The Circuit - April 28/29 2012

Thruxton Circuit, Thruxton, Andover, Hampshire SP11 8PN

Location: off the A303 between Andover and Amesbury

Tel: 01264 882200


Weekend Timetable: PDF Download here

Thruxton Map

Porsche Carrera Cup GB heads for Thruxton

Media release: 23 April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

With three wins from four races, Michael Meadows is setting the standard in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB as the focus switches to the high speed sweeps of Thruxton this weekend (28/29 April).
The Hampshire track comes at the end of a busy period of three weekends and six races in five weeks. Thruxton is the fastest track on the calendar for the 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars, with a lap record at more than 113mph, and the notoriously abrasive surface at the Hampshire track always offers the potential for unpredictable races.
April has been a very good month so far for Redline Racing’s Meadows. With a busy start to the season, it was vital to hit the ground running and Meadows has done just that. Currently, the Banbury racer has an eleven-point championship lead but he knows well enough that one non-finish will wipe that out, and more. However, if Meadows maintains his current form through the Thruxton weekend, he will go into the six-week break until the next races with an advantage in both points and psychology. Ominously for his rivals, Michael set the pace in pre-race testing at Thruxton before Easter.
Leading the chase of Meadows right now is Lithuanian racer Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and he has been on the podium every time out so far. Gelzinis has the natural speed to take the fight to Meadows and a debut overall Carrera Cup victory in Hampshire would be a major boost to his title ambitions.
Three fine young racers from Yorkshire pack out the front end of the grid for Team Parker Racing and it is Richard Plant who bagged victory in the opening race at Brands Hatch when Meadows was penalised for running wide. However, Plant has had a run of poor fortune since then and will be determined to get back onto the podium. Sam Tordoff will be right up there and so, too, will be Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Daniel Lloyd who has already starred with two podiums and some mighty performances.
Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) will be eager to bounce back from a shunt last time out at Donington and get back onto the podium as he races at Thruxton for the first time, while Glynn Geddie (Redline Racing) and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) fly the St Andrew’s cross in style.
Heading to Thruxton, Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) has built a handy 15-point lead in the Pro-Am1 category after an impressive double win at Donington. Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) stands out as the big challenger to Al Harthy at this point of the season, but a gaggle of other quick drivers are all chasing a share of the Pro-Am1 glory. The hard-charging Michael Leonard (Naas Court Hotel with Parker), Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) and Spanish racer Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) are all podium contenders, while George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Liphook’s Keith Webster (Redline/Marque 1) add to the depth of quality in the category.
Pro-Am2 is headed by Carrera Cup newcomer Tania Mann (SIBSport) and the Australian lady is showing impressive form as she learns about racing at this level. Her main rival should be Lithuanian businessman Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing).
After qualifying at 14.35 on Saturday, round five will start at 12.20 on Sunday, with round six at 16.25. Both races are due to be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme.

Meadows tops Carrera Cup GB test at Thruxton

Media release: 6 April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain


NOTE: Due to timetabling the Friday practice session was conducted as a test day in early April.

Michael Meadows underlined his status as the current pacesetter in the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB by posting the fastest time during testing at Thruxton yesterday (5 April). Meadows ended the day six-tenths of a second clear of the pack as drivers tested at the daunting Hampshire track in readiness for the race weekend (28/29 April).
On a cold, dry day the times were very fast and Meadows ended with a best lap seven-tenths of a second under the 2011 pole position time as the top 10 drivers all lapped inside the existing lap record. Derek Pierce headed the Pro-Am1 times while Tania Mann (SIBSport) was the only Pro-Am2 racer present as she set about learning the high-speed track.
Meadows (Redline Racing) topped both sessions and dipped to 1m13.160s in the second session to set the fastest ever Carrera Cup lap at Thruxton. “We were quick all day and I’m surprised how fast the times are. The Redline engineers have done well to get the car right and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Leading the pursuit of Meadows was Daniel Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) and he acknowledged that he could have been quicker. “I didn’t get the best on my new tyre run and there is definitely more time there,” said the Carrera Cup Scholarship driver as he continued his impressive start to the season. Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) and Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) also broke the 1m14s barrier, with Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) right behind.
Barker was the only one of the leading drivers tackling Thruxton for the first time. “I’ve never been here before and I love it. There is still more time to come,” said Barker. Glynn Geddie (Redline Racing) was seventh fastest just ahead of Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) who topped the Pro-Am1 pack.
Pierce’s pace was just rewards for the Team Parker Racing crew who rebuilt his car after an accident in round two at Brands Hatch four days earlier. The car was on a jig in the bodyshop until Wednesday afternoon, but was ready to run again on Thursday morning. “The car is brilliant,” said Pierce. “I can’t thank the boys enough.” Michael Leonard made it a good day for the Parker squad by going second in Pro-Am1, only a tenth of a second down on Pierce, while Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) was well in touch in third.

Meadows takes double Carrera Cup GB pole at Thruxton

Media release: 28 April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Michael Meadows completed a perfect run of six pole positions on the trot for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton today (Saturday 28 April) by setting the standard for rounds five and six of the 2012 championship. In changing weather conditions, Meadows and the Redline Racing team judged it perfectly to end the qualifying session on top.
Meadows changed to slick tyres at just the right moment as the track became less wet in the closing stages of qualifying. He was the only driver to post two laps under the 1m20s mark and duly claimed another two pole positions. In pro-Am1, Ahmad Al Harthy made it a great day for Redline Racing with two poles, while Pro-Am2 runner Tania Mann (SIBSport) qualified in among the Pro-Am1 pack on her first experience of driving a 911GT3 Cup in the wet.
Initially, everyone went out on wet tyres and it was Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) who set the pace. But as the half-hour session progressed the track dried a little and Meadows was one of the first to opt for slicks. It proved to be a smart move and he maintained his unbroken 2012 run of poles. “We set the car believing it would dry and I got five laps on the slicks,” said Meadows. “We always planned to do two three-lap runs on wets and then change to slicks.”
Meanwhile, Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) stayed on wets for the session and was second for round five and sixth for round six. “It was a bit of a lottery: it was a knife edge,” said Plant. Butcher bagged his best ever Carrera Cup grid position with second for round six and will start sixth for round five. “That was quite a stressful session,” said Butcher. “The next lap on the slicks would have been good, but the chequered flag was out.”
In a good session for Parr Motorsport, Ben Barker was third and then fourth, with Chris Dymond taking an excellent fourth for the opening race. “I went to slicks early and got a good lap in, but I wondered if it was the right way to go,” said Dymond. Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), Daniel Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) all claimed top six positions across the two grids in a session of ever-changing fortunes.
In Pro-Am1, Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) clinched both poles having traded 35 degree temperatures in his home country for six degrees at Thruxton. “We went to slicks at the end but I really wasn’t sure if it was the right way to go. The team got me back out in amazingly quick time,” said Al Harthy. Second in Pro-Am1 in both sessions was Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) after a strong performance, while Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) was third for both races after his first time in the wet.
Round five grid:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows (1m19.087s); 2 Richard Plant (1m19.817s); 3 Ben Barker (1m19.898s).
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy (1m20.819s); 2 Oly Mortimer (1m22.747s); 3 Victor Jimenez (1m22.867s).
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann (1m25.568s).
Round six grid:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows (1m19.550s); 2 Rory Butcher (1m21.257s); 3 Jonas Gelzinis (1m21.517s).
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy (1m22.208s); 2 Oly Mortimer (1m22.994s); 3 Victor Jimenez (1m24.738s).
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann (1m26.255s).

Team Reaction

Ben Barker and Chris Dymond will line up on the second row of the grid for the first race tomorrow for Parr Motorsport’s most competitive showing so far this season.  As always, the weather plays a critical role in any session and it was especially the case for qualifying. Having had no Friday practice, we went straight into qualifying. The track had been wet all day with occasional showers topping it up which meant both cars went out on wets.

At the start of the session both cars went out along with the rest of the grid to set times. They then returned to the pits to wait for the optimum time to go back out. “I sat waiting in the pits and I could see the rain on the windscreen but the guys made a perfect call so I went flat out (on slicks) to get the temperature in the tyres up, “ said Chris Dymond. The result was fourth on the grid for race one and tenth for race two, a cautious approach being applied early on with his first taste of the car in the wet.

A slow in lap led to Ben being unable to set a time on slicks but he will still start third for race one and fourth for race two. ''We were spoilt by having an extra set of wet tyres which proved well as we set a good time. Then I didn’t have enough time to switch over to the slicks. It was one of those touch and go situations, as I wanted to save the wets for the race. We were so close to getting that pole though.'' Said Ben Barker.

“I’m really pleased with the outcome,” said team boss Paul Robe. “Chris did a brilliant job -sending him out early on the slicks and managing to get the lap in that we needed and Ben on his wets was really good. The team did a brilliant job on pit stops to get the drivers out so all in all I’ve got be happy.”

Meadows dominates Carrera Cup GB round five at Thruxton

Media release: 29 April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Michael Meadows dominated round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton today (Sunday 29 April) to score his fourth win from five races as dreadful weather conditions made it one of the toughest races in the 10-year Carrera Cup history.
Meadows drove a superb race as heavy rain and wind made for a truly challenging race and the fact that every car finishing unscathed was testament to the skill of the drivers. Ahmad Al Harthy claimed another Pro-Am1 win, while Tania Mann bagged maximum points in Pro-Am2 after her first experience of racing in the rain.
With the track awash, the race started behind the safety car to allow drivers to explore the conditions. After three laps, the pace car peeled off and the race started in earnest. Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) jumped Meadows (Redline Racing) and was actually ahead before they reached the start line. But Meadows bided his time and edged ahead as they raced through the Complex for the eighth time.
Once ahead, Meadows quickly built his lead and was able to ease back over the closing stages as the rain continued. “I didn’t get a great start, but once I got ahead it was a lot easier,” said Meadows. “But the conditions were terrible,” he said after extending his overall championship lead.
Plant soon came under attack from Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and a trip across the kerbs removed the front splitter from Plant’s car. That left Plant powerless to defend and Barker took second before the chasing Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) closed in and took third from Plant. “There was zero visibility when running behind another car,” said Barker after a strong drive. “Once I got past Richard it was a lot easier.”
Butcher revelled in the rain to claim a deserved overall podium from sixth on the grid. “That was worse than Knockhill,” he said of the conditions after a first class performance. Plant battled home fourth, which was scant reward for his early race pace. Like Plant, Daniel Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) had to contend with no front splitter which seriously affects the car’s handling in the fast corners, but he claimed fifth at the flag.
Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) always set the pace in Pro-Am1 and took sixth overall as well as a resounding category victory. He spent many laps tracking Chris Dymond (Parr Motorsport) and finally worked ahead on the final lap. “I think I was faster than him, but I just couldn’t see anything,” said Al Harthy.
Further back, Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) battled hard to take second in Pro-Am1 after a lengthy challenge from Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air). “It wasn’t the amount of grip that was the problem, it was the standing water,” said Mortimer. Jimenez lost his splitter later in the race, but the chasing Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) suffered the same problem and was not able to challenge the Spanish driver for the final Pro-Am1 podium place.
“That was my first race in the rain: I couldn’t see a thing,” said Mann (SIBSport) after she coped remarkably well in the conditions to stay in touch with the Pro-Am1 cars and claim another Pro-Am2 maximum score.
Round five results:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows; 2 Ben Barker; 3 Rory Butcher
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy; 2 Oly Mortimer; 3 Victor Jimenez
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann

Lloyd wins Carrera Cup thriller at Thruxton

Media release: 29 April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Daniel Lloyd scored a stunning debut Porsche Carrera Cup GB victory at Thruxton today (Sunday 29 April) in a thrilling round six of the championship. In a race of ever changing fortunes, run with slick tyres on a very slippery track, Lloyd battled ahead of long-time leader Rory Butcher as Glynn Geddie charged through to grab second place.
In a race where the entire field started on slicks on a damp track, and then had to cope with more rain mid-race, there was superb action all down the field as drivers battled successfully to stay on track. In Pro-Am1, Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) completed a perfect weekend with another victory, while Tania Mann (SIBSport) gain scored maximum Pro-Am2 points after her first taste of racing in such conditions.
Butcher (Celtic Speed) is renowned for his pace in tricky conditions and he burst into the lead at the first corner as Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) turned in a monster opening lap to go from eighth on the grid to second place. Michael Meadows (Redline Racing) slotted into third, while Geddie (Redline Racing) charged through from 11th on the grid to hold sixth place behind Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing).
Despite losing the splitter from the front of his car on lap five, Lloyd maintained a dogged chase of Butcher and his prayers for more rain were answered mid-race. That mitigated the loss of the splitter somewhat and allowed him to stay close to Butcher as Meadows held a watching brief in third and Geddie hunted them all down.
Conditions mid-race were incredibly tough as the rain returned, but the driving standards were superb as Butcher fended off Lloyd. But Geddie was the big threat now, having demoted Meadows, and by lap 18 the leading trio were almost nose-to-tail. Out of Church a lap later, Butcher and Lloyd were side-by-side and they raced level up to the Chicane with Geddie close behind. Lloyd tried for the outside, but Butcher’s car snapped into a spin and Lloyd had to straight-line the chicane to avoid contact.
Now it was Lloyd leading under pressure from Geddie and the Carrera Cup Scholarship driver held on for a debut win by just half a second. “Rory did a great job leading,” said Lloyd. “When he spun I had nowhere to go: it’s just fantastic to get my first win.” “We needed that result,” said Geddie after his best drive of the season to date.
Butcher had given his all in supremely tough conditions and completed the podium as Meadows ran home fourth. “That was about championship preservation,” said Meadows, who had wisely opted to make sure of another strong finish rather than take big chances. Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and Gelzinis completed the top six.
Al Harthy again won Pro-Am1 from seventh overall, having raced well clear of a long tussle between Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) and Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air). “That’s been the toughest weekend I’ve had in the Carrera Cup,” said Al Harthy. “The conditions were incredible, and we’ve had two really strong results.”
Round six results:
Pro category: 1 Daniel Lloyd; 2 Glynn Geddie; 3 Rory Butcher
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy; 2 Oly Mortimer; 3 Victor Jimenez
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann