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01 Aug 2023

Photos by Gary Hawkins

Porsche series shine at Silverstone

Round 5 Silverdtone GP July 29th 

All of Porsche Club Motorsport’s track series combined to see more than fifty cars qualify and race at Silverstone on Saturday July 29th – a grid of Porsches of a variety of models that would be hard to equal anywhere in 2023. Archie Hamilton and Chris Dymond shared Eden Race Drive Porsche Open Cup honors, James Caley and Mark McAleer took overall Porsche Club Motorsport Championship with Pirelli victories, Oliver Chatham and Christian Walker took a class two win apiece, while Jonny Lovell and Mike Thompson won the Woods Foodservice Boxster Cup races.
Race One
The Eden Race Drive Porsche Open and 911 Challenge cars lined up at the front of the huge grid, and were started on the lights, the rest of the cars going after a 20-second delay. Poleman Archie Hamilton led away in his 992 GT3, fellow front row starter Jodie Sloss initially losing a place but back in second by the end of the opening lap.
Hamilton was showing his qualifying pace and opened a gap to Sloss in the early laps, Dallas Carroll third in his 991.2 with David Harrison fourth in the Team Tasman GT3. By lap four they were in traffic and Carroll had closed on Sloss, while Hamilton baulked on that lap and his lead disappeared, Sloss with him as they completed lap five, Carroll right there too.
As the leader pulled away again, a brief spin passing a back marker dropped Sloss behind Carroll, and the lead three finished the 12 laps in that order, with Kevin Bird coming through to fourth from Adrian Linggi, the latter in his first race in five seasons.
“It was good to have some real competition,” said Hamilton. “It was all about traffic management, I lost time on one lap when a car spun in front of me, and it wasn’t all easy with so many cars out there. It was great to have so many Cup cars out there and everyone seems to be getting quicker.”
“I managed to keep it together and stay out of trouble!” said Carroll. “It was a fun race, I had two quicker cars ahead to chase and they seemed to know the track better than me, so it was a learning curve. I love mixed class racing and managing the traffic was fun.”
The Porsche Club Motorsport Championship cars were released after the 20-second delay, Mark McAleer on pole was slow away and tumbled down the top ten, James Caley in his 997 heading the field with Pete Morris second and Kevin Harrison third. After two laps McAleer was back to seventh and lapping quickly, while Chris Dyer had his Cayman into fourth and closed on Harrison, who in turn was right with Morris.
Caley was able to stay a couple of lengths clear as the cars behind jockeyed for position, McAleer now fifth and soon part of the train of cars battling over second, passing Dyer onto Copse on lap seven. Caley stayed clear to take the win from Morris, while McAleer got past the 996 of Harrison at the end to claim the finial podium slot.
“The flag to start the race seemed a long way off but I saw it drop and led into the first corner,” said Caley. “They were fighting behind and I was happy to see that and was able to stay clear – really pleased to take the win.”
“I had to be so defensive,’” said Morris, “I knew some cars from behind were going to come on strong and I was pleased we only had three laps left when Mark McAleer go back with us – a good start to the day.”
In class two overall points leader Oliver Chatham was strong in the early laps and headed the class, managing to put some class one cars between himself and the chasing Christian Walker, on his return to the series, with Andrew Porter third from Paul Simpson. Porter got past Walker but was forced to retire after contact with another car.
Chatham stayed clear race long, and at the chequered flag still had three class one cars between himself and his rivals, headed by Walker. Paul Simpson was third in his Boxster, with Shiraz Khan closing in the final laps after a great battle with Darren Labbett, the latter retiring.
“It was fun dicing with the class one cars,” joked Chatham. “I made a good enough start and then got nudged off early on but knew I had to get back ahead immediately and open a gap again.”
“There was a lot going on in that race,” said Walker. “Oliver managed to put some cars between us, but over the moon to take second.”
The Boxster Cup front runners were three abreast in to the first corner, and as the order settled it was Jonny Lovell back in the lead having dropped places early on, with Mike Thompson second from Perry Darling and Vikram Sudera.  The battle was intense, even when the quicker GT3 cars were lapping them, Lovell opening a gap from Thompson.
Lovell stayed clear to take his eighth win in nine races, while Thompson stayed clear in second. Darling was third but with Sarah Thomson, recovering from a brief spin, in fourth with Scott Adams, and series returnee Wayne Gregory, next up.
“That was hectic early on,” said Lovell. “I had to do a couple of moves to get away and get in some clean air. It was good fun and looking forward race two, I just need to take a break – that was hard work!”
“I’m happy with second,” said Thompson. “haven’t been on the podium here before so great to claim a P2 at Silverstone. I had a good start but got pushed wide as we were three abreast but that was all part of racing, I dropped to fourth but made up two places.”
Race Two
The second race of the day was the final one of the Silverstone race day but it didn’t disappoint with another action packed 25-minutes. Again, Hamilton led the Open cars away, but charging was Chris Dymond, in the 991 raced by Hasi Peto-Dias in race one, who was up to second at the end of lap one from eighth on the grid.
On lap two Dymond was right with Hamilton and the two were side-by-side through Luffield, Dymond moving ahead as they accelerated into the pit straight, while Charlie Bird was third after a good opening lap in his GT3 from Carroll. Dymond was incisive through traffic and began to open a gap, while as the race progressed Carroll was right with Bird and finally found a way by on lap eight.
Dymond stayed clear to take his maiden Porsche Open win, Hamilton having to settle for second and the end of his winning run. Carroll claimed his second podium of the day from Bird and the 997 of Will Chappell, that had oil system issues in race one, while Sloss retired having been running fifth with intermittent ABS.
“I practiced starting the car on the green flag lap and in the race got away fine,” said Dymond. “On lap two there was some fluid down at Brooklands which I saw and was able to go wide. Archie got a wiggle on, and I was alongside him all the way through Luffield and then ahead. I was able to get through the traffic well, the car felt really good – a big thank you to Hasi for letting me race his car.”
“Chris just really had the speed,” said Hamilton. “I chased as hard as I could and couldn’t go any quicker, then when he had a gap, I was a bit more careful in the traffic.”
This time McAleer got away well at the front of the Porsche Club Championship field, but it was Morris who stalled, tumbling to the back of the 48-car field. Harrison and race one winner Caley led the chase of McAleer, with Richard Bayston next up in his 996.
The lead three managed to ease away, Bayston getting caught up in a dice with Andy Muggeridge, Harrison staying close to the lead in the first half of the race. As the race progressed McAleer held his pace and pulled away to take his third win in four races in his 997, Harrison taking second while Caley claimed third, son Bill Caley coming through to take fourth – and the recovering Morris fifth having passed over 35 cars.
“I made a better start that time and the car was really quick,” said McAleer. “All weekend we have had pace and Kevin seemed to hang on really well and I just had to be consistent all the way to end.”
“The car has been fantastic today,” said Harrison. “Mark was just metronomic, and he finally got away but it was good fun.”
Once more Chatham headed the class two runners early on, Walker again second with Simpson third from Porter. Again, Chatham managed to get a class one runner between himself and Walker, but this time the battle was on and Walker was able to close, the two together after five laps.
A lap later Walker was ahead, but Chatham stayed with him, and the pair were side-by-side down the pit straight heading into lap 11, Walker staying ahead to claim his first win in the series. Porter was third from Angus Archer and Khan, Simpson having pitted and losing places before rejoining.
“It was a close battle for the lead,” said Walker. “I was able to get back with him when we were in traffic and get past. That was hard work, it was hot in the car but so pleased to take the win.”
Lovell was the early leader in the Boxster Cup field, pursued as before by Thompson and Darling. Thompson stayed with the leader and was able to pounce when Lovell dropped a wheel wide at the exit of Luffield, Darling also going past the as Lovell started to lose power.
Thompson stayed clear to take his second Boxster Cup race win, Darling taking his second podium finish of the day in second. Lovell was able to cling onto third and continue his run of finishing on the podium in every race, Adams fourth from Faye Noble-Evans and Thomson.
“Jonny ran wide, and I got past, we had a good tussle early on,” said Thompson. “We got up to the class two cars which was fun and it’s brilliant to take the win here – I’m really made up!”
“I’ve only ever raced here once before, and that was this meeting last year,” said Darling, “so I was pleased to get a good result, it’s so different to how it seems on TV! Pleased to take a second, I’ve got to get a win now!”
Race One:
Eden Race Drive Porsche Open Cup:
1 Archie Hamilton (992 GT3 Cup) 12 Laps
2 Dallas Carroll (991.2 GT3 Cup)
3 Jodie Sloss (991 GT3 Cup)
4 Kevin Bird (GT3 Cup).
Porsche Club Championship:
1 James Caley (997 C2S) 11 Laps
2 Pete Morris (997 C2S)
3 Mark McAleer (997 C2S)
4 Kevin Harrison (996 C2)
Class Two:
1 Oliver Chatham (Boxster S)
2 Christian Walker (Boxster S)
3 Paul Simpson (Boxster S)
4 Shiraz Khan (Boxster S).
Woods Foodservice Boxster Cup Championship
1 Jonny Lovell (Boxster S) 10 Laps
2 Mike Thompson (Boxster S)
3 Perry Darling (Boxster S)
4 Sarah Thompson (Boxster S).
Race Two
Eden Race Drive Porsche Open Cup:
1 Chris Dymond (991 GT3 Cup) 12 Laps
2 Archie Hamilton (992 GT3 Cup)
3 Dallas Carroll (991.2 GT3 Cup)
4 Charlie Bird (GT2 Cup).
Porsche Club Championship:
1 McAleer (997 C2S) 11 Laps
2 Kevin Harrison (996 C2)
3 James Caley (997 C2S)
4 Bill Caley (Cayman S)
Class Two:
1 Christian Walker (Boxster S)
2 Oliver Chatham (Boxster S)
3 Andrew Porter (Boxster S)
4 Angus Archer (Boxster S).
Woods Foodservice Boxster Cup Championship
1 Mike Thompson (Boxster S) 10 Laps
2 Perry Darling (Boxster S).
3 Jon Lovell (Boxster S).
4 Scot Adams (Boxster S)
Next Races: Brands Hatch, Kent September 3rd for the Festival of Porsche.