Autosport (UK)

JENVEY STILL A TOP GUNN AS HE REACHES WIN 76

- MARK PAULSON

Zeo Prototype stalwart Mike Jenvey scored the 75th and 76th race victories of his career with a double success aboard his self-developed Jenvey Gunn TS6 at Snetterton.

In a national racing landscape littered with one-make categories, Zeo provides a relatively rare opportunit­y for innovative engineerin­g to create some of the fastest machinery seen regularly on British circuits.

Jenvey’s 101mph Snetterton pole lap was quicker than every GT3 Am drivers’ qualifying time at last year’s British GT event and beaten by only six of the 19 Pro racers. It was on a par with LMP3 Cup pace when it visited in 2017-18.

The Jenvey Gunn is a decade-plus developmen­t of the two-litre Durateceng­ined Gunn TS6 in which the twotime Formula Vee champion won Sports 2000 titles in 2009 and 2012, before progressin­g to the British Racing & Sports Car Club’s old Open Sportscar Series – effectivel­y a forerunner to Zeo. There, he scored title success in 2015 and 2017.

“Rear wing, diffusers, much bigger tyres, paddleshif­t, electronic throttle, 100bhp more,” said Jenvey when describing some of the areas of developmen­t compared with the original Sports 2000 car. Jenvey throttle bodies are, naturally, a key component in getting the Duratec to push 300bhp.

He added: “We’ve developed our own engine over many years, and we’ve been through years where we’ve blown up four/ five engines in a year. I went through two years where I was rebuilding the engine every single event.

“And now it’s really, really stable.

Steel crank, CNC ported heads, really good intake system, airbox and exhaust. We’ve had our own valve springs made for it, so it’s a bit of a labour of love.”

The car’s latest developmen­ts – a twin-plane rear wing and correspond­ing splitter modificati­ons – came in response to Joe Lock’s rapid pace at the Silverston­e opener aboard his Tim Gray Motorsport Spire SSSC.

“Tim wanted to make a car that was more competitiv­e in the prototype world, rather than just a standard Bikesports­spec car,” said Lock, who was on pole position in Northampto­nshire but has been hampered by an oil-surge issue on the Spire’s 1.3-litre supercharg­ed Hayabusa engine causing it to trip out. “I think, when we do get it right, it will be a very competitiv­e car. Mike’s a very good driver, so to be there or thereabout­s and be competitiv­e in our first season in the car, Tim’s got to take a lot of credit for building such a good car.”

The two one-offs, and a pair of Praga R1s piloted by Shane Kelly and Jack Fabby, were surprising­ly evenly matched around the three-mile Snetterton 300 circuit, despite their different strengths and weaknesses. Each had spells leading while Jenvey had to battle back having dropped to fourth in each race.

“That was one of the hardest races I’ve had for a long time,” said Jenvey, whose father Richard competed internatio­nally in the 1970s. “I’m loving this series, it’s really good. My dad used to race two-litre sportscars, so this is like our ultimate two-litre sportscar.”

 ?? ?? Fabby led the Zeo Prototype field at start in Praga R1
Fabby led the Zeo Prototype field at start in Praga R1
 ?? ?? Jenvey had to fight for top spot
Jenvey had to fight for top spot

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