Following Thursday’s two practice sessions at Donington Park, 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) ended the day with the fastest overall lap time. Recording the second quickest lap in the day’s combined times was Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) who in FP1 circulated just 0.234s slower than Harper. Remarkably in FP2 George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) matched Plato’s time of 1:06.684 exactly to take P3 – Plato ranked ahead having set the time first.
Of the Pro-Am category drivers Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) headed both practice sessions finishing a rain-affected FP2 in an impressive P4 overall. Jamie Orton (JTR) occupied a category P2 in both Friday sessions, with championship returnee Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) taking P3. Category newcomer Rob Boston (Rob Boston Racing) acquitted himself well, the Rookie gradually building confidence during his first competitive laps in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. In the Am category Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2Racing) emerged on top, separated from Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) by just 0.090s with Rookie John Ferguson (Redline Racing) in P3.
With the morning session interrupted by two red flag periods and the afternoon session affected by a drying track, establishing a clear form guide ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session is extremely difficult. Drivers in all three categories look very closely matched around Donington Park’s undulating 1.9-mile National circuit leaving everything to play for.
Session 1 – 11:40 to 12:25
Track temperature: 13.0 degrees
The first drivers onto the track in each category were Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) – Pro, Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) – Pro-Am, and Adam Knight (Valluga Racing) – Am
As the drivers gradually familiarised themselves with the cold yet dry conditions, Rookie Tom Roche (Rob Boston Racing) set the early pace
Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) led the drivers in the Pro-Am category, Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) topped Am
With less than 10 minutes of FP1 complete the session was red flagged to enable the recovery of car 3 – Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques) – from the gravel trap at Redgate corner. Hawkey would take no further part in the session
The session restarted at 11am precisely with 25 minutes left on the clock
A second red flag was shown shortly after the restart to enable the recovery of car 8 – Knight – from the gravel trap at Redgate. Knight continued the session
With the session restarted at 11:07, 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) was the first driver to lap in under 1:07s (1:06.816s)
In the Pro category Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) occupied P2 and George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) P3
In Pro-Am McCarthy led Jamie Orton (JTR) and Leonard, the Am category order being Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) from Sherwood and Rookie John Ferguson (Redline Racing)
Rookie Pro-Am category newcomer Rob Boston (Rob Boston Racing) gradually moved up the timesheet as he familiarised himself with his Type 991 Porsche Carrera Cup vehicle
In the final five minutes of the session, Sherwood leaped Kyle-Henney to top the Am category, Gamble moved ahead of Plato for P2 in Pro
Pro: Harper, Gamble (+0.242), Plato (+0.600)
Pro-Am: McCarthy, Orton (+0.253), Leonard (+0.643)
Am: Sherwood, Kyle-Henney (+0.142), Ferguson (+0.478)
Session 2 – 14:55 to 15:35
Track temperature: 20.6 degrees
Following a heavy downpour between the morning and afternoon sessions, the start of Free Practice Two saw damp conditions
During initial sighter laps, drivers tested grooved wet weather tyres before switching to dry weather slick tyres
Only a handful of drivers initially set times; Tom Roche (Rob Boston Racing) and Jamie Orton (JTR) – Pro-Am, and Adam Knight (Valluga Racing) – Am
With less than 20 minutes of the session remaining several cars took to the track – many for the first time
At the top of the timesheet 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) set consecutive fastest laps
With less than 10 minutes of the session remaining the times began to tumble, Seb Perez (Amigos Redline Racing) moved to P2 behind Harper, then Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) leaped into P1 overall
Harper regained P1 lapping 0.116s quicker than McCarthy, but in the final moments of the session Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) recorded the fastest time of the session: 1:06.684s
Pro runner George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) set the third quickest overall time on his final lap of the day
Pro: Plato, Harper (+0.323), Gamble (+0.423)
Pro-Am: McCarthy, Orton (+0.869), Leonard (+1.761)
Am: Kyle-Henney, Sherwood (+0.369), Knight (+0.931)
Qualifying for round three will take place on Saturday 27 April between 11:00 and 11:30, with drivers fighting for the two points awarded in 2019 for the fastest time posted in each category over the course of the session.