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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:54 am    Post subject: Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2011 Race 12 & 13 Knock Hill Reply with quote

Porsche Carrera Cup GB racers set for Knockhill challenge

With the title battle very finely balanced between three drivers, the awesome challenge of Knockhill comes next in the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB (3/4 September) and the Scottish track, with its unpredictable weather, is famed for shaking up championship contests.

A fabulous field of 25 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars will contest a pair of races for the Carrera Cup and with Stephen Jelley, Michael Meadows and James Sutton split by just 12 points, it really is wide open with eight races still to run.

The last two races, at Snetterton a month ago, really shook up the order as Sutton (SAS/Redline) had a torrid weekend and saw his seven-point lead evaporate as Jelley (Parker with Juta) stormed to a double win to take over the points’ lead for the first time since April. Meanwhile, to compound Sutton’s woes, he was bundled back to third in the standings by his team mate Meadows.

But Knockhill is famed for throwing up surprises as the Fife track is notoriously challenging. Qualifying is incredibly important at a track where overtaking in such equal cars is very difficult. Add in the often fickle and changeable weather, and it is a heady cocktail for rounds 12 and 13 of the 19-race season. The competition for a leading grid slot will be intense and at Snetterton the top 13 cars were covered by less than a second; it is likely to be even closer at Knockhill.

However, this is far from being a three-horse race and Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta) stands out as the driver best placed to join the title battle. Knockhill should suit his attacking style and Euan will be determined to close the gap to the current championship top three. Meanwhile, rising stars Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) and Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline) have all shown podium pace and Plant will be buoyed by a fine third place at Snetterton. Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) has a strong record at Knockhill and should be close to the front pace. If the weather is changing, Caine is famed for making bold tyre choices at the Scottish track.

Another major contender will be reigning Australian Formula 3 champion Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport), who drove a superb debut weekend at Snetterton to take a third place. He has won at Knockhill before in Formula Ford, so the 20-year old is eager to get another strong result before returning to his programme in the Carrera Cup Australia.

In Pro-Am1, Lithuanian racer Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) has extended his lead over Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) to 48 points. Barring a complete disaster, Gelzinis will be Pro-Am1 champion but Scottish ace Butcher will be ever more determined to beat the Lithuanian at his home track. Also racing on home ground will be Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker) and he will be targeting another Pro-Am1 podium.

The Pro-Am2 contest is shaping up to be a battle between George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Keith Webster (Redline Racing) and it is Brewster who has the home advantage at Knockhill. Other strong Pro-Am2 runners are Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) and Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport), while championship newcomer Rytis Garbaravicius (Juta Racing) joins the Pro-Am2 grid for the Knockhill weekend.

After qualifying at 13.50 on Saturday, round 12 will start at 10.45 on Sunday, with round 13 at 16.10. Round 13 will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme, which starts at 11.00 on Sunday and it is expected that round 12 will also be broadcast during the afternoon.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meadows and Hankey share Carrera Cup GB poles at Knockhill

Michael Meadows and Euan Hankey each took a pole position in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Saturday 3 September) ahead of rounds 12 and 13 of the championship.

In a fiercely competitive qualifying session, it was an unwell championship leader Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) who lost out with a brace of sixth places as just eight-tenths of a second covered the top 13 cars on the grid for round 12. Jelley’s session included a spin at the chicane and he had to reverse out of the gravel before rejoining. “It was just a messy session,” he said. Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) clinched a double pole in Pro-Am1, while George Brewster (Celtic Speed) topped Pro-Am2 for both races.

With the track drying quickly, the best times came in the second half of the session, but with a red flag after Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) spun off, there was a hectic closing seven minutes as drivers tried to find clear space for a final push. Meadows (SAS/Redline) drove a fine session to be first and second for the two races, while Hankey (Parker with Juta) was second and then first. Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport), James Sutton (SAS/Redline) and Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline) were third, fourth and fifth for both races before Jelley in sixth.

“It was just a bit messy on the second set of tyres and I didn’t want to take too much out of them,” said Meadows. “It will be an interesting day tomorrow,” he added. With team mates Sutton and Hetherington close behind and points’ leader Jelley back in sixth, Meadows is well placed to win back some of the current nine-point deficit to Jelley.

Hankey was equally happy with qualifying. “I used my head to make a lot of room and that allowed me to get a couple of good laps,” said Hankey. Barker was also strong despite a spin and underlined his excellent form of the previous round at Snetterton. “I tried to find a bit of space and that gave me one clear lap,” said Barker of a very busy session. Sutton reckoned that two fourth places was a step forward from his troubled weekend at Snetterton, while Hetherington had one of his best qualifying sessions to date to run right among the leading drivers.

The contest in Pro-Am1 is set to be just as competitive as the overall battle, with less than two-tenths of a second splitting Gelzinis, Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker) for each of the races. “It’s good that my main rival
Rory Butcher is behind me. I expected a better lap time, but it got lost in traffic,” said Gelzinis. “That was frustrating,” reported Butcher. “The red flag broke up the session; I was just onto my second run when it came out.” Pierce was right in contention at his home track. “I’m really pleased with that; the car is very good and I’m pleased to be on the inside of the grid for both races.”

Brewster made it a good day for the Scots with both Pro-Am2 poles. “I always seemed to catch someone at just the wrong place, but I’m not terribly unhappy,” said Brewster, who was chased hard by Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport). “Fabulous,” said Denny. “The car felt wonderful and I’m getting a much better feel for the car.” Yucel Ozbek (Redline Racing) took third in Pro-Am2 for both races with local racer Tommy Dreelan (Celtic Speed) next up.

Round 12 will start at 10.45 on Sunday (4 September), with round 13 at 16.10. Round 13 will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme, which starts at 11.00 and it is expected that round 12 will also be broadcast during the afternoon
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caine steps aside for Parish in Carrera Cup at Knockhill

Michael Caine has sacrificed his own weekend of racing to allow his Motorbase Performance team mate Steve Parish to maintain his Pro-Am2 title bid in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill this weekend (3/4 September).

An accident in testing on Friday for Parish, on his first to the Scottish track, looked set to end his weekend early as his car was too badly damaged to race. Then Caine stepped forward to offer his team mate the use of his 911 GT3 Cup car for qualifying and the two races.

“It is a measure of the kind of guy he is,” said Parish, who was initially reluctant to accept the offer. “He’s helped me so much in the three years I’ve been racing and as soon as I got back to the pits after the accident he offered me the use of his car.”

While Parish is chasing George Brewster for the Pro-Am2 title, Caine no longer has any hopes of the overall title and was ready to hand his car over to the driver he has mentored over the last three years. “It’s more about the team than me,” said Caine. “I would always offer my car to one of the Motorbase drivers in the same situation,” he added. “We go racing as a team,” said Caine.

Team boss David Bartrum was grateful to Caine for making such a magnanimous sacrifice. “Michael has a very special relationship with Motorbase and he works with all of our drivers; this gives Steve a chance in Pro-Am2.”

Parish’s car was damaged when he ran wide at Clark Curve and hit the car of Keith Webster, which had gone into the gravel a few moments earlier. “I do feel bad for Keith,” said Parish. “He’s out for the weekend through no fault of his own.”
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meadows wins Carrera Cup GB round 12 at Knockhill

Michael Meadows took a resounding victory in round 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 4 September) and moved into a narrow championship lead as he fended off Euan Hankey and James Sutton.

In an action-packed race, it was a good day for the Scottish drivers as Derek Pierce took his first Pro-Am1 victory and George Brewster topped Pro-Am2.

Meadows (SAS/Redline) converted his pole position into a first corner lead, but it nearly went wrong just behind him as team mate Sutton made contact with Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and Sutton caught a big moment to slot into third behind Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta). However, the knock upset the geometry on Barker’s car and he eventually retired to the pits.

Up front, Meadows assumed control as Hankey tracked him and Sutton settled into third ahead of Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline). Once Barker headed for the pits, Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) moved into fifth from Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing). But Gelzinis then spun at the Hairpin after a nudge and as he tried to rejoin he clipped the car of Yucel Ozbek (Redline Racing). With damage to his rear wing, Ozbek spun into the gravel at Duffus Dip and prompted a safety car while his car removed.

The leading pack duly bunched up behind the safety car, but from the re-start Meadows again took control with Hankey and Sutton tucked in behind and Hetherington having his best race to date in a strong fourth. That was how the order remained, but in the closing laps the major issue was Sutton’s pressure on Hankey as Meadows edged clear by around a second. “It was good to have a relatively clean race,” said race winner Meadows. “Apart from the safety car there wasn’t too much trouble.”

Hankey was pleased to be back on the podium and reckoned that he always had things under control as Sutton ran close over the closing laps. But Hankey could not take the fight to Meadows. “Michael drove very, very well; he didn’t put a wheel wrong,” said Hankey. Sutton considered a big attack on Hankey, but was conscious of the need to score strong points for his own title bid. “The car felt really manageable and consistent,” said Sutton. Hetherington was a fine fourth and Sam Tordoff (Parker with Juta) worked ahead of Jelley for a strong fifth. “The first quarter of the race was okay, then the handling just fell off a log,” said Jelley, who was just hanging on to sixth at the finish.

The contest for Pro-Am1 had many twists and once Gelzinis had spun it was Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker) who battled ahead of Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) to lead the class. Pierce then went clear, but a stirring drive from George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) took him through to second and he was chasing Pierce over the closing laps.

“That was really, really hard,” said Pierce. “The car was very good but I worked the tyres hard when Kieran Vernon and Richard Plant from the Pro category caught me.” Richardson was elated with his best result of the season. “Fantastic; I’m really chuffed,” said Richardson as Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) fended off the recovering Gelzinis for third place.

Brewster was always the class of Pro-Am2, but had to survive a knock from the car of Daniele Perfetti (Motorbase Performance) at Duffus Dip that tipped Brewster’s car into a spin. “I managed to get back to the tarmac as I spun and I was lucky not to get a puncture, but I lost the front splitter,” said Brewster. Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) also survived a spin to fight back and take second, while Tommy Dreelan (Celtic Speed) made it a great race for the home team by taking the final podium place.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hankey claims Carrera Cup GB win at Knockhill

Euan Hankey scored a superb lights-to-flag victory in round 13 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 4 September) as Michael Meadows took second place to extend his championship lead.

In a great day for the Scottish drivers, Rory Butcher won Pro-Am1 and George Brewster won Pro-Am2 to complete a double win and Brewster added the ‘driver of the weekend’ award to his tally. Redline Racing won the ‘team of the weekend’ award.

Hankey (Parker with Juta) set the seal on his victory with a blistering start and was able to go a second clear on the opening lap. “I had an unreal start and got away,” said Hankey. “Starts like that come once in a blue moon.” Meadows (SAS/Redline) slotted readily into second with Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) third and James Sutton (SAS/Redline) fourth. This quartet ran in formation over the early laps but the gaps gradually extended as the race developed.

Mid-race Meadows chipped away at Hankey’s lead, but the result was never in doubt as Hankey drove a faultless race to victory. “It was all down to the start,” said Hankey. “Then I could run consistently good times and it was really enjoyable. I can’t believe that after the first race being so tough.”

Meadows was a safe second to cement the championship lead he had taken in the first race of the afternoon. “Euan was gone straight away and that first lap was it,” said Meadows. “It’s a good turnaround for me in the championship.” Barker completed his two-weekend foray into the Carrera Cup with his second podium. “That was a really good race; it was consistent although I did have a big lock up into the Hairpin.” Sutton was fourth, while Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) battled ahead of Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline) for fifth after a tremendous battle.

Seventh overall and a resounding Pro-Am1 victory fell to Butcher (Celtic Speed) who had a gaggle of Pro drivers between him and his category rivals. “We couldn’t have got any lower after the first race,” said Butcher. “I was really disappointed with race one but we made some progress and the car was just great.”

There was a tremendous contest for second in Pro-Am1 as Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) fought tooth and nail to fend off Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) and Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker). Gelzinis had a massive battle on his hands after plunging through the gravel at the chicane after a near miss with a backmarker. That took the splitter off the front of his car and he struggled for pace over the rest of the race as he defended furiously from Al Harthy and Pierce. “It was undriveable and I had to defend so hard,” said Gelzinis.

Brewster (Celtic Speed) completed a superb weekend with another Pro-Am2 victory as Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) chased initially before a spin at the Hairpin. That allowed Yucel Ozbek (Redline Racing) through to second as Denny recovered to third. “It’s never a given,” said Brewster. “You saw the determination of Richard; he wanted to win too. I had to take advantage this weekend and suddenly it comes back to you.”

Driver's Standings Overall - Points
Michael Meadows - 217
Stephen Jelley - 208
James Sutton - 205
Euan Hankey - 173

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