Silverstone 2004

Hughes tops Silverstone testing times

Media release: 7 May 2004

Warren Hughes set the pace in testing ahead of rounds five and six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Friday, 7 May).

In his first experience of a 911 GT3 Cup car, Hughes broke the 1m25s barrier to head the championship regulars.

“I’m learning how to get the best out of the car,” said Hughes after driving the Porsche Cars GB VIP entry for the first time. Close behind were Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing) and Tim Harvey (RPM Motorsport) while Martin Rich was an excellent fourth for Team Parker Racing.

Benefiting from running on new tyres towards the end of the test session, Hughes made an impressive debut. “The team helped me enormously with the basic learning of the car. I think there’s still a little bit more to come yet. I felt very good in the car,” he added.

Neither Westbrook nor Harvey ran new tyres, and both are expected to improve their times when new tyres are fitted for qualifying on Saturday. Racing with Red Line Racing for the first time, Westbrook was only a tenth slower than Hughes despite using the tyres that Jonathon Cocker had raced on at Thruxton. “I’m really pleased with the time; the car feels good,” says Westbrook who has switched to the Red Line team for the Silverstone weekend.

Harvey, too, was content to be on the pace using tyres that had done both races at Brands Hatch. “We’ll make a little more adjustment for qualifying,” reckoned the championship leader.

“I’m thrilled to bits,” said Rich after setting a tremendous fourth fastest time. “We’re running consistently and it’s nice to get it coming together,” he said. Team Parker Racing cars posted fourth, fifth and seventh time as Mark Hazell and Chris Cooper both ran strongly. Cooper, having suffered a blown clutch in his own car, actually set fifth best time in Hazell’s car.

Completing the top six was a content Jonathan Fildes (TCR), while Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) was eighth from Jason Templeman (Team VLR). “We needed a bit more time,” admitted Templeman. “I know we can at least be in the top four.” Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) completed the top 10.

Westbrook takes Silverstone pole

Media release: 8 May 2004

Westbrook mastered a wet and slippery track to head the times from Warren Hughes and Tim Harvey.

“That was nice and straightforward,” said Westbrook. “I think I did the time in just the right part of the session,” he added. After a dry test day on Friday, the teams and drivers had to contend with a very wet track for qualifying, but Westbrook drove superbly to set a stunning pace on his first outing with Red Line Racing.

Despite losing his clutch in the closing stages of the session, Hughes was a fine second in the Porsche Cars GB VIP car. “I don’t know if I could have gone any quicker in those final laps,” said Hughes. “The biggest thing was getting used to the ABS in the wet,” he added after driving the car in the wet for the first time.

Harvey was third best for Team RPM. “We probably didn’t maximize the session on the tyres,” he admitted. “I wanted to scrub a new set of wets in case the race is wet, but I stayed out too long on the first set of tyres.” Harvey will be joined on the second row of the grid by Chris Cooper (Team Parker Racing) who traded times throughout the session with teammate Martin Rich.

Having been a star of testing, Rich continued his excellent pace by posting fifth best time in qualifying. “Wet or dry, we seem to like Silverstone,” said a very pleased Rich after his best Carrera Cup qualifying performance to date.

Completing the top six was Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), while Jason Templeman (Team VLR) and Jonathan Fildes (TCR) were seventh and eighth and face a tough race on Saturday afternoon if they are to move into leading positions. Mark Hazell (Team Parker Racing) and Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) rounded out the top 10 in qualifying.

Westbrook pips Templeman at Silverstone

Media release: 8 May 2004

Despite tremendous pressure from Jason Templeman, Richard Westbrook won round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Saturday, 8 May).

“He was putting me under a lot of pressure,” admitted Westbrook, while championship leader Tim Harvey battled back to third after a first corner spin.

The drama started on the parade lap when Warren Hughes (Porsche Cars GB) retired to the pits with a transmission problem. “It’s just one of those things; naturally I’m disappointed,” said Hughes.

With the track damp but drying and the field on slick tyres, it was a tricky first corner. Harvey and Chris Cooper (Team Parker Racing) went into the corner side by side, just touched and both spun. That caused drama in the pack and both Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) and Martin Rich (Team Parker Racing) were eliminated as a result.

Others were delayed, including Harvey and Cooper and so it was Templeman (Team VLR) who grabbed second behind Westbrook (Red Line Racing) on the opening lap. Meanwhile, Jonathan Fildes (TCR) slotted into third as Harvey set about recovering lost ground and Cooper headed to the pits for attention to damage sustained. He later rejoined to finish tenth.

Templeman was now on a charge and closed rapidly on Westbrook. In the closing laps Templeman was right on the leader’s tail and pressing hard. However, Westbrook just held on for his second win of the season. “Jason gave me a good race,” said Westbrook, who had suffered problems getting third gear. “I didn’t expect to be up to second after the first corner,” admitted Jason, after starting seventh on the grid.

Harvey fought his way ahead of Fildes to claim third and retain his championship lead. “I was lucky that everyone missed me at the first corner,” reckoned Harvey. Into a fine fifth went Marcus Thomas (Team VLR) who made a lot of ground on the opening lap and then withstood race-long pressure from Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance).

Harvey takes second race at Silverstone 

Media release: 9 May 2004

Tim Harvey battled ahead of Richard Westbrook to win round six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Sunday, 9 May).

Harvey swept ahead at Priory mid-race, while Warren Hughes drove a mighty race to take third having started at the back of the grid.

“The car was fantastic,” related Harvey. “We set it up for dry and cool conditions, which was just right.” Westbrook, however, found his car getting better later in the race. “In the middle of the race I had no answer to Tim’s pace,” he said.

When Harvey grabbed second into Copse on the first lap, the tone of the race was set. The Team RPM car slotted in behind Westbrook (Red Line Racing) and they quickly pulled clear of the pack. Jason Templeman (Team VLR) went after the leading pair until contact from behind sent him into a spin and the resultant suspension damage left him limping home at the tail of the field.

On lap six, Harvey saw his chance when he got a good run on Westbrook through Bridge. He then dived up the inside into Priory to take the lead. “I made a fairly decisive move and he didn’t fight me too hard,” explained Harvey.

Once ahead, Harvey never pulled very far clear and in the later stages Westbrook came back at him. However, Westbrook had a scare at Priory when Des Winks (Red Line Racing) spun and Westbrook had to take to the grass in avoidance. That was just enough to ensure Harvey ran securely to the flag.

Hughes made stunning progress from the back of the grid to take third place having battled ahead of Chris Cooper (Team Parker Racing) and Jonathan Fildes (TCR). “It was fantastic; one of the most enjoyable cars I’ve ever driven. I’m grateful to Porsche Cars GB for giving me the chance to race,” said a delighted Hughes.

Cooper claimed a strong fourth having worked ahead of Fildes, while a superb sixth went to Jason Young (Red Line Racing) after a long tussle with team mate Nigel Rice. Having fought up from the back of the grid, Rice was into sixth until a last lap spin dropped him back to eighth behind Young and Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance).