Nick Tandy Leading The Porsche Carrera Cup GB Field At A Sunny Brands

 

Nick Tandy confirmed his status as a Porsche Carrera superstar with a dominant display during the latest Porsche Carrera Cup GB rounds at Brands Hatch, the Supercup regular taking two pole positions and one win, with a puncture in the second race robbing him of that victory, with Stephen Jelley benefitting to take his fifth win of the season.

Starting from pole, Nationwide/Motorbase-driver Tandy got a great start and immediately set about building a lead. Slotting into second was championship contender James Sutton, ahead of rival Jelley and Pro-Am1 leader Jonas Gelzinis. At Surtees on the opening lap, Benji Hetherington suffered a broken radiator after a tangle in the pack, leaving coolant on the track.

While the leaders avoided the slippery section, not everyone could, with Pro-Am1's Rory Butcher and Pro-Am2 leader Richard Denny getting caught out and losing time. At the front, Tandy continued to pull away from Sutton and Jelley, while a mistake for Juta Racing's Gelzinis saw him run wide at Surtees, dropping him some places, however he was able to rejoin still in the Pro-Am1 lead.

Tandy cruised home to take the win, with Sutton taking second ahead of rival Jelley. Euan Hankey had run fourth for the majority of the race, but slid off into the Druids gravel trap, moving championship leader Michael Meadows into fourth ahead of Kieran Vernon, enjoying his strongest run of the season so far.

Taking sixth overall and in the process securing the 2011 Pro-Am1 title was Gelzinis, ahead of class rivals Ahmad Al Harthy and the recovering Butcher. In Pro-Am2, after Denny's demise, a battle emerged between Steve Parish, Keith Webster and George Brewster, which culminated in a spin for Parish, which also slowed Webster. This allowed Brewster to take the win ahead of Webster, with Yucel Ozbek taking third despite a spin at Paddock Hill.

The second race saw Tandy once again lead away at the start, while behind an early change for second saw Jelley take to the grass on the approach to Surtees to make his move on Meadows stick, the duo leading Hankey, Tordoff and Gelzinis.

Tandy pulled away at the front and looked set for another comfortable win before a puncture on lap seven cruelly denied him the victory. With Tandy having to pull off and retire, Jelley inherited the lead, a comfortable gap ahead of Meadows, who had to begin defending from Parker with Juta's Hankey.

For the third championship challenger Sutton, the race was not going to plan, with the SAS/Redline driver stuck in sixth place, unable to find his way past Pro-Am1 leader Gelzinis, leaving him also under threat from Motorbase Performance's Vernon. Sutton got past on lap twelve though, when a puncture for Gelzinis ended his race.

At the front though, Jelley was being closed on by Meadows, but held on to take the win. After the race, it was found that Jelley had a slow puncture, explaining his late drop in pace. Meadows took second and with it retains the championship lead by ten points, though with drop scores taken into account, he and Jelley are level.

Tordoff took a superb fourth, his third top four finish of the year, with Sutton ending up fifth, putting him two points behind the top two on drop scores. Vernon rounded out the top six, ahead of Hetherington and Richard Plant. Benefitting from Gelzinis' demise to take the Pro-Am1 win in ninth was Al Harthy, the Omani racer leading home class rivals Butcher, George Richardson and Derek Pierce. In Pro-Am2, Parr Motorsport's Denny took the class win ahead of Ozbek and Brewster.  

Denny enjoyed a free set of slick racing tyres from Michelin at Brands Hatch, the Pro-Am2 being the latest driver to win the prize from the series’ control tyre supplier, worth more than £1,200.