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29 Mar 2023

Photos by Gary Hawkins

Porsche Club Motorsport Season Starts in Style at Donington Park

Round 1 of the 2023 Season April 1st 

Donington Park hosts the opening rounds of the 2023 Porsche Club Motorsport Championship with Pirelli and the Woods Foodservice and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup this Saturday, April 1st, with an exciting mix of returning regulars and newcomers looking to make their mark in both. The season will be fought out over 14 races with the best 12 scores to count, and anyone with championship intentions will be looking to start the season with a handy points haul.

Qualifying is at 09.30 on Saturday morning with the two 25-minute races at 12.55 and 16.45. Both races will be live-streamed by MSVR on their YouTube channel.
Porsche Club Motorsport Championship with Pirelli
Class one looks really competitive with a host of former champions potentially in the mix. Pete Morris is always a factor in his 997 and won the opening race of 2022 here, and the double champion has long coveted a third title. Another double champion on the grid is Mark McAleer, also in a 997, back after a year out but should be right on the pace as ever.
Joining class one for 2023 is the overall champion from last year Colin Tester, stepping out of his Boxster and into a Cayman S as he moves up a class in pursuit of another crown. Another driver moving up is Pete Evans, last year’s Boxster Cup winner, and he is out in a 996 C2 that has been a race winner before but has a learning curve as he races on slicks for the first time.
Andy Toon and Chris Dyer are also former overall champions, Toon returning to racing this year while Dyer has been a consistent race winner in his Cayman S. Father and son pairing James and Bill Caley were front runners last year and return, while Kevin Molyneaux set fastest lap in the opening race last year before a series of mechanical issues.
Newcomers include the experienced Steve Wood in 996 C2, Vince Blacker moving up from class two and Cayman duo Warren McKinlay and Thomas Atherton. 
Class Two is dominated by the Boxster S and usually tightly fought. Paul Simpson is a former Boxster Cup champion and a race winner in the class last year so should be a driver to hit the ground running. Andrew Porter was another 2022 race winner and was third in the final points on his first year in the series, so another who will be on the pace from the very first race.
Angus Archer is a regular front runner while Oliver Chatham, Julian Morris, Brian Richardson and Carl Hazelton as all also returnees for 2023. Two to watch could be a pair of drivers stepping up from the Boxster Cup. Darren Labbett was third overall last year and a winner here at Donington in April last year in his first full season of racing, while Shiraz Khan debuted mid-season last year and lost out on a race win in the final race of the season by mere inches.
Woods Foodservice and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup 
Donington Park hosts the opening two rounds of the 14-race Woods Foodservice and Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup for what should be another great season of racing. With a field of closely matched Porsche Boxsters on treaded Pirelli tyres it is a level playing field and features some returning old hands and the usual crop of welcome new faces.
Mike Thompson was runner-up in last year’s championship and a race winner who returns in his Porsche Centre Bolton run Boxster looking to build on a consistent 2022 season. Another podium visitor last season was Vikram Sudera, who will be looking to combine his pace with a run of strong finishes in his Unique Porsche run Boxster.
Simon Ruffell-Ward put in the lap of last season at Brands Hatch in September by passing two cars on the last lap of a race to claim the first podium finish for his Porsche Centre Leeds Boxster, while Eric Bridges is another with a season of Boxster Cup action under his belt and ready to build on that experience in his self-run car.
Sarah Thompson and Faye Noble-Evans return to Boxster Cup action, Thomson having claimed her first pole last season and shown she has the pace. Noble-Evans was often in the thick of the action last year and will be keen to follow in the footsteps of husband Pete Evans who won the title in 2022 with a strong second half to the season. They are joined for the year ahead by a swathe of fellow female racers, with newcomers Zoe Kyle-Henney, Jessica Wilkinson and Sarah Wood all set to make their Boxster Cup debut with the SW Engineering team. 
Paul Andrew, Jonathan Lovell and Paul Watson are all set to take their first Boxster Cup race starts today, while another link back to the early days of the series when the cars were run by official Porsche centres from across the country, Ashley White will be in a car tended by Porsche Centre Nottingham.
Tyres are key in the Boxster Cup with competitors limited to just two sets for the season to control costs. The series is positioned as an entry route into circuit racing and has seen many rookies make their race debuts, and while some have gone on to bigger things many have stayed on for more of the close and affordable racing the series can offer. 

Qualifying is at 09.00 on Saturday morning with the two 25-minute races at 12.15 and 16.05. Both races will be live-streamed by MSVR on their YouTube channel.