mark on the Challenge within minutes of going out on track for qualifying when he lapped in 2:39.219 to finish the session 6th quickest overall and 3rd quickest in class. The first race saw Pollock go one better with a 5th place finish overall and his first Challenge podium. He followed it up with a 6th and 7th place finish in class to leave Snetterton 6th in class and his confidence sky-high ahead of rounds four and five.

Brady Pollock - Snetterton (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Driving the sister car was Andrew Payne who couldn’t quite find the pace in Norfolk but finished all three races to go to Oulton Park 9th in the Challenge standings. We can expect to see more from Andrew Payne who brings extensive experience to the Student Motorsport Challenge.

Andrew Payne - Snetterton - April 2024 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

East Surrey College, led by Jason Chapman and William Darnbrook following George Keith’s move to NESCOT, carried on where they left off in 2023 with a strong start to the new season. Jack Wheeler drove the team’s #57 Citroen to two podium finishes and a 4th place in class and travels to Oulton Park 3rd in the Challenge standings. Wheeler is expecting to fight for both class and overall wins in 2024 so we should expect to see the #57 East Surrey College Citroen fighting hard when the series visits Cheshire.

East Surrey College Driver - Jack Wheeler enjoys success at Snetterton - July 2023

Making their Challenge debut at Oulton Park is Sussex Motorsports. Led by Team Principal Shiv Bhagrani and Deputy Team Principal Nathan Lee, the inspiration to launch their own team came from a meeting with Challenge organiser JP Latham at the BRSCC ‘Driven by Racing’ event at Silverstone in November 2023. Six months later, after a huge amount of work by the team and many hours of support from Student Motorsport, the #319 Citroen driven by Colin Dunn and supported by Seismic Motorsport will join the Challenge grid for the first time in Cheshire.

Sussex Motorsports First Racing Experience at Snetterton (Photo: P1 Graphics)

The team joined the CityCar Cup grid as a guest entry for the opening weekend at Snetterton where Colin Dunn finished in the top 20 overall in two of the three contests. Shiv Bhagrani and Nathan Lee have ambitious plans for the team and its ability to offer real-life motorsport experience to students in the Brighton area, we can expect to see Sussex Motorsports, sponsored by VRROOM working hard to develop their racing operations in the months ahead.

Sussex Motorsports - Racing at Snetterton April 2024
Sussex Motorsports - Racing at Snetterton April 2024

For SMO Challenge series organiser John Paul’ JP’ Latham, the grid for Oulton Park demonstrates the need for real-world trackside experience to prepare the next generation of motorsport professionals for the workplace.

“I am delighted to see the continued growth of the Student Motorsport Challenge and we very much welcome Sussex Motorsports as the team joins our paddock at Oulton Park,” he said.

“I firstly want to extend my gratitude to Keith and Nick at Rocked-!T motorsport luggage for their support of the Challenge for rounds four and five, they have also been instrumental in supporting some of our drivers in our paddock since 2022.

Rocked-!T will be supplying a team prize and we will be closely observing all the teams to choose a worthy winner.

Rocked !T and Jepp Partnership

“I am also delighted to welcome 2023 CityCar Cup champion Elliot Lettis to our paddock and the CityCar Cup, as he takes over driving duties from Leon Wilde in the #26 CCN entry. Elliot’s presence is a huge endorsement of the professionalism, good leadership and competitiveness of our teams, and we wish everybody at City College Norwich the best of luck for the weekend.

“We were delighted to see so many Challenge teams competing at the front of the CityCar Cup Championship field at Snetterton and Oulton Park should prove to be another highly competitive weekend. To pick class winners with the strength of our field is now very difficult!”

Track action for the Student Motorsport Challenge, part of the BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup Championship, gets underway at Oulton Park with qualifying at 9.55am on Saturday May the 25th with race one getting underway at 11.55am, the lights go out for race two at 4.20pm. Live timing for the day can be found at with live streaming of paddock action and interviews on the Student Motorsport Facebook page.