Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single-marque GT racing championship in the UK – returned to Thruxton for the first time since 2020 with drivers reaching speeds of more than 160 mph at the fastest circuit on the calendar. Rookie Gus Burton (Rosland Gold by Century Motorsport) claimed the second win of his Porsche racing career in round 11 while the reigning Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB champion, Theo Edgerton (JTR), drove to a breakthrough maiden victory in the weekend’s second race.
At the scene of his maiden win in 2020, pole-sitter Will Martin (Comline Richardson Racing) took two podium results to boost his title chances. The 19-year-old now sits just two points adrift of championship leader Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing) with only four races remaining. Meanwhile, Josh Stanton (JTR) added two more category wins to his remarkable 2022 tally, enough to see him become provisional Am category champion in Hampshire.
Qualifying on Saturday afternoon saw Burton continue his good form from practice to set the pace early on. Nathan Harrison (Redline Racing) and Will Aspin (Team Parker Racing) took turns in leading the Pro-Am category with Stanton ahead in Am. Late into the session Martin snatched the top spot, his time 0.059 seconds quicker than Burton’s earlier effort and enough to secure the third pole position of his Porsche racing career. At the flag Charles Rainford (CCK Motorsport) emerged ahead in Pro-Am and Stanton began his weekend in style as the quickest in Am.
Martin got away cleanly at the start of the weekend’s first race but pressure from a pursuing Burton forced a slight error at half distance, Burton snatching the race lead and then pulling clear. Rainford produced another exciting drive to lead the Pro-Am runners. Following a close battle with Matthew Graham (Redline Racing) he finished the race an impressive sixth overall. Meanwhile, Stanton’s flawless drive to a tenth category victory saw him crowned provisional 2022 Am category champion.
The weekend’s second race took place on Sunday afternoon. Reigning Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB champion, Edgerton, led from reverse grid pole position to the checkered flag – securing an impressive breakthrough Carrera Cup GB win. He was joined on the overall podium by Porsche GB 2022 / 2023 Junior Adam Smalley (Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline) and Martin – the latter fending off a constant attack from Burton. Rainford moved closer to Pro-Am championship glory with another category win, Stanton taking another victory in Am.
Two practice sessions took place on Friday, both in dry conditions. Burton had much of the morning’s 45-minute session under control, the first driver to lap the 2.4-mile circuit in under 1:14 – his time of 1:13.402 stood as the first target of the day as all 19 drivers got up to speed. Aspin looked impressive in Pro-Am, in the early part of the session he posted a time that was second fastest overall while in Am Stanton had the measure of newcomer Nick Jones (Team Parker Racing).
Halfway through the session, Burton improved his pacesetting time with a lap of 1:13.291, then went slightly faster still with a 1:13.207 leaving Pro rivals Jewiss and Josh Malin (Richardson Racing) playing catch-up. In Pro-Am, Aspin continued his good form to lead category rivals Angus Whiteside (Toro Verde GT) and Harrison. With five minutes of the session remaining, Edgerton leapt up the timing screens to sit second overall, one of several drivers making gains late into first practice.
In the closing stages of the session Graham set a time of 1:13.029 to usurp Burton, while Malin improved to sit second with Smalley now third – there was just 0.088 seconds between the pair. At the flag the final order was Graham from Burton and Malin. Aspin stayed ahead in Pro-Am while Stanton was the morning’s fastest Am. As he got to grips with driving the 911 GT3 Cup for the first time, newcomer Jones recorded the highest number of laps – 28.
In the afternoon session Burton was straight back on the pace. Aspin continued to be the driver to beat in Pro-Am while Stanton was the highest placed Am. Initially, Aspin trailed Burton by just one tenth of a second in the overall rankings, the Rookie then leaping ahead of Burton to top the timing screen with an impressive time of 1:13.366. With 28 minutes of the session remaining, Jake Giddings (Team Parker Racing) spun on the exit of the last corner before continuing. Championship leader Jewiss soon posted a time just two tenths of a second adrift of overall pacesetter Aspin to sit second.
With 18 minutes remaining on the clock, Burton returned to the top spot with a time of 1:12.703 – the first driver the lap in under 1:13. With seven minutes left on the clock Malin performed a dramatic 360-degree spin on the start / finish straight before continuing. In the closing stages, Edgerton rose to the top with a time of 1:12.506, immediately bettering it with a lap of 1:12.483 – good enough to stand as the fastest time of the day. Aspin remained ahead in Pro-Am while Stanton topped Am.
Saturday afternoon’s 30-minute qualifying session took place in dry conditions. Burton was the early pacesetter with a time of 1:12.234, Smalley and Jewiss closest behind with the trio covered by just 0.398 seconds. Whiteside was the first of three drivers to have a lap time deleted for missing the final chicane, leaving Harrison ahead in Pro-Am with Stanton topping Am. Martin soon showed his hand, leaping into third overall with teammate Malin also making improvements.
With 16 minutes of the session remaining, Smalley lapped quicker than he had before, closing to just 0.062 seconds behind Burton and leaving Martin slightly adrift in third. In Pro-Am, Aspin maintained the good form he had shown on Friday to lead category rivals Harrison and Rainford. Having sat in the pits for much of the session, Burton took to the track with seven minutes of qualifying remaining.
In the final five minutes of the session there was a flurry of activity with several drivers making improvements. Edgerton jumped into third overall but it was Martin – a driver who always goes well at Thruxton – who made the biggest splash. Martin’s time of 1:12.118 was set with just three minutes remaining on the clock and it would not be beaten. In the final minute of qualifying Rainford snatched the Pro-Am lead, his time good enough for fifth overall.
Martin’s pole position was the third of his Porsche racing career and he was joined on the front row of the grid for the weekend’s first race by Burton. Smalley and Edgerton occupied row two. Rainford ended the day as the highest placed Pro-Am, Stanton topped Am as he moved closer to category title glory. The 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup GB weekend format meant that Martin earned two championship points with his pole position, as did the top qualifiers in their respective categories: Rainford (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am).
The first of the weekend’s two races took place on Sunday morning in dry conditions. At the start Martin maintained his lead as Burton attempted to drive around the outside of him at Allard. Just behind, Edgerton and Smalley diced for third – the former dipping his wheels on the grass before tucking in behind the Junior. Rainford made a good start to maintain his Pro-Am category lead while Stanton stayed ahead in Am. Graham made up two positions to sit sixth, closing on Malin when the latter ran wide later into the opening lap.
On the fifth lap Hugo Ellis (JTR) spun out of a battle with returnee Scott Malvern (Team Parker Racing). Ellis rejoined at the back of the pack but would later retire, allowing Harrison to assume second in Pro-Am and Aspin third. Jewiss soon began to close in on Graham in their fight for fifth overall, the championship leader repeatedly flashing his headlights in an attempt to distract Graham. At the front of the race a lock-up from Martin on lap eight was the result of pressure being applied by Burton in second. The following lap Martin made a second error, putting two wheels on the grass at Allard which allowed Burton to dive up the inside, snatching the race lead.
The battle between Jewiss and Graham intensified on lap 10. Jewiss went to the outside of his rival at Seagrave then switched back to the inside for Noble, grabbing sixth position. At the end of the same lap, Malin limped back to the pits with a puncture forcing him to surrender fifth place before later retiring from the race. As Edgerton closed on Smalley for third, attentions turned to a dice between Rainford and Graham for sixth overall. The pair ran side-by-side into the Club chicane, Rainford cutting the corner to get ahead in the process. He then handed the position back at Allard. The following lap a similar move occurred but this time Graham stayed ahead.
On lap 16 Edgerton was closer than ever to Smalley, an opportunity to pass presenting when the pair were momentarily held up by a back marker. However, the order stayed the same. Having regrouped, on lap 18 Rainford mounted a fresh attack on Graham when the Pro went wide at Church and gave Rainford the better run into the final chicane – this time Rainford made the move stick. Just behind them a battle between Oliver White (Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline) and Giddings for eighth was resolved when White successfully navigated by his rival.
Burton’s win was the second of his Porsche racing career, followed home by Martin and Smalley. Rainford took Pro-Am honours, joined on the category podium by Harrison and Aspin. Meanwhile, Stanton’s tenth category win of the season resulted in him being crowned provisional Am champion with newcomer Jones completing the Am category podium.
For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Martin (Pro), Ellis (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am) each received one additional championship point. As part of the 2022 podium procedure, winner Burton selected at random the number four ball, which reversed the grid positions of the top four overall finishers from the opening race. That made the grid order for the weekend’s second race Edgerton and Smalley on the front row, with Martin and Burton on row two.
Sunday’s second race took place in dry conditions to a reduced duration of 20 minutes following earlier delays to the racing schedule. When the lights went out Edgerton maintained his lead while Martin and Smalley drove side-by-side towards Allard, Smalley edging ahead. Rainford was once again the leading Pro-Am with Harrison and Whiteside giving chase. Aspin left the circuit, making contact with the barriers and ending his race. In Am, Stanton again kept his category rival at bay.
On the fourth lap of the race Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker Racing) and Ellis made contact at Cobb, Ratcliffe spinning as a result and soon returned to the pit lane where he made his retirement. At the front of the race, Edgerton built and maintained a cushion of 1.2 seconds back to the chasing Smalley. Round 11 winner Burton then closed on Martin for the final podium spot. However, Malin was soon the driver on the move, passing Malvern for ninth overall while the leading Am – Stanton – found a route by Whiteside.
Burton began to put increasing pressure on Martin in their scrap for third. On lap 10 Burton got a run on Martin as they approached Allard, but he backed out of the move, slotting underneath his rival’s wing. Meanwhile, a battle between Malin and White for eighth became very close on lap 11 and, as they diced, Malvern took the opportunity to close on the pair making it a three-car train.
As Martin continued to defend from Burton, Jewiss was able to reel in the two drivers ahead. Keen to make progress and hold off Jewiss, Burton quickly mounted a new challenge on Martin. This time Burton drove side-by-side with Martin as they approached Club chicane but a move did not materialise. Another possible overtaking opportunity arose when the two attempted to lap Jones, both separated by just four-tenths of a second as they entered the final lap of the race. However, their positions remained the same.
Reigning Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB champion, Edgerton, crossed the finish line to take a maiden win. He was joined on the overall podium by Smalley and Martin. Rainford and Harrison stood on the Pro-Am category podium alongside Ellis following a change of position on the final lap. Finally, provisional category champion, Stanton, tasted the winner’s champagne in Am for the eleventh time this season. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Edgerton (Pro), Harrison (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am) each received one additional championship point.
Following the Thruxton encounter comes the championship’s penultimate weekend at Silverstone on the weekend of 24 and 25 September. With his results in Hampshire, Martin has closed the points deficit to championship leader Jewiss, sitting just two points adrift at the top of the standings with four races remaining. Meanwhile, Rainford continues to close in on securing Pro-Am category championship glory.
Kiern Jewiss – Team Parker Racing – 89
Will Martin – Comline Richardson Racing – 87
Adam Smalley – Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline – 77
Charles Rainford – CCK Motorsport – 112
Nathan Harrison – Redline Racing – 91
Ryan Ratcliffe – Team Parker Racing – 53
Josh Stanton – JTR – 137
Justin Sherwood – Team Parker Racing – 61
Mark Radcliffe – Valluga – 39
*results remain provisional
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