Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) maintains a slender advantage to lead the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK as it heads into the second half of the season for rounds nine and ten at Snetterton. The strongest weekend yet for Dino Zamparelli (GT Marques) last time out at Croft and a guest appearance for several of the top contenders at Silverstone’s round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup suggest that the remainder of the season is anything but decided.
After seeing his championship challenge dented by a perfect weekend for Cammish at Oulton Park, Zamparelli responded at Croft with a perfect weekend of his own. Taking a pair of pole positions, the Bristol-based driver’s first in the championship, Zamparelli converted them into two race wins and fastest laps.
The close-fought nature of the contest between the two protagonists goes beyond the three points separating them in the championship. While Cammish can claim the advantage in race wins – five to three – Zamparelli has the edge on race pace, with five fastest laps to his credit compared to Cammish’s three. Over a single qualifying lap the balance shifts back to the reigning champion, six pole positions to Zamparelli’s two.
As the pressure mounts on the duelling duo, neither able to afford a single mistake, the chasing pack are closing in. Former race winner Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) enters the second half of the season as the third-placed driver. The Porsche Carrera Cup GB veteran looks overdue to get onto the top step of the podium for the first time since 2011, having come so close once already in 2016.
A guest entry for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in support of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone saw seven 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB drivers take on the best in the world. Leading the charge was Tom Sharp (IDL Racing), the 2015 Rookie champion challenging for a podium finish during a rain-affected thriller in front of over 100,000 spectators. Adding to the drama were the performances of Tom Oliphant (Team Redline) and Charlie Eastwood (Redline Racing), who showed exceptional pace and racecraft as they recovered from a compromised qualifying session with storming drives through the talented field.
Hot on the heels of the Pro category are the Pro-Am1 contenders, who arrive at Snetterton with Euan McKay (IN2 Racing) holding the advantage. The Rookie driver carries the momentum of four consecutive Pro-Am1 category wins, but both reigning Pro-Am2 champion John McCullagh (Redline Racing) and newcomer Sean Hudspeth (Parr Motorsport) will be pushing hard to close the gap.
Just one point separates the chasing pair in their championship battle and consistency looks to be key, with only McCullagh having finished every round from those attending at Snetterton. Dan McKay (IN2 Racing) could be another to take the fight to brother Euan, with whom he shares the same number of fastest laps, if he can convert his speed and overtaking ability into a consistent performance across every session.
A wild card for the category will be G-Cat Racing’s Greg Caton. The multiple race-winning historic racer and G-Cat Racing team manager will be replacing the team’s absent Peter Jennings for both rounds at Snetterton.
Pro-Am2 looks poised for another close weekend as just one point separates the top two with eight rounds gone. Impressing in his first season, Mark Radcliffe (Intersport Racing) gained invaluable experience from his time with the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Silverstone and will be making the most of this as he resumes his contest with Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) and Peter Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport).
All three have been category winners in 2016, but after a season away Kyle-Henney won at Croft and will be looking for further progress up the rankings. Rejoining after missing rounds seven and eight will be fast newcomer Adrian Barwick (Team Parker Racing), already a podium visitor and keen for more.
In 2015 Cammish was the form driver at Snetterton, but the form for this season’s visit to the Norfolk circuit is much harder to read. In its first half, the 2016 championship has seen close lap times and even closer racing, with Cammish, Zamparelli and Jelley using their experience to good effect. As the chasing pack, led by Porsche GB 2016/2017 Scholar Charlie Eastwood, begins to find its rhythm, the established order could change in a fraction of a second. Looking the most likely contender to do this at Snetterton is undoubtedly Tom Sharp, his strong Supercup performance boosting confidence ahead of a return to a circuit where he finished second to Cammish last year.
Rounds nine and ten will take place on Sunday 31 July at 09.15 and 15.25 respectively. Follow the battle for the championship at @CarreraCupGB on Twitter and @carreracupgb on Instagram.
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