Richard Plant confirmed his status as the top rookie in the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship with a strong performance in the final rounds of the season at Silverstone, the 21 year old taking a fourth place finish in the last race of the year.
Plant sat fifth in the championships standings heading into the weekend, but had two drivers behind within touching distance, meaning a big performance was needed at Silverstone. Starting tenth for the opener, McDonalds-backed Plant got away well and gained a place on lap two, before settling into ninth.
Gaining another place just after mid-distance, Plant sat eighth when team-mate Stephen Jelley split his radiator in front, spraying Plant's car in fluid. With his windscreen covered and Plant left unsighted for the remaining laps, Plant backed off but still crossed the line in seventh place.
The result left the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi champion with a smaller gap in the fight for fifth in the points, meaning another strong race was required. Starting tenth again, Plant got into ninth In the early running, before passing team-mates Jelley, Sam Tordoff and Euan Hankey in quick succession, getting himself into the top six.
Championship contender Michael Meadows was next up and when he ran wide, Plant nipped by for fifth, before he blasted around the outside of chief rival for fifth in the standings Jonas Gelzinis for fourth. With a few laps remaining, Plant sniffed a podium and challenged fellow rookie Benji Hetherington, the pair went side by side across the start/finish line on the penultimate lap, but Plant was unable to make the move stick, crossing the line 0,244s in fourth, a result that secured the Derbyshire racer fifth in the championship standings and status as the top rookie.
Multiplex-backed Plant said: “It was a really good performance to end the season at Silverstone and it has been a great year. I really wanted a podium today so I wasn't holding back. I have shown people what I can do this year and when the line-up was announced ahead of the first round, I wouldn't have dreamed about doing this well. I didn't know what to expect in truth but I have got my head down and hopefully shown that I can be a real contender in the future.
“I just want to thank everyone at Team Parker Racing and of course all my sponsors, family and friends for supporting me. I can't wait for 2012 already but I will reflect on this achievement over the coming weeks. I am going to work extremely hard over the winter and not leave a single stone unturned in trying to improve even further, but first I am going to enjoy this result.”