All of Porsche Club Motorsport’s track series combined for two entertaining races at Silverstone on Saturday, 14 August, Chris Dyer and Simon Clark heading the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli runners for the outright wins, with Toby Barlow taking class two in both races.
The Porsche Classic Boxster Cup saw a pair of close races with Will Heslop and Richard Forber taking a win apiece.
The TracTive Suspensions and Porsche Club 911 Challenge Series runners had two 25-minute races rather than their more usual one-hour outing, but Tim Bates rose to the occasion and took both wins.
It was a busy track for the morning’s qualifying session, and a sprinkling of light rain added to the drama, but it was Mark McAleer who headed the times, his 997 eight tenths of a second clear of the Caymans of Dyer, Jake McAleer and Clark.
“The rain was making it tricky, it eased off at one point then got harder again,” said Mark McAleer. “I wasn’t sure if I was going quick enough or not, so pushed hard when we had a couple of drier laps.
Seventh overall was Toby Barlow’s Boxster S, well clear of class rivals Matt Kyle-Henney and Kevin Molyneux, the latter having his engine let go on the way back to the paddock and sadly putting him out for the day. Heslop set the Boxster Cup pace, Forber second with Alistair Nelson next up.
The 911 Challenge runners were headed by Bates in his 911 SC, David Burke in his newly built RSR second.
It was dry for the afternoon’s racing, and from the front row it was Dyer who got the best start, coming round at the end of lap one leading from Clark and poleman Mark McAleer, Kevin Harrison in fourth. Mark McAleer was pushing hard and moved into second on lap four, and then closed the gap to the leader, the two side-by-side down the pit straight three laps later.
From then on it was a great battle at the front, the two swapping places, Dyer claiming the win in a close finish after a great race. Behind, Clark held off Harrison to take third, Pete Morris recovering from a clutch problem in qualifying to come through to fifth.
“I had a plan before that race, and it actually worked,” said Dyer. “I wanted to get in front of Mark early and I got a great start, the car just hooked up and went. I could see everyone behind, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and then I saw Mark closing in. From then on we just kept swapping places, it was intense and so tight, but a clean race and a really good race.”
“That was a real battle,” said McAleer, “I caught up with Chris Dyer and it was the classic situation with our cars being better in different parts of the circuit and we had a fantastic race but perfectly clean, just how it should be.”
Barlow led all the way in class two, keeping class one cars between himself and his pursuers to take the win. Kyle-Henney led the chase with team-mate Andy Muggeridge close behind, Paul Simpson fourth after a close battle with Bill Caley and Angus Archer.
“The plan was to get a class one car between myself and the guys behind and I pulled it off,” said Barlow. “I had a gap and backed off a little as I had some breathing room, then I saw it was Matt Kyle-Henney behind me so had to push again, and the car got loose one lap exiting Copse which was a bit of a moment. Other than that car was good, and a good start.”
The Boxster Cup saw Heslop never headed, but in the latter laps had class rival Forber right with him and pair crossed the line just over half a second apart.
“It was a frustrating race,” said Heslop. “I got away but I caught some back-markers in the wrong places and got held up by a spinning car and I lost my lead. From then on I was driving in my mirrors but pulled a small gap before again losing ground, but held on for the win.”
The 911 Challenge runners started on their own grid at the back of the field and with a 20 second delay after the rest were set off, but that didn’t stop Bates catching the rear of the main field and climbing up to 19thoverall by the end. Just one place behind him was class rival James Neal’s 964, who felt he could have been closer if he hadn’t slipped down the order early on after a poor start.
“I got a good start and enjoyed chasing down the Boxsters ahead of me,” said Bates. “I didn’t really want to interfere too much with their racing but I picked a few off. I knew James Neal would be quick once he got going, but a good race and I enjoyed that.”
A clutch problem saw Mark McAleer slow away from pole, Dyer initially taking advantage, but Clark was ahead at Maggots and was over half a second clear by the end of the first lap, Harrison second and Dyer third. The lead three had a gap early on, but Mark McAleer was closing in.
By the mid-point of the race it was a four car lead group, and both Dyer and Mark McAleer got past Harrison on lap nine, Dyer briefly dropping to third before getting back past Mark McAleer. Clark stayed clear at the front to take the second Cayman win of the day, Dyer heading McAleer and Harrison over the line despite a late pre-race drama with his car.
“I had to push hard all the way,” said Clark. “I got a gap early on but as we caught the backmarkers the gap was changing lap by lap, but I have to be fair and say everyone out there was really good and no complaints, they had their own race to run. I caught cars in the wrong places for me sometimes but so did everyone and it all balanced out. A really good day for us.”
“We found the front sub-frame of the car was broken and it was still up on the stands when we were called to the collecting area for the race,” said Dyer. “The lads did a great job to get it back together and I was in the thick of the battle once again, and saw Mark McAleer get back up to me and I knew he was going to have a go on the last lap and I just managed to get another car between us – so pleased with that given what happened to the car!”
Barlow raced to the same story as in race one, again keeping class one cars between himself and the hard-chasing Kyle-Henney, who had Angus Archer right with him at the end.
“That sort of went to the same script,” said Barlow. “I had to work hard in the first lap to stay in front of a class one car but it has been two poles, two fastest laps and two wins so things just don’t get any better, a perfect weekend!”
Heslop again led the Boxster Cup field early in the race but had Forber putting him under pressure and with just two laps to go it was Forber ahead in the class. They crossed the line in that order, Alistair Nelson taking his second third place finish of the day.
“Will didn’t make it easy for me, which is just what should happen,” said Forber. “I’m just so pleased to be actually racing on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in just my fifth race meeting, it’s like nowhere we have raced before and the whole day has been brilliant.”
Once the 911 Challenge racers were released, Bates once more showed his pace and this time reached 16thoverall, Neil Harvey second in class and 21st in the car James Neal had raced in race one. David Harrison took over the 964 RS N/GT that Nathen Luckey had driven in race one and matched his team-mate with another third place.
“I enjoyed that race and I was please to go quicker than in race one,” said Bates. “I’ve had the car for so long we have developed it bit by bit and I just love driving it.”
Results, Race One:
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli: 1 Chris Dyer (Cayman S) 11 Laps;
2 Mark McAleer (997 C2S) +0.430s
3 Simon Clark (Cayman S)
4 Kevin Harrison (996 C2)
5 Pete Morris (997 C2S)
6 Richard Ellis (996 C2)
7 Jake McAleer (Cayman S)
8 Richard Bayston (996 C2)
9 Toby Barlow (Boxster S)
10 Paul Seagrave (996 C2)
Class Winners: Dyer; Barlow. Fastest Lap: Mark McAleer 2m20.738s (93.63mph).
Porsche Classic Boxster Cup: 1 Will Heslop 11 Laps
2 Richard Forber +0.624s
3 Alistair Nelson
4 Mike Thompson
5 Scott Adams
6 Vikram Sudera
Fastest Lap: Forber 2m30.372s (87.63mph).
TracTive Suspensions and Porsche Club 911 Challenge Series:
1 Tim Bates (911 SC) 11 Laps
2 James Neal (964 C2) +2m04.594s
3 Nathan Luckey (964 RS N/GT)
4 Christian Ayres (964 C2)
5 David Burke (911 RSR)
6 Roger Sparrow (911)
Fastest Lap: Bates 2m28.846s (88.53mph).
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli:
1 Clark 11 Laps
2 Dyer +2.382s
3 Mark McAleer
5 Jake McAleer
7 James Caley (997 C2S)
Class Winners: Clark; Barlow. Fastest Lap: Mark McAleer 2m20.746s (93.62mph).
Porsche Classic Boxster Cup:
1 Forber 11 Laps
2 Heslop 0.786s
6 Pete Evans
Fastest Lap: Forber 2m29.495s (88.14mph).
TracTive Suspensions and Porsche Club 911 Challenge Series:
1 Bates 11 Laps
2 Neil Harvey +38.301s
3 David Harrison (964 RS N/GT)
6 Morgan Sparrow (911 2.7 RS)
Fastest Lap: Bates 2m27.147s (89.55mph).
2021 Petro-Canada Lubricants and Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli and Porsche Classic Boxster Cup Calendar:
Donington Park, East Midlands – April 10th
Brands Hatch GP, Kent – May 1st
Snetterton 300, Norfolk – June 5th
Oulton Park, Cheshire – July 3rd
Silverstone GP, Northants. – August 14th
Brands Hatch Indy, Kent - September 5th
Snetterton 300, Norfolk – October 2nd