Richard Westbrook made it four wins from four races in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton, near Andover, Hampshire, on Sunday (1 May). In two superb races, Westbrook had to overcome the challenge of Tim Harvey and Damien Faulkner as he battled through to win twice.Race one
In the opening race in front of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd, Red Line Racing’s Jason Young (Oakham, Leicestershire) scored his first-ever Carrera Cup podium in third after Harvey (Witney, Oxfordshire) picked up a puncture on the last lap of the race and slipped to eighth place.
The action started as the red lights went out when Harvey - racing for Team RPM from Worcester - tigered into the lead ahead of Team SAS poleman Jason Templeman (Nottingham). Immediately, Westbrook (Hackney, London) fought up to third and then grabbed second with an incredibly bold move around the outside of Faulkner (Co Donegal, Eire) into the chicane. That allowed Harvey to go over two seconds clear, but Westbrook soon started chasing him down with Faulkner in pursuit. Meanwhile, Templeman slipped to fourth behind Stephen Shanly (Clapham, London) as Templeman hit mechanical problems and started to slow. However, having run strongly in fourth, Shanly (Red Line Racing) spun at the super fast Church Corner and dropped down the order.
It took until lap 10 for Westbrook (racing for Red Line Racing from Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland) to find the gap he wanted to dive ahead of Harvey at the sequence of right-left-right corners known as the complex that leads out to the fast, back stretch of the track. “The car was strong at the start,” said Harvey. “But he got me with a good move.” Harvey wasn’t finished yet, however, and re-challenged Westbrook as Faulkner made it a three-car train at the front. Then, going into the final lap, Harvey picked up a puncture and was forced to limp slowly around the lap to finish eighth.
Faulkner (of Leicester-based Team SAS) chased Westbrook to the line, but Westbrook had it covered to make it three Carrera Cup wins in three races. “That was a cracking race! The car was so good and it was a really good race to be in,” he said. Faulkner clinched second, while Young had the race of his life to fend off Red Line Racing team mate Nigel Rice (Beverley, East Yorkshire) for the final podium position. “That’s my best ever result,” said an elated Young, while Rice was left to rue getting squeezed out at the first corner. “I had to nearly stop at the complex,” he said, before fighting up to fourth.
Shanly claimed fifth, despite having the front of the car filled with grass after his spin and Southampton racer Jon Barnes in the car entered by Porsche Cars with Team Autosport had a good race to sixth, having run fifth for much of the race before a dead arm left him struggling to find gears. Team RPM driver Steve Clark (Stourbridge) also ran with the main pack until a mid-race spin dropped him to seventh.Provisional results - race one (14 laps)
1 Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing) 18m 21.785s 2 Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) 18m 22.158s 3 Jason Young (Red Line Racing) 18m 47.274s 4 Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) 18m 47.592s 5 Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing) 18m 56.830s 6 Jon Barnes (Porsche Cars GB) 18m 57.355s 7 Steve Clark (Team RPM) 19m 07.233s 8 Tim Harvey (Team RPM) 19m 28.167s 9 Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) 13 laps DNF David Ashburn (Track Speed) 3 lapsRace two For lap after lap in the second race, the two cars of Faulkner and Westbrook were only inches apart as both drivers pushed to the limit. After 18 minutes of nose-to-tail racing, Westbrook won by barely a car’s length, while Harvey completed the podium after starting at the tail of the grid.
While Harvey blasted up the order off the start, Westbrook grabbed the lead from Faulkner and that was how it stayed in a brilliant contest. Faulkner piled enormous pressure continuously on Westbrook, and even got alongside under braking for the chicane on lap nine. The cars briefly touched and Westbrook dived through the middle of the chicane as Faulkner took the normal route. Westbrook just emerged ahead, yet Faulkner maintained his challenge. But Westbrook’s defence was resolute and that was how they crossed the line, to rapturous applause from the grandstands.
“That was a really hard race, but very fair,” said Westbrook. “It was tough being in the lead and there was a big moment going into the chicane. Damien’s really sorted his car out!” he added. “At least we kept Richard honest this time and it’s very encouraging for the team,” said Faulkner.
Harvey claimed third, but had to shake off a determined Young, who was on a real charge and re-passed Harvey in the early laps. Eventually Harvey made good his escape, but by then the leaders were out of his reach.
Having run third until Harvey battled ahead, Rice had to fend off Young over the second half of the race to secure fourth, while Clark wrapped up the top six after Shanly slid into the tyre wall at the chicane when trying to wrest fifth place from Young on the final lap. Though winded by the impact, Shanly was able to wave to the appreciative crowd as he got out of the car. Templeman struggled home eighth with mechanical problems behind Barnes.Provisional results - race two (14 laps) 1 Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing) 18m 18.394s 2 Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) 18m 18.654s 3 Tim Harvey (Team RPM) 18m 27.400s 4 Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) 18m 42.932s 5 Jason Young (Red Line Racing) 18m 45.831s 6 Steve Clark (Team RPM) 18m 53.403s 7 Jon Barnes (Porsche Cars GB) 19m 06.174s 8 Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) 19m 07.936s 9 David Ashburn (Track Speed) 19m 22.978s NF Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing) 13 laps
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