A dramatic final two Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli races of 2019 saw the top two cars separated by just 22 points. As is the norm at the season end, the two cars challenging for the outright Championship victory were sealed and taken for power testing as part the post season scrutineering.
The Cayman S of Simon Clark was found to exceed the allowed maximum power for the model and as a result was excluded by the Clerk of Course from the results of the Donington Park meeting. The car that was challenging for the Championship win, the 987 Boxster of Ross Morris was also power tested and found to be within the allowed power figures.
As a result, we can confirm that Ross Morris is the winner of Class 2 and overall Porsche Club Champion for 2019.
It has been a fantastic season said Morris. “I hadn’t had a win before this season and have five class wins now so I’m really happy,” said Ross Morris. “There are some really quick drivers out there now but it has been a lot of fun racing with them and it’s great to be the Champion.”
While the championship contenders were focused on scoring the points they needed, Pete Morris, father of class new champion Ross, and Jake McAleer both took their second outright race wins of the season, while James Coleman claimed both class two victories.
With the points re-calculated following the revised Donington Park results, Peter Morris is confirmed as Class 1 Champion, with Strasse team-mate Chris Dyer taking second in the Class from Jake McAleer on ‘countback’.
A slightly damp track saw the field struggle in qualifying to get close to the times they recorded at Donington Park at the start of the season, and it was Michael Price who ended up quickest from Pete Morris and the Cayman S of Clark. Fourth was Jake McAleer in his 996 C2, who ended up in the gravel at the chicane, stopping the session two minutes early.
“The conditions were tricky, the track wasn’t quite dry and the tyre pressures went up really quickly,” said Price. “I saw my times and thought there had to be more pace out there but I was working as hard as I could then saw I was P1!”
Coleman headed the class two times, an impressive tenth overall but with Toby Barlow and Kevin Molyneaux not far behind, while John Tordoff led Scot Adams in class three.
Pete Morris made the best start from the outside of the front row in race one, Clark sliding into second with Price third. Price pulled off after two laps with a driveshaft coupling issue, elevating Craig Wilkins to third with Kevin Harrison close behind and McAleer closing on that pair.
Harrison was into third on lap five, the lead pair now with a slight gap at the front. McAleer was also past Wilkins two laps later, and this group started to close in on the leader, Clark looking to be happy in second and not risking his title hopes with a move on Morris.
On lap 14 Harrison made a mistake at the chicane at the end of the lap and ended up stopped on the kerbs, McAleer and Wilkins briefly losing time allowing the gap to the leaders to grow again. Morris duly rattled off the remaining laps for the win in his Strasse 997 C2S, Clark happy to take the points for second with McAleer third ahead of Wilkins.
“I always seem to get a good start at Donington,” said Pete Morris. “We started the season here and I took a win so was expecting to be good today and a flag to flag win is great. I knew Simon Clark wasn’t going to take too many risks as he was racing for a championship, then some fluid went down on the track so pleased to bring it home.”
“Initially I thought I would have a nibble at Pete and there were a few opportunities,” said Clark, “but then someone left their bumper on the track into the chicane which was where I was looking to go past him. For the last few laps I was tiptoeing through the part of the track where there was some coolant down, but I am happy with that.”
“We had the pace to win but I got caught on the fluid that went down when looking to go past Simon,” said McAleer. “The car wasn’t great at first then suddenly it came alive and away we went.”
Coleman led all the way in class two, but behind there was a long battle between Kevin Molyneaux and Toby Barlow, the latter driver working hard but unable to find a way past. With Coleman driving away to take the win, the battle for second intensified, allowing fourth placed Ross Morris to close right in in the final laps.
Together as they went in the last lap, Morris got past both his rivals to come home second in class and keep his overall championship chances alive. Adams got the better of Tordoff in the class three battle.
“The fluid down at the back of the circuit made it really hard,” said Coleman, “but I really enjoyed that and we can try to do it again this afternoon.”
“I could see them squabbling ahead and gave it everything,” said Ross Morris. “I got a good run on them exiting the chicane and went past on the final lap!”
Clark just needed to score the points for starting the race to claim the title, but didn’t make the greatest start and was on the outside of the lead pack as they went through the first corner and got tipped into a spin – falling to the back of the field. Pete Morris was leading with Price right with him, McAleer third from Chris Dyer and Wilkins.
The lead group closed up and by lap four Morris was heading a six-car train, Price pushing hard in the next few laps to find a way past, the cars side-by-side more than once. It all changed on lap 12 when the lead pair clashed, both pitting with rear punctures, McAleer coming through now ahead with Harrison in close attendance.
McAleer eased away over the final laps to close his first season in class one with a win, Harrison second. Andy Toon had passed Dyer and was now running third, their battle intense at the end, the two touching at the first corner going into the final lap with Dyer briefly spinning but staying fourth – Toon going onto take his first podium finish in class one.
“I’m so happy to finish the season with a win,” said McAleer. “I felt we could have won more over the year but it’s my first time in class one and if I had been offered two wins at the start I would have taken it happily. That was a good race, I could see the two in front of me were getting close so I bided my time and took my opportunity.”
“After making a rookie mistake in race one that was much better,” said Harrison. “We showed we still have the pace, we have some work to over the winter and I’m already looking forward to next year!”
Coleman once again led all the way in class two, with Morris extending his lead in the class two points with second place, while Adams claimed class three again.
“That was harder than race one,’ said Coleman. “I started having a gearbox problem so had to focus on just being consistent with my lap times and staying clear.”
The above qualifying and race reports were written prior to the results being revised.
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli, Race One: 1 Peter Morris (997 C2S) 20 Laps; 2 Jake McAleer (996 C2); 3 Craig Wilkins (996 C2); 4 Andy Toon (996 C2); 5 Glen Broster (996 C2). Class Winners: Peter Morris; James Coleman (Boxster S); Scot Adams (Boxster S). Fastest Lap: McAleer 1m15.238s (94.69mph).
Race Two: 1 McAleer 20 Laps; 2 Kevin Harrison (996 C2) +3.212s; 3 Andy Toon (996 C2); 4 Chris Dyer (Boxster S); 5 Wilkins (996 C2) Class Winners: McAleer; Coleman, Adams. Fastest Lap: McAleer 1m14.243s (94.68mph).
Pictures: Gary Hawkins