MSS KITS driver Tom Wrigley got his 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain season underway with a hard-fought pair of top six finishes during the opening rounds of the championship at Brands Hatch this past weekend (07/08 April).
The new season would be Wrigley’s second campaign in the ultra-competitive one-make championship, which races in support of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, while it would mark MSS KITS’ first venture into top level British motorsport.
The opening weekend would see the distinctive orange, black and white liveried MSS KITS Porsche make a real impression to the fans trackside, with many of them getting their hands on posters and caps during an autograph signing session with Wrigley.
On track it was a strong start for Wrigley in his fourth consecutive season competing on the BTCC support package, with the 25 year old having adapted well to the new-for-2018 485hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and his new team, JTR, during pre-season testing.
Returning to the scene of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB debut twelve months ago, Wrigley would produce competitive lap times from the off around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, finishing sixth overall at the end of Friday’s two official free practice sessions.
Wrigley would go on to finish in the same position in qualifying the next day, less than half a second shy of the overall pole position time, and he headed into Sunday’s two races confident of having strong race pace in the MSS KITS Porsche.
A change of weather conditions overnight meant that Wrigley would be greeted by a wet circuit for round one, but he produced a superb run in the tricky conditions to immediately move up to fifth place and get himself in a close fought-battle for the final podium position.
A great move heading into Paddock Hill Bend at the start of lap twenty-one saw him rise to fourth, however an unfortunate lock-up while braking two corners later would lead to him running wide and slipping to eighth – however a superb recovery drive took him to sixth at the finish.
The second race,would be a quieter affair for the Chirk based racer as he ran in sixth for the first portion of the race amongst a close seven car train, before gaining a position just before the halfway mark of the contest.
That would prove to be the last piece of action before the race was nullified, with two lengthy safety car periods, separated by just two racing laps, eventually leading to the red flags coming out and the race being brought to an early conclusion.
Fifth place would net Wrigley more crucial championship points, which means the MSS KITS driver lies fifth in the points standings heading into the next two rounds of the championship at Donington Park in Leicestershire on April 28/29.
Tom Wrigley: “It was a great first weekend with MSS KITS in the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain. The car looked fantastic and certainly drew plenty of attention, while it was great to get the opportunity to interact with the fans and give away some great MSS KITS merchandise.
“On track, I didn’t drive as well as I could in qualifying which was frustrating as it left us with some work to do in the races, but I felt we were strong on Sunday. I was quick in race one and right in the mix for the podium, but sadly one small mistake would cost me dearly.
“We had good pace in the second race as well and the car was coming on strongly as the race progressed, so it was a shame we didn’t get to capitalise on it with the racing getting cut short. There’s plenty of positives to take from the weekend though heading into Donington Park.”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Dan Bathie/Porsche