Croft 2005

Westbrook takes Carrera Cup pole at Croft

Media release: 17 July 2005

Richard Westbrook stormed to pole position in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft today (Saturday, 16 July) in qualifying for rounds nine and 10 of the championship.

Westbrook set the fastest ever Carrera Cup lap of the Yorkshire track to take pole, but Tim Harvey was just three-hundredth of a second slower by the end of the session. “Tim got me close; I just wanted to keep some tyres for the races tomorrow,” said Westbrook, who did only the minimum amount of laps in qualifying.

“It is difficult hooking up a good lap round here,” continued Westbrook of the challenging track. However, his third lap of qualifying was enough to secure pole and another championship point. Behind Westbrook (Red Line Racing), seven-tenths of a second covered the top four as Harvey (Team RPM) headed Team Parker Racing teammates Jason Templeman and Damien Faulkner.

Harvey, in fact, came very close to grabbing pole away from Westbrook in the closing minutes of the session. “I was up on Richard in the first two sectors of my best lap, but just lost it in the final sector,” explained Tim. “The car was very good, but it is a bumpy and difficult lap at Croft and you never drive two laps the same!”

Both Templeman and Faulkner felt that they could have gone faster. Templeman found his car under steering through Clervaux and Hawthorns, while Faulkner didn’t have the best of sessions. “It just didn’t come together. We don’t have the pace here that we had at Oulton Park,” he admitted.

Leading the chase of the big four was Jason Young (Red Line Racing), who qualified fifth fastest. “I’ve just got to try and cling onto the top four in the race,” he said. Close behind was his team mate Nigel Rice, little more than a tenth of a second slower. “That’s the quickest I’ve ever been round here,” said the Yorkshireman.

Seventh fastest was Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing). “I’ve just got to calm it down a bit more. On the best lap I did, I was on the grass for 100 metres,” said Shanly. Steve Clark (Team RPM) made good progress over testing and was only half a second away from Shanly in eighth, while Richard Lambert (Porsche Cars with Team Autosport) and Michael Corridan (Team Parker Racing) were next up.

Westbrook wins number seven at Croft

Media release: 17 July 2005

Richard Westbrook claimed his seventh victory of the season in round nine of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft today (Sunday, 17 July).

In a race re-started after an accident, Westbrook headed Tim Harvey into the first corner and was able to win by three seconds as Harvey contended with the challenge of Damien Faulkner. “It was pretty simple; the car felt good and I edged away,” said Westbrook.

The first start was red-flagged after two laps when Jason Young bounced across the gravel and hit the tyre wall at Clervaux corner. With his car moved, the race was re-started over a reduced six-lap duration and Westbrook (Red Line Racing) again had to beat Harvey (Team RPM) in the all-important sprint to the first corner. As the car’s stormed into the corner, Harvey hit the apex kerb hard and that unsettled his car’s handling for the rest of the race.

Meanwhile, Westbrook set about building his lead and as Harvey started to come under pressure from Faulkner (Team Parker Racing), Harvey had his hands full defending second place. “It wasn’t about challenging Richard, it was about defending from Damien,” said Harvey of his race.

Faulkner ran right on Harvey’s tail and was pleased to have made a step forward after a disappointing qualifying session. “At least it was a competitive third,” said Faulkner after finishing a fifth of a second behind Harvey. Not far back, Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) took fourth and was closing in on the Harvey/Faulkner battle in the second half of the race.

The battle for fifth was a three-way contest as Red Line Racing teammates Nigel Rice and Stephen Shanly had Steve Clark (Team RPM) right behind them for the duration. In the first start, Rice had blasted up into fourth place ahead of Faulkner, but was held back into the first corner at the second start. Clark, meanwhile, had his best race so far to run right on their tail as less than two seconds covered them at the finish. “We’ve made a step forward and I felt good in the car,” said Clark.

Westbrook completes Croft double

Media release: 17 July 2005

Richard Westbrook made it a perfect weekend by taking his second win of the day in round ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft this afternoon (Sunday, 17 July).

Westbrook (Red Line Racing) had to fend off a race-long challenge from championship rival Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) to win by just over a second and extend his championship lead to nine points. Behind Faulkner, Tim Harvey (Team RPM) completed the podium finishers.

As in the first race, the start was critical and it was extremely crowded as the pack funnelled into the first corner. But Westbrook got the start he wanted to dive ahead of Harvey and before the end of the lap Harvey had been edged back to third when Faulkner dived through at the hairpin. “I had to overtake Tim as early as I could,” said Faulkner. With his car’s handling not right, Harvey chased, but was unable to re-challenge Faulkner as the race developed.

Up front, Westbrook started to build his lead and went as far as two seconds clear before Faulkner started to close the gap down again. Little by little, the margin reduced, but Westbrook always stayed in control and his rival was just too far away on the final lap to launch an attack. “There’ll be a good celebration tonight,” reckoned Westbrook of his eighth win of the season.

Faulkner acknowledged that taking the fight to Westbrook is a big task. “He’s driving well; there was nothing I could do today.” Harvey, meanwhile, had to keep one eye on his mirrors for Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing), but the former BTCC ace had the final podium place secure.

As many as four cars ran in the contest for fifth, but it was always Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing) who controlled the position. However, he had to fend off Richard Lambert (Porsche Cars with Team Autosport), Steve Clark (Team RPM) and Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) to secure the place. In fact, off the line, a brush with Shanly sent Rice spinning onto the grass and he dropped to last before he rejoined. He then battled back to seventh, but could not close in on Lambert. “I just had a lot more confidence in the car that time,” said Lambert of sixth, while Clark earned the ‘driver of the day’ award for his performances across the pair of races.