Dan Cammish recovered from a less than ideal start to the penultimate round of the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch on the Grand Prix circuit to claim his thirtieth victory in the category, as his Redline Racing team-mate Charlie Eastwood extended his slender championship lead by a further two points.
An early moment at Paddock Hill bend in greasy Sunday morning conditions had allowed JTR driver Tio Ellinas to claim an early lead. Ellinas’ getaway plans were derailed by the combined efforts of Euan McKay (Redline), Graeme Mundy (Team Parker Racing) and Justin Sherwood (Parker) who all fell victim to the conditions at Clearways on the opening tour.
Sherwood’s error would be the most pertinent, giving his stablemate Alex Martin a clear run at the Pro-Am1 crown. Martin still had to contend with late season entry Karl Leonard (Parker) who revels in such mixed conditions and was aided with forty percent of the class failing to complete the opening lap.
After charging past John McCullagh (Redline), Leonard was able to overthrow Martin for the class lead. The three remaining runners survived to the chequered flag in static formation. Second was more than sufficient for a delighted Martin, who has endured two tough seasons in the British Touring Car Championship, to claim the Pro-Am1 crown.
Back at the head of the order, with the safety car in, Cammish applied the pressure and a tremendous dice with Ellinas through Druids, Graham Hill Bend and Surtees culminated in Cammish stealing the advantage on the run to Hawthorns. The reigning double champion was never headed after completing his move for the race lead.
Meanwhile, an early scrap between championship protagonists Eastwood and Dino Zamparelli (JTR) handed the advantage firmly to the 2016/2017 Porsche GB Scholar, who ran third early into the race. An error from Zamparelli resulted in him tumbling to a disadvantageous sixth.
However, both drivers ended up gravitating towards each other. Tom Oliphant (Redline) starred on the opening lap to charge to fourth, although JTR’s Lewis Plato fought back pre safety car to reclaim said position. After the safety car intervention Oliphant reclaimed the position on the ninth lap. Six laps later he would steal his first rostrum of 2017 off of Eastwood at Druids.
A Plato error at Westfields then allowed his team-mate Zamparelli up to fifth. Tom Wrigley (In2Racing) similarly usurped Plato for sixth. With Pro-Am1 victor Leonard a fantastic eighth overall, Dan McKay (Redline) and Ross Wylie (Slidesports) rounded out the top ten and the Pro classification. Wylie’s performance all the more notable having charged from twenty first and last on the grid after failing to complete a lap in qualifying with a depressurised tyre forcing him off the road.
In Pro-Am2 Peter Kyle-Henney (In2Racing) took yet another class victory, but Shamus Jennings’ valiant defence from both Matt Telling (Welch Motorsport), who fell back after contact, and Ian Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing), forced to recover from a loose wheel on the formation lap, allowed the G-Cat Racing man to hold onto the class points lead. Dockerill finished third in PA2, chased by Rupert Martin (Parker) and the recovering Telling. David Fairbrother (Slidesports) was another victim of the difficult conditions and failed to finish.
One title wrapped up, and Alex Martin’s charge to overturn a points deficit and steal the Pro-Am1 title from Justin Sherwood may just inspire Dino Zamparelli and Peter Kyle-Henney to similar performances. However, both Charlie Eastwood and Shamus Jennings resisted severe challenges in the Brands Hatch opener. One race, two titles and two champions still to crown. Round fifteen, the decider of the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB, remains.
Full results from all of the TOCA action this weekend at Brands Hatch can be found here: http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/173941