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Motorsport

21 Jun 2022

Photos by Gary Hawkins

Clark and Bates Double Up at Snetterton

PCGB Race Report Snetterton June 18th 2022

All of Porsche Club Motorsport’s race series were in action at Snetterton on Saturday June 18th, with Simon Clark and Tim Bates taking two wins each in the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli and 911 Challenge, while Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup wins were shared by Mike Thompson and Pete Evans.
 
A feature of the day was a tribute to the Club’s former long-time Motorsport Manager Steve Kevlin, where everyone gathered on the grid at lunch time for a minute of applause to honor his huge contribution to the development of Porsche Club GB’s motorsport activities and support for drivers of all levels.
 
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli
 
Race One
James Caley had his 997 C2S on pole for the first race of the day and led the field away with Clark slotting into second, while a fast-starting Kevin Harrison was into third as they exited the first corner from fifth on the grid. The lead three quickly opened a gap to fourth placed Chris Dyer, while the race went in a new direction as light rain started to fall three laps in, with the entire field on slicks, which mixed with some oil that was already down.
 
Leader James Caley was one of the first to find the grip going away, a brief slide enough for Clark to get by on lap four and take the lead. Harrison lost ground too and was under pressure from Dyer, who claimed third on lap six only to have Harrison get back past into the chicane on lap eight as conditions improved again.
 
Into the final laps James Caley was back with Clark and looking for a way past, but the leader held on to take his second win of 2022. Harrison in turn just held off Dyer for the final podium position, Pete Morris fifth having dropped to seventh early on with Neil Delargy next up.
 
“James had a slide and I got past of him through Coram,” said Clark. “He got right back with me near the end, and I’d like to say I had it under control but I was driving the wheels of the car! I had to be very committed at the end and was trying to make sure he couldn’t get inside me, a good result.”
 
“After the rain started there was some fluid down round the second half of the lap,” explained James Caley.  “I tucked to the inside, Simon stayed wide and that was the better choice. He stayed away but as things dried up a bit, I closed up but couldn’t get past him.”
 
Coleman headed the class two runners in qualifying and early in the race was under pressure from class rivals Colin Tester and Paul Simpson. They were battling in the top ten overall, Coleman when possible, putting class one cars between him and his rivals, but Tester was able to get past.
 
The rain shuffled the order as Coleman dropped behind Paul Simpson mid-race, and into fourth Angus Archer coming through to second. Coleman recovered to get back into second with two laps to go, Tester clear at the front while Archer took his third podium finish of the year.
 
“A lively race, there was something down on the track and my windscreen ended up covered in oil,” said Tester. “I had two big slides on the same lap and lost some ground but got back past them.”
 
Race Two
It was the same front row for race two and this time Clark got away well and was able to go round the outside of James Caley through the first corner and into the lead. Pete Morris was right with them in third at the end of lap one, with Bill Caley fourth from fellow Cayman racer Dyer.
 
Again the lead pair eased away, quickest cars on the track, while behind the battle for third tightened up as Morris, Bill Caley and Dyer where joined by Harrison. That dice came to a head as they started lap eight, Bill Caley looking outside of Morris into the first corner while Harrison saw the opportunity to take advantage of the gap that opened up on the inside, contact seeing Bill Caley spear off, Morris left with a flapping rear bumper while Harrison was now third from Dyer.
 
Once more James Caley was right with Clark in the final laps but was unable to get past, the lead pair finishing the 12 laps in that order. Dyer was also right with the car in front on the final laps, exiting the final corner right with Harrison and just losing out on the drag race to the line by less than half a second.
 
“My start was just good enough and then James was with me all the way,” said Clark. “It may not have looked like it but I was really feeling the pressure. The tyres were past their best late in the race and maybe I was overdriving a little, but it was hard not to in that situation. We missed the Brands Hatch meeting so to come back like this is a great result.”
 
“I was with him all the way but couldn’t get close enough to make a move,” said James Caley. “He went round me early on and I could close in but he never made a mistake and there wasn’t anything I could do, fair play to him he made no mistakes.”
 
Coleman came round ninth overall at the end of race one and at the lead of class two in his Boxster. As has been the theme this season he soon had Tester right with him, but Tester was hit with a five-second track limits penalty which dropped him back in the final results, but clear of Angus Archer in third.
 
A good result, not as exciting as race one but sometimes you win boring but it’s all points,” said Coleman. “A good day, two poles and we got fastest lap in race one so very happy with that.”
 
 
911 Challenge and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup
 
Race One
The potent 911 Challenge cars dominated the front of the grid, Rob Hollyman’s 964 on pole. It was fellow front-row starter Tim Bates who got away best though, heading Hollyman off the line with James Neal third and newcomer Stuart Jefcoate’s 993 fourth.
 
Of the Boxster Cup runners it was Darren King flying off the line from the fourth row of the grid who led at the end of lap one from Evans, Mike Thompson and Sarah Thomson. Sarah Thomson was into third on lap two, only to spin a lap later, as King pulled a gap of over two seconds on the rest, Mike Thompson working his way up to second after four laps and with the leader in his sights.
 
At the front it was Bates and Hollyman trading fastest laps only for Hollyman to pull off on lap five with a misfire. That left Bates well clear of Neal’s 964 and under no threat for the rest of the race, Jefcoate coming home third.
 
“I had a good few laps battling with Rob, he is always quick round here,” said Bates. “I knew I was up against it and then he just pulled off. The first few laps were great fun so I hope he has it sorted for race two.”
 
By lap six Mike Thompson was within a second of Boxster leader King, Darren Labbett joining him in the chase.  Together by the end of lap eight, these three were a highlight of the race as King resisted intense pressure from for lap after lap with Labbett right there too and ready to pounce.
 
Exiting the Nelson chicane with two laps late Mike Thompson managed to just get inside King as they headed into the Bombhole, and King ended up going wide and across the grass, losing places to Mike Thompson and Labbett. They took the chequer flag in that order, Mike Thompson the fifth first-time winner in five races.
 
“I really had to work for it, all three of us were having a heated battle near the end,” said Mike Thompson. “He was quick and I could get close in the corners but he was getting away down the straights, then I finally had an opening. There turned out to be one more lap that I expected but I held on, and nice to take a win at last.”
 
“I thought that Darren was going to win, he was quick and defending really well,” said Labbett. “I couldn’t see a way past then he went wide, it was a fun race especially watching the two in front.”
 
Race Two
Hollyman lined up at the front of the grid for race two, but before the race could start his misfire was back and he pulled off the circuit. Bates led the field away but the red flags were out to stop the race on lap two with several cars off and requiring some work to remove.
 
Once the track was clear there was a new race, over a reduced distance, and again it was Bates away ahead, Neil Harvey in second in the car used by Neal in race one. King continued his run of strong starts to lead the Boxsters, Evans and Mike Thompson right with him.
 
The exit of Nelson was proving to be King’s least favourite part of the circuit as three laps in Evans got alongside as they headed into the Bombhole and took the lead, Mike Thompson also getting past. King lost another place with a trip over the grass which saw Wayne Gregory into third.
 
Bates stayed clear at the front to win from Harvey, Jefcoate retiring his 993 after three laps.
Evans had a small lead over the rest of the Boxsters but the cars behind closed in as the end of the race approached and they were together on the final lap. Evans just held on to be the first driver to claim two wins this season in the Boxster Cup, Mike Thompson second from Gregory, less than a second covering the top three.
 
King was fourth, just staying clear of Vikram Sudera as they powered to the line, while Shiraz Khan, in just his second ever race, was a fine sixth.
 
“That was a great race,” said Evans. “I had Mike Thompson close, I was able to get away then he’d be with me again, and it was hard work but really enjoyable. I hadn’t realised I was the first driver to take two wins this season, so even better.”
 
“It was hectic early on and I watching all these cars go off in my rear-view mirror,” said Thompson. “Then we were on the grid and ready to go again, but I got up to second, then lost position and worked my way back up. A crazy race but I was happy with second and today’s results.”

Porsche Club Motorsport are next racing at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on June 9th.