Near Lichfield in Staffordshire sits the Curborough Sprint Course. Once a WW2 RAF Air Base the course is quick, highly technical and offers spectators a perfect view from start to finish.
On Saturday 27th August the Porsche Club Speed Championship drivers arrived to test themselves on the twisty figure-of-eight layout. The course involves a long but curved start to fast left and right bends, several changes in direction and a dash down the main straight to the timing light. The cars can arrive at the line at high speeds, possibly over 100 mph and hence hard and controlled braking is required to stop before the end of the course.
Everyone was pleased to see the Motorsport Chairman Paul Seagrave taking a keen interest in the competition as it unfolded during a day of bright warm sunshine, motorsport heaven!
The drivers were given 2 practice runs and in P4 Martin Leach took his pretty 911E to a best class practice time of 66.25 seconds. Stephen Jury managed a 67.82 run in his 944 with Jake Cartwright taking a full second off his first run time to a best of 71.75 seconds.
In P3, the largest class, Andy Fagan achieved a very quick time of 64.82 seconds with his Boxster. Geraint Evans in his 911 was second quickest by just 0.01 over Wayne Eason and his Boxster in third place.
P2 had three drivers, Mel Spear with his spectacular 964 and the father and son team of ian and Nick Wadsworth. Nick went first with a super quick time in the 911 of 64.39 seconds, all the more impressive as the car was misfiring slightly under load. Ian came home in a very respectable 65.15 seconds just over a second ahead of Mel Spear.
P1 had just the one driver on the day. Tim Barber’s efforts behind the wheel of the big and very fast 996 produced a super time of 62.26 seconds (2% handicap applied for slick tyres).
The sport is all about working out what you did on the last run and planning to improve. Sometimes a small change is what is required to find that perfect run, a smoother start, a later apex or perhaps a different choice of gear.
After a break for lunch during which all the drivers had time to review their practice times they formed up for the scoring runs.
In P4 Jake Cartwright recorded a best time of 70.48 seconds, more than a second better than in practice to take third place. It was the 911E of Martin Leach that took the class win with a great best time of 66.05 seconds and just over a second quicker than Stephen Jury in the 944. Stephen would have been closer but for the fact that he was penalised for clipping a cone on the circuit.
P3 was always going to be closely fought with quick and experienced drivers all looking for the best time. Third in class was Geraint Evans in his 911 Carrera with a time of 65.82 seconds. Geraint was 0.03 seconds slower than Andy Fagan but the Boxster driver might have been further ahead had he not clipped a cone and suffered a 1 second penalty. Wayne Eason managed to avoid the cones and put in a smooth and very well driven time of 64.75 to win the class.
In their shared 911 SC/RS Nick and Ian Wadsworth both made improvements in their practice times but it was Nick that took the P2 class win with a time of 65.02 seconds. Mel Spear ended the day in his 964 with a time of 66.16 seconds just a third of a second less than Ian Wadsworth who finished third in a time of 66.48 seconds.
Running alone in his 996 you might have forgiven Tim Barber for not trying, however we all knew he would! Tim stormed to a time of 61.67 seconds (after 2% added for slicks) and in so doing broke the magic 100mph across the finishing line.
Motorsport Chairman Paul Seagrave presented the awards to a happy group of drivers and we all now look forward to the final two rounds, the Lotus test track at Hethel on September 4th and then Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb on September 17th.