Pro-Am1 runner Jonas Gelzinis shocked his rivals to top the timesheets during the official Porsche Carrera Cup GB practice at Donington Park, ahead of this weekend's round three and four of the championship at the Leicestershire track.
The Juta Racing driver set a best time of 1m 07.215s, almost a second faster than any of previous lap in a Carrera Cup car at the circuit. The Lithuanian said: “I'm very happy. That is more than I dreamed; I got a very good clear lap,”
Second fastest and top of the Pro category was SAS/Redline racer James Sutton, who said: “We're looking good and are where we need to be; I think we've got a very good race car.” A tenth behind was Parker with Juta racer Euan Hankey, coming off the back of his race win at the series opening rounds at Brands Hatch.
Team Parker Racing's Richard Plant was fourth, with Sutton's team mate Michael Meadows fifth. Completing the top six and finishing second in Pro-Am1 was Redline/Oman Air's Ahmad Al Harthy, the Omani driver commenting: “That's very good. It was important to be strong again and now we know what we can do in qualifying.”
Next up was reigning champion Tim Harvey, the Nationwide/Motorbase driver being one of the leading runners not to use new tyres in the session. His team boss David Bartrum said: “We're very happy with that. We seem to have hit the ground pretty much on the front pace.” Eighth went to Team Parker Racing's Sam Tordoff, while championship leader Stephen Jelley could only end up ninth after a trip through the gravel in his Parker with Juta GT3 Cup car.
Completing the top ten and finishing third in Pro-Am1 was Celtic Speed's Rory Butcher, while heading the Pro-Am2 class was Redline Racing's Andrew Shelley, beating Celtic Speed's George Brewster and team-mate Keith Webster. Shelley commented: “It's been a good day. I'm still off what I need to be but I learnt one or two tricks about Donington today.”
There was drama for last season's runner up Michael Caine though, the Nationwide/Motorbase driver being involved in a three way incident with Team Parker Racing's John Taylor and Parr Motorsport's Michael Leonard. During the day's first session, contact sent Caine's car smashing into Leonard's at high speed, who was innocently exiting the pit lane. The damage has ruled Leonard's car out for the weekend, while Caine are hoping to repair his before qualifying.