Caine enables Championship bid with Carrera Cup GB double at Donington Park
- Michael Caine (Newmarket) scores two victories to remain in contention for Championship honours
- Oxford racer Tim Harvey maintains a 19-point Championship lead with just two races remaining
- 22 examples of the 420 hp 911 GT3 Cup race car thrilled spectators at Leicestershire circuit
- Stage is set for thrilling Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship finale at Brands Hatch on October 9/10
Michael Caine completed a perfect weekend by winning round 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park on Sunday 19 September. However, with Tim Harvey once again finishing second, Caine was only able to peg Harvey’s title lead back to 19 points with two races left to run.
Caine (Newmarket) topped a fine weekend for Motorbase Performance as his team mates Ollie Jackson (Attleborough) and George Richardson (Alderley Edge) won Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 respectively. With Caine earning the ‘Driver of the Weekend’ award and Motorbase being announced as ‘Team of the Weekend’, it was a memorable event for the Kent-based squad.
With a commanding display, Caine swept to a resounding victory in round 17 and trimmed another three points from Harvey’s title lead as Harvey (Oxford) ran home a clear second. In a close contest for Pro-Am1, Tony Gilham (Dartford) fended off Jackson and Jonas Gelzinis (Lithuania) for victory while Richardson took a clear victory in Pro-Am2.
Caine got the jump at the start and fended off Harvey over the first lap. “After the second lap it was all working properly and I needed to get the point for fastest lap as well,” said Caine, as he pulled steadily clear. “It was quite simplistic, but it was quite hard to get past the backmarkers and I did lose some time passing them,” said Caine.
Harvey accepted that he had no answer to Caine’s pace. “His car looked absolutely awesome,” he said. “We were driving away from everyone else, but Michael just had that little bit extra on me.” In the wake of Caine and Harvey, there was plenty of action and it was Stephen Jelley (Leicester) who battled through to third after being hit in the rear during a first lap clash with Tom Bradshaw (Blackburn) at the chicane.
However, early on it was Euan Hankey (Taunton) who ran third with Michael Meadows (Banbury) chasing hard. Into Redgate corner for the eighth time, Meadows attacked and the cars touched, which tipped Hankey into a spin and delayed Meadows.Glynn Geddie (Aberdeen) nipped through to third, but Jelley was on his tail and dived ahead when Geddie ran wide at McLeans as Charlie Bateman (Boston) raced with them.
Once into third, Jelley edged away as Geddie and Bateman battled hard, with the place finally going to Geddie. However, he was the reason for a red flag two laps early when he clipped the corner bale at the chicane and with the bale in the middle of the track, the race was halted.
“I made a blinding start,” said Gilham after grabbing the Pro-Am1 lead from the start. Conversely, Jackson made a terrible start and had to fight his way up onto the tail of Gilham as Gelzinis made it three-way contest. It was incredibly close, but Gilham retained the upper hand for victory. “I was just doing enough to keep them behind me,” said Gilham after his third win on the trot.
The Pro-Am2 category opened with drama as title rivals Glenn McMenamin (Milton Keynes) and George Brewster (Edinburgh) touched on the run down the Craner Curves on lap two. McMenamin spun into the gravel and out of the race, while Brewster had to pit for a wheel change. Meanwhile, Richardson was driving a fine race and led from the start to take his first win of the season. “That’s a proper job,” said Richardson. “I just got my head down and got ahead,” he said, as Mark Hazell (Newport) took second with Bob Lyons (Aberdeen) completing the Pro-Am2 podium.
Caine got the jump at the start to head the field into Redgate and was able to stretch clear as Harvey ran fourth behind Hankey and Jelley from Team Parker Racing. That was how it stayed until lap eight when Jelley went for the inside at the chicane and spun as Hankey took the line. Harvey narrowly missed Jelley as he dived through to third and two laps later Harvey took second with a bold move around the outside of Hankey as they raced down the Craner Curves.
Once into second, Harvey recognised that Caine was just out of reach and Caine duly reeled off the remaining laps to complete his domination of the Donington weekend. “We had a great car this weekend,” said Caine. “I’ve just got to win races and I think I can still win the Championship when we go to Brands Hatch.” Harvey was pleased to have worked from fourth on the grid to finish second and retain his position as title favourite. “I enjoyed the race and the car was better. I was always going to keep my foot in when I went down the hill side-by-side with Euan.”
Hankey ran home a strong third as fellow Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Meadows took fourth after a lengthy battle with Geddie. Just behind, Bateman headed Bradshaw for sixth.
The top four in Pro-Am1 ran in close formation for many laps as Jackson headed Gelzinis, Gilham and Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman). That was how it finished as Jackson moved very close to securing the Pro-Am1 title. “It was a tough race and Jonas was pushing all the way,” said Jackson.
The Pro-Am2 battle delivered another win for Richardson, but he was under great pressure from Brewster over the second half of the race. Right with them was Pro-Am1 racer Liam Griffin (London) as McMenamin tried to get ahead of Griffin to join the Pro-Am2 lead battle.
The final two races of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship take place at Brands Hatch, Kent, on October 9/10.