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King Conquers Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch

Following an exciting opening weekend, Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK – welcomed the arrival of its second consecutive weekend of action with two Friday Practice sessions on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. Porsche GB 2020 / 2021 Junior Harry King (Team Parker Racing) and teammate Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) engaged in a close battle during the morning session, Porsche GB Junior King finishing ahead by the slimmest of margins – just 0.005secs. Conducted in searing August temperatures, the afternoon Practice session was topped by Rookie teammates Matthew Graham (Redline Racing) and Scott McKenna (Redline Racing) – Graham posting the day’s fastest overall time. Esmee Hawkey (Team Parker) continued her strong form from the championship’s opening weekend to head the Pro-Am category, Lucky Khera (Simon Green Motorsport) was Friday’s quickest Am driver.

In a fast qualifying session which saw the cars lapping well under the Porsche Carrera Cup GB circuit record held by 2018 / 2019 Porsche GB Junior – and 2019 champion – Dan Harper (1:27.814), Porsche GB 2020 / 2021 Junior Harry King (Team Parker Racing) took the second pole position of his Porsche career with a time of 1:27.069. The newcomer was chased to the flag by Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) who ended Saturday 0.358secs behind his teammate, Rookie Matthew Graham (Redline Racing) mustered an impressive lap to close to within 0.032secs of the 2014 champion – he would start round three in third. Esmee Hawkey (Team Parker) maintained her pace from Practice to top the Pro-Am category, a tight battle between reigning Am category champion Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) and Lucky Khera (Simon Green Motorsport) was ultimately resolved in Sherwood’s favour.

Following the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB weekend format, Porsche GB Junior King earned two championship points with his pole position, the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Hawkey and Sherwood – also received two points each.

Race one
In dry and warm conditions, the first of the day’s races was the subject of a slightly delayed start. When the lights went out Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) got away well, making a move around the outside of Porsche GB Junior Harry King (Team Parker Racing) through Paddock Hill Bend – snatching the overall race lead. From the row behind, Matthew Graham (Redline Racing) and Lorcan Hanafin (JTR) ran side-by-side through the first corner but maintained P3 and P4 respectively. In Pro-Am, Esmee Hawkey (Parker Racing) stayed ahead of her category rivals, Aaron Mason (Brookspeed Connect IT) moved clear of Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker) for P2 in category. In Am, Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) led, but as the cars began lap two, a battle for second in category saw John Ferguson (Redline Racing) make contact with Lucky Khera (Simon Green Motorsport) – Khera’s race ending in the gravel trap while Ferguson continued. The Safety Car was deployed to enable the recovery of Khera’s stricken car.

At the restart on lap five Webster (Team Parker Racing) began to build a gap to the chasing pack, while Hanafin (JTR) closed on Graham (Redline Racing) for P3. On lap 9, Ferguson (Redline Racing) challenged Justin Armstrong (Team Parker Racing) in the run up to Druids for second in Am, the pair made contact and ended their races in the gravel trap. The incident caused a lengthy second Safety Car period while both stricken cars were lifted to a position of safety. The race restarted with four laps or five minutes remaining – whichever came soonest. Porsche GB Junior King soon made a confident move for the lead down the inside of Webster into Paddock Hill Bend, braking late to pass his teammate on the apex of the corner and successfully defending his new position on the rise to Druids. On the penultimate lap, Sam MacLeod (JTR) and Scott McKenna (Redline Racing) made contact at Clearways, McKenna briefly taking to the gravel before rejoining. MacLeod (JTR) was soon under attack from Ross Wylie (IN2 Racing), the Scotsman finding a route by for P5 though the pair made contact in the process.

On the last lap of the race, Hanafin (JTR) made a move for the final podium position while exiting Graham Hill Bend, moving alongside down Cooper Straight and ahead into Surtees. Porsche GB Junior King crossed the line to claim his second race victory from three rounds, Webster took second place and Rookie Hanafin (JTR) achieved his maiden podium finish in third. In Pro-Am, Hawkey (Parker Racing) held off a late charge by Mason (Brookspeed Connect IT) for the category win, Ratcliffe (Team Parker) occupied the final Pro-Am podium position. In Am, Sherwood claimed his second category win of the season, James Townsend (Fox Motorsport) made his maiden Am podium appearance, Lee Frost (Simon Green Motorsport) made it three Am category podiums from three races.

For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Webster – Pro, Hawkey – Pro-Am and Sherwood – Am each receive one additional championship point. As part of the 2020 podium procedure, winner Porsche GB Junior King selected at random the number four ball, which reversed the grid positions of the top four overall race finishers from round three. This made the front row for race two Graham and Hanafin, with Webster and Porsche GB Junior King sharing row two.

Following post race judicial processes, Ferguson was reprimanded for his incidents with Khera and Armstrong, resulting in him being excluded from the result of race one and the loss of four championship points. For his incident with McKenna, MacLeod was given a five second penalty to be applied at the end of the race. As a result of contact between Wylie and MacLeod, Wylie was handed a two second penalty to be applied at the end of the race. The grid for race two was revised accordingly.

Race two
Sunday’s second race was conducted in very hot weather conditions. At the start Matthew Graham (Redline Racing) maintained his lead into the first corner, Josh Webster (Team Parker Racing) and Porsche GB Junior Harry King (Team Parker Racing) overtook Lorcan Hanafin (JTR) leaving the order at the front: Graham, Webster and Porsche GB Junior King. Through Paddock Hill Bend Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) suffered a spin, the bunched pack behind took avoiding action – in the scuffle Lucky Khera (Simon Green Motorsport) suffered damage leading to his retirement, the Safety Car was called into action while Khera’s stricken car was recovered. Justin Armstrong (Team Parker Racing) soon visited the pits before rejoining to the race.

Following the restart on lap four, Porsche GB Junior King immediately mounted a successful challenge on teammate Webster in a repeat of his move in race one. Further into the same lap Will Martin (Richardson Racing) and Dorian Mansilla (Team Redline Racing) made contact in the final sector, Martin making contact with the barriers and Mansilla spinning before continuing. Quick thinking from Hanafin (JTR) saw him take to the grass in avoidance. With the resulting deployment of the Safety Car telegraphed by Race Control, the cars were free to race until they reached the finish line – Porsche GB Junior King used this to his advantage, passing Graham through Clearways for the lead of the race before the field slowed for the Safety Car process.

At the restart on lap eight, Ross Wylie (IN2 Racing) closed in on Mark Kimber (Brookspeed Connect IT) in the battle for P4. In Pro-Am, Esmee Hawkey (Team Parker) led Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker) from Steve Clark (IN2 Racing). In Am, John Ferguson (Redline Racing) retired from the race leaving the category podium battle as: Lee Frost (Simon Green Motorsport), a recovering Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) and James Townsend (Fox Motorsport) – though the latter would soon visit the pits, retiring from the race. In a tight fight, Hawkey (Team Parker) found herself defending from Hanafin along Cooper Straight, as they braked for Surtees there was contact between Hawkey and Mark Kimber (Brookspeed Connect IT) ahead – this resulted in Kimber leaving the circuit and making contact with the barriers, ending his race.

On lap 13, Graham (Redline Racing) and Hanafin (JTR) left the circuit in quick succession before rejoining, this promoted Webster (Team Parker Racing) to second overall and Wylie (IN2 Racing) to the final podium position. In the remaining laps, Porsche GB Junior King (Team Parker Racing) was consistently the fastest driver on the track – increasing his lead dramatically, at the chequered flag the gap back to Webster was more than eight seconds. Porsche GB Junior King’s second victory of the weekend was the third of his short Porsche career, Webster (Team Parker Racing) took second, Wylie (IN2 Racing) third. Hawkey (Team Parker Racing) claimed another category victory – her fourth category win from four races – finishing an impressive P4 overall, Ratcliffe and Mason joined her on the Pro-Am podium. In Am, Frost (Simon Green Motorsport) took his maiden category win with Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) following him home, Armstrong (Team Parker Racing) was third in category.

For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, King – Pro, Hawkey – Pro-Am and Sherwood – Am each received one additional championship point. For his performance, Frost earned the Driver of the Weekend accolade, Simon Green Motorsport were awarded Team of the Weekend.

During post race investigations, Hawkey was handed a deduction of three championship points and will take a seven place grid penalty at the next round for the incident with Kimber. Mansilla was given a seven place grid penalty at the next round for his incident with Martin. MacLeod was deducted three championship points and given a seven second time penalty to be applied at the end of race two. Wylie was excluded from the results of round four due to a technical issue discovered during post-race scrutineering.

Following an action-packed visit to Kent, Porsche Carrera Cup GB travels to Oulton Park in Cheshire for rounds five and six on 22-23 August. A tense championship battle is already emerging between Porsche GB Junior King and teammate Webster. Webster (Team Parker Racing) scored a podium finish at the circuit in 2015 – he will hope that his experience can close the gap to the impressive Porsche GB Junior King, who leaves Kent with the overall championship lead. Hawkey (Team Parker) – who currently heads the Pro-Am category championship, took category pole position and victory in race two in 2019, she will hope to repeat that success in 2020.

Championship positions*

Harry King Team Parker Racing 48
Josh Webster Team Parker Racing 37
Matthew Graham Redline Racing 21

Esmee Hawkey Team Parker 45
Ryan Ratcliffe Team Parker 30
Aaron Mason Brookspeed Connect IT 26

Justin Sherwood Team Parker Racing 41
Lee Frost Simon Green Motorsport 28
James Townsend Fox Motorsport 16

*results remain provisional

Source. Porsche


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