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Returning 2018 Champion Tio Ellinas Tops Porsche Carrera Cup GB Friday Practice at Silverstone

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Tio Ellinas (Redline Racing) made a spectacular return to the championship, setting the fastest time of the day during Friday’s practice sessions at Silverstone. 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Ellinas lapped Silverstone’s fast National circuit in 54.971, ending the day marginally ahead of championship challenger Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) and George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) – just 0.137secs separating the trio. Mixed conditions throughout the day saw both morning and afternoon sessions interrupted by rain, the slippery circuit preparing the field for a weekend forecast to include unpredictable spells of wet weather.

Pro-Am category championship leader Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) topped the combined times for the category from returnee Rob Boston (Rob Boston Racing) and category championship hopeful Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques). The three Pro-Am category drivers ended the morning session separated by just 0.030secs. Things were equally close in the Am category, championship leader Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) led rivals Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) from Rookie Adam Knight (JTR) – just 0.039secs covering all three in the combined times.

In addition to the return of reigning champion Ellinas and Pro-Am category driver Boston, the Silverstone National weekend also sees the return of Ross Wylie (IN2 Racing) – Pro, the Scotsman last raced with the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2017. Joining the grid for the first time at Silverstone are three newcomers; Aaron Mason (Team Connect It) – Pro-Am, Lucky Khera (Team Parker Racing) – Am and Lee Frost (Team Parker Racing) – Am. The trio gained valuable experience throughout Friday’s two practice sessions, boosting their confidence ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session.

Session 1 – 09:00 to 09:40
Track temperature: 14.4 degrees

The first drivers taking to the dry track in each category were Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) – Pro, Adam Hatfield (Valluga) – Pro-Am, and newcomer Lee Frost (Team Parker Racing) – Am
Plato set the early pace with a time of 55.476secs, 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) lapping just 0.053secs slower in P2
Of the Pro-Am runners Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) led his category rivals early on, while Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) headed Am
A number of returnees quickly got up to speed including reigning Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Tio Ellinas (Redline Racing), Ross Wylie (IN2 Racing) and Rob Boston (Rob Boston Racing)
Three new drivers; Aaron Mason (Team Connect It) – Pro-Am, Lucky Khera (Team Parker Racing) – Am and Lee Frost (Team Parker Racing) – Am gradually built pace throughout the day’s first session
In Pro Plato led Porsche GB Junior Harper from Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) with Ellinas in a close P4
Pro-Am pacesetter Leonard was chased by Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) and Sam Brabham (Team Connect It)
With 20 minutes of the session complete rain began to fall which drew all runners back into pit lane
In the final few minutes of the session the track was dry enough for Tom Roche (Rob Boston Racing) and Boston (Rob Boston Racing) to improve their times
In the dying moments of FP1 George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing) set a time good enough for the top three, Ellinas moved to the very top of the timesheet with the morning’s best time: 54:971secs
Pro: Ellinas, Plato (+0.062), Gamble (+0.137)
Pro-Am: Leonard, Boston (+0.026), Hawkey (+0.030)
Am: Kyle-Henney, Knight (+0.232), Sherwood (+0.243)

Session 2 – 13:30 to 14:10
Track temperature: 17.2 degrees

In dry conditions the first drivers taking to the track in each category were Lewis Plato (Motorbase Performance) – Pro, Adam Hatfield (Valluga) – Pro-Am, and newcomer Lucky Khera (Team Parker Racing) – Am
The early pacesetters in each category were Plato – Pro, Jack McCarthy (Redline Racing) – Pro-Am, and Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) – Am
A close battle soon developed at the top of the timesheet between George Gamble (Amigos Redline Racing), Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) and 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) – the trio separated by just 0.091secs
As Webster stormed to P1 with a time of 55.144, the entire top 10 were covered by just 0.444secs
With 24 minutes of the session remaining Tio Ellinas (Redline Racing) set the quickest lap – 55.124, the order now being Ellinas, Webster and Gamble – all three covered by 0.033secs
With 20 minutes of the session remaining rain began to fall, the entire field opting to switch to grooved wet weather tyres
In wet conditions only a handful of drivers lapped in under 59secs, amongst them returnee Ross Wylie (IN2 Racing), Webster, Ellinas and Porsche GB Junior Harper
Pro: Ellinas, Webster (+0.020), Gamble (+0.033)
Pro-Am: Leonard, Boston (+0.052), Hatfield (+0.109)
Am: Sherwood, Kyle-Henney (+0.398), Knight (+0.515)

Qualifying for round thirteen will take place on Saturday 28 September between 13:25 and 13:55, with drivers fighting for the two points awarded in 2019 for the fastest time posted in each category over the course of the session.

Source. Porsche

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