Charlie Eastwood fended off immense pressure from Dan Lloyd, to claim his first victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB on Sunday morning at Brands Hatch, as the Pro-Am2 duel took another twist.
From pole-position Redline Racing man Eastwood led the field away from the start, but he was hounded by Lloyd’s In2Racing machine.
The race began with an almost instant bang, as Lewis Plato (Redline Racing) exited proceedings at the entrance to Clearways. This was following an opening lap of fantastic dicing, in which GT Marques man Dino Zamparelli fought off the 2016 champion Dan Cammish.
Following a brief safety-car interruption, Cammish was on the attack as Lloyd and Eastwood stormed away from the rest of the field.
As Yorkshireman Cammish finally found his opportunity, the stage looked set for the Redline Racing contender to charge after the top two. Instead, an uncharacteristic and unforced error resulted in him spinning back down the order at Druids.
This set him behind the Pro-Am1 runners, who were enjoying a tremendous dice of their own. Dan McKay had dominated qualifying for In2Racing and led his brother, class champion Euan, for the opening phase of the race. Behind, Karl Leonard provided Team Parker Racing with reason to celebrate by hanging on to a class podium.
However, as the race progressed McKay E seemed to find the additional pace required and overthrew his brother to maintain the class lead until the chequered flag. McKay D then slipped behind the charging Leonard, and it was this trio of whom the podium was composed.
Cammish found his progression halted in position eight, but for once he was not the focus at the front of the field. At flag-fall it was Irishman Eastwood who took a richly deserved and highly popular first Porsche win. Lloyd’s second position rightfully attracted plaudits too, having taken In2Racing right back to the very front of the order.
Zamparelli’s recent run of stronger form was maintained with his rostrum result. Fourth was Redline’s Tom Oliphant, having gained the position with an audacious around-the-outside manoeuvre on Alessandro Latif (GT Marques) at Westfields.
Latif finished fifth, trailed by Tom Sharp (IDL Racing) who had passed Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) at Sheene… Again around the outside!
Focus was accentuated on the Pro-Am2 class, as the battle between Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) and Peter Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport) took another twist. Kyle-Henney started fifth in class, with his title rival on pole. However, a snakes and ladders race witnessed Mark Radcliffe’s climb to the top of the class order for Intersport as Barstys fell back and Kyle-Henney came forward.
Although Radcliffe would claim the Pro-Am2 win, his valiant efforts were insufficient to enable him to enter the finale with a title shot. With Barstys second and Kyle-Henney third, the Lithuanian has extended his advantage marginally, however Kyle-Henney has now taken the fight to the final race of the season with a respectable shot at class success.
So to the season finale, where Cammish will start from pole-position and in all likelihood end his season in the imperious fashion in which it has ran through-out. However, the tantalising fight between Eastwood and Lloyd was a refreshing new dynamic that carries a fascination of its own beyond the close of proceedings at Brands Hatch. Pro-Am2 remains unresolved, and promises a scintillating class finale.