Tandy Wins Again As Sutton Clinches 2011 Title

by Simon Paice

2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion James Sutton


James Sutton is the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion after taking second place in the final round of the season at Silverstone, a race dominated by Nick Tandy, who brought to an end his brief foray into the GB series with his third victory in four races. Also tasting success was George Brewster, securing the Pro-Am2 crown.

Tandy started from pole after dominating qualifying and burst into the lead, while behind Sutton beat his SAS/Redline team-mate and chief championship rival Michael Meadows into Copse for the first time. Knowing he needed to beat Meadows to claim his second Carrera Cup crown. Sutton defended hard over the opening few laps, allowing Tandy to pull away at the front. 

The first five laps saw Meadows pressuring Sutton hard, but his title chances were to end when he suffered a slow front puncture. Forced to enter the pits, Meadows dropped to the rear of the field, leaving him relying on Sutton to retire to have any chance of securing the crown.

Sutton didn't have any problems though and crossed the line to secure a hard fought championship win, adding to his success in 2007. Ahead, taking the race win was Tandy though, the Nationwide/Motorbase driver taking his third win in four races, which would have been a 100% record had he not suffered a puncture at Brands.

With Meadows vacating third, the final podium place went to Benji Hetherington, the 2011 Porsche Scholarship winner ending his maiden season with a first podium finish, which saw him earn the 'driver of the weekend award'. Fellow first year driver Richard Plant took a great fourth, ahead of Pro-Am1 class champion Jonas Gelzinis, the Lithuanian taking his thirteenth class win of the year.

Stephen Jelley took sixth, a disappointing end to a weekend which he started in the championship fight. The Parker with Juta race was challenging for third early on, but spun after hitting the rear of Meadow's car. Seventh overall and second in Pro-Am1 was George Richardson, the Motorbase Performance driver enjoying a hard race with class rival Ahmad Al Harthy, who took eighth. Fellow Pro-Am1 contender Michael Leonard took ninth, with Sam Tordoff completing the top ten.

In Pro-Am2, it all started badly for Brewster when contact with Richard Denny sent him spinning, causing a rear puncture which he had to pit to chance. Emerging a lap behind, Brewster fought back to take fourth in class, which was enough to give him the title, despite main rival Keith Webster taking a commanding class win. Steve Parish and Denny finished the Pro-Am2 podium.

Despite Meadows' woes, the SAS/Redline squad earned the 'team of the weekend award'.

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