Charlie Eastwood stormed to his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup GB pole at a sodden Brands Hatch, as champion Dan Cammish was once again hit with a track-limits penalty at the Kent venue.
Race fifteen of the 2016 season will see the Porsche Scholar Eastwood lead the field away, with Dan Lloyd making amends for his Silverstone difficulties with second the grid for In2Racing. Third and fifth respectively are where the pair are to be found on the race sixteen grid-sheets, so the opening contest will be the best opportunity each driver will get to claim the top-step.
Cammish still claimed a pole-position for Sunday’s second encounter and third on the grid for the first race is in no way a disgrace. However, the now double-champion looks unlikely to end the season with the crushing dominance he would have hoped for.
Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) was welcomed back to the front of the pack during this afternoon’s qualifying session, one fourth and one fifth marking his strongest effort for some time. Dino Zamparelli (GT Marques) carried forward his renewed turn-of-pace from Silverstone and will be fourth and second for the penultimate and final races of the year.
Disaster struck for several of the Pro contenders, in conditions more suited to otter aqua aerobics than motor racing. Tom Sharp (IDL Racing) found himself into the Paddock Hill bend gravel trap early into the session, and Stephen Jelley proceeded to park his Team Parker Racing car in another available spot.
Jelley recovered from the gravel-trap but was outside the top ten when the chequered flag denoted the end of the session. Sharp had to rely on times that he’d already set and this enabled him to line-up tenth for race one and eight for the last race of the season.
Dan McKay (In2Racing) continues to offer up the question what if, as he took both Pro-Am1 pole-positions. Class-champion Euan McKay (In2Racing) has a class second but a fourth for the second race will not please the mid-season dominator. The returning Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) jumped right back to the front of the class order with a class third and a class second, Justin Sherwood third on the race two order in another Parker machine.
Pro-Am2 is the only class where there is a title still up for grabs, and thus the Gentleman drivers have an extra-special focus on them this weekend. The top-three for both races is identical; Tautvydas Barstys (Juta), Mark Radcliffe (Intersport) and Ian Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) will carry the advantage into Sunday’s racing.
Barstys appears to have pulled the pin as it were, and at just the right time. Peter Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport) had a disastrous qualifying session and was only able to muster fifth in class for both races. Not only does he now have to recover the seven-point gap to points-leader Barstys, he also has to fight-back on the track as well.
So to Sunday and the final-day of Carrera Cup GB 2016, and a day of intrigue and great racing awaits. Can Charlie Eastwood claim his first-ever series win? Can Dan Cammish fight-back? Could Tom Sharp reprise his 2015 form and claim success? What of the latest McKay duel in Pro-Am1? Who will be Pro-Am2 king? Answers to these questions, and others, available at 10:35 and 16:17 on Sunday the 2nd of October.