After ending 2011 as top rookie in the championship 22-year-old Richard Plant has his sights set on the Porsche Carrera Cup GB title, and his pace at the pre-season test vindicates his ambition.
After leaving single-seaters for the 2011 season Plant picked up his first Carrera Cup podium in the Snetterton meeting in August. Another high point of his season was being named driver of the weekend for the Carrera World Cup event on the fearsome Nurburgring Nordschleife where he started from the back of a 98-car field to finish eighth out of the GB entries.
Driving for Team Parker Racing again in 2012 Plant had tested at Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park before the 2012 Carrera Cup field came together for the first time for a pre-season test at Silverstone, where Plant recorded the third fastest time.
Opting to delay his start on the day Plant waited out the worst of the cold, damp conditions in the morning session before making his first laps on the 1.6 mile Silverstone National circuit, immediately jumping to the top of the times during a 26-lap run, though his fastest lap was eclipsed by last season's runner-up Michael Meadows.
Plant went fastest again during the afternoon session as track conditions improved, but as his rivals began to work on qualifying simulations. Plant too switched to fresh rubber for the end of the session moving up to third overall with his 104th lap of the 107 he completed during the day.
“I am really pleased with how things have gone in pre-season,” said Plant. “We just seem to have picked up from where we left off last year in terms of the progress being made. The series looks like it will be as competitive as ever but after completing my first year, I now feel more relaxed, confident and experienced myself, so I expect to be challenging at the front throughout the season. I am fully prepared and focused on the task ahead and I am looking forward to getting the championship underway at Brands Hatch.”
The first two races of the 20 that make up the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season take place at Brands Hatch on March 31-April 1.