Redline Racing scored their first class victory in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB as part of a five podium haul from their home event at Croft this past weekend (10/11 October).
The Teeside squad made the short trip to North Yorkshire with high hopes as the fifth meeting of the inaugural Sprint Challenge GB season saw the series join the support package of the British Touring Car Championship for the first time.
The team’s regular trio of drivers, Archie Hamilton, Ethan Hawkey and Nigel Rice, were joined for the weekend by series debutant Paul Donkin. It marked a return to the Redline ranks for the local racer, having made a one-off Porsche Carrera Cup GB debut with the team at Croft in 2014.
Donkin immediately impressed by setting the Am class pace in free practice on Friday, and he followed that up by finishing second in class and a brilliant fifth overall in qualifying the next day as the field tackled torrential wet conditions in their Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport’s.
Hot on his heels in sixth position was the team’s leading Pro class contender Hamilton. Rice finished up fourth fastest of the Ams, while an unfortunate early off for Hawkey left him fighting through from the back of the grid in the opening race that evening.
In the fading light in North Yorkshire, the drive of the race came from Hamilton. Gaining two places on the opening lap alone, the former Carrera Cup GB star then hunted down the driver ahead and swept past before mid-distance to record a sixth podium finish of the season.
While an early pitstop for Hawkey limited his charge to fifth in the Pros, there was double joy in the Am ranks. Donkin ran second in class throughout for a debut podium, while Rice grabbed third on lap two and held it to the finish for his sixth top three result so far.
The second race of the weekend with Hamilton running third for the majority of the race. Hawkey was on a charge behind him though and made a late move to take third place and a second podium of the year, with Hamilton sadly not making the finish.
Rice also suffered an unfortunate retirement, getting hit by a spinning car in an incident outside of his control. There was no such bad luck for Donkin though, who superbly led the Am class from start-to-finish to record Redline Racing’s first class win in the Sprint Challenge GB so far.
Simon Leonard – Team Boss: “We’re delighted to have enjoyed our most successful weekend in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB so far, with our first class win and five podium finishes in total. It’s a testament to the hard work and talent of every member of our team.
“It’s been great to have Paul [Donkin] back in a Redline car and he was brilliant all weekend. From the first session he was rapid and the class win in the final race was richly deserved. It should have been a one-two finish as well, but Nigel [Rice] was so unlucky in an incident out of his control.
“Nigel got a great podium finish in race one though, as did Archie [Hamilton]. It was a tough start to the weekend for Ethan [Hawkey] meanwhile so we’re pleased to have seen him pick up some silverware as well to complete a positive weekend all round.”
The 2020 Porsche Sprint Challenge GB season comes to a close at Silverstone next month (07/08 November), with the series joining the British GT Championship on the full Grand Prix circuit.
Source. Next Level Motorsport/Photo. Porsche