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Porsche Carrera Cup GB report, rockingham: 19/20 september

September 21st 2009

Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Rockingham
September 19th-20th, 2009
Race Report

Steve ParishFour podiums from six starts and the 'driver of the weekend' award was the impressive tally for the Motorbase Performance squad in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham over the weekend (19/20 September).

The team fielded three cars as Steve Parish made his Carrera Cup debut in the pro-am2 category and he joined Michael Caine (pro) and Ollie Jackson (pro-am1) to make a very strong driver line-up.

Michael CaineCaine qualified fifth fastest overall, lapping three-tenths of a second away from pole position. Jackson was seventh overall and second in pro-am1, while Parish was 14th and third in pro-am2 as he ran very close to the pace of category leaders Glenn McMenamin and Paul Hogarth.

Steve ParishIn round 17 on Saturday, Caine quickly dived through to fourth and sat on the tail of championship contender Tim Bridgman. Clearly having the quicker car, Caine tried a range of moves to get ahead of Bridgman, and was alongside several times as Bridgman defended hard to try and keep his championship bid on track. That was how they finished, split by less than half a second.

Two places further back, Jackson drove a fine race to chase pro-am1 leader Robert Lawson throughout. Mid-race, Ollie pulled off some quick thinking when Glynn Geddie dived ahead under braking for the Deene Hairpin. Knowing that Geddie had left his braking very late, Jackson gave his rival room and watched as Geddie plunged into the side of Tony Gilham, putting them both out. That ensured second for Jackson after another mature performance. "That was hard work, but it couldn't have gone better," said Jackson.

Ollie JacksonIn pro-am2, Parish scored a famous win, first time out. "I was just trying to take it easy," said Parish. "I just wanted to stay out of trouble and it paid off." While his rivals suffered various dramas, Parish drove an excellent race to take the category and eighth place overall.

James Sutton got the jump off the grid and led into round 18, but it nearly all went wrong as they braked for Deene on lap three. A lap earlier Lawson hit the wall at Turn 1 and dropped coolant at Deene as he limped into retirement. When Sutton led the pack around on the next lap, he was first to find the slippery track and overshot the corner. Harvey followed suit, and flat-spotted his tyres as he tried to slow the car down and that allowed Bridgman and Caine to get ahead of Harvey as Sutton just managed to retain the lead.

Steve ParishWhile Sutton headed the quartet, Caine made the best progress and dived through to second when he got inside Bridgman into the Tarzan Hairpin on lap eight. Caine then moved in on Sutton and pushed the leader all the way to the flag. "He was hounding me an awful lot," said Sutton of Caine. "I think we had the car to win, but James did a good job," said Caine after taking second. 

Ollie JacksonInto a superb fifth overall and pro-am1 victory went Jackson with a faultless drive. "I just locked onto the back of Tim Harvey and kept an eye on the mirrors now and again," said Jackson after his first pro-am1 victory. Jackson's performance earned him the 'driver of the weekend' award for the first time.

Unfortunately, a second podium finish for Parish was denied by a front puncture when he was running second in pro-am2 and closing the gap to category leader Glenn McMenamin. But he was still elated over his first weekend in the Carrera Cup. "It's been brilliant and there are lots of positives to take away from this weekend," said Parish, who will continue his learning process in the season's final two races.

Now, the team will prepare for the end of season races at Motorbase's home track of Brands Hatch over the weekend of 3/4 October. Caine still has an outside shot of the overall title, but will need Harvey, Sutton and Bridgman to hit trouble. Meanwhile, Jackson is in the hunt for the pro-am1 title and Parish will be chasing another pro-am2 victory.