Tim Harvey is Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion as Stephen Jelly takes debut victories at Brands Hatch
- Tim Harvey wins Porsche Carrera Cup GB crown by 10 points after season-long battle with Michael Caine
- Stephen Jelley scores a double victory in front of record crowd of 42,000 at Kent circuit
- Ollie Jackson triumphs in Pro-Am1 title chase
- Glenn McMenamin wins Pro-Am2 crown
- Motorbase Performance beat Redline Racing in battle for Teams’ Championship
Porsche racing driver Tim Harvey clinched the 2010 Carrera Cup GB Championship in the final weekend of the season at Brands Hatch this past weekend (9/10 October). It was the second time the popular Oxfordshire driver has triumphed in the UK’s fastest single-make sports car racing Championship, Tim also winning the title in 2008.
In front of a crowd of 42,000 fans, the packed grid of 420 hp 911 GT3 Cup race cars delivered a tremendous finale to the best season of Carrera Cup racing to date; Stephen Jelley scoring his first two Porsche Carrera Cup GB victories, and Ollie Jackson securing the Pro-Am1 title.
Jelley (Leicester) led from the start but had to cope with constant pressure from Harvey (Oxford) before taking his debut win in the Championship. With title rival Michael Caine (Newmarket) finishing sixth after a spin, Harvey claimed the overall title for the second time in three years. “This has been my best ever year of racing, but it doesn’t get any easier,” said Harvey. Meanwhile, race winner Jelley was elated with his victory. “That’s an absolutely mega result,” he said.
In Pro-Am1, Jackson (Attleborough) coped with race-long pressure from Jonas Gelzinis (Lithuania) to win the category in both the race and the championship. “We’ve worked all year for that,” he said.
Jelley got the jump from pole to lead the early laps as Harvey slotted into second with Caine, Euan Hankey (Taunton) and Glynn Geddie (Aberdeen) making it a five-car leading pack. Caine set fastest lap on lap five to keep his title hopes alive, but the complexion of the race changed as the leading pack dived down into Graham Hill Bend. Jelley slid wide on dropped coolant, but Caine’s car snapped sideways and he spun to a halt. “I saw Stephen hit the fluid; Tim missed it but I touched the brakes and it just went,” explained Caine. He then had to spin the car back onto the grass to avoid the next pack and dropped back to 13th place before he could rejoin.
Hankey and Geddie were delayed avoiding Caine and so Jelley and Harvey went clear at the head of the race. Then, Hankey picked up a puncture and had to stop in the pits, which left Geddie in a secure but lonely third. Harvey chased Jelley all the way to the flag and when they came up to more traffic on the final lap it got even closer. “I just planted it on the inside at Clearways and dragged it to the line,” said Jelley as Harvey finished a tenth of a second behind in the dash to the flag. “It was a little bit tense on the last lap,” he admitted.
Harvey, meanwhile, did not realise that he had won the title with Caine dropping down the field. “I assumed Michael was in third. I had no idea he’d slipped back. I’m so glad it’s resolved and I can now enjoy tomorrow’s race,” said Harvey.
Geddie ran a solid third while Michael Meadows (Banbury) and Charlie Bateman (Boston) took fourth and fifth ahead of Caine who fought back strongly to finish sixth, while Tom Bradshaw (Blackburn) took seventh after fending off Bateman for many laps.
In the battle with Bateman and Bradshaw were the top four Pro-Am1 racers and it was Jackson who capped a fine season by winning the title as he held off Gelzinis, Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman) and Tony Gilham (Dartford).
“I had plenty of pace, but it wasn’t easy,” said Jackson. Gelzinis, meanwhile, raced to make certain of the Pro-Am1 runner-up slot, rather than attack Jackson, in the knowledge that the category title was out of reach.
George Richardson (Alderley Edge) headed Pro-Am2 from the start and raced to a commanding victory at his favourite track. “It’s a special moment for me to win at Brands Hatch,” he said. Second in the category was Glenn McMenamin (Milton Keynes) with a measured drive to keep his title bid on track. “It was a championship drive,” said McMenamin, who did enough to keep ahead of Mark Hazell (JHR) as title contender George Brewster (Edinburgh) raced from the back of the grid and a 10-second penalty to take fourth.
While Jelley won from the front, Jackson secured a Pro-Am1 double and Richardson wrapped up a great weekend with his second Pro-Am2 win. However, the Pro-Am2 title went to McMenamin while Motorbase Performance clinched the Teams’ Championship in dramatic fashion. With four laps to go, Harvey was running second to Jelley and that put Red Line Racing at the head of the team title race by a single point. But when Harvey suffered a rear puncture with four laps to go, the Motorbase squad moved ahead to claim the team prize.
Jelley added to his weekend haul by winning the ‘Driver of the Weekend’ award, while Team Parker Racing won the ‘Team of the Weekend’ award.
Jelley got away best from pole to lead as Harvey, Hankey and Caine made a tight leading quartet. Just behind them, Jackson slotted into fifth to take a clear Pro-Am1 lead. With the top four cars so evenly matched, it was nip and tuck stuff and Jelley was always under pressure from Harvey. Unfortunately, a slight delay in traffic dropped Hankey and Caine a few yards back from the lead contest. For lap after lap, Jelley soaked up the pressure from Harvey, but then with four laps to run Harvey suddenly slowed and toured into the pits with a rear puncture.
Although Hankey and Caine ran close to Jelley over the final four laps, Jelley held his nerve to take his second victory. “Tim didn’t make it easy,” said Jelley. “To see him drop back was a big relief.” Hankey swept through to second with Caine his constant shadow. “That was very, very hard work,” Hankey said. “Michael was on me all the time; everything was going on!”
Caine, meanwhile, was almost speechless having seen Harvey hit trouble for the first time in 2010 when he had clinched the overall crown less than 24 hours earlier.
Jackson completed his amazing 100% finishing record across 40 Carrera Cup races in two seasons with fourth overall and Pro-Am1 victory, but over the closing laps he came under considerable pressure from Bradshaw, Bateman and Gelzinis. “I got a bit held up by back-markers and then I had to defend my position,” said Jackson. “That’s a great finish to the season.”
In Pro-Am2, Richardson drove a fine race to finish in tenth overall to win the category and complete a great weekend. “Fantastic; I couldn’t ask for more,” said Richardson. With second in Pro-Am2, McMenamin clinched the category title by just two points as Steve Parish (London) ran him close. “It’s really tough; I’m just glad to be here, but it’s not sunk in yet,” said McMenamin, who won the crown as Brewster raced to fifth in the category after the starting at the back of the grid with a 10-second penalty.
Fans can enjoy a look ‘behind the scenes’ from the Brands Hatch season finale on origin.porsche.com/uk, and keep up to date with news and features as the countdown begins to the start of the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship next Spring.
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