Design911.com Porsche Championship Rounds 5+6 Cadwell Park
Cadwell Park Race Report
Cadwell Park Race Report & Oulton Park Preview
The Design 911.com Porsche Championship comes to Oulton Park, the most ‘northern’ leg of the championship, for an action packed one day meeting on Saturday 18th June, after a rather frenetic weekend at Cadwell Park on 4th and 5th June.
Cadwell was a drama filled weekend in the sun! At this notoriously difficult overtaking circuit spectators were treated to three races full of thrills and spills!
The qualifying session opened with Boxster driver Rick Styrin getting it wrong over the kerbs at the Hall Bends, resulting in a high speed, expensive shunt into the barriers and the red flag being brought out. Fortunately, he was unhurt and although managing just one qualifying lap, rolled into sixth slot on the grid for race1!
924 driver Jayson Flegg, forgetting to replace his filler cap, lost oil onto the track which was promptly found by team-mate Mark Marshall, when he hit it and skidded off the track into the barriers! Both drivers retired from qualifying on their third lap.
Andy Hannington also fell foul of the Cadwell kerbs when he ruptured the sump casing on his 924 ending his racing aspirations for the day.
Martin Hall, on his second outing after a year off, lost his exhaust and was judged by the track officials to be too noisy to continue beyond his second lap.
Race 1 – Porsche Boxsters
The first three on the grid were Dave Clark, Richard Sykes and Gerry Taylor. Behind them were John and David Bearman, Richard Styrin, Steven Boyles, Arjo Ghosh and Guillaume Gruchet.
Changes in lap 1 saw Taylor relegated to 6th place, Gruchet being passed by Adam Croft’s 924 and Ghosh finishing in last place and taking no further part in the proceedings.
Lap 2 and Kirkham’s 924 followed Croft past Gruchet.
Following some very close racing at the front, Sykes wrested P1 from Clark in lap 7 only to lose it again in lap 9.
Lap 10 saw a change in 3rd place when David Bearman managed to get past John who had held the position from the lights. It was to be short lived though as in the following lap David lost his brakes at 120mph at the end of Park Straight and in a very high speed off, hit the barriers and rolled the car, the incident signaling the end of the race. Incredibly, he was fit enough to pilot his spare car in the next round!
And so Clark had chalked up yet another victory maintaining his unbeaten record, however, immediately following the chequered flag there appeared to be some post race friction between himself and Sykes with waving arms and a heated, but out of earshot, exchange taking place – it is understood that the combatants later shook hands…..
Race 1 – Porsche 924s
In this closely matched but hard fought class, yet another driver was to achieve maximum honours. Adam Croft secured his first ever pole position, with a lap time of 1:47.831 with only 0.567 seconds separating him, Alfred Piesinger and Alistair Kirkham. Andy Hannington , who had qualified 4th would spend the race on his back in the gravel removing his busted sump. Sean Siddall and Marc Mackenzie were next on the grid followed by Marshall, Flegg and Hall who had put their cars back together to start the race.
Croft led away from the lights and rapidly managed to put Gruchet between himself and Kirkham who had taken 2nd place from Piesinger. Flegg, in trouble with gear selection linkage was demoted to last place behind Siddall, Marshall and Hall.
In lap 2, the Boxster of Gruchet was dispatched by Kirkham who was now chasing Croft, and Marshall took a place from Siddall. Flegg moved up a place in lap 3 but it was to be his last lap of the race. Lap 6 saw Kirkham exit with a failed fuel pump and Piesinger who had already recorded fastest lap move into 2nd place.
Mechanical failure caused Hall to retire in lap 10.
Adam Croft drove a faultless race to take a well deserved first place, ahead of Alfred Piesinger and Mark Marshall in third, claiming his first career podium.
Race 2 – Porsche Boxsters
Clark and Sykes were again 1 and 2 on the grid followed by J Bearman, Styrin, Taylor, Boyles, Gruchet, Ghosh and D Bearman.
Sykes immediately went ahead of Clark and held P1 for seven laps until Clark true to form took it back from him to win the race.
In lap 3, Taylor took Styrin’s fourth place and four laps later moved ahead of John Bearman into P3 which he held until the flag.
David Bearman, giving no indication of being involved in his earlier, major incident jumped from 9th on the grid to 6th on lap 1 in his ‘spare’ car, staying there until he appears to have had an incident in lap 6 when he was passed by Boyles and Gruchet. Bearman later regained P7 and that was where he finished. Both Gruchet and Ghosh went to the flag finishing in 8th and 9th places.
Race 2 – Porsche 924s
Mechanical reliability is a major factor in this class as was demonstrated by the grid for race 2 which had three former race winners starting from the back. They lined up with Croft in P1 followed by Piesinger, Marshall, Mackenzie, Siddall, Hall, Kirkham, Flegg and Hannington who was able to repair his car with the willing help and expertise of several other drivers.
An extremely close first lap saw Alfred Piesinger take it from Adam Croft by just over 0.6 of a second. Croft regained P1 in lap 2 at the end of Park Straight, and held it to the end but always closely shadowed by Piesinger. Lap 6 saw both men clock their fastest laps but a flying Jayson Flegg, now free of gremlins and in P3, recorded the fastest lap of the race and at 1:46.404 he claims the track record for the 924 racers (to be confirmed).
Kirkham moved through the field to take 4th place in lap 7 and Hannington, tailgating Marshall would take 5th when Marshall spun off in lap 11 with brake failure. Siddall, Hall and Mackenzie completed the field.
With well deserved double wins for Adam and double second places for Alfred, the Championship points tally in the 924 class is becoming very interesting!
Race 3 – Reverse Grid Non-championship event
Although this race did not score championship points, it certainly did not dull the competitive edge of the drivers that took part. It is probably not what the form book should show but it was most entertaining race of the day, a non-championship event supported by all but two drivers and seeing perhaps some future stars emerging.
It was decided to start the race in reverse grid order and the full line up was Ghosh, Gruchet, D Bearman, Boyles, J Bearman, Taylor and Sykes in the Boxsters followed by Mackenzie, Hall, Siddall, Hannington, Kirkham, Flegg, Piesinger and Croft in the 924’s
Ghosh led for the first two laps chased by David and John Bearman. Taylor and Sykes were in 4th and 5th place followed by Boyles and Gruchet. Following some very close racing the top Boxster drivers forced their way through with John Bearman reaching P1 in lap 3 and holding it to the flag. P2 was swapped between Sykes and Taylor who emerged victorious from lap 9 with David Bearman claiming 4th place. The last three Boxster places were well contested and ended with Boyles leading Ghosh and Gruchet home.
Hannington made an impressive start and took the 924 lead in lap 1with Mackenzie holding second place. Flegg and Kirkham took third and fourth ahead of Siddall, Piesinger, Hall and Croft. Siddall lost his exhaust in lap 2 and was out of the race. Mackenzie, with a deflating tyre, spun off in the next lap leaving just six 924’s to battle it out.
Jayson Flegg, in a car that seemed made for this circuit took P1 from Hannington in lap 4 and never looked back! A minor racing incident involving Hannington and Kirkham allowed Alistair through into P2 on lap 5 and despite some hard fought battles those three would finish in that order. Croft, Piesinger and Hall clearly enjoying the race, entertained with some very close late braking through the Hall Bends and the Hairpin and finished the race in that order
And so onto the next one….
If Cadwell was a taster of what’s to come at the one day meeting Oulton Park on 18th June then bring it on!! The championship, sponsored by Design 911.com is going from strength to strength and with new interest being shown in both classes the rest of the season promises to be electric!