After a tame opening salvo, the second Porsche Carrera Cup GB race at Snetterton featured some of the best racing witnessed so far by fans in 2017. History was made in the literal sense of that phrase, and championship battle lines were metaphorically established.
Charlie Eastwood would head the opening running of the ninth race of this season, the Redline Racing driver looking firmly on course to add a fourth victory to his 2017 tally and complete a perfect weekend.
However, Dino Zamparelli was evidently on a mission for JTR from the second grid rank and a string of fastest laps allowed him to close right back up to Eastwood after falling back in the early stages. With little over a lap remaining, the race leader would make a tiny error at Wilson corner and run wide. The width left on the inside of the circuit was emphatically GT3 Cup sized and Zamparelli ruthlessly snatched his first success of the season, pressure and relentless determination paying off.
The drama in the Pro classification would not simply be limited to the head of the order. JTR stablemates Tio Ellinas and Lewis Plato jostled off the start, and Ellinas’ defence allowed the opportunistic Tom Oliphant to slot his Redline Racing machine into fourth. Plato would then spend the duration of his race defending from debutant Scott Malvern, deputising for Dan Cammish in the Nationwide supported Redline Racing car.
Just as lap thirteen would prove unlucky for race leader Eastwood, Plato would also fall victim to the fabled number’s curse as he spun due to light contact with Malvern. As Malvern charged across the line to a hard fought fifth, impressive to say the least on his category debut, Plato fell behind both Euan and Dan McKay (Redline Racing) and Ross Wylie (Slidesports) to finish ninth. Tom Wrigley made it to twelfth from the rear of the order for In2Racing.
Pro-Am1 was drama free, with Justin Sherwood, Alex Martin and Graeme Mundy locking out the podium for Team Parker Racing. John McCullagh would finish fourth to add to his earlier podium on his return to the championship for Redline Racing.
Pro-Am2 indisputably provided some of the best racing witnessed all weekend. Shamus Jennings would lead the initial running for G-Cat Racing, until Peter Kyle-Henney more than compensated for his race one exit by claiming the class lead and ultimately victory with a brilliant move at Brundle in his In2Racing car.
Race one winner David Fairbrother (Slidesports) was once again a class star, firstly tackling Ian Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) for third and then usurping Jennings for second. Dockerill too would dethrone Jennings, who ultimately finished a class fourth ahead of Rupert Martin (Team Parker Racing).
Fifteen points. Four points. Respectively, those are the margins that Charlie Eastwood and Dino Zamparelli have managed to build in Dan Cammish’s enforced absence from the Snetterton weekend. Whilst the double Carrera Cup GB champion added a further rostrum to his tally in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup at the Hungaroring, he now has an unenviable challenge ahead of him. Cammish will be more than up to the task but Eastwood and Zamparelli, rest assured, will not be sitting back waiting to be caught. In Pro-Am1 Sherwood holds but three points over team-mate Martin, as Kyle-Henney has closed to within eight points of Jennings after a torrid run of early season luck in Pro-Am2. Six races remain. All three titles are very much still up for grabs.
Full results from this weekend’s TOCA drama at Snetterton may be found here.