At the halfway point in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season there are two clear title challengers, Tim Harvey and Michael Caine. Harvey has had the upper hand throughout the first part of the year but Caine is looking to close in on his first PCCGB championship title.
On paper it looks like Harvey has run away with the series this year, but if you’ve been following things you will know that Caine hasn’t been all that far behind.
We spoke to the Newmarket based driver and asked for his thoughts on the season so far. “Pretty average if I'm honest” Caine told thecheckeredflag.co.uk. “I think things could have gone better and we've been a bit unfortunate. We haven't won as many races as we should have done but by the end of the season I'm hoping we can turn that around, especially if we can gain a few places in qualifying.”
Although Harvey has taken most of the wins Caine took a stunning victory in tricky weather conditions at Brands Hatch. “Finishing 14 seconds clear at Brands Hatch in torrential rain was a great feeling. I think without a shadow of a doubt that's been the highlight so far, as I was expecting a safety car to emerge and it never did. It was a great way to repay the team for all their hard work.”
On the flip side Oulton Park saw Caine’s low point after being taken out at the start of the first race. “Being whacked up the backside at Oulton Park by Team Parker Racing's Glynn Geddie was really disappointing for me and for the team as it put us straight out of contention in a race we could have won.” (Geddie was later penalized six championship points for the incident.)
Aside from Caine and Harvey out front there has been another challenge emerge in the shape of Euan Hankey, we asked for Caine’s thoughts on Hankey. “Anyone who gets financial backing from Porsche to go racing knows what they are doing and I've been impressed by him. I think we could do with a few more talented drivers like Euan on the grid, drivers like him make my job much more interesting!”
With Harvey and Hankey obvious challengers for podium places we asked if Caine thought there were any others that would be challenging. “Well seeing as I instruct the other Porsche Carrera Cup GB drivers in the Motorbase Performance team I would have to say all of them! If they listen then they have every chance of fighting for podium positions as they all have the talent to win races.”
We asked Caine if he had a particular circuit he is looking forward to race at this year, his reply: “The next one! I love racing and every track present a new challenge and something new to think about.”
“I look forward to each race and every opportunity I get behind the wheel. The second that changes or I'm not enjoying it in the same way then I think you have to question what you're doing and why. Luckily though 18 years in and I still get exactly the same rush I always have; as a driver you can take something from every race regardless of what you are driving or which track you're at.”
With such a long time between the last race at Croft and the upcoming race at Snetterton, Caine told us how hard he had been working at his dealership, Michael Caine Motorsport Limited. It’s not all work though “I've also been racing,” says the Motorbase driver, “In fact this weekend I shall be at the Silverstone Classic, piloting everything from a fantastic and insane AC Cobra to a Lotus Cortina and a stunning Italian Osella from the 1970s.”
The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB takes place at Snetterton on the weekend of 7/8 August, Caine knows what he has to do to catch Harvey: “It's clear we need to find a fraction more time both in races and during qualifying.”
He explains: “My race pace is exactly the same as Harvey's, which is why we both struggle to get past one another! He seems to have the advantage when it comes to qualifying and those extra tenths he's finding are gaining him places that are tough to make up when the flag drops.”
“With cars of such similar performance we realize how important the perfect qualifying set-up is, so during this summer break the cars have been completely stripped and rebuilt and should be rock solid and slightly quicker come the restart.”
He added: “I need to get my head down and once we've tested ahead of Snetterton, the team and I are confident we can find those vital milliseconds we need that could make the difference.”