The Porsche is regularly named as one of the best GT3 cars for the British series’ calendar of stop-start point-and-squirt circuits. However, this season begins with only a pair of the rear engined cars, both from powerhouse team Trackspeed, on the grid. The teams of drivers in both cars, however, are potential champions.
#12 Jody Firth/Warren Hughes
#33 Jon Minshaw/Phil Keen
Minshaw and Keen were part of the Trackspeed team that waded through a boom-or-bust 2013, winning the first race of the season, but ultimately hitting too many problems over the course of the season to be able to hold a place toward the top of the standings into the body of the season.
If they can avoid the small costly mistakes – Minshaw’s pass under yellows cost the a second victory – or the freak accidents – Keen was left with no way to avoid then teammate Gregor Fisken at Silverstone – then they are a proven pairing with a proven team in a proven car – a rare trifecta on the 2014 grid.
The combination of Firth and Hughes is, on paper, arguably the class of the field. However, in bringing back together the driver pairing that has raced in the Speed EuroSeries, and in Le Man Prototype machinery they have been handed an additional 75kg in an effort to keep them on a par with the Pro-Am teams elsewhere on the grid. If not for that they would arrive at Oulton Park as runaway title favourites.
Both Firth and Hughes should ensure strong starting positions for every race – problems notwithstanding and Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine, who carried that weight in their Porsche last year, proved the weight is not an impossible obstacle to overcome over a race distance. The question is – obviously – whether they will be able to overcome on a regular enough basis to push for the title.