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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2012 Race 17 & 18 Silverstone Reply with quote

Barker and Meadows top Carrera Cup qualifying at Silverstone

Ben Barker and Michael Meadows each take a pole position
Ahmad Al Harthy takes double Pro-Am1 pole
Richard Denny tops Pro-Am2 for both races

Ben Barker and Michael Meadows shared the pole positions in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Saturday 6 October) during qualifying for rounds 17 and 18 of the season.

With 10 cars covered by half a second on both grids, it was always going to be desperately close and it was Barker (Parr Motorsport) who went fastest for round 17. But for round 18, Barker was back in sixth place as Meadows claimed pole while his Redline Racing team mate James Sutton was third and then second on the two grids. Making it a very good session for Redline Racing, Ahmad Al Harthy topped Pro-Am1 for both races as Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) twice headed Pro-Am2.

“I knew it would be tough,” said Barker. “The track seemed quite greasy and green. Starting from P6 in the second race is going to be hard, but it is still possible.” With his thoughts firmly on the overall championship, Meadows was content with the result. “It’s so close: it’s like last year again,” he said of the deciding weekend of the 2011 season when Sutton narrowly beat him to the title.

Sutton was right on the pace as he bids to help Redline secure the teams’ title. “Really, really solid,” he said. “I’m very happy to be right there with Michael and I think we’ve got a great race car.” Fourth and second places put Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) firmly in contention, while Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) both took two top six times to add to the depth of quality at the head of the pack.

“It’s good: exactly what we wanted,” said Al Harthy after taking both Pro-Am1 poles and two more championship points. However, within a tenth of a second of the Omani racer on both grids was Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker). “It always seems to be really hard work here,” said Pierce, who had fellow Scot Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) just as close behind in third slot. “There’s nothing in it,” said Mortimer. “We know the car has good pace on old rubber,” he added.

Upon his return to the Carrera Cup, Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) bagged two poles in Pro-Am2 and traded times with some of the Pro-Am1 drivers. Pro-Am2 champion elect Will Goff (Goff Racing) chased Denny hard in a good session. “Excellent,” said Denny. “It felt really good and the car was great.”

Round 17 grid:
Pro category: 1 Ben Barker (56.340s); 2 James Sutton (56.421s); 3 Michael Meadows (56.422s).
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy (56.852s); 2 Derek Pierce (56.907s); 3 Oly Mortimer (57.053s).
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Richard Denny (57.621s); 2 Will Goff (58.260s).

Round 18 grid:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows (56.448s); 2 Jonas Gelzinis (56.561s); 3 James Sutton (56.635s).
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy (56.981s); 2 Derek Pierce (57.021s); 3 Oly Mortimer (57.144s).
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Richard Denny (57.747s); 2 Will Goff (58.321s).
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barker wins Carrera Cup round 17 at Silverstone

Ben Barker takes fifth win in a row under pressure from James Sutton
Ahmad Al Harthy takes Pro-Am1 after major battle with Derek Pierce
Richard Denny fends off Will Goff to head Pro-Am2


Ben Barker scored his fifth win a row in round 17 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone this morning (Sunday 7 October). In a race run in foggy conditions, Barker saw off a race-long challenge from James Sutton, while Michael Meadows took another step towards the title with a measured drive to fourth.

With Rory Butcher claiming the final overall podium position, Ahmad Al Harthy consolidated his championship lead in Pro-Am1 after a fine contest with Derek Pierce, while Richard Denny clinched Pro-Am2 after a strong early challenge from Will Goff.

With Silverstone shrouded in fog, the race start was delayed 45 minutes until visibility was good enough for racing. But the delay made no difference to Barker (Parr Motorsport) who got the jump from pole to head the field into Copse. Sutton (Redline Racing) slotted into second while Butcher (Celtic Speed) braved it out around the outside at Copse to grab third from Meadows (Redline Racing).

Although Barker quickly established his lead at around a second, Sutton mounted a determined pursuit and pushed the leader throughout the 28-lap race. Several times the gap came down to only half a second, but Barker was driving superbly and never offered Sutton the smallest of opportunities. Even after 26 minutes of flat out racing, the winning margin was only three quarters of a second.

“We kept the ball rolling,” said Barker after his fifth straight win. “We’ve really proven that we’ve clicked with the car. I was just trying to control the gap and a driver like James doesn’t make many mistakes.” Sutton, meanwhile, was equally impressed with his rival. “I’m a big fan of Ben’s driving: very clinical and controlled,” said Sutton. Butcher slipped back a little in third, taking a well deserved podium after Meadows ran as a constant shadow. However, with the title uppermost in his mind, Meadows was not prepared to risk an attack on Butcher. “I was never going to make a big move,” confirmed Butcher. “But I want to win the title by winning the second race,” he added. Andy Meyrick fended off Team Parker Racing team mate Richard Plant to take fifth after a lengthy tussle.

It was Pierce (JD Pierce with Parker) who stormed ahead at the start in Pro-Am1, but Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) raced very hard to get ahead of Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) and move in on Pierce. “Ahmad came up very strong,” said Pierce. “Then I had a big oversteer moment at Copse and that’s when he got the run on me to Becketts,” said Pierce.

With Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) up to third and chasing, Pierce fought back onto Al Harthy’s tail, but the Oman racer held on for an excellent Pro-Am1 victory. “I lost two places on the damp side of the track at the start, but I managed to carve my way through,” said Al Harthy.

There was also a close contest in Pro-Am2 as Denny (Parr Motorsport) had to fend off a determined Will Goff (Goff Racing) for many laps. Eventually, Goff had a quick spin at Becketts when right on Denny’s tail and that resolved the battle in Denny’s favour. “Will was right there for a long time,” said Denny who later had a quick spin of his own, but held on for Pro-Am2 spoils.

Round 17 results:
Pro category: 1 Ben Barker; 2 James Sutton; 3 Rory Butcher.
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy; 2 Derek Pierce; 3 Victor Jimenez.
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Richard Denny; 2 Will Goff.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meadows clinches Carrera Cup title at Silverstone

Michael Meadows secures the 2012 title with victory in round 18
Ahmad Al Harthy takes Pro-Am1 title with another win
Will Goff claims Pro-Am2 spoils

Michael Meadows won the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB in the best possible style with victory in round 18 at Silverstone today (Sunday 7 October). Meadows set the pace from pole to put the title out of reach of his rivals with two races to go, while Ahmad Al Harthy made it a great day for Redline Racing by clinching the Pro-Am1 title.

Meadows got the start he needed to head the pack into Copse, but he was immediately under major pressure as Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) slotted into second and third. In fact, over the early laps a mighty nine-car train made a sensational sight at the head of the race, with the top three chased by James Sutton (Redline Racing), Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing), Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and Team Parker Racing trio Sam Tordoff, Andy Meyrick and Daniel Lloyd.

Meadows really wanted to clinch the title with another victory and defended in the face of a determined challenge from Gelzinis. Sutton was forced out on lap eight with an engine problem and Butcher tigered ahead of Gelzinis to take up the pursuit of Meadows, who had been able to edge out a margin of around a second.

By mid-race, Plant had moved up to mount a fierce attack on Gelzinis and was finally able to squeeze ahead under braking for Copse after they ran side-by-side all the way from Luffield. But at the head of the pack, Meadows was driving superbly to control the pace as he tightened his grip on the title. Then, with two laps to run Butcher was penalised five seconds for exceeding the track limits so Plant and Gelzinis moved up to complete the podium as the disappointed Butcher dropped to seventh in the final results.

“Today was a chance to do in style,” said Meadows who had really wanted to settle the title with another race win after concentrating on scoring points over the second half of the season. “I’m relieved we’ve done it,” he added. Plant was justifiably delighted with a fighting drive that was rewarded with second place and the ‘driver of the weekend’ award. “We’ve had an up and down year and that result is exactly what I needed,” said Plant. Gelzinis raced hard for third, while Barker fended off Tordoff and Meyrick to take fourth.

Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) was the class of Pro-Am1 and secured the category title in a style that mirrored his team mate Meadows. “The perfect way to do it,” said Al Harthy as his result helped Redline Racing earn the ‘team of the weekend’ award. Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) and Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Parker) completed the Pro-Am1 podium after a race-long battle, while Will Goff (Goff Racing) claimed Pro-Am2 as rival Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) retired after a first corner tangle.

Round 18 results:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows; 2 Richard Plant; 3 Jonas Gelzinis.
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy; 2 Oly Mortimer; 3 Derek Pierce.
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Will Goff.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meadows celebrates Porsche Carrera Cup GB title

Michael Meadows wins the title in round 18
Meadows becomes the first Carrera Cup Scholar to win the crown
Meadows scores six wins and a further eight podiums in 18 races

Michael Meadows was crowned the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion after round 18 at Silverstone yesterday (Sunday, 7 October). Meadows is the seventh driver to win the title and joined the impressive list of former champions during the tenth anniversary season of Britain’s fastest one-make race category.

The 25-year old racer from Banbury is the first Carrera Cup Scholarship winner to go on and take the overall title and achieved his success with Redline Racing. “It’s been three years of hard work since being the Carrera Cup Scholar. I found my pace last year and I’m glad we’ve achieved what we set out to do. It’s been a privilege to race in the Carrera Cup.”

Victory from pole position in round 18, run in front of a crowd of 30,000 fans at his home track, put Meadows out of reach of his rivals with two races still to run at Brands Hatch on 21 October.

“It was really important to me to win the race,” said Meadows. “Ben Barker has dominated the last few races and I wanted to come to Silverstone and show that I hadn’t just settled for finishing fourth. I wanted to get pole and win.”

Meadows paid tribute to the importance of the Carrera Cup Scholarship in the development of his career. “Winning the Scholarship and racing in the Carrera Cup has taught me what I needed to know about sports cars: from the right training to how to deal with the heat, how to deal with the media and how to drive a car like this quickly.

“This championship has some fantastic drivers and we’ve all been pushing each other this season. It’s just got massive over the last three years. This is the best championship on the BTCC package for driving standards. There is barely any contact at the front and everyone is super fast and driving really quick cars.”

Now, Meadows and the Redline team will focus on the final two races of the season, as there is still work to be done. “I want to go out on a high in the final two races at Brands Hatch. We’ve still got the teams’ championship to fight for, which is really important for Redline Racing. Everyone loves the Brands GP circuit and everyone will want to finish the season in style but the pressure is off now the title is won.”
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Harthy celebrates Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am1 title

Ahmad Al Harthy wins Pro-Am1 title in round 18
Al Harthy becomes the first Omani to win at this level
Al Harthy scores 12 wins and a further four podiums in 18 races

Ahmad Al Harthy clinched the Pro-Am1 title in the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion during round 18 at Silverstone yesterday (Sunday, 7 October). Oman-based Al Harthy has driven a superb campaign and richly deserved his title with two races still to run at Brands Hatch on 21 October.

“We dreamed about ending it this way and finally I’m a champion and that feels really great,” he said after climbing down from the podium. “It has been three years of hard work to get to this point. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will on the flight back home. I’m so excited about this.”

Al Harthy is a very popular member of the Carrera Cup grid, having joined the series in 2010. He commutes from his home in Oman for each race weekend and works hard to promote his home country and his sponsors.

“I must say a massive thanks to the guys from Redline Racing, who are behind the Oman Air Racing Team car: they’re the best in the business,” he said. “I love Silverstone and to be able to get two wins this weekend was exactly what we wanted and to wrap-up the championship with a dominant win is something very special. It’s also a very proud moment for me to be the first Omani and the first Arab driver to win a title like this in such a prestigious series.”
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