Motorbase Performance celebrated a superb Pro Class 1-2 finish during a dramatic weekend of action on North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit, propelling the Kent-based squad into the joint lead of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship standings (June 15/16).
Changeable weather conditions delivered high drama on-track throughout the third meeting of the year, with Motorbase-duo Lewis Plato and Dan Vaughan battling back from a less than ideal start to secure a double podium finish in the final contest of the weekend.
Plato, who currently occupies 2nd in the Pro Driver standings, took his highest-placed qualifying position of the year in P2, securing a front-row grid start for round 5. Taking to the high-speed circuit for the first time on Friday, Vaughan acquired an 8th place sport on the damp track.
Making a strong start off the line in the opening race, Plato held position in P2, keeping pace with the race leader over the first lap. Unfortunately, contact with Gamble as the pair charged through the complex resulted in suspension damage for the #11 Porsche. Plato managed to remain on track, but dropped down the order and eventually crossed the line in P9.
Avoiding the lead-pack melee, Vaughan had quietly made his way up into a Pro Class podium spot until lap 8 when he was passed by Perez. Narrowly missing out on a rostrum visit, the 22-year-old crossed the line 4th in class, P5 overall.
Race two was a frenetic affair. Starting from 5th and 10th on the grid, Vaughan and Plato joined the group of 10 cars that pitted at the end of the formation lap to switch to wets as heavy rain descended. Taking to the sodden track after a lightning pit-stop by the Motorbase crew, Plato and Vaughan leapt up the order as drivers and teams battled with late tyre changes.
The safety car appearance on lap 7 allowed the field to close-up once more, and with just 4 laps remaining after the restart, Plato and Vaughan remained in strong podium contention. With two Pro-Am racers taking first and second for the first-time in Carrera Cup history, Plato crossed the line in 3rd place overall, closely followed by Vaughan in P4 – with the team-mates securing the Pro Class win and runner-up position for a Motorbase 1-2 finish.
Despite Plato being handed a two-point penalty for his incident with Gamble in round 5, Motorbase Performance has moved into joint championship lead in the Team standings. Plato and Vaughan remain in 2nd and 6th place in the Pro Drivers’ championship ahead of rounds seven and eight at Oulton Park on June 29/30.
#11 Lewis Plato:
“It doesn’t really feel like a win, in the true sense but I’ll take it! Certainly, maximum points race 2 helps us out with the championship. Race 1 was obviously disappointing. Personally, I think the two-point penalty was unjustified.
“When you look at the move, you can see me look in the mirror you can’t see the other car there. I turn in, he goes in very deep on the brakes and essentially we hit each other. There was no intention on either side, but because his car was written off it seemed like we were given the penalty. At the end of the day, when you go for an overtake you take the risk. The fact that different decisions were made on similar incidents doesn’t really make sense. It certainly cost us a podium, if not a race win.
“We got lucky in race 2 to be fair. Starting from the back of the grid, the crew did a great job on the pit-stop and we made up about 5 or 6 places. The track was so wet; no-one could really overtake.
“It’s our first Motorbase 1-2 however and all being well we can continue that at Oulton Park. I’ve been on the podium there pretty much every year, but never got the win. Hopefully, we can make it another strong weekend and make up the points’ distance.”
#55 Dan Vaughan:
“That was the hardest weekend. I went into qualifying only having done about 15 laps on the circuit and none in the dry before the first race. It was a bit of a baptism of fire, so to come away with a 4th and 2nd in class was a great result. My first lap in the dry was the first lap in the race so it was strange not knowing where to go, but it worked out pretty well.
“Race 2 was a very strange race. I was in the lead of the class and 4th overall with about 10 laps to go. Then the safety car came out which gave everyone the chance to get up behind me. I had to fend off Webster and Harper for the last few laps. It was a really hard race, so felt great to get the class podium.
“It’s been frustrating for me this year. The results haven’t shown the pace before this weekend. The whole team will benefit from that result. Points-wise the weekend has brought us all closer together in the championship.”
#11 Lewis Plato:
Round 5: P9
Round 6: P3
#55 Dan Vaughan:
Round 5: P5
Round 6: P4
1 Dan Harper JTR 60 points
2 Lewis Plato Motorbase Performance 45 points
6 Dan Vaughan Motorbase Performance 26 points
1 JTR 148 points
2 Motorbase Performance 148 points
3 Amigos Redline Racing 128 points
Source. Motorbase Performance/Photo. Porsche