Menu toggle


21 May 2024

Photos by Gary Hawkins

Porsche Championships Put on Super Show at Brands Hatch

Round 2 Brands Hatch GP May 18th 

The full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit hosted all of Porsche Club Motorsport’s race series on Saturday May 18th, and every series supplied some superb racing on a day that saw all races shortened due to an incident earlier in the day in another championship. Simon Clark took both Porsche Club Motorsport Championship with Pirelli wins, Andrew Porter both Porsche Club Motorsport AM Championship with Pirelli victories, while the Woods Foodservice Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup saw two first time winners in Perry Darling and Graham Heard.

Porsche Club Motorsport Championship with Pirelli & Porsche Club Motorsport AM Championship with Pirelli.

Race One
The 997 C2S of Simon Clark led the field away at the start of the opening race, like all for the rest of the day now scheduled for 15-minutes rather than 25, Mark McAleer slotting into second and son Jake taking third. Clarke was over a second clear at the end of the first lap, but then both McAleer’s began to close in on the leader.

The three were together heading into lap six, Jake McAleer looking to go round the outside to claim second but was just held off by Mark McAleer. They stayed close for the rest of the nine laps, Clark never offering his pursuers a clear opportunity to take the lead and the trio filled the top three positions for the third time in the top three races.

“I tried hard to get clear, but they were with me,” said Clark. “They came back at me and put pressure on, the last two or three laps were really challenging, it was like qualifying pace! Please to take the win though.”

“I would have loved that race to have been longer,” said Mark McAleer,” he never gave me a clear opportunity and I felt I had more grip at the end, but I also had Jake behind me going quick – great fun though!” 

James Caley had a lonely race in fourth to make it four 997s at the front, while Jim Bryan had an eventful race to claim fifth, under pressure from multiple cars for lap after lap. He somehow held off attacks from Pete Morris and Bill Caley, Ed Hayes and Paul Simpson also part of that group in the mid-point of the race, in what was yet another great battle in an entertaining race.

In the Porsche Club Motorsport AM Championship with Pirelli category Andrew Porter led early on from Darren Labbett and Angus Archer, but the driver on the move was Jamie Callender. He passed Archer on lap three, and two laps later was into second having found a way past Labbett.

Callender pushed the leader hard but Porter offered no clear opportunity in his Boxster, and held on to take his first win of 2024, Callender less than a second behind at the end. Labbett came home third from Archer.

“That was a hard 15-minutes!” said Porter, “and I’m glad it was a short race as they would have had me. They pushed me all the way and it was a three car battle, a really good race.”

“That was really good fun with the three of us,” I had a bad start and lost places, got back up there and managed to sneak through.”

Race Two
It was Clark on pole once more for the second race of the day, and again he made the best of the start to lead Mark and Jake McAleer into the first corner. Jake McAleer claimed second early on and these three came round already a second clear of James Caley in fourth at the end of lap one.

Having set fastest race lap Jake was soon heading pit wards, a mechanical issue seeing him have a brief trip across the grass and forced smokily to retire. This time round Clark had the pace to keep Mark McAleer at a safe distance and took his second win of the day, McAleer having James Caley a second behind at the end.

“I thought it was going to be like race one but the car felt really consistent,” said Clark, “I saw Jake behind me and knew he had been quick in race one but I saw him go off in my mirrors. A good day.”

“My car fell off a cliff!” said McAleer. “I struggled for grip and Simon’s car seemed to hold on way better, but two second place finishes are ok.”

Once more, a highlight of the race was the multi-car battle for the positions in the middle of the top ten, Bryan again heading a train of squabbling Porsches in the early laps. More than once going through corners alongside each other, Morris finally worked his way through to take a hard-fought fourth, Bill Caley and Bryan less than a second behind at the end.

Porter again took the AM Championship lead early on, Labbett second from Shiraz Khan and Callender at the end of lap one. By lap four Porter had a couple of lengths advantage as a line of cars chased Labbett, Callender now past Khan with Jason Brown right with them.

The battle was a race highlight as the train of Boxsters lapped quickly, Brown going off on lap six to leave it a five-car battle, and Callender going wide at Clearways a lap later to slip away from the fight. Khan was into second with two laps to go and put in the fastest race lap of any of the Boxsters to close right in on Porter, just a fraction of a second behind the leader as they took the flag – Khan’s first podium finish after a fine drive.

“They were pushing me so hard again, towards the end I was hoping they would hold each other up then Shiraz came through. He was so quick, if there had been another lap, he would have been past me. I’ll take two wins for a day’s work!”

“What a race!” said Khan. “The team kept telling me I could do it and today it felt like I have unlocked the car and was right there at the end – just needed one more lap!”

Woods Foodservice Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup

Race One
It took two goes to get the first Woods Foodservice Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup race of the day underway, the first attempt stopped after two laps with a car off the circuit, and the field formed up for the restart in their original grid positions. Perry Darling again made a good start to lead the field into the first corner from pole position, coming through at the end of the opening lap with Scott Evans right with him and Faye Noble-Evans in third.

Noble-Evans was soon under pressure from Wayne Gregory, who looked for a way past at Graham Hill Bend on lap four, but held sway. Darling headed the field home the race reduced to eight minutes after the initial red flag, Graham Heard second and Noble-Evans claiming third.

“That was an amazing race,” said Darling. “It’s seems to have been a long time to take my first ever win, they put so much pressure on me so good to win like that.”

“I enjoyed that,” said Heard, “he never gave me a clear opportunity, but I would do the same in his situation. I didn’t think I could get up to second and had to work my way though.”

Race Two
Darling again headed the field away in their second race of the day, Heard storming through from the second row to take second on lap one, Wayne Gregory third. Ben Grewcock crossed the line in fourth at the end of the open lap, Sarah Thomson right with him, and when Thomson looked to go inside Grewcock at Surtees, Darren King pounded and dived inside Thomson – who immediately claimed the place back with a bold move through Hawthorn corner.

It closed up at the front, Heard taking the lead on lap three as Darling was now under pressure from Gregory, the top ten cars all seemingly in close battles. Thomson finally got past Grewcock on lap four and set off after the lead three, closing in quickly and sweeping past Gregory through Dingle Dell, not a usual passing place.

Lap six saw Thomson still pushing hard, claiming two places on the lap to finish it ahead, taking the lead through the high-speed Hawthorn corner in her Boxster. Heard fought back and with a lap to go and tried to get inside Thomson at Graham Hill Bend only for Thomson to sweep across and claim the exit.

They crossed the line it that order only at that very moment for a five-second track limits penalty for Thomson to flash up on the timing screens – sending her tumbling down to fifth in the final results. Heard took his first Boxster Cup with Gregory second, Darren King passing Darling with a lap to go to take third.

“I was happy with second as that was such an amazing race,” said Heard. “The pace was so quick, Sarah went past me like I was standing still, she was so good. Delighted to take the win, there are some really good drivers out there.”

“That was such hard work, such close racing,” said Gregory. “I could see the time counting down and had pretty much settled for third, Sarah was so quick today.”

For her overtaking efforts Thomson was awarded the ‘Driver of the Day’ accolade at the end of the race schedule.

Porsche Club Motorsport Championship with Pirelli
Race One:
1 Simon Clark (997 C2S) 9 Laps
2 Mark McAleer (997 C2S)
3 Jake McAleer (997 C2s)
4 James Caley (997 C2S).
Fastest Lap: Jake McAleer 1m37.895s (89.48mph).

Race Two:
1 Clark (997 C2S). 9 Laps
2 Mark McAleer (997 C2S).
3 James Caley(997 C2S).
4 Pete Morris (997 C2S).
Fastest Lap: Mark McAleer 1m37.962s (89.42mph).

Porsche Club Motorsport AM Championship with Pirelli
Race One:
1 Andrew Porter (Boxster S)
2 Jamie Callendar (Boxster S)
3 Darren Labbett (Boxster S)
4 Angus Archer (Boxster S).
Fastest Lap: Shiraz Khan (Boxster S) 1m41.585s (86.23mph).

Race Two:
1 Porter (Boxster S)19 Laps
2 Khan (Boxster S)
3 Labbett (Boxster S)
4 Archer (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Khan 1m41.936s (86.18mph).  

Woods Foodservice Porsche Club Motorsport Boxster Cup
Race One:
1 Perry Darling 5 Laps (Boxster S)
2 Graham Heard (Boxster S)
3 Faye Noble-Evans (Boxster S)
4 Wayne Gregory (Boxster S).
Fastest Lap: Heard 1m45.113s (83.33mph).

Race Two:
1 Heard 9 Laps (Boxster S)
2 Gregory (Boxster S)
3 Darren King (Boxster S)
4 Darling (Boxster S)
Fastest Lap: Darling 1m44.936s (83.47mph).

Next Races: Oulton Park, Cheshire, 29th June 2024.
All Images: Gary Hawkins
Report: Paul Jurd