Richard Plant scored a first Porsche Carrera Cup GB win, taking advantage of a penalty for Michael Meadows, on the short Indy circuit at Brands Hatch.
Meadows and Plant started from the row and ran first and second for the entire race, Meadows keeping Plant a safe distance behind, aided by a good restart after an early safety car for ProAm2 pair Tautvydas Barstys and Jean Glorieux.
Meadow's lead after the single safety car lap pulled out a lead of nearly a second that he extended to 1.3 seconds after nine laps of 34 tour season opener. Team Parker Racing driver pulled back some of the lead, but was still too far back to mount a meaningful challenge for the lead. However, he was soon gifted the lead.
Meadows became another driver of the TOCA package's opening day to be punished for straying wide once too often at Graham Hill Bend, slapped with a five second penalty that initially dropped him to fourth place, trailing Jonas Gelzinis and Sam Tordoff. However, with a quick lap at the head of the field on the road Meadows moved back onto the podium on corrected time, bumping Tordoff from third place.
Plant, now leading the race technically, had a gap of more than two seconds back to Gelzinis, with Meadows two seconds further back, taking into account his penalty.
Ben Barker was fifth for Parr Motorsport, ahead of Glynn Geddie and Rory Butcher rounding out an all Pro class top seven. Daniel Lloyd – the latest scholarship winner to enter the series – should have been battling for the podium. After qualifying third on his first race weekend in Porsches he slipped back to fourth, losing out to Gelzinis on the opening lap.
Lloyd settled into fourth place, with Team Parker Racing teammate Sam Tordoff behind. However, a problem for Lloyd - evidently the left-rear tyre – allowed Tordoff to close up on the start of the lap ten, the two Porsches almost nose-to-tail across the the line. Under braking for Paddock Hill Bend the left-rear on Lloyd’s no.23 pleaded no more, blowing out at approaching 140mph, pitching him into a series of spins into the gravel trap and an unfortunate retirement.
ProAm1 was led from lights to flag by Derek Pierce, who took the lead with an aggressive move on the line, getting the better of class pole man Ahmad Al-Harthy off the line and cutting to the inside line ahead of the Oman driver before turn one.
Al-Harthy then slipped back a further spot on lap two, falling behind Michael Leonard who made it a Team Parker Racing one two in the in the category.
The early problems for Barstys and Glorieux cut the ProAm2 field in half, leaving only Will Goff and Tania Mann to battle for supremacy. Mann – the first woman to commit to a full Carrera Cup GB season – looked on course to turn her pole position into a class win, if not for an unscheduled pitstop which gave class victory to Goff.