Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) was utterly dominant over the opening weekend of the revitalised Porsche Carrera Cup of Great Britain at Brands Hatch, taking a controlled two victories to get his title attack off to a superb start. Yet it was arguably Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) who should be headlining this report, having taken pole position for both races during a fraught qualifying session. Ultimately he was undone in both races.
The season began with a bang, Jelley and Cammish fighting throughout the first lap until the Nationwide backed driver stole the lead and never looked back. Tom Sharp (IDL Racing) struggled to escape from his third position on the grid and was usurped by a number of cars before Paddock Hill Bend.
Michael Meadows (Samsung UHD TV Racing) remained composed in third position but Team Parker Racing charge and reigning champion Josh Webster’s weekend was turned upside down by a penalty for starting out of position on the grid. He would ultimately salvage a couple of points.
Sharp recovered to fifth in his family run machine, one position behind Canadian Nicholas Latifi also in a Samsung car. Jordan Witt (Redline Racing) took the spoils from Ignas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and Karl Leonard of Team Parker Racing in Pro-Am1 with the trio completing the top eight.
Asset Advantage Racing’s Ian Dockerill led home Pro-Am 2, besting In2Racing’s Paul McKay and GT Marques’ Francis Galashan. Ex-GP3 racer Ryan Cullen backed his G-Cat Racing car off into the Paddock Hill Bend gravel trap, Redline Racing man John McGullagh took out Rupert Martin (Team Parker Racing) whilst battling in Pro-Am2 before a three way accident involving the second Credit4Cars car of Chris Dockerill, Parr Motorsport man Peter Kyle-Henney and another G-Cat Racing car in the form of Peter Jennings brought the race to a red flagged close. Damage done to the former two would sadly rule them out of Sunday’s encounter.
This time Jelley held on for a considerably longer duration of time, before in the dying laps of the race Cammish swept through on the run through Surtees and the former race leader was forced over the grass. Meadows and Webster capitalised to complete the podium, the latter finally scoring a decent haul of points after a difficult Saturday.
Behind Jelley, Paul Rees (Parr Motorsport) returned to the fore with a fifth position ahead of Brookspeed’s Jayde Kruger, the reigning Formula Ford GB champion finding his feet in a GT car. They were followed home by a recovering Latifi who had been forced onto the grass at Graham Hill Bend on lap one. A later race incident on the run out of Clark Curve left Tom Sharp in the gravel and Karl Leonard in the pit lane.
In fact Ignas Gelzinis was the Pro-Am1 victor inspite of being the last car to finish. Witt span at Paddock on the opening lap and triggered an incident that took out class rival Mark Cole (Parr Motorsport), another Parr car of Dino Zamparelli who endured a difficult introduction to the series and Juta Racing’s Tautvydas Barstys.
Redline Racing was victorious ahead of G-Cat Racing and GT Marques in Pro-Am2, John McCullagh leading home Shamus Jennings and Scott Marshall (GT Marques) .
Next Stop: Spa
The series departs the TOCA package to join the World Endurance Championship at Spa in May for a headline double bill event. Cammish leads Jelley and Meadows in the overall classification, with Webster down in fifth. In Pro-Am1 it is Witt from Gelzinis and Leonard, whilst in Pro-Am2, Dockerill leads McKay and Francis Galashan (GT Marques). Samsung UHD TV Racing leads Team Parker Racing and Redline Racing in the team’s classification.
Yet it is far too early to make any predications and the Belgian event is sure to shake up the title fight. After Brands only one thing is certain. The Carrera Cup GB is at its most competitive ever. For the rest of the field it is a case of Cammish: Catch him if you can.