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News 2006: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

23rd, 24th September

Phil Quaife was crowned pro-am champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch on Sunday (23/24 September) after another great weekend for Motorbase Performance.

However, a disappointing race for Tim Harvey on Sunday finally ended his slender hopes of winning the overall title, although he remains second in the championship table while Michael Caine claimed a fourth and a fifth place in the pair of races.

In qualifying, Harvey missed pole position by two-hundredths of a second to Danny Watts, with championship leader Damien Faulkner back in third on the grid. "To be so close to pole is okay," said Harvey. "But we were quicker when we raced here in April," he added. "I think the track is maybe still a bit green after all the rain on Friday."

Caine, meanwhile, was only a fifth of a second away from pole ass Motorbase filled half of the top four grid places. Quaife was ninth fastest overall and second in pro-am, even though he was held up by a rival competitor during qualifying.

In the opening race, Harvey got a good start to slot into second place, sandwiched between Watts and Faulkner. Caine took fourth off the grid and went with the leaders as a seven-car train headed the race.

With Faulkner sitting on his tail, Harvey could never afford to mount a serious a challenge on Watts and so the leading trio ran nose-to-tail for the first 20 laps. "It was a bit of a status quo, really," admitted Harvey. "Then we lost a little bit of tyre performance over the second half of the race," he said, after the gap to Watts edged out to just over a second after 34 laps of flat out racing. Although Faulkner retained a useful championship lead after the race, Harvey had reduced the gap to 39 points to at least keep the title race open a little longer.

Caine fended off Jason Templeman to claim fourth place, while Quaife had a troubled race, starting with a spin at Druids on the opening lap. "The car felt a bit loose at Paddock on the opening lap, but I thought there was enough heat in the tyres," explained Phil after the race.

However, the spin at Druids dropped him to the tail of the pack and Phil then battled back up the order to slot into sixth place in pro-am, right on the tail of Nigel Rice and Jason Young and, in turn, with David Ashburn on his tail. "I still had an oversteer problem," said Phil after being unable to depose Young and Rice. Then, with two laps to run, his car developed a rear puncture and he was forced to limp around the final lap at a crawl. But by completing the full race distance, he salvaged seventh in pro-am.

In Sunday's race, Harvey slotted into second place behind Watts off the start, but was edged back to third at Clearways as Damien Faulkner dived through. "I saw him make a lunge and gave him room," said Harvey afterwards. Unfortunately, the cars made slight contact and Harvey was soon struck by a front puncture and had to pit for a tyre change. Although he battled on to the finish with deranged steering, his last remaining championship hope was gone.

Caine, meanwhile, held fourth place initially but was inadvertently held up as Harvey rejoined after his pit-stop and that allowed Richard Williams to squeeze ahead and hold fourth to the flag as Caine challenged.

Quaife raced hard in pro-am to fourth place on the tail of Rice, but was just unable to depose his experienced rival. Then, later in the race Mike Richards came through to join the battle and edged Phil back a place after some tremendous dicing. However, that was still enough for Phil to be confirmed as pro-am champion, with nine wins in the 18 races to date.

"It's been a great year and I've really enjoyed it. It's gone very well," said Phil. "I've had some good overall results as well. At Knockhill I was fourth overall and I had a couple of other fourth places. So I've been mixing it with the pro category drivers. The Porsche is a fantastic car. I've loved every minute of driving it and I always come out of the car with a smile on my face.

"The team has done a great job. David Bartrum has been in the game for a long time and the car has been very good all year. We've had no mechanical failures at all," he added.