Charlie Eastwood (Redline Racing) heads to Scotland leading the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. The Porsche GB 2016 / 2017 Scholar reclaimed the top spot after double-champion Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) missed the previous two rounds, but normal service will be resumed around the challenging Knockhill circuit with Eastwood, Dino Zamparelli (JTR) and Cammish poised to go head to head for the rest of the season.
While Cammish was consolidating third in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup standings with a third place finish in searing conditions, Eastwood and Zamparelli demoted him to third in Porsche Carrera Cup GB, temporarily halting the reigning champion’s charge towards a record third title.
However, Cammish only trails Eastwood by 15 points and Zamparelli by 4. Each driver has one dropped score still to play, which if applied to the standings in advance of Knockhill reduces Eastwood’s lead over Cammish to just 7 and leaves Zamparelli third, 15 points adrift. In comparison, last year Cammish left Knockhill with a 44 point cushion at the top of the table, adding a further 12 points by the end of the season.
At Snetterton, Eastwood and Zamparelli were under pressure to score maximum points and both delivered in the face of increased competition. As with that weekend, the majority of teams will attend a full day’s exclusive testing during the week leading up to free practice, bringing the field even closer together. For rounds ten and eleven, 11 drivers are competing in the Pro category, but the momentum belongs to Zamparelli.
The last time the Bristolian finished lower than second was back in April, and in round nine scored his first win of 2017 – also the first for JTR in Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Confirming the potential of the JTR squad, Tio Ellinas claimed his first fastest lap and podium, while Lewis Plato made his fourth podium visit of the season.
For his part, Eastwood can draw on his 2016 experience when he pushed Cammish hard in both races, and his consistently strong performances in qualifying, a session that will be a key factor around the twisty Fife circuit. Tom Oliphant (Redline Racing) has scored consistently to earn himself fourth in the championship standings, but brothers Euan and Dan McKay (Redline Racing) will be looking to make the most of their home advantage. Both dominated the weekend in Pro-Am1 last year and have a number of miles under their belt around their local circuit.
Also relishing a home race will be Ross Wylie (Slidesports), the Dumfries driver and Rookie category contender sharing the McKays’ wealth of experience at Knockhill. Another Rookie keen to make an impression in Scotland is Tom Wrigley (IN2 Racing). The Donington podium finisher has shown his pace and will want another opportunity to convert it into solid points. Wrigley is joined by his 2016 sparring partner Jamie Orton, absent from Snetterton but returning to the fray with IN2 Racing.
Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) continues to lead in Pro-Am1, the gap to Alex Martin (Team Parker Racing) a scant three points. On-track the pair are equally close, although John McCullagh (Redline Racing) made impressive progress on his return to the championship at Snetterton. Knockhill has not always been the kindest circuit to McCullagh, but he will hoping for a change in luck to take the fight to the pair ahead.
Pro-Am2 has provided some of the closest racing of the season, and holding all the cards is Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing). Despite a run of wins and an edge in outright pace from second-placed Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing), Jennings has scored consistently to ease ahead by eight points. Inching up to just one point behind Kyle-Henney is Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing), but on the move is David Fairbrother (Slidesports).
A first win last time out has catapulted the Rookie up the standings, now just two points behind category podium finisher Rupert Martin (Team Parker Racing) in fourth. Matt Telling (Welch Motorsport) returns to the category after missing the previous two rounds due to an injury sustained outside the cockpit.
Rounds ten and eleven take place on Sunday 13 August.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship positions
Charlie Eastwood – Redline Racing – 147
Dino Zamparelli – JTR – 138
Dan Cammish – Redline Racing – 132
Justin Sherwood – Team Parker Racing – 70
Alex Martin – Team Parker Racing – 67
Graeme Mundy – Team Parker Racing – 48
Shamus Jennings – G-Cat Racing – 68
Peter Kyle-Henney – IN2 Racing – 60
Iain Dockerill – Asset Advantage Racing – 59