Michael Meadows leads Barker down the Craner Curves (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Michael Meadows leads Barker down the Craner Curves (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Michael Meadows extended his lead in the early season going in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, battling a minor brake problem with his Redline Racing machine to hold off Ben Barker, Jonas Gelzinis and Sam Tordoff in a close finish.

With the leaders spreading out, then coming together on several different occasions. It was a topsy-turvy race at the front of the pack, though Meadows lead every lap after starting from pole. A slow start for Jonas Gelzinis on other side of the front row helped Meadows lead by nearly a second at the end of the opening lap from Sam Tordoff. Tordoff closed in slightly on lap two, but the gap doubled when Tordoff missed a gear accelerating out of the chicane allowing the train of Richard Plant, Barker, and Gelzinis to slip by before Redgate.

Against Plant – the beneficiary of a Meadows penalty in the season opener – Meadows appeared to have the under control, the lead expanding to nearly three seconds before the first signs of a problem – the rear brakes repeatedly locking – started to show as the leader backed towards the chasing quartet.

Then it was Plant's turn to have problems, the left-front Michelin tyre coming apart at the inside shoulder at the Old Hairpin, forcing him to limp back the remaining two thirds of the Donington Park lap before pitting from a new tyre.

Plant's problems had promoted Parr Motorsport man Ben Barker to second, but let Meadows escape once more, the gap 2.1 seconds the first time back to the line with Barker giving chase. Again Meadows was unable to match the pace of those behind and the lead shrunk rapidly again – 1.6, 1.2, 0.8, Barker cleaving half a second from Meadows' margin on successive laps until he lay just a few Carrera lengths behind, but still unable to make the crucial move to take the lead while Gelzinis and Tordoff – running well again after his momentary error – were waiting to take advantage of any further problems.

The four remained in lock step around the circuit, Meadows leading them to the checkered flag with just a second covering the top four.

In ProAm1 Ahmad AlHarthy used his superb qualifying performance – sixth overall – to take his first class win of the season easily. No-one in the category was able to get close to him, his nearest challenger Derek Pierce was stuck behind Pro drivers Rory Butcher and Glynn Geddie for much of the race as Al-Harthy escaped into what had become fifth place after Plant's puncture.

Pierce passed a struggling Geddie but remained behind Butchers Celtic Speed run car to finish seventh overall ahead of Geddie and Daniel Lloyd, who drove through the field after dropping back on the opening lap. Racing through Redgate in the heart of the field the scholarship driver was forced wide onto the dirt and while trying to control the sliding Porsche accidentally tripped the pit limiter. Even the few seconds before Lloyd realised robbed him of any chance at a decent result in the lead group.

Victor Jiminez took the final step on the PA1 podium. Lone ProAm2 runner Tania Mann, despite a few spins, took the checkered flag to secure the maximum class points.