Brands Hatch provided two very different races as the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with the Pirelli and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup fields combined in front of a large crowd, with the first stopped after just two laps, while later in the day race two allowed competitors to show what they can do with some great racing.
Race one was stopped after Vikram Sudera went off heavily on the run up to Druids, fortunately without any serious injury, and results were issued for the abbreviated round, with Pete Morris heading class one as the red flags flew, James Coleman class two and Darren King leading the Boxster cup field. Race two also ended a little early, but it saw wins for Kevin Harrison and Colin Tester in the Club championship, while Pete Evans took his maiden Boxster Cup victory.
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli
It was a drag race off the line at the start of the opening race with pole-sitter Pete Morris just holding off Harrison who had rocketed off the line from the second row of the grid. The race was just settling down with two laps completed when it was halted with a Boxster off heavily on Hailwoods Hill, the class leaders across the line on the second lap being Pete Morris and James Coleman.
For race two Harrison was alongside the 997 C2S of Pete Morris on the front row, and they were evenly matched off the line, but Harrison held half a car’s advantage as they reached Paddock Hill bend and went round the outside to lead. James Caley was third at the end of lap one ahead of son Bill, Chris Dyer having been pushed off the second row of the grid with a gearbox issue and not making the start in his Cayman S.
Morris stayed right with Harrison and the pair pulled out an impressive advantage over the rest before the race was stopped early at the end of the ninth lap with two cars off at the end of the track and fluid down from a leak. That gave Harrison’s 996 C2 the win from Morris, James Caley third.
“I got off the line well and we were side-by-side but I wasn’t going to give in, if you have an opportunity like that you just have to keep going” said Harrison. “I reckoned if I could get in font I could keep going and maybe pull a gap, but we were both pushing hard. I have driven this track for 20 years but in testing this week I changed my approach to certain corners and found a second and a half, and that is where it came from, you always keep learning.”
“Kevin and I go back a long way so that was fun,” said Pete Morris. “I could have squeezed him a bit, but he got the better start and I thought we would pull away and I would chase him down later. We were both really quick but then there was oil down, I lost the back end at 120mph turning into one corner, so it was right to stop the race.”
In class two Simpson led at the end of lap one and in a strong sixth overall, but the Boxster of Tester was right with him, and Coleman was not far away. In an entertaining battle amongst class one cars, Tester was ahead at the end lap two, Coleman second as Simpson slipped to third.
Tester stayed clear, and pulled a couple of seconds clear of Coleman, and any plans for a late race charge from Coleman were ended as the race was halted. Simpson was third while a strong debut from Andrew Porter was rewarded with a fine race to fourth.
“That was good fun, Paul got a good first few corners and got into the lead, plus James was right there. I was happy to stay behind early on, but Paul made a mistake into Paddock, and I got inside him and was able to build a bit of a gap. Thrilled to get a win.”
Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup
With the race halted after two laps with a Boxster Cup car having gone off, it was Darren King who headed the field across the line on the second racing lap, from Darren Labbett and Evans.
A great early lead battle saw a different car first across the start line on each of the first three opening laps, Perry Darling heading lap one, then Labbett lap two and Evans heading the field after lap three. It was the latter move that proved decisive, Evans then easing away in a style unusual in the tightly fought series, while leading proved to be unlucky for Darling and Labbett who both failed to finish.
As Evans stayed clear to record his first ever race win, the consistent Mike Thompson profited from the demise of two of the front-runners to move into second, while Scot Adams claimed the final podium position. The distinctive gold car of Simon Ruffell-Ward took fifth when the race was halted, sparing him an attack form the closing Sarah Thomson, who had tumbled down the order on the opening lap but recovered with a series of impressive overtakes.
“Once I was ahead, I had a couple of class two cars around me and I was keen to get in front of them and use them as a barrier,” said Evans. “I wanted a clean first three corners which saw me drop back, but I kept cool and worked my way back. My first track day ever was exactly 36 months ago so to finish first out of a grid of this size was a real pleasure.”
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club with Pirelli
1 Pete Morris (997 C2S) 2 Laps
2 Kevin Harrison (996 C2) +0.603
3 Chris Dyer (Cayman S)
4 Bill Caley (Cayman S)
5 James Caley (997 C2S)
6 Toby Barlow (Cayman S)
1 James Coleman (Boxster S)
2 Colin Tester (Boxster S) +0.176s
3 Andrew Porter (Boxster S)
4 Paul Simpson (Boxster S)
5 Ross Morris (Boxster S)
6 Angus Archer (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Dyer 1m39.268s (88.23mph).
1 Harrison 9 Laps
3 Pete Morris +0.761
3 James Caley
4 Bill Caley
5 Neil Delargy (997 C2S)
6 Alan Muggeridge (996 C2)
1 Tester 9 Laps
2 Coleman +1.084s
6 Ross Morris
Fastest Lap: Coleman 1m40.817s (86.87mph)
Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup
1 Darren King (Boxster S) 2 Laps
2 Darren Labbett (Boxster S) +1.768s
3 Pete Evans (Boxster S)
4 Mike Thompson (Boxster S)
5 Perry Darling (Boxster S)
6 Scot Adams (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Evans 1m49.896s (79.66mph).
1 Evans 9 Laps
2 Thompson +19.111s
3 Adams (Boxster S)
4 Simon Ruffell-Ward (Boxster S)
5 Sarah Thompson (Boxster S)
6 Lee Sibley (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Evans 1m46/969s (81.83mph).
Next Races: Snetterton, Norfolk, June 18th.
All Images: Gary Hawkins
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