Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Harper kicks off 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB campaign with strong victory

3 Mins read
Dan Harper - JTR
Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

After rain played havoc with the first day of Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch, teams, competitors, and fans were hoping that the Sunday would be a different story. Unfortunately, while a new day did bring different weather it was thick fog wrapping itself around the Kent hills, delaying the start of the action on day two.

Just over two hours later than the scheduled start time competitors lined up on the grid with Dan Harper and Jamie Orton occupying the front row of the grid.

As the lights went out Harper got a strong start, whilst Pro-Am front runner Orton was left on the grid as he failed to get away, causing the rest of the grid to avoid the stricken JTR car, thankfully everyone avoided the back of the Porsche as he dropped to the back of the field.

In the ensuing chaos, it was Motorbase’s Dan Vaughan who took advantage of the situation to move up into second place, with Seb Perez in tow.

Karl Leonard - Team Parker Racing

Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

Championship returnee Karl Leonard made the most of his start to get the jump on rookie Jack McCarthy in the Pro-Am class as Orton dropped down the order.

Am class pole sitter John Ferguson lost out on the opening lap as he was hustled by the rest of the field, dropping from third overall to eleventh place. Reigning Am class champion Peter Mangion and former BTCC racer Richard Hawken took advantage of the situation, getting the jump on Ferguson by the end of the first lap.

Hawken’s momentum would be interrupted with a spin as he ran wide at Paddock Hill bend, thankfully for the Am class driver, he recovered without incident, but was left languishing at the back of the field as a result.

On lap eight George Gamble closed in on the back of Vaughan’s car, making the move to take third place while Lewis Plato followed closely to demote Vaughan down to fifth place.

Meanwhile, in the Pro-Am class Jack McCarthy made it passed Leonard for the lead, while Esmee Hawkey fought through from the back of the grid and by this point was up to third in class after getting the better of the recovering Orton.

Tom Roche

Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

After running in eighth place overall, rookie Tom Roche spun at Paddock Hill bend with his bright green Porsche coming to a halt half on the track and half in the gravel. As the safety car prepared itself to head out on track Roche managed to get going again as he dropped to fifteenth place.

Lap eighteen provided an opportunity for Plato to move into third place as George Gamble took a trip through the gravel at Paddock Hill bend, thankfully only losing one place in the incident.

In the Pro-Am class it was Justin Sherwood who was on the move, after piling on the pressure to newcomer Ferguson who had been valiantly defending his position, he finally managed to get the jump on the Irishman into Graham Hill bend to take second in class.

There was a brief scare for race leader Harper who on lap twenty-two had a brief run on to the grass as he avoided backmarkers into Surtees. Sliding over the wet grass and back on to the track proved to be the only time the Porsche GB 2018/19 Junior put a foot wrong in the race.

With six laps remaining second-placed Perez dropped two wheels on to the gravel on the exit of Paddock Hill bend, giving Plato a clear run to snatch away the position on the run up to Druids bend.

Esmee Hawkey was also on the move, after starting the race from fourteenth on the grid, the GT Marques driver fought brilliantly to battle through the field and into contention for a class podium. As the laps counted down Hawkey moved by McCarthy to claim second place in the Pro-Am class.

As the chequered flag flew, Harper took victory by 2.377 seconds over Plato and Perez, who was another 2.310 seconds behind the Motorbase Porsche.

In the Pro-Am class, Leonard made the perfect return to the series as he finished an impressive fifth place overall, battling with the Pro drivers throughout the race. Hawkey finished the race in sixth place overall on her impressive push through the field with rookie McCarthy completing the class podium.

Peter Mangion

Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

Peter Mangion showed his championship winning form to record his first Am class win of the year ahead of Justin Sherwood and the impressive John Ferguson who had only driven the IN2 Racing Porsche on Friday for the first time.

Dan Harper recorded the fastest lap of the race with a time of 47.232, Esmee Hawkey was fastest in Pro-Am with a time of 47.307 and Justin Sherwood fastest in Am with a time of 47.587.

Following the award ceremony on the podium, race winner Harper pulled the number four from the bag, meaning the top four finishers from the race will be reversed for the grid in the second race. The result of this see’s an Amigos Redline Racing front row with George Gamble lining up on pole ahead of teammate Perez.

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