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Zamparelli reaffirms his championship challenge with a faultless weekendPorsche Carrera Cup GB: Croft, rounds seven and eight – race reports

Dino Zamparelli (GT Marques) showed that it really is hard to beat somebody who never gives up by making clean sweep of Croft with two pole positions, two fastest laps and two race wins - a performance that won Zamparelli the Driver of the Weekend award and his team GT Marques the Team of the Weekend award.

By comparison, it was the turn of championship leader Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) to have a difficult weekend, the Yorkshireman still retaining his lead, but with the margin reduced to just three points at the mid-point of the season.

Round seven

For 25 minutes all eyes at Yorkshire’s challenging Croft circuit moved away from the thrilling climax of a hard-fought Le Mans to watch round seven of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB unfold.

Zamparelli opened with a perfect getaway from the lights and maintained his superb weekend form to the flag, taking fastest lap and the win:

“It wasn’t an easy race; I was pushing hard but was surprised how much the track surface made the tyres fade. The team gave me a great car, I knew what the gap was and it was a question of pushing for the whole race within the limits. It’s been a nice weekend and another job to do later.”

Suffering at the start was Tom Sharp (IDL Racing), his strong qualifying performance blunted when he took to the grass in avoidance of Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) as he moved to take the inside line on the run to the first corner. The Lithuanian driver subsequently had two championship points deducted for the manoeuvre.

Sharp rejoined alongside Dan Cammish (Redline Racing), both drivers slipping back in the process. Picking his way through the mayhem was Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing), his experience paying off as he settled into third behind Gelzinis.

Another beneficiary at the start was 2016/17 Porsche GB Scholar Charlie Eastwood (Redline Racing), his karting instincts taking him into fourth. These positions were to remain fixed for the rest of the 15 laps, but Tom Oliphant (Redline Racing) recovered from a poor start to pass Sharp who was steadily dropping back with first-lap damage. Cammish meanwhile took sixth-placed Bradley Ellis (Team Parker Racing) at the Hairpin to begin his charge back through the field. The determined Oliphant kept ahead to take fifth when the reigning champion’s charge faded with an uncharacteristic spin that demonstrated just how hard the field was pushing.

In an eventful Pro-Am1 race, Euan McKay (IN2 Racing) converted his category pole position into a dominant win that saw him among the Pro category runners and belied his Rookie status:

“I’m really happy with that win, three in a row, and trying to keep it going into the next race. I managed to keep a couple of the Pros behind me for most of the race, but I’m happy to take the points in Pro-Am1.”

By comparison, brother Dan McKay (IN2 Racing) had an all too eventful race that ended in the pits following contact with local man John McCullagh (Redline Racing), the damage proving too much to repair before race two. Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) pushed Sean Hudspeth (Parr Motorsport) throughout the race, the pair finishing in that order with only half a second between them at the line.

Peter Kyle-Henney took his first Pro-Am2 win of 2016, keeping two seconds clear of the qualifying pace-setter Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing):

“Finally it’s come. Oulton was the turning point for me, so I came here wanting to get past my big accident last year and really went for it. Qualifying was very tight, and the race so close.”

Mark Radcliffe (Intersport Racing) made steady progress to take third, displacing Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) who held the position earlier in the race until a spin dropped him to fifth behind Peter Parsons (The Car Loan Centre).

Round eight

Dino Zamparelli again kept himself ahead of any trouble in a race that saw an abundance of on track, and off track, action. A light fall of rain just before the start which came and went throughout the race made conditions particularly challenging, but they proved no hindrance to Zamparelli’s control of the weekend:

“It’s been the perfect weekend, a perfect to return to form that’s allowed us to put on the pressure for the championship. Conditions were tough and I was trying to get away but not slide off. When you’re leading you’re the first to get to each corner, so you have to be wary of the conditions but also the gap behind. My lead got eroded when I caught the backmarkers battling, but a win is a win whatever the margin. We’re really excited for what’s to come.”

Dan Cammish drove a champion’s race to finish less than a second adrift of Zamparelli after the pair spent several laps trading tenths in ever changing conditions. Despite starting fifth, the Yorkshireman made the best of the rolling start, profiting from a mistake by Sharp at Sunny In to set after Zamparelli following a spin from second by the flying Tom Oliphant. Oliphant went on to finish fifth, but the resulting battle for third between Sharp and Jelley was one of the highlights of an action-packed race, Sharp keeping his nose ahead to take the final podium position by just over a second.

The Pro-Am1 race proved to be the most eventful, with the fast Euan McKay and Sean Hudspeth running in amongst the Pro category drivers. Despite his limited experience of the circuit, Hudspeth took the lead only to be spun out of it by a charging Bradley Ellis, himself out of position following earlier contact with Jonas Gelzinis. This left Euan McKay to take his fourth Pro-Am1 win in a row, Justin Sherwood second and local man John McCullagh (Redline Racing) third.

The always close-fought Pro-Am2 category was also decided by a spin, round seven winner Peter Kyle-Henney spinning from the lead to gift a fourth win of the season to Mark Radcliffe. The rapid newcomer seemed relatively untroubled by the surface moisture to steadily move his way to the front, but a second from Kyle-Henney and third from Tautvydas Barstys keeps the battle for the title wide open.

With eight rounds gone and eight to go, everything remains to be played for in each category. The second half of the season starts at Snetterton on 30 and 31 July, but some of the stars of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB will be in action next as part of the Porsche Mobil One Supercup in support of the British Grand Prix on 9 and 10 July. Follow the battles at @CarreraCupGB on Twitter and @carreracupgb on Instagram.

Points standings

1. Dan Cammish Redline Racing 152
2. Dino Zamparelli GT Marques 149
3. Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing 110


1. Euan McKay IN2 Racing 74
2. Sean Hudspeth Parr Motorsport 61
3. John McCullagh Redline Racing 60


1. Tautvydas Barstys Juta Racing 68
2. Mark Radcliffe Intersport Racing 67
3. Peter Kyle-Henney Parr Motorsport 63


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Editors’ Note:

Porsche can claim more than 30,000 race victories in almost every motor sports series worldwide, and while many of these successes have been achieved with immensely powerful specialist race cars like the evocative 917 and 956, the iconic 911 sports coupe is the bedrock on which the peerless racing reputation of the Stuttgart marque has been built.

The 911 demonstrates perfectly the Porsche philosophy of not only building sports cars in order to win races, but also to gain development know-how that can be incorporated into the evolution of its road cars. Successive generations of the rear-engined 911 have been honed on the race circuit since its debut in 1963, with customers benefitting from continuous improvements in key dynamic areas such as engine performance, braking and aerodynamics.

Porsche is the world's largest manufacturer of racing cars; the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car competes in the Mobil1 Supercup, the world’s fastest international one-make Championship, which supports Formula One Grands Prix. The 911 GT3 Cup also entertains spectators around the world racing in the many domestic Carrera Cup Championships in Germany, Asia, France, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia and Great Britain. The all-new GT3 R is the first step for drivers moving up to GT racing, while the 911 RSR is the standard-bearer for the Porsche Works teams in international blue riband events like Daytona and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

With a record number of overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans history. In 2014, Porsche returned to Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the factory-run 919 Hybrid sports prototype race car in the top LMP1 category, and scored its first outright victory in its debut WEC season in the final race in Brazil.

The 919 Hybrid LMP1 proves the ‘downsizing’ concept in featuring a unique two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, supplemented by two energy recovery systems, which combined develop almost 900 hp.

Porsche scored its 17th and latest success in Le Mans last June when Britain’s Nick Tandy, New Zealand driver Earl Bamber and German F1 star Nico Hulkenberg took the chequered flag in their 919 Hybrid LMP1 after 24 hours of flat out racing. Chasing this trio across the line was the second 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley (New Zealand), Mark Webber (Australia) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) to deliver a 1-2 result for the Stuttgart team. This trio ultimately clinched the 2015 Drivers’ World Endurance Championship, and the WEC Manufacturers’ Championship, for Porsche.