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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject: Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2011 Race 14 & 15 Rockingham Reply with quote

Porsche Carrera Cup GB title contest heads for Rockingham

With the title battle now incredibly finely balanced between three drivers, the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB heads to the Rockingham Motor Speedway (17/18 September) for rounds 14 and 15 of the 19-race season.

A fabulous field of 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars will line up at the Corby track and while Stephen Jelley, Michael Meadows and James Sutton battle for the overall title, the contests in Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 will be every bit as competitive.

In what is proving to be an absorbing contest, the momentum swung towards Meadows in Scotland as he took a win and a second place in his SAS/Redline car. Conversely, after a blistering weekend at Snetterton in August it was Jelley (Parker with Juta) who led the points before the trip to Knockhill, only to slip back after a modest weekend north of the border.

Now, Meadows has a nine-point lead over Jelley, but Sutton, in the other SAS/Redline car, is right in the mix and is just three points behind Jelley. With a total of 42 points on offer this weekend, it really is wide open. Then, chasing the top three is Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta) who also took a win and a second in Scotland. A couple of non-finishes earlier in the season mean that Hankey is the outsider just now, but that could all change very quickly.

Of course, this is not just about the top four drivers as the field is packed with quality racers all pitching for a place on the podium. Young lions Richard Plant and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) and Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline) are all chasing hard and when Hetherington took fourth at Knockhill behind Meadows, Hankey and Sutton it meant three graduates of the Carrera Cup Scholarship were in the top four.

Away from the overall contest, separate battles are raging in the Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 categories. In Pro-Am1, Lithuanian racer Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) has a clear points’ lead but can expect another tough fight from drivers like Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed), Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) and Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker). Both Butcher and Pierce took wins at their home track of Knockhill and now want to win again at Rockingham, while George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) also had a strong weekend in Scotland.

In Pro-Am2, George Brewster (Celtic Speed) scored a fine double win on home ground at Knockhill to move ahead in the title race, but with three weekends’ scores to drop in the final Pro-Am2 standings, drivers like Keith Webster (Redline Racing), Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) and Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) are all still very much in the hunt.

After qualifying at 13.50 on Saturday, round 14 will start at 10.00 on Sunday, with round 15 at 13.10. Round 15 will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme, which starts at 11.00 on Sunday and it is hoped that round 14 will also be broadcast during the afternoon.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hankey claims Carrera Cup GB poles at Rockingham

Euan Hankey was the star of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in qualifying at Rockingham today (Saturday 17 September) ahead of rounds 14 and 15 of the championship.

Hankey (Parker with Juta) claimed a superb double pole ahead of his key title rivals, with championship leader Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline) taking second place for both races. Meanwhile, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) claimed a double pole in Pro-Am1 and Yucel Ozbek (Redline Racing) topped Pro-Am2 for both races.

Hankey was in superb form as the only driver to break the 1m20s mark and he did it twice to make certain of pole for both races. “It’s been a long time coming to get everything back on track,” he said. “The races will be a real challenge and I’ve just got to do the job tomorrow.” Meadows was close in second as the opening half of the session delivered the best lap times. “Euan pipped us today, but the front row is always good,” said Meadows. “There is a possibility of rain tomorrow and that will be a bit of an unknown.”

James Sutton (SAS/Redline) was third for the opening race, but slipped to a frustrated fifth for the second race. Fellow title contender Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) was fourth for both races, while Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) jumped up to third place on the second grid. “I did my best, but there is still more to come,” said Plant ahead of his first race at the Corby track. Jelley was content enough to be in the mix and predicted that tyre wear during the races would be critical. “I think we’re looking alright for the races; I saved the tyres as much as I could,” said Jelley.

With his best qualifying performance to date, Kieran Vernon (Nationwide/Motorbase) was a fine fifth for race one ahead of Plant. “That’s a big, big improvement,” said Vernon after a session when less than half a second covered the top eight drivers. Gelzinis and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) joined the drivers to lap within half a second of Hankey’s standard.

Gelzinis again topped Pro-Am1, but felt he could have been further up overall for the opening race. “I went too fast into the chicane and lost my best lap,” he said. “But there is more chance to overtake here than at Knockhill,” added the Lithuanian racer. Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) was second fastest in Pro-Am1 for both races as he built his Rockingham experience; Friday’s test sessions were his first time on the track in the 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup. “I’m learning the circuit every time and I’ll be very happy if it is wet tomorrow,” said the Scot. Third places in Pro-Am1 went to Daniele Perfetti (Motorbase Performance) and Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker); with Perfetti having his best qualifying run so far in the Carrera Cup.

Ozbek was very impressive in taking both Pro-Am2 poles, lapping around six-tenths of a second faster than his category rivals. But the Turkish racer still wanted to be faster. “I improved again, but I want to be further up overall,” he said. Behind Ozbek came his team mate Keith Webster as Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) and George Brewster (Celtic Speed) shared the third places. “My team mate beat me to pole, but I improved again,” said Webster. “It’s just about confidence around here,” added Webster.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hankey wins in Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham

Euan Hankey dominated round 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham today (Sunday 18 September) with an emphatic lights-to-flag victory as championship leader Michael Meadows led the pursuit.

In a race full of battling and place changing through the field, there was success for international racers as Jonas Gelzinis (Lithuania) bagged another Pro-Am1 victory and Yucel Ozbek (Turkey) clinched his first Pro-Am2 win.

Hankey (Parker with Juta) set the seal on his victory with a peach of a start to lead the field through the banked Turn One and into the tight Deane Hairpin. In his wake, Meadows (SAS/Redline) slotted into second and Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) briefly dived ahead of James Sutton (SAS/Redline) to take third. But in the melee at Deane on the opening lap Sutton went boldly around the outside to regain third place.

Hankey immediately stamped his authority on the race and went away on the opening lap. “I’ve got to make a habit of these starts,” said Hankey, who was able to control the race from the front. “I managed to get a lead on the first lap and concentrated on consolidating that.” While Hankey edged his lead out to around three seconds, Meadows was secure in second but life was anything but secure for Sutton in third. Having squeezed ahead of Jelley on the opening lap, Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) set about challenging Sutton for the final podium position and chased the SAS car for lap after lap. “Richard kept me honest all the race,” said Sutton, who was only able to put space between himself and Plant during late race lappery.

“Our pace was good all the way through,” said Hankey after a clear run to victory. “Massive thanks go to Team Parker Racing.” For Meadows, second place and fastest lap maintained his championship lead. “I just need to keep doing this,” said Meadows. Sutton completed the overall podium from the impressive Plant. “I couldn’t get past Sutton, but I can’t knock that result,” said Plant. Jelley ran fifth, but gradually dropped away from the battle between Sutton and Plant, while Kieran Vernon (Nationwide/Motorbase) continued his strong qualifying form to take sixth.

Gelzinis (Juta Racing) always led Pro-Am1, but in overall terms he challenged Vernon and, at the same time, battled to fend off Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline). On the final lap, Hetherington attacked at Tarzan and, after contact, Gelzinis ran wide and lost the place. Hetherington was later given a time penalty to reverse the positions. “It was more or less okay, but on the last lap he touched me,” confirmed Gelzinis.

There was drama in the battle for the other Pro-Am1 podium places as Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker) came back from a first lap knock to fend off Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) and Alex Martin (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker). Eventually, contact from behind put Al Harthy out with a rear puncture and then, on the last lap, contact between Martin and Pierce sent them both spinning. All of that opened the door for George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) to nip through to second as Pierce recovered to salvage third. “I had a slow front puncture and I was just nursing it home,” admitted Richardson. The unfortunate Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) ran a secure second for much of the race before being forced into the pits with a rear puncture.

Ozbek (Redline Racing) drove a faultless race to win Pro-Am1 for the first time. “It was a good clean race,” said Ozbek. “I did not know where to be on the first lap, but I survived!” With George Brewster (Celtic Speed) delayed after being tipped off on the first lap, Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) fended off the closing Keith Webster (Redline Racing) to complete the Pro-Am2 podium.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hankey does Carrera Cup GB double at Rockingham

Euan Hankey completed a perfect weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham today (Sunday 18 September) with his second race victory in the space of a little over three hours.

In a race full of superb racing and fierce contests, Jonas Gelzinis completed a Pro-Am1 double and Yucel Ozbek took his second Pro-Am2 win of the day and his fighting performance earned the Turkish racer the ‘driver of the weekend’ award. Parker with Juta took the ‘team of the weekend’ award.

Once again, Hankey (Parker with Juta) shot off the grid to lead the opening lap, but James Sutton (SAS/Redline) had a mighty first couple of corners to jump into second place from Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) and Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline). As Hankey and Sutton pulled clear, they ran neck and neck for much of the race and in late race lappery Sutton almost dived ahead. But Hankey drove another superb race and won by just three-tenths of a second after a nail-biting finish. “What a day,” said an elated Hankey. “Massive hats off to James; that’s probably one of the hardest races I’ve ever had.” Sutton had pressured Hankey right through the race. “All the work was done at the start,” said Sutton. “Euan drove a very smart race and it was always going to be difficult but I thought I might get him in the traffic.”

As many as five cars ran in close formation for third as Jelley bagged the final podium position from Meadows, Gelzinis (Juta Racing), Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) and Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline). “That was better than the first race,” said title contender Jelley. “I’ve got to push hard at Brands,” he added of the penultimate weekend of the season. Meanwhile, Gelzinis completed a double win in Pro-Am1. “I’m happy to be in the top five overall,” said Gelzinis, who was always in touch with Meadows.

For once, Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker) had a clear run to take second in Pro-Am1 from eighth overall as Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) completed the Pro-Am1 podium. “A lonely race is a good race,” said Pierce, who has had his share of dramas in recent races. Motorbase Performance racers George Richardson and Daniele Perfetti took fourth and fifth as Perfetti had one of his best weekends to date in the Carrera Cup GB.

The absorbing contest in Pro-Am2 was a highlight of the race and finally resulted in a second victory for Ozbek after he fought back from an early spin. “I was watching someone else spinning,” explained Ozbek of his indiscretion. With George Brewster (Celtic Speed) forced to pit twice with punctures and Keith Webster (Redline Racing) having to stop to have an advertising hoarding removed from the front of the car, it was guest racer Chris Dyer (Parr Motorsport) who grabbed the Pro-Am2 lead after keeping out of trouble in the early laps. But Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) and the recovering Ozbek fought up ahead of Dyer and then Ozbek tigered ahead of Parish after a tremendous battle. When Dyer spun, Webster was able to take the final podium position. “It was a great battle with Steve; a very fair battle,” said Ozbek after a mighty drive. “Brilliant fun,” added Parish. “That’s what we do it for.”
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