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Porsche Sprint Challenge GB gets off to a flying start

Porsche Motorsport GB’s second one-make championship, Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, got off to a flying start with its inaugural weekend held at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk. The new addition to the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, which rises from Porsche Club Motorsport all the way to the World Endurance Championship and Formula E, announced itself in style with two exciting and action-packed races in support of Porsche Club Motorsport.

Saturday’s qualifying session saw 13 mechanically identical 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars, powered by a mid-mounted 3.8-litre flat-six engine and delivering 425 hp to the rear wheels though a six-speed PDK gearbox, contest a 20-minute session in dry and sunny conditions. The almost even split of Pro and Am category drivers immediately settled into an exchange of quick lap times – James Dorlin (IN2 Racing) was the early pacesetter and would end of the session ahead to secure the first ever Porsche Sprint Challenge GB pole position. Ethan Hawkey (Redline Racing) narrowly missed out on a front row start, ending the day just 0.041secs behind Tom Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) – 0.397secs covered the top five cars. Leading the Am category drivers was Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing), the Italian qualified ahead of rivals Ian Humphris (Valluga Racing) and Peter Chambers (Jordan Racing Team). For recording the fastest times in their respective categories, Dorlin and Perfetti each receive one championship point.

The first of Sunday’s two races was conducted in dry and sunny conditions. At the start Tom Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) was deemed to have made a false start and incurred a 10 second penalty to be applied at the end of the race. On the track, Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) led James Dorlin (IN2 Racing) into the first corner, Theo Edgerton (Total Control Racing) also got away well to slot into third. In the Am battle Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing) maintained his category lead with Mike Price (Forelle Estates Racing) and Nigel Rice (Redline Racing) in close pursuit.

In the early laps of the race Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) began pulling away on the track, but on corrected time it was actually Dorlin (IN2 Racing) leading from Edgerton (Total Control Racing) and Archie Hamilton (Redline Racing). Having lost positions off the start line, a recovering Ethan Hawkey (Redline Racing) looked to make up ground – chasing Perfetti (IN2 Racing) for P6 overall. On lap two Peter Chambers (Jordan Racing Team) found a way by John Westbrook (Rob Boston Racing) for P12 – Carl Cavers (Valluga Racing), Chambers and Westbrook were all racing in close proximity.

On lap three Hawkey (Redline Racing) overtook Perfetti (IN2 Racing) for P6, reinstating the perfect category split of Pro and Am drivers – Hawkey then set after Alex Toth-Jones (IN2 Racing) ahead. Over the following laps Hawkey (Redline Racing) closed to within 0.349secs of Toth-Jones (IN2 Racing) but could not find a route by. Further back a battle developed between Rice (Redline Racing) and Ian Humphris (Valluga Racing), just 0.541secs separating the duo on lap nine, though Rice would later incur a penalty for track limits cementing the Am order as: Perfetti, Price and Rice.

In the closing stages of the race the leaders traded fastest lap times but the order remained the same, Jackson crossed the line first on the road, P4 with his penalty applied. Dorlin (IN2 Racing) therefore took victory, joined on the Pro podium by Edgerton (Total Control Racing) and Hamilton (Redline Racing). Perfetti (IN2 Racing) took Am category glory, with Price (Forelle Estates Racing) and Rice (Redline Racing) following him home. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Dorlin – Pro, and Perfetti – Am, each receive one additional championship point. The grid for the day’s second race would be formed by the finishing positions from race one.

James Dorlin (IN2 Racing) and Theo Edgerton (Total Control Racing) formed the front row for the start of race two, held in warm, dry conditions. When the lights went out the cars on the front row got off to an even start in the first corner, further back Carl Cavers (Valluga Racing) and Ian Humphris (Valluga Racing) were slow away. Keen to make up for his disappointment in race one, Tom Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) immediately climbed one place to third. In the early stages of the race Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing) maintained the Am category lead followed by the experienced Nigel Rice (Redline Racing), while Peter Chambers (Jordan Racing Team) found a way by Mike Price (Forelle Estates Racing) for P3 in category.

At the front of the race the gap between Dorlin (IN2 Racing) and Edgerton (Total Control Racing) ebbed and flowed but was always less than a second, behind them Alex Toth-Jones (IN2 Racing) and Archie Hamilton (Redline Racing) resumed their battle from race one – Toth-Jones applying pressure to Hamilton for P5. In Am a recovering Humphris (Valluga Racing) closed in on the rear bumper of Price (Forelle Estates Racing) for P4 in category, ahead of them it was Perfetti (IN2 Racing) still leading the category podium battle from Rice (Redline Racing) and Chambers (Jordan Racing Team).

In the closing stages of the race Ethan Hawkey (Redline Racing) began losing fluid, the resulting slippery surface saw a number of cars leave the track – Hawkey then retired from the race allowing Hamilton (Redline Racing) to assume P4 overall. Toth-Jones (IN2 Racing) soon joined the retirements following an incident which resulted in damage to his car. The cars entered the final lap with all remaining drivers exercising caution due to the tricky track conditions. In Am, Humphris (Valluga Racing) and Rice (Redline Racing) went side-by-side through Richies, Humphris staying ahead. In Pro, Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) closed up on Edgerton (Total Control Racing) for second place overall, Edgerton soon retired from the race with a puncture – this allowed Jackson through for second and Hamilton to clinch the final podium spot in Pro.

At the flag Dorlin (IN2 Racing) took his second overall win of the weekend, Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) crossed the line in second, Hamilton (Redline Racing) in third. In Am, Perfetti (IN2 Racing) made it two Am category wins from two races, Humphris (Valluga Racing) finished second with Rice (Redline Racing) third. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Edgerton – Pro, and Perfetti – Am each receive one additional championship point.

(results remain provisional)

Source. Porsche

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