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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2011 Race 7 & 8 Oulton Park Reply with quote

Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2011 Race 7 & 8 Oulton Park

Oulton Park challenge for Porsche Carrera Cup GB

The fabulous circuit of Oulton Park in Cheshire is the setting for rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup over the weekend of 4/5 June.

With a field of 24 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars on the grid, the pair of Carrera Cup races will make a mighty spectacle around the challenging three-dimensional parkland track and it is James Sutton (SAS/Redline) who heads to Cheshire with a useful points’ lead after the opening six races. With a clean sweep of podium finishes this season, including a double win last time out at Thruxton, Sutton has gone 19 points clear at the head of the points. But he knows it is too early to start thinking about the title and is just determined to carry on chalking up strong finishes.

Three drivers currently stand out as the major challengers to Sutton and any of them could be on top at Oulton Park. Both Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelley concluded late deals to race for the Parker with Juta squad this season, but were both right on the pace from the opening rounds at Brands Hatch, where they shared the race wins. Hankey won again at Donington Park and they now head to Oulton Park with the clear target of stopping Sutton extending his points’ lead at the head of the championship.

The other member of the current big four is Michael Meadows, team mate to Sutton at SAS/Redline and, like Hankey, one of the 2010 Carrera Cup Scholarship winners. Meadows showed by winning at Donington Park that he is now firmly established as a Carrera Cup pacesetter and will be as eager as Hankey and Jelley to peg back Sutton’s advantage.

In the strongest Pro line-up the championship has ever enjoyed, other leading contenders include promising youngsters Richard Plant and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), the rather more experienced Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) and current Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline), who is aiming for a strong showing on his home track. Meanwhile, young single-seater ace Kieran Vernon joins the grid with the Nationwide/Motorbase squad in the car driven by Tim Harvey over the opening races.

Currently fifth overall and a clear leader in the Pro-Am1 category is Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), and the rising star from Lithuania is now aiming for an overall podium finish as well as more Pro-Am1 success. Four Pro-Am1 victories from six races have taken Gelzinis to a 39-point lead in the category and he was spectacularly fast at Oulton Park a year ago. However, three drivers in particular are fighting hard to match the pace of Gelzinis.

Leading the chase of Gelzinis is young Scot Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) after an excellent start to his debut Carrera Cup season and he was the closest threat to Gelzinis last time out at Thruxton. Butcher knows Oulton Park from his single-seater racing and should be strong, while Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) is also having a great season in Pro-Am1. Al Harthy will be buoyed by a recent trip to the Dijon circuit where he contested two rounds of the Carrera Cup France and immediately showed front-running pace. The fourth of the prime contenders in Pro-Am1 is Derek Pierce (Team Parker Racing).

In Pro-Am2 the title race is finely balanced just now as Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) heads George Brewster (Celtic Speed) by a single point and they have shared the wins so far with Brewster taking four wins to the two of Shelley over the opening six races. Other leading runners in Pro-Am2 include Keith Webster (Redline Racing), Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) and Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance).
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meadows takes double Carrera Cup GB pole at Oulton Park

Michael Meadows was the star of qualifying at Oulton Park (Saturday 4 June) when he clinched pole position for both rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

In a fiercely competitive session, the top four were covered by less than a tenth of a second as James Sutton, Stephen Jelley and Michael Caine ran right on the pace. Meanwhile, in Pro-Am1 Jonas Gelzinis and Ahmad Al Harthy shared the top slots and in Pro-Am2 Andrew Shelley and George Brewster each took a pole position.

Meadows (SAS/Redline) set the standard with two best laps within two-thousandths of a second to clinch his first double pole. “Overtaking here is very difficult and starting from the front row at Oulton Park is very important; the team has done a great job,” said Meadows.

Sutton (SAS/Redline) and Jelley (Parker with Juta) each took a second and a third place and both felt that they could have been on pole. Sutton formed an SAS one-two for round seven and ran fewer laps than anyone else in a bid to keep his tyres in the best possible shape for the races. “It was a case of preserving tyres and I know that we can race well,” he said. Jelley, meanwhile, reckoned that his best lap on his second set of tyres should have netted P1. “I put two wheels onto the dirt at Druids; that was the lap that should have been pole,” he reported.

For Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase), two fourth places was a strong finish and marked a big step forward in performance for the Motorbase squad. His time for round seven was less than a tenth of a second away from pole position. “We can go and race from there,” said an upbeat Caine after his best qualifying performance of the season to date. Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta) was next up among the Pro drivers, with sixth and fifth places.

The stage is set for some fine competition in Pro-Am1 as Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) shared top position, with Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) chasing them hard with a brace of third places. However, Gelzinis admitted that qualifying had not gone as well as he had hoped. “On my first set of tyres I locked up at Lodge and ran into the gravel; that was a good lap,” he said. The Lithuanian was then more cautious on his second set of tyres, knowing that he could not afford to lock up again. Butcher found half a second over his testing pace. “I think we could have had a little bit more; it’s just so tight,” said the Scot.

It was just as close in Pro-Am2 as Shelley (Redline Racing), Brewster (Celtic Speed), Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) and Keith Webster (Redline Racing) proved typically closely matched. “There was lots of traffic; it was one of those sessions,” said Shelley. “It can be an exciting place to start,” he added of the Cheshire track. “I was just untidy,” said Brewster. “But our race pace is strong.” Parish, meanwhile, was second to Shelley for round seven. “The car is much better,” said Parish.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutton wins Carrera Cup GB round seven at Oulton Park

James Sutton clinched his third Porsche Carrera Cup GB win in a row at Oulton Park (Saturday 4 June) in an action-packed round seven, but it was at the expense of his team mate Michael Meadows who led for 16 of the 18 laps.

When Meadows fell foul of coolant on the track, Sutton swept ahead and Stephen Jelley battled though to take second from Meadows. Jonas Gelzinis claimed Pro-Am1 victory and Andrew Shelley won Pro-Am2 from long-time leader Steve Parish.

Meadows (SAS/Redline) did everything right from the start to lead from pole as Sutton ran second under constant pressure from Jelley (Parker with Juta). For lap after lap it was nip-and-tuck, but Meadows seemed set for victory until two laps from home. Down to Knickerbrook on lap 17 of 18, Meadows was first to find coolant dropped by the car of Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing). “I just lost the front of the car,” said Meadows as he slithered across the grass. Jelley had been attacking Sutton at the same time, but as Sutton dived ahead, Jelley had to slot in behind Meadows. On the final lap, Meadows again ran across the grass and Jelley nipped through to second.

Despite taking his third win on the bounce, Sutton was disappointed for his team mate. “It was a shame to see him go off because we’ve been working so hard as a team,” said Sutton. “You’ve got to be as consistent as you can in this championship,” he added, after extending his points’ lead. “When the coolant went down it gave us another thing to think about,” said Jelley, who had spent the whole race attacking the SAS cars. “Gutted,” was how Meadows understandably summer up his feelings after taking third.

Into fourth went Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase), but he was fortunate to finish after a clash at the hairpin with Gelzinis (Juta Racing) left Caine with a damaged rear wheel. Fortunately, the tyre stayed up, but any chance of chasing the top three was gone. Gelzinis also elected to ease back his pace over the closing laps once his constant shadow of the first half, Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta) dropped down the order when a run through the gravel at Druids peeled the front splitter off his car. “It was too risky as you could not see the coolant,” said Gelzinis of his decision to back off and make sure of Pro-Am1 victory.

Behind sixth-placed Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing), Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) grabbed second in Pro-Am1 after a lengthy challenge on Plant. Right with them was Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline) from Hankey and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) who claimed the final Pro-Am1 podium position. “That’s one of the hardest races I’ve had,” said Al Harthy.

For 12 laps Parish (Motorbase Performance) led Pro-Am2 under a constant challenge from Shelley (Redline Racing) as George Brewster (Celtic Speed) chased. Then, Shelley’s patience was rewarded when he grabbed a chance to dive inside Parish into Old Hall. Parish ran wide and lost his front splitter over the kerb, which left him powerless to re-challenge Shelley. “It was hard work on the coolant,” said Shelley, while Parish was pleased to have run so strongly and taken second. Brewster went out after clipping the tyres at Knickerbrook after a moment on the coolant and it was Keith Webster (Redline Racing) who moved through to complete the Pro-Am2 podium.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jelley clinches victory in Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park

Stephen Jelley mastered tricky conditions to win round eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park (Sunday 5 June) in a race that was full of action and drama on a track that was wet and slippery.

While Jelley dived ahead from the start to head Michael Meadows and James Sutton into the race, Rory Butcher delivered the drive of the weekend to win Pro-Am1 while Keith Webster raced hard to win Pro-Am2.

Jelley (Parker with Juta) did the hard work off the line as he powered ahead of Meadows (SAS/Redline) on the wet track. It was the decisive moment in the race for the lead. “The initial start was good, but then I had to scare myself on the brakes into the first corner,” said Jelley. He immediately pulled clear as Meadows had his team mate Sutton right on his tail. Meanwhile, once he had worked ahead of Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta), Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) ran a strong fourth and chased after the SAS cars.

That was how it stayed at the front, with Jelley gradually building his lead as Meadows ran second with Sutton and Caine right on his tail. Caine constantly looked for a way to get ahead of Sutton and they were side-by-side several times, but with such evenly-matched cars, the places did not change. Over the closing laps, the charging Butcher (Celtic Speed) flew up to Caine’s tail after a stirring drive up the order from ninth on the grid.

“I was trying not to hit my team mate and keep Michael Caine behind,” said Sutton of his knife-edge position. “It was a massive juggling act, but Rory Butcher helped me later by attacking Caine.” But the big winner was Jelley after a faultless drive. “I saw the gap and tried to be careful,” said Jelley who used the damp patches of the circuit to try and keep his tyres cool. “I wasn’t sure how the tyres would work because we’ve had no experience of them in the wet this season.”

Caine was pleased to be in the battle for the podium with his best race of the season to date. “Motorbase gave me a car that could win today,” he said of his first run in the new 911GT3 Cup on a wet track. However, the big star of the race was Butcher who scythed up the order to take fifth overall, first in Pro-Am1 and the ‘driver of the weekend’ award. “I took five laps to get into it and then built up the speed; that’s my best performance of the year,” said an elated Butcher.

Hankey clinched sixth as Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) worked ahead of Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) who took second in Pro-Am1. However, by the finish, Al Harthy was under pressure from George Richardson (Motorbase Performance), who drove a fine race in tough conditions to take ninth overall and the final Pro-Am1 podium. Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) completed the top 10, but was under pressure from Kieran Vernon (Nationwide/Motorbase) at the flag.

In a topsy-turvy Pro-Am2 contest, Webster (Redline Racing) recovered from a grassy moment and clash with George Brewster (Celtic Speed) at Cascades on lap one to win. “That was the hardest race I’ve ever had,” said Webster, as Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance), Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) and Brewster all had moments. By the final lap, Parish was right back on Webster’s tail, with Brewster recovering to third.
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