PREVIEW: Harper hoping to extend Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship lead as series returns to Croft

by Vince Pettit
2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Porsche Carrera Cup GB heads to Croft for the first time since 2016 on 16/17 June and Porsche GB 2018/19 Junior Dan Harper will be hoping to make the most of his championship lead of seven points that he has over second-placed Lewis Plato.

Harper has had a stellar start to his year, picking up victory and third place finishes at both Brands Hatch and Donington Park. The young Irishman also heads in to the weekend full of confidence having outpaced all but one driver in the recent two-day Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup test at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix supporting race.

Plato will be hoping that experience will be on his side this weekend as he is one of only five drivers on this years grid that has experienced the Croft circuit as part of the Carrera Cup GB weekend.

Consistency has been the key for Plato as he picked up three second-place finishes and a fourth place in the opening four race of the season. Despite still searching for a victory this season, the Motorbase driver finds himself in a strong second place in the championship, two points ahead of race winner George Gamble.

2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Josh Webster made a triumphant return to the series last time out at Donington Park after a last minute deal was pulled together on the eve of the event. Despite missing out on the opening race weekend the former champion will be looking to maximise his results for the rest of the year with the championship standings allowing one race weekend to be dropped.

Webster knows Croft well having secured back-to-back victories there in his championship year and two further podium positions the following year.

2018 Pro-Am champion Seb Perez will be hoping to bounce back from a tough weekend at Donington Park that saw him end the first race in the barriers after making contact with another competitor through the fast Craner Curves. The team managed to get the car repaired for the second race, picking up a sixth-place finish.

Tom Roche showed good pace at Donington Park but was unlucky not to pick up more points after being disqualified in the second race for a technical infringement after his car was deemed to be below the minimum ride height.

Dan Vaughan continues to build on his results, securing two fifth place finishes at Donington Park. In the second race he started on the front row alongside Jack McCarthy and showed some impressive defending as the championship front runners tried to find a way around the Motorbase Porsche.

Pro-Am Class

The Pro-Am class has provided the closest battle of the three classes so far this year, currently Jack McCarthy and Karl Leonard are tied at the top of the points table on 33 points each.

McCarthy has had a strong start to the year after making the switch from front-wheel drive Clio Cup to the rear-wheel drive 485hp Porsche’s. Two third-places in the opening weekend and two victories at Donington Park has propelled the former karting champion to the top of the tables.

After taking two dominant victories at Brands Hatch, Karl Leonard had a frustrating weekend at Donington Park. Fourth in class in the opening race was followed up by a third place in the second race, despite picking up a 10 second penalty for a false start after the safety car period. The Irishman will be hoping to get his championship challenge back on the rails at the circuit he won at in 2015.

2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

It’s a big year for Esmee Hawkey, returning for her second year in Carrera Cup GB and also taking part in the inaugural season of the W Series. Last time out at Donington Hawkey picked up a third and second place finish to move in to third place in the Pro-Am championship, just five points behind Leonard and McCarthy.

Jamie Orton is having a mixed year, the Pro-Am frontrunner is picked up his second podium finish of 2019 with a second place in the opening race of the weekend but was they forced to retire in the second race after becoming stranded in a gravel trap.

Am Class

Justin Sherwood has had a strong start to his Am class championship assault with two wins and two second-place finishes in the four races of the 2019 season, leaving him in top of the tables with 42 points.

2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

Carrera Cup GB rookie John Ferguson hasn’t made it easy for Sherwood this year, despite trailing the championship leader by 12 points, the Northern Irishman has shown strong pace, picking up a second place finish along with his first Porsche victory in the last race at Donington Park.

Peter Kyle-Henney will be looking to put in a strong performance at Croft to get his championship battle back on track, despite an off that saw him collide with the tyre barriers in the opening race at Donington Park, Kyle-Henney still managed to pick up fourth place, followed by third in the second race.

Adam Knight steps aside for Adam Hatfield as he makes his first appearance on the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB grid in the Valluga Racing Am-Class car.

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