Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, Porsche Motorsport GB’s second one-make championship, arrived at Silverstone for the final weekend of 2020 with a grid which had grown to 17 cars. The full Grand Prix circuit would play host to the final stages of the championship’s inaugural season, once again sharing a paddock with the British GT Championship.
James Dorlin (IN2 Racing) arrived 14 points ahead of season-long Pro category rival Tom Jackson (Rob Boston Racing). However, an eventful weekend at Croft prevented Jackson from fighting for the title at Silverstone and left Dorlin to remove the mathematical chance of Theo Edgerton (TCR) to challenge him for the title. Despite Jackson’s absence, Dorlin was certainly not unchallenged – round 11 was to see a first time winner with Edgerton mastering damp conditions to take a dominant victory. Dorlin responded with his seventh win of the season to be crowned inaugural Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB champion.
In the Am category, Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing) arrived at Silverstone as the first Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB Am category champion. With his main challenger Ian Humphris (Valluga) and the other category contenders joined by some exciting newcomers, the category looked set to thrill once again. Humphris proved untouchable on his way to two victories, but both rounds proved exceptionally close-fought behind underlining the progress over the season of the teams and drivers.
Making his championship debut at Silverstone was Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, more commonly known as Charlie March. More accustomed to historic race cars, March would face a tough challenge in the Am category as he adapted to the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport with very little running ahead of the weekend.
Getting the weekend off to a good start was Am category competitor Mike Price (Forelle Estates Racing), who received a set of Michelin racing tyres as winner of the Michelin tyre raffle.
The morning’s 20-minute qualifying session saw 17 mechanically-identical 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars take to a dry track, the sun and British GT qualifying session immediately before taking the edge off the morning’s low track temperatures. With the same length of session but the longest circuit of the season, competitors would have fewer laps available to get the best from their cars and tyres.
In the Pro category, Theo Edgerton (TCR) set the early pace, chased by champion-elect James Dorlin (IN2 Racing) who had moved into provisional pole by the mid-point of the session. Of the newcomers, Charlie Ladell (Rob Boston Racing) was settling into the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport well, holding third before Carrera Cup GB veteran and multiple race winner Dino Zamparelli (Redline Racing) put in a lap in his first Sprint Challenge GB outing to leapfrog his way to the top of the timesheets. As the clock ticked to zero, the order remained the same: Zamparelli on pole from Dorlin and Edgerton.
Former Carrera Cup GB competitor Adam Knight (Valluga) was the Am category pacesetter for much of the session with team mate Ian Humphis his nearest challenger. Category points leader Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing) was moving himself up the timesheets but his progress was halted by Daniel O’Brien (Redline Racing), the newcomer and brother of British GT competitor Connor O’Brien running an impressive third in the category. By the end of the session, Humphris had moved himself ahead of Knight while O’Brien qualified an impresive third on his debut.
For recording the fastest time in the Am category, Humphris received one championship point. Due to Zamparelli being ineligible for points, Dorlin inherited one championship point for his Pro category qualifying position.
After a short delay due to damp, foggy conditions, the race got underway with a reduced running time of 20 minutes and every competitor choosing wet tyres. Despite never having made a standing racing start in the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Zamparelli got away well from pole position with Dorlin struggling to find traction behind. This allowed Edgerton to jump a place into second away from the line, before sweeping past Zamparelli to take a lead that would prove unassailable.
While Edgerton stretched away in the lead, setting fastest lap after fastest lap, a race-long battle began between Zamparelli, Dorlin and Ladell. Dorlin sliced past Zamparelli into Stowe to take second, settling into a defense of the place that would keep Ladell hounding Zamparelli behind. By the half way point, Ladell used a consistently fast exit from Club to power up the inside of Zamparelli for third, then Dorlin for second with four minutes to go. Once clear in second, Ladell closed in on Edgerton’s pace, taking the fastest lap on his final lap. Dorlin held third to round out the podium and all but seal his hold on the championship title, taking points for second with guests Ladell and Zamparelli ineligible to score.
While Humphris held onto the Pro drivers to take an impressive lights to flag victory, the Am category was to provide one of the best races of the season. The first corner saw Knight lose his opportunity from second on the grid, retiring in the gravel trap. Following contact with Carl Cavers (Valluga) at Stowe, Perfetti would later come into the pits for a stop, also taking the category champion out of contention.
For the first part of the race Cavers made it a Valluga one-two behind Humphris before falling down the order as the battles intensified. Making good progress was Peter Chambers (Jordan Racing Team), the veteran racer qualifying sixth in category but fighting his way through the field to cross the line in second. However, qualifying ninth in category was no barrier to former Porsche Carrera Cup GB racer Nigel Rice (Redline Racing) completing the podium after a late-race dice with O’Brien (Redline Racing).
For recording the fastest lap in his category with guest driver Ladell inelegible to score, Edgerton received an additional championship point. In the Am category, the additional point fell to Perfetti (Am) with guests Charles Clark (IN2 Racing) then O’Brien inelegible to score points.
A shortened 20-minute race saw much drier conditions than race one, the full grid of 17 cars lining up just before the headline Silverstone 500. Ladell and Chambers remained in their locks as the rest of the grid managed to get away around them, round 11 winner Edgerton leading away with Rice making a good start from third in the Am category.
Hungry to seal the championship title from the only driver with the points to stop him, Dorlin moved straight up to Edgerton on the opening lap, taking the lead into Club. Zamparelli wasted not time in following Dorlin past, setting up a fight that would continue to the flag. While Edgerton was unable to find the dominant pace that had seen him to victory earlier in the day, Zamparelli set after Dorlin with a fastest lap proving his intent. A mistake at Brooklands slowed his progress, but proved only a minor setback following another fastest lap. With just two laps to go, Zamparelli pulled alongside Dorlin on two occasions, but the champion elect proved impervious to the pressure leaving Dorlin to be crowned inaugural Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB champion.
Behind, Edgerton rounded out the podium to earn him third in the championship fight, while Ladell fought his way back through the field to eighth overall. Humphris maintained his stranglehold on the Am category with a second victory after passing the fast-starting Rice on the opening lap. Daniel O’Brien held third while Perfetti was storming through the grid after his race one troubles left him on the back row of the grid. Closing in on the battle for second between Rice and O’Brien, by the halfway point Perfetti had passed O’Brien for third and looked set to continue his process. Rice had other ideas and set about an impressive defense, Perfetti having to wait until the final laps to find a way past into second with Rice rounding out the Am category podium.
A fastest lap for Zamparelli set a new lap record for the championship, wile the point went to Dorlin as the fastest points-scoring driver. In the Am category, the point for fastest lap was awarded to Perfetti.
After a first season of six weekends and 12 rounds held under challenging circumstances, Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB crowned its first two champions: James Dorlin (IN2 Racing) in the Pro category and Ambrogio Perfetti (IN2 Racing) in the Am category. The final weekend at Silverstone provided some of the best racing of the season, setting the scene for more of the same in 2021.
Championship positions (provisional)
James Dorlin – IN2 Racing – 113
Tom Jackson – Rob Boston Racing – 75
Theo Edgerton – TCR – 75
Ambrogio Perfetti – IN2 Racing – 94
Ian Humphris – Valluga – 86
Nigel Rice – Redline Racing – 66