Brands Hatch in Kent was the venue for rounds five and six of Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, Porsche Motorsport GB’s second one-make championship. Rejoining the Porsche Club package for the first time since its inaugural weekend at Snetterton in July, the event saw practice, qualifying and two races take place in a single day in dry conditions. In front of a limited number of socially distanced spectators and Porsche Club GB enthusiasts, an action-packed day of racing resulted in one win each for championship rivals Tom Jackson (Rob Boston Racing) and James Dorlin (IN2 Racing), moving them to within two points of each other in the tense championship fight. Two new Am category winners added a further layer of excitement to the day.
The morning’s 20-minute qualifying session saw 13 identical cars attack the Brands Hatch Indy circuit to establish the grid for round five of the championship. Having retired from practice with a technical issue, Archie Hamilton (Redline Racing) would take no further part in the rest of the day’s running. Theo Edgerton (Total Control Racing) initially headed Jackson, though Jackson moved the goalposts during the second half of the session – setting a time 0.032secs quicker than his 16-year old rival. Jackson’s pole position was his second of the season, he would share the front row for the first of the day’s two races with Edgerton, Dorlin and Ethan Hawkey (Redline Racing) making up row two. In Am, Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing) had the edge over Nigel Rice (Redline Racing) and Mike Price (Forelle Estates Racing). For recording the fastest times in their respective categories, Jackson – Pro and Perfetti – Am each received one championship point.
At the start Dorlin got away well from the second row of the grid but drama further back saw Price and Rice make contact in the run to the first corner. As the cars squeezed together Price collided with the barriers at the pit exit, ending his race. Perfetti was also involved in the incident – he would continue to Graham Hill before making his own retirement. The race was immediately red flagged to allow for barrier repairs and the stricken cars of Price and Perfetti to be recovered. Following a 20 minute delay 11 cars took the restart.
When the lights went out for the second time Hawkey got the jump on Dorlin for third, Rice was slow away – dropping to the back of the pack. In Am, Humphris led John Westbrook (Rob Boston Racing) from Carl Cavers (Valluga). On lap 5 Peter Chambers (Jordan Racing Team) advanced by Cavers for P3 in category, a recovering Rice soon dispatched newcomer Gustav Engljahringer (Redline Racing) for P10. A couple of laps later a charging Rice overtook Cavers as they entered their eighth lap.
By the middle part of the race a closely contested battle emerged between Hawkey and Edgerton for second overall, Hawkey moved onto the rear bumper of his rival but he was unable to find a route by. On lap 21 Rice began mounting another pass, this time on Chambers, getting alongside through Clearways but finally making the move stick into Surtees on the following lap – this made the Am order Humphris, Westbrook and Rice. On the penultimate lap, Rice took a trip through the gravel dropping him back down the order.
Jackson crossed the line to take his second win of the season, Edgerton finished in second, Hawkey’s third place meant that he secured his maiden podium result. Likewise, Humphris recorded his maiden Am category victory, alongside him came Westbrook – another new visitor to the Am podium with his second place, Chambers was third. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Jackson – Pro, and Rice – Am each received one additional championship point. Following the race, for the incident at the start, Price was deducted two championship points.
The grid for the day’s second race was decided by the finishing positions from Race One – with Price and Perfetti taking no further part in the day’s running 11 cars took the start. Dorlin made the best getaway when the lights went out, gaining enough momentum to run side-by-side with Edgerton for second, though it was not enough to take the position on the opening lap. On lap two he began a second attempt that saw the pass stick – now he could set after leader Jackson ahead. In an almost identical move, on lap four Dorlin drew alongside Jackson out of Clearways, a drag race along Brabham Straight ensued but Dorlin had the pass for the lead of the race completed by Paddock Hill Bend.
The early Am order was Humphris from Westbrook and Rice. However, on lap four Rice continued to show the pace he’d enjoyed in the day’s opening race, passing Westbrook for second in category – he soon began closing on Humphris. On lap 11 Alex Toth-Jones (IN2 Racing) overtook Hawkey for fourth on the Brabham Straight. On lap 17 Rice began a move on Humphris for the Am lead, starting his run at Clearways, he passed into Paddock Hill Bend. Fighting back in the run up Pilgrim’s Rise, Humphris made contact with Rice at Druids – both cars ending their races in the gravel trap. As a result the Safety Car was called into action, neutralising the race while the stricken cars were recovered. At the restart there were just five minutes of time remaining on the clock and no further position changes would take place.
Dorlin’s victory was his fourth of the season, he also gained one additional championship point for recording the fastest lap in the Pro category, that means that he leaves Kent with a narrow two point advantage over title challenger Jackson. Rice received one additional championship point for recording the fastest lap in Am. Category winner Westbrook took his maiden Am victory, Chambers finished second while Cavers joined them to taste the podium champagne for the first time. For the incident between Humphris and Rice, Humphris received a three place grid penalty and was docked three championship points.
James Dorlin IN2 Racing 56
Tom Jackson Rob Boston Racing 54
Theo Edgerton TCR 29
Ambrogio Perfetti IN2 Racing 41
Ian Humphris Valluga 37
Peter Chambers Jordan Racing Team 36
*results remain provisional