Meadows Victorious In Wet First Thruxton Encounter

by James Broomhead
Plant and Meadows wade into the battle for the lead

Plant and Meadows wade into the battle for the lead

Michael Meadows overcame Richard Plant and a Thruxton track awash with standing water to score his fourth win in five races at the start of this season's Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Conditions were so bad that the Porsche field started behind the safety car, the pack filing round for two laps of the Hampshire track before the safety car peeled in and the racing was allowed to begin. Plant – the only man other than Meadows to win so far this year – was immediately on the attack from second in line, drawing alongside as he and Meadows accelerated towards racing speed – and uncharted territory – into Allard for the first time.

The Team Parker Racing driver's attack was almost too immediate as he beat Meadows across the line by a fraction of a second. Now ahead Plant stretched out a lead, pulling more than two second ahead by the end of lap five before a patient Meadows began to claw his way back towards the back of Plant's predominantly red and white Carrera.

Plant was unable to reply to Meadow's sudden increase in pace, his lead crumbling to nothing in the space of just two laps, and Meadows soon lead, making the pass entering the complex on lap eight.

Ahead, with clear track and a relatively clear view without the spray of those ahead Meadows carved out a lead with the same speed he had taken the lead. His lead was over eight seconds before he started to ease back as the rain continued, allowing Ben Barker – now second – to close to with three seconds at the checkered flag.

After Plant lost the lead he had continued to fade back towards Parr Motorsport driver Barker, his fight to keep third place becoming almost unwinnable when an over-zealous bump across the kerbs and the chicane ripped the front splitter from the car. Robbed of crucial downforce in the conditions Barker slipped by on lap 15 and Rory Butcher – superb in conditions he described as “worse than Knockhill” – was soon able to take third place from Plant, demoting the erstwhile leader to fourth.

Plant's teammate – and driver of another splitter-less Porsche Daniel Lloyd – finished fifth ahead of Ahmad AlHarthy who made it three class wins on the bounce, keeping his class rivals at bay, Oly Mortimer and Victor Jiminez crossing the line 20 seconds behind the Omani driver behind a struggling quartet of Pro drivers.

Chris Dymond, who had started fourth battled to keep Al-Harthy out of sixth for much of the race, but found himself behind both he and Glynn Geddie after a pair of last lap passes. Jonas Gelzinis and Sam Tordoff completed the top ten as they crossed the line, though a post-race two second penalty for Geddie dropped to him ninth, behind both Dymond and Gelzinis.

Tania Mann – in an extreme introduction to racing in the rain – secured full points for winning ProAm2.

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