A pair of thrilling races for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK, took place across two days at Donington Park. Following a win in Round Three and a podium finish in Round Four, 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) maintains his overall championship lead. Another dimension was added to the weekend with the return of former Porsche GB Scholar and 2014 Carrera Cup GB champion Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing). The former Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup driver claimed a surprise pole position and commanding Race Two victory on his comeback.
Securing his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup GB category victory, Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) visited the top step of the podium twice with two Pro-Am category wins. The major points haul sees McCarthy leave the Leicestershire circuit tied at the top of the table with Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) – the Pro-Am category winner of Rounds One and Two. A pair of visits to the Am category podium at Donington means that Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) still leads the category points standings, McCarthy leads the Rookie championship while Amigos Redline Racing maintain an advantage in the Teams championship.
Dry but changeable conditions greeted the drivers for Race One of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, all 16 runners started on slick dry weather tyres for the 23 lap race. The start of the race was delayed by approximately 20 minutes due to the previous session on the Donington Park schedule over-running.
At the start pole-sitter Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) was beaten through the first corner by front row starter George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing), the Round Two winner taking an early lead. Behind them Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) was soon overtaken by 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) leaving the order on the opening lap: Gamble, Harper and Webster. On lap 2 Plato found a way by returnee Webster for P3.
In Pro-Am Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) initially led Jamie Orton (JTR) from Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing), Orton and McCarthy swapped positions on lap 2. In the Am category battle Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) led Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) from Rookie John Ferguson (Redline Racing), however Kyle-Henney briefly left the circuit before rejoining, that allowed Ferguson to assume P2 in category and Rookie Adam Knight (Valluga Racing) P3.
On lap 6 McCarthy navigated his way into the Pro-Am category lead while one lap later the overall lead changed when Harper overtook Gamble into Redgate. Plato mounted a successful challenge on Gamble through the fast Craner Curves for P2, but shortly afterwards he briefly left the circuit rejoining three places down the order. That left the order at the front Harper, Gamble and 2014 overall champion Webster. Following a battle through Schwantz Curve with Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance), Seb Perez (Amigos Redline Racing) took to the grass and made contact with the barriers ending his race. Shortly afterwards Leonard left the circuit before rejoining, that left the Pro-Am category order as McCarthy, Orton and Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques).
As part of the 2019 podium procedure, winner Harper selected at random the number 6 ball, which reverses the grid positions of the top 6 overall race finishers from Round Three. This formed the starting grid for Round Four; McCarthy, Vaughan, Plato, Webster, Gamble and Harper.
Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) started from pole alongside Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance). When the lights went out Vaughan made a great start, assuming the lead of the race out of the first corner ahead of Pro-Am category runner McCarthy and Pro category returnee Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing). On lap 2 2014 champion Webster crafted a successful move on McCarthy through the Craner Curves to grab P2 overall, he was soon followed through by Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) for P3. In unison 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) overtook George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) for P5 leaving the order at the front; Vaughan, Webster, Plato, McCarthy and Harper.
Behind McCarthy in the Pro-Am category came Jamie Orton (JTR) and newcomer Rob Boston (Rob Boston Racing), just a few laps into the race the pair made contact through the final chicane leaving Orton in the gravel trap where his race ended. While Orton’s stricken car was recovered from a dangerous position the Safety Car was deployed. Of the Am category drivers Race One winner John Ferguson (Redline Racing) made good progress before the Safety Car appeared, moving to the category lead ahead of Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) and Rookie Adam Knight (Valluga Racing).
When the race restarted on lap 9 Porsche GB Junior Harper found a way by McCarthy for P4 overall, he was followed through by Gamble. At the front of the race Webster passed Vaughan on Starkey’s Straight for the overall lead of the race. Shortly afterwards Pro-Am category driver Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) received a 10sec penalty for a false start, that left the Pro-Am category order: McCarthy, Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques) and Boston. Boston then made a pit stop which promoted Leonard to the final category podium position. In Am Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) moved up into P3 in category ahead of Knight before passing Kyle-Henney for P2.
At the end of lap 15 Vaughan ran wide allowing Plato to find a route by for P2. A fierce battle then developed between Vaughan, Harper and Gamble for P3 – Harper eventually mounting a successful challenge on Vaughan for P3 on Starkey’s Straight. With just two laps of the race remaining Gamble finally overtook Vaughan for P4, he was soon followed through by Rookie Tom Roche (Rob Boston Racing) for P5. At the flag Webster led Plato and Harper – the Porsche GB Junior’s second podium finish of the weekend. McCarthy clinched his second Pro-Am category victory with Hawkey P2 in category and Leonard P3. The Am order remained Ferguson, Sherwood and Kyle-Henney. For his performance, Josh Webster earned the Driver of the Weekend accolade, while Team Parker Racing were awarded Team of the Weekend.
Dan Harper JTR
Lewis Plato Motorbase Performance
George Gamble Amigos Redline Racing
Jack McCarthy Redline Racing
Karl Leonard Team Parker Racing
Esmee Hawkey GT Marques
Justin Sherwood Team Parker Racing
John Ferguson Redline Racing
Peter Kyle-Henney IN2 Racing
*results remain provisional