Pro Am racer Leonard takes ‘hairy’ overall Carrera Cup win at Croft

by Vince Pettit
Karl Leonard - 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Pro Am frontrunner Karl Leonard took an impressive victory in a rain disrupted Porsche Carrera Cup GB round six at Croft as he was joined on the podium by Jamie Orton and Lewis Plato.

Seb Perez lined up on the grid to take pole position alongside Jamie Orton after round 5 winner Dan Harper pulled the number 4 from the hat, reversing the top 4 positions. George Gamble was forced to miss the race due to damage sustained in the first race of the weekend.

As the field completed their warm up lap all but Perez, Josh Webster and Dan Harper dived in to the pits to change to wet tyres, leaving a bizarre sight as the trio of racers pulled away from the grid for the start with Perez leading Webster and Harper.

Jack McCarthy was the first driver out of the pitlane ahead of Karl Leonard and Jamie Orton as the teams scrambled to make the tyre changes.

On lap 3 McCarthy had cut 10 seconds out of the gap to the leading trio, who were now struggling on the wet track with slick tyres. McCarthy was on a mission as he overtook Perez and Harper before setting his sights on Webster, completing the move to take the lead at the final corner on the same lap.

Round 6 - Croft - 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

Webster would be the first of the remaining three drivers on slicks to pit for wet tyres, while Harper and Perez remained on track as the rain poured down. Webster would resume the race in eleventh.

Harper and Perez would pit a lap later to try and limit damage, Perez managed to get the jump on Harper in the pitstop, who had dropped to last on the timing screens.

At the front of the race, McCarthy led the field with Leonard nine seconds further back, followed by Orton as the trio of Pro Am drivers occupied the top three overall positions.

Leading the way for the Pro class was Dan Vaughan ahead of Lewis Plato in fourth and fifth and Tom Roche in seventh.

In the Am class it was Peter Kyle-Henney in sixth place while Justin Sherwood and John Ferguson were bringing up the rear of the class field.

On lap 7 John Ferguson spun out of the race as he hit a patch of standing water, bringing out a safety car as the stricken Redline Racing car was recovered.

It took some time for the field to bunch back up again due to the disjointed nature of the race, but as racing resumed on lap 11 McCarthy set about doing it all again, this time without the nine second advantage he had built up.

It wasn’t long before Leonard would be in the lead of the race after McCarthy run wide off of the track after the chicane, dropping down to third behind Orton.

Webster was on the move, by the end of lap 11 he was up to sixth, making a brave move to overtake both Motorbase Performance cars along the start straight before running wide on first corner, undoing his efforts.

Round 6 - Croft - 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

On lap 13 Webster recorded the fastest lap and was up to fifth place, chasing down the Motorbase due of Plato and Vaughan.

McCarthy and Orton were battling for second place, and in a move in to the final chicane attempted to find a way around Orton. The two cars touched, spinning Orton off of the track and down to the back of the field while McCarthy continued.

Webster’s progress had stalled a little by this point due to Harper chasing him down, his charge forward would end there.

As the field approached the closing corners Leonard was still in control of the race, withstanding the pressure from McCarthy to take his first overall win in Carrera Cup GB, also becoming the first Pro Am driver to achieve the feat.

McCarthy would have to settle for second place with Lewis Plato claiming another podium finish.

Dan Vaughan’s defence was strong enough to hold off the charging Webster to take fourth place, with Webster and Harper crossing the finish line just 0.081 seconds separating the two cars.

Esmee Hawkey finalised the Pro Am podium with Peter Kyle-Henney taking the Am victory ahead of Justin Sherwood.

Position#DriverTeamClassTime
136Karl LeonardTeam Parker RacingPro Am24:42.800
24Jack McCarthy (R)Redline RacingPro Am+0.598
311Lewis PlatoMotorbase PerformancePro+2.846
455Dan VaughanMotorbase PerformancePro+6.227
59Josh WebsterTeam Parker RacingPro+6.558
633Dan HarperJTRPro+6.639
725Tom Roche (R)Rob Boston RacingPro+7.320
877Seb PerezRedline RacingPro+7.743
922Peter Kyle-HenneyIn2 RacingAm+20.924
107Justin SherwoodTeam Parker RacingAm+21.187
113Esmee HawkeyGT MarquesPro Am+29.037
1271Jamie OrtonJTRPro Am+37.055
DNF15John Ferguson (R)Redline RacingAm9 Laps
DNS23George GambleRedline RacingPro-

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