Porsche Carrera Cup GB gears up for Thruxton thriller

by Vince Pettit
Dan Bathie & Karl Leonard - Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Heading into the weekend, it is 18-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper who leads the championship after taking victories on every race weekend so far this year. Add to this his impressive performance at Goodwood Festival of Speed and Silverstone in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the JTR driver is currently experiencing some of the best form of his motorsport career.

Harper’s main rival for the title is Motorbase Performance’s Lewis Plato, who has taken six podium finishes from eight races. He has shown that consistency is vital, echoing the form that earned 2018’s champion Tio Ellinas the title.

Third in the championship standing is 2018 Rookie champion George Gamble, who has had a mixed year so far. After a strong start to the year, he faced a non-scoring weekend at Croft when his race ended early due to being hit by another competitor. The damage from the accident was too significant for the 22-year-old to take part in the second race as he was forced to sit it out. Gamble bounced back last time out collecting a victory at Oulton Park, along with a podium finish.

2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Josh Webster rejoined the series from the second race weekend of 2019 and has shown the form that carried him to previous championship glory. Unfortunately, a tough weekend at Oulton Park saw him collect only 4 points. Even with Harper’s steady pace, don’t discount Webster from making it back into the championship battle by the end of the year.

Throughout the year so far, Dan Vaughan has shown steady pace in his step up from the Pro-Am category. His best finish of the season came at the rain effected Croft meeting where he secured his first career Pro podium. The Motorbase Performance driver is currently ten points ahead of his former Pro-Am rival Seb Perez, who has also made the step up to the premier class for 2019.

The 2018 Pro-Am champion Seb Perez took two podium finishes in the first half of the year and is currently battling it out with Gamble and Tom Roche in the mid-field of the championship. Like Harper and Gamble, Perez made his Porsche Supercup debut at Silverstone. He will be hoping to put the experience of the Grand Prix circuit to good use when the series visits at the end of August.

At Oulton Park, Tom Roche had his best performance of the year, challenging for the podium during round seven. While he missed out by the time the chequered flag came out, he took an overall fourth-place finish. With the Welshman getting to grips with the Porsche, Jack McCarthy‘s lead in the Rookie championship is now under threat, having moved within 10 points during the last round.

After starting the year in the Pro-Am class, Jamie Orton made a move up to Pro for Oulton Park. His performance in the two races cemented his decision as he took a fifth-place finish and then second place. While a title bid is out of the question, Orton should be able to secure a solid mid-field finish in the championship by the end of the year.

Pro-Am Championship heating up as Hawkey closes in

Esmee Hawkey - Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche GB / Dan Bathie

Karl Leonard leads the way in the Pro-Am battle, aided by his overall victory at Croft. As one of the most experienced Porsche racers on the grid, Leonard will be doing everything he can to hold on to the lead in the second half of the season.

Leonard’s main threat to the title is from the ever-improving Esmee Hawkey. The GT Marques driver took her first Pro-Am victory at Oulton Park, crowning a string of seven podium finishes from eight rounds. She has benefited from extra track time in the inaugural W Series campaign that she has been running alongside her Carrera Cup GB duties.

Jack McCarthy has exploded on to the Porsche scene, taking six podium finishes in his first eight races. A non-finish at Oulton Park dented championship hopes, something he will be looking to make up for at Thruxton.

Adam Hatfield heads into his second Carrera Cup GB race weekend off the back of a strong debut at Oulton Park. The former GT racer took a podium finish in his first race and will be a challenger at Thruxton to secure another.

The Brabham dynasty continues as Sam Brabham makes a welcome return to racing. Last season the former Formula Ford winner took two sixth-place finishes at Silverstone on his debut in the Pro-Am class.

Sherwood Vs. Kyle-Henney in Am class

Justin Sherwood - Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Credit: Porsche GB / Dan Bathie

Justin Sherwood currently leads the Am Class championship by 23 points after making a move from the Pro-Am class for the start of the season.

Both Sherwood and title rival Peter Kyle-Henney have experience of the Thruxton circuit in a Carrera Cup car and will be looking to make the most of that this weekend.

Rookie John Ferguson has also shown steady pace throughout the year and will probably not hold back from attacking the fastest circuit in the United Kingdom.

Fraser Robertson will also make his return to the series for the first time in 2018 as he aims for his first podium finish in the series.

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