The Porsche Carrera Cup GB, the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK, delivered a pair of dramatic races at Croft in mixed weather conditions. With his victory in Round Five and points finish in Round Six, 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) leaves North Yorkshire retaining his lead of the driver’s championship. The Croft weekend also witnessed a category victory for title hopeful Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) and two Pro category podium finishes for former Porsche GB Scholar and 2014 Carrera Cup GB champion Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing).
A rain-affected Round Six saw Pro-Am category driver Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) take his maiden overall victory – the first time a Pro-Am driver has won a race outright. Leonard’s haul of points moves him back into the lead of the Pro-Am category championship. Peter Kyle-Henney (In2 Racing) recorded two category victories moving him into second position in the Am category behind podium finisher Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing). Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) maintains his lead of the Rookie championship, JTR move into the lead of the championship for Teams.
A grid of 14 cars lined-up for Race One in dry conditions ahead of a 15 lap race. 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) made a good start from pole position, fending off the advances of front row starter Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing). The remaining top six qualifiers held station for the early part of the opening lap.
As the cars arrived at Complex George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) made a challenge on Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) with Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) in close company. Gamble and Plato made contact, Gamble subsequently spinning into McCarthy before the pair made further contact with the barriers – ending their races. In a separate incident into Complex, Am category driver John Ferguson (Redline Racing) and Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques) made contact resulting in Ferguson leaving the circuit where his race ended. With three stricken vehicles off the track the Safety Car was summoned.
Suffering from damage, Plato slowed under Safety Car conditions gradually dropping down the running order. At the restart on Lap 5 Harper led Webster from Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance). With McCarthy out of the race, the Pro-Am category was now led by Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) from Hawkey, though Leonard was soon handed a 10-second penalty to be applied after the race for making a jump start. Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) headed the Am category from Peter Kyle-Henney (In2 Racing), however, Sherwood was soon forced to pit as a result of a puncture – he rejoined the race behind Kyle-Henney where he would stay.
On lap 8 Seb Perez (Amigos Redline Racing) overtook Vaughan at Hairpin for P4 overall – P3 in the Pro category. Rookie Tom Roche (Rob Boston Racing) replicated the move in the same place on lap 11 for P4 in category. In the final few laps, Roche slowed before retiring from the race. Having recovered from his penalty, Leonard moved back into the Pro-Am category race lead on corrected time. Having pushed hard to build a gap of over 5 seconds to Webster in P2, Porsche GB Junior Harper spun on the exit of the final corner, recovering just in time to take the flag ahead of his closing rival.
For his part in the incident at the start of the race, Plato was handed a reprimand resulting in the loss of two championship points. As part of the 2019 podium procedure, winner Harper selected at random the number 4 ball, which reverses the grid positions of the top 4 overall race finishers from Round Five. This formed the starting grid for Round Six; Perez, Orton, Webster, and Harper.
As 13 cars formed the pre-grid for Round Six – a 15 lap race – shod with slick dry weather tyres, rain began to fall. At the end of the formation lap 10 cars pitted for grooved wet weather tyres leaving just pole sitter Seb Perez (Amigos Redline Racing), Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) and 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) to take the start. With the track now wet, Perez, Webster and Harper tentatively completed the opening laps, Harper passing Webster for P2.
Pro-Am category Rookie Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) was the first to emerge from the pit lane on wet weather tyres, the gap between Webster in P3 and McCarthy in P4 now being 16 seconds. Such was his advantage on the correct tyres for the conditions, on Lap 3 McCarthy caught and overtook the three slick-shod runners to lead the race. Webster then pitted for grooved tyres, Perez and Harper continued for one further lap. McCarthy in P1 overall now led Pro-Am category rivals Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) in P2 and Jamie Orton (JTR) in P3.
Further back the Pro category order was now Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance), Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) and Rookie Tom Roche (Rob Boston Racing). Am was led by Peter Kyle-Henney (In2 Racing) from John Ferguson (Redline Racing) and Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing). On Lap 7 Ferguson spun off the circuit at Clervaux and would not continue, this called for the Safety Car to be deployed as his stricken car was removed, promoting Sherwood to P2 in Am.
When racing resumed on lap 11 overall leader McCarthy left the circuit at Chicane, rejoining in P3 behind new leader Leonard and Orton, shortly afterward Plato found a way by teammate Vaughan for P1 in Pro. On Lap 14 a recovering McCarthy mounted a challenge on Orton, the pair making contact before continuing their races – McCarthy now in P2 overall, Orton at the back of the field. Leonard crossed the line to take overall victory followed by Pro-Am Rookie McCarthy and Pro driver Plato. The final Pro category order being; Plato, Vaughan, Webster. Leonard, McCarthy and Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques) formed the Pro-Am category podium while the Am category podium comprised Kyle-Henney and Sherwood.
For his performance, Leonard earned the Driver of the Weekend accolade, Redline Racing were awarded Team of the Weekend.
Team Parker Racing 36
Team Parker Racing 51
Redline Racing 45
Team Parker Racing 61
IN2 Racing 42
Redline Racing 31
*results remain provisional