Brands Hatch - Indy - April 2-3 2011

Brands Hatch - Indy - April 2-3 2011

Brands Hatch Circuit - Fawkham, Longfield, Kent DA3 8NG

Location: off A20 from j3, M25 or j1, M20

Tel: 01474 872331

Website: www.brandshatch.co.uk

Circuit Map

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Event Timetable Map

Click here to download the Weekend Timetable (PDF)

The 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will burst into life at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 2/3 April with the first two races of the 19-race schedule. The signs are that the 2011 season is going to be the best yet, with a fleet of new 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars and a host of strong contenders across all three categories.

Proudly carrying number one on his car as reigning champion is Tim Harvey (Team Nationwide/Motorbase) and the Oxford-based racer knows that he faces a massive challenge in his bid for a third Carrera Cup title. Harvey has his key rival from 2010, Michael Caine, as his team mate, and has at least five more drivers all aiming to win races

As well as a gaggle of new young challengers, Harvey and Caine have a new model car to get to grips with and Harvey is already buzzing about the latest 911 GT3 Cup. “The car is a big step forward over the previous car,” said Harvey. “The pleasure in driving is up another notch this year and the new car feels quick, even on old tyres. These cars are seriously quick.”

Caine joins Harvey in the Nationwide/Motorbase line-up and is determined to go one better than his championship runner-up slot of 2010. Both drivers know that winning titles is all about consistency across the 19-race season and will be eager to scoop two major points’ scores when the season opens with two races on the tight Indy circuit at the Kent venue.

Pre-season testing has shown just how big a challenge Harvey and Caine face and in the major group test it was SAS/Red Line duo of James Sutton and Michael Meadows setting the pace. Sutton, the 2007 champion, is back for another shot at the title, while Meadows looks strong as he capitalises on the experience from his debut Carrera Cup season last year.

Over at Team Parker Racing, two exciting championship newcomers showed sparkling form in testing and both Sam Tordoff and Richard Plant will go to Brands aiming for at least a place on the podium. Joining them as another exciting newcomer is Carrera Cup Scholar Ben Hetherington, who races alongside Sutton and Meadows at Red Line Racing.

While much of the focus will be on the Pro drivers, the battles in Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 will be every bit as competitive as the overall contest. In Pro-Am1, it was Red Line Racing’s Ahmad Al Harthy on top during the Snetterton test day and that was a significant confidence boost for the Omani racer. However, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and young Scot Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) were close behind and it is Gelzinis who is expected to be the Pro-Am1 benchmark given his prodigious pace during 2010.

In Pro-Am2, George Brewster set down an early marker at Snetterton by going top of the times for Celtic Speed, but was chased hard by impressive Carrera Cup newcomer Keith Webster (Red Line Racing) and Steve Parish from the Motorbase Performance team.

After qualifying at 11.55 on Saturday, round one will start at 17.45 on Saturday, while round two will be at 13.15 on Sunday and will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme, which starts at 11.00.

Media release: 25 March 2011

Source: Porsche Cars GB

Jelley tops Carrera Cup testing at Brands Hatch

Media release: 1 April 2011

Source: Porsche Cars GB

Stephen Jelley set the pace in testing ahead of the opening two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Friday 1 April), as a superb 25-car field assembled for the start of the new season.

With the top 17 cars covered by 1.2 seconds, there will be fantastic competition all the way down the field, with Jonas Gelzinis heading Pro-Am1 and George Brewster topping Pro-Am2.

Jelley and Euan Hankey set the pace for the Parker with Juta squad, a new alliance between Team Parker Racing and Juta Racing. Despite both drivers confirming their plans very close to the start of the season, they ended the day's testing at the head of the times.

"The morning session was good and we did a lot of work on the car," said Jelley, who only had time for one test session ahead of the weekend. "In the afternoon I think we got the car spot on for tomorrow and we'll leave it well alone now," he said. Hankey had also only run his new car once, but lapped just six-hundredths of a second slower than his team mate. "I did my best time on the seventh lap on new tyres and it was a disjointed run, so I'm happy with the pace," said Hankey.

A tenth of a second slower was James Sutton (SAS/Redline) after another strong performance. "I'm very satisfied with that and we've got an awesome race car," said Sutton. "We just need to hit the mark in qualifying." Fourth fastest was Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase). "The track changed a lot as the temperature and track conditions changed through the day," reported Harvey. Close behind Harvey was Michael Meadows in the other SAS/Redline entry, while heading Pro-Am1 was Gelzinis (Juta Racing) with sixth fastest time overall.

Gelzinis ended the day top of Pro-Am1 with Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) second fastest, less than a tenth of a second slower. Splitting them in the overall times was Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase). "There was no balance in the car and we're nowhere near where we should be," said Caine. Gelzinis thought he could have gone quicker. "On the new tyres I didn't manage to set a good lap because of the traffic; it was not maximum," said the Lithuanian driver. Al Harthy continued his excellent testing form as Michael Leonard (Parr Motorsport) and Alex Martin (Dextra by Team Parker) completed the top four in Pro-Am1.

The prospects for a fine battle in Pro-Am2 are just as strong after Brewster (Celtic Speed) edged Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) for top spot by 16-hundredths of a second. "We didn't test this week, so I was just picking up the pace," said Brewster. "I think we've got a good set-up." Shelley was pleased with progress to be second as Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) ran a strong third fastest.

Jelley tops Carrera Cup qualifying at Brands Hatch

Media release: 2 April 2011

Source: Porsche Cars GB

Stephen Jelley set a stunning pace in qualifying for the opening two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 2 April), taking pole position for both races as his team mate Euan Hankey ran right behind in second.

While Jelley and Hankey (Parker with Juta) established a significant advantage over their nearest challengers, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) took both Pro-Am1 poles and George Brewster (Celtic Speed) claimed both Pro-Am2 poles.

With such a competitive field, Jelley and Hankey were surprised to have around three-tenths of a second in hand over the rest of the field, as James Sutton (SAS/Redline) took third for both races. "I couldn't ask for any better," said Jelley. "The hard work was done in testing on Friday and I just got out there and drove it," he said of qualifying. "I think I've fallen on my feet with the new car; it seems to suit drivers with single-seater experience."

Hankey joined Jelley in breaking the 46s barrier as the latest model 911 GT3 Cup went nearly a second faster than its predecessor around the 1.2-mile Indy track at the Kent venue. However, Hankey's session ended early after a tangle with Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) at Paddock. "I came in on a hot lap and had nowhere to go as he backed off. It's not a disaster and I've got to be happy with that," said Hankey after ending the session in the gravel with a damaged wheel.

Leading the chase of Jelley and Hankey for both races was Sutton. "I'm satisfied with the car we've got," reported Sutton. "I just didn't find the right sort of space on the track." Fourth overall for the opening race was defending champion Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase). "That's about as good as I could possibly do," said Harvey, who was edged back to fifth on the grid for the second race by young newcomer Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing). Tordoff showed impressive pace, taking sixth for race one behind Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline).

Gelzinis topped Pro-Am1, but the times were very close as Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Alex Martin (Dextra by Team Parker) showed fine early season pace to be second and third in Pro-Am1. "In general it is okay, but with one-tenth I could be third overall," said Gelzinis. Butcher, meanwhile was pleased with progress. "I'm a lot happier," said the young Scot. "I'm gaining confidence and it's starting to click."

Making it a good session for Celtic Speed was Brewster, who maintained his strong pre-season form by taking a double pole in Pro-Am2. But he faces two tough races as category rival Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) ran him very close. In the times for round two, Parish came within five-thousandths of a second of edging Brewster for the category pole. Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) was a good third for both races in Pro-Am2.

Hankey wins Carrera Cup round one at Brands Hatch

Media release: 2 April 2011

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Euan Hankey scored his first Porsche Carrera Cup GB victory at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 2 April) in the opening round of the championship. Hankey became the first Carrera Cup GB Scholarship winner to take an overall race win with a superb performance, moving into the lead after Stephen Jelley slid wide.

James Sutton also dived ahead of Jelley to take second, while Jelley's reward for leading 19 laps was the final overall podium position. It was a good day for the Celtic Speed team as Rory Butcher won Pro-Am1 and George Brewster won Pro-Am2 after hard fought races.

Jelley (Parker with Juta) got the jump from pole position to head the fabulous 25-car field into Paddock Hill Bend, with team mate Hankey slotting in behind. Sutton (SAS/Redline) took third from Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase) but even on the opening lap Jelley and Hankey had the pace to start edging clear of their pursuers. That was how it ran over the opening half of the race, with Hankey probing the defences of Jelley as Sutton consolidated third.

But the complexion of the race changed just after mid-distance. Jelley ran wide over the kerbs at Druids and that led to a soft brake pedal into Graham Hill Bend. As he ran wide onto the grass Hankey dived ahead and Sutton was also able to demote the recovering Jelley on the run to Surtees. Two laps later, Harvey was in trouble with a rear puncture and the ensuing pit stop put him right out of contention.

Now, Hankey was able to control the race as Sutton was occupied in covering regular challenges from Jelley over the closing stages. "I'm so pleased," said Hankey. "I thought all my Christmases had come at once. As the tyres got older I could hold the times," said the elated race winner. Sutton accepted that he did not have the pace to go after Hankey on this occasion. "The car feels good but we're missing something at the moment," he said after defending second from Jelley.

Fourth overall was a strong opener for Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline) as Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) and Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) packed out the top seven. For Tordoff and Plant it represented an excellent start to their Carrera Cup campaigns, but Caine was a disappointed sixth. "That was the best I was going to get," he said.

Through into a fine eighth overall and Pro-Am1 victory went Butcher after a classy performance. He had to battle ahead of Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) with a bold move into Paddock Hill Bend on the second lap to take control at the head of the category. "After that I ran consistent times and it worked out really well," said Butcher. With Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) bogging down off the line and losing places, it was Al Harthy who took an excellent second in Pro-Am1 after fending off Gelzinis for many laps. "That was a very, very strong start to the season," said Al Harthy.

Brewster always just had the upper hand in Pro-Am2, but could never relax for a moment as Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) chased relentlessly. It was a fortuitous finish for Brewster when, as he took the flag, a rear tyre deflated, probably the legacy of clipping the kerb at Surtees. "I just had to keep Steve behind," said Brewster. Parish, in turn, had Pro-Am1 racers and team mates George Richardson and Daniele Perfetti on his tail race-long. Into third in Pro-Am2 after a late spin for Andrew Shelley (Red Line Racing) came Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) to clinch his first Carrera Cup podium.

Jelley claims Carrera Cup win at Brands Hatch

Media release: 3 April 2011

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Stephen Jelley was the class of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with victory in round two at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 3 April) to take the early advantage in the championship. While Jonas Gelzinis won Pro-Am1 category, George Brewster became the only double winner of the weekend when he took a Pro-Am2 double.

Jelley (Parker with Juta) dived ahead to lead from pole position as his team mate Euan Hankey slotted into second from James Sutton (SAS/Redline) but further down the field there was drama as the cars of Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Alex Martin (Dextra by Team Parker) clashed on the rush to Paddock Hill Bend. That contact pitched Butcher into a spin and his car tagged Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) into a spin. Fortunately, despite some very near misses, everyone else avoided the incident, but the safety car was deployed while Butcher's stranded car was moved.

Shortly after the re-start the safety car was back out while Richard Denny's Parr Motorsport car was moved from the gravel at Clearways after being tagged, so it was lap 12 before the race really got into a rhythm. Jelley was able to re-establish his lead at both re-starts and held his margin at around a second from Hankey and Sutton. Just behind them, Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase) had his mirrors full of the cars of Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline) and Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing).

Jelley was able to control the pace from the front and make sure of his first victory of the season. "The safety car gave me a nice breather and I got two good re-starts," said Jelley. "It's really good to go out of the weekend with a win and a points' lead." Hankey was never much more than a second adrift of his team mate. "I struggled a bit to begin with but as the race went on the balance equaled out. Later on I just kept it safe," he said, as Sutton dropped away in third. However, that later became second when Hankey was penalised for running wide at Graham Hill Bend and dropped out of the final top 10. "I had a really good car for the first half of the race and for the first time this weekend I was as quick as them," said Sutton. However, he started hearing a vibration from a rear corner and, conscious of the risk of punctures, he eased back his pace to make sure of taking what became second.

That allowed Harvey to get close by the finish and he had Tordoff, Meadows and Plant in close formation right behind. Meanwhile, Caine struggled home seventh, battling against an ill-handling car despite changes to the car after the opening race. Right behind Caine, Gelzinis claimed Pro-Am1 but he had Derek Pierce (Dextra by Team Parker) on his tail for much of the race. "I just had to stay cool; there is a long way to go in the championship," said Gelzinis of a measured drive. Pierce, in turn, took one of his best results with second in Pro-Am1. "I'm delighted," said Pierce as he chased Gelzinis all the way to the flag. "In places he was quicker and in places I was quicker." Michael Leonard (Parr Motorsport) wrapped up the Pro-Am1 podium.

Brewster always had the upper hand in Pro-Am2 and with Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance) more delayed by the start melee, Brewster had a clear run to victory despite a scare at the start when he was edged onto the grass. "We changed the car and made it too stiff, so I was happy to have a cushion on the others," said Brewster. With Parish later spinning into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) took second in Pro-Am2 from Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing). "I managed to avoid the carnage at the start and just had a steady run," said Shelley. "I'm a very happy man," said Barstys after his first Carrera Cup podium.