Defending champion Michael Meadows won for the first time in Smasung Smart Motorsport colours in the opening Porsche Carrera Cup GB race of the day at Donington Park. He capitalised on an error from early race leader Dean Stoneman to seize the lead and land his first victory since Silverstone last year when he claimed the title.
Pole sitter Stoneman was hoping to make Carrera Cup GB history by becoming the first full time registered competitor to win his first three races in the series and when he made a good getaway to lead the pack into Redgate things were looking promising for the Redline Racing man.
Behind Stoneman, Meadows made an average start from the front row and came under attack from Jonas Gelzinis who got alongside and had the inside line for Redgate but Meadows was braver on the brakes and swooped around the outside to maintain second position; a move that would prove crucial as the race unfolded. Dan Lloyd slotted into fourth while further back Rory Butcher was on a charge, after starting eleventh due to a grid penalty he was up to eighth by the end of the first lap.
At the front Stoneman was able to pull clear initially but Meadows soon reeled him in and appeared the quicker of the two. Despite being able to comfortably shadow Stoneman, Meadows could not execute a successful overtake. However, just as it looked like Stoneman had resisted the pressure he made a mistake, braking too late for the Old Hairpin on lap 18, five laps from the finish, and consequently running across the grass. Meadows was through in an instant, grabbing the reward for his constant pressure. As Stoneman scampered back on to the track Gelzinis who had been running a relatively lonely third also squeezed past.
Meadows controlled his pace over the final few laps and crossed the line for his first win of 2013, closing the gap to Stoneman in the championship standings in the process.
Speaking to theCheckeredFlag.co.uk Meadows said: “It was a nice race. I think it’s the first true race we’ve had (him and Stoneman) really because at Brands [sic] sort of wet/dry race and then I was off in the second one. I put him under pressure a few times and eventually just a little bit (of a mistake), maybe he’s race rusty it’s been two years (since Stoneman raced competitively). Once I got in the lead I was able to drive my own race.
“I guess the team and Samsung are really happy. I’m over the moon for them they work really hard and I think it’s good to prove that you can win with a different team.”
Gelzinis closed the gap to Meadows in the closing stages but was forced to settle for second. He said: “In the beginning we hadn’t the pace; the tyres were maybe a little too cold. The middle of the race was fantastic and then maybe I a little bit overdrive and try to catch up Meadows and Stoneman but all in all it’s ok.”
Stoneman’s impromptu trip across the grass ripped the front splitter off his car, severely compromising its handling. This allowed Butcher, who by this time had worked his way up to fourth, to close right up. Stoneman held him off by just three tenths of a second to salvage a podium finish. He said: “I’m disappointed but I’ve still come third and still got good championship points. It was a great race, I had the race under control until I made that little mistake but that’s life.”
Karl Leonard was an excellent fifth overall and won the Pro-Am1 category after coming out on top of an exciting duel with Victor Jiminez. The Spaniard spun late on to lose a position on the road to Richard Kent but was still able to finish second in class. George Brewster completed the Pro-Am1 podium despite having fallen to the very back of the field in the early stages after a trip through the Redgate gravel.
Will Goff won the Pro-Am2 category on his return to the series, comfortably seeing off Parr Motorsport’s Peter Smallwood who was second.
There was disappointment for Dan Lloyd who had a fuel pump issue which caused him to slow on the start/finish straight on lap four while he was running fourth. His Team Parker Racing crew were able to rectify the problem and get him back out on track but he finished three laps down and last which was only good enough for three championship points.
For the full race classification, see here.