Donington Park 2005

Westbrook takes pole for season opener

Media release: 9 April 2005

Richard Westbrook stormed to pole position for round one of the Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park this afternoon (Saturday 9 April) by setting the fastest ever lap of the Leicestershire track by a Carrera Cup car.

However, with his three major rivals all posting times within six-tenths of a second of Westbrook's best, the prospects are excellent for a thrilling start to the season. "The car was phenomenal," said Westbrook (Red Line Racing). "What is really pleasing is that we can lap consistently under 1m10s."

Leading the chase of Westbrook was Tim Harvey (Team RPM), who joined Westbrook in breaking the 1m10s mark. "I said we'd be under 1m10s," said Harvey. "The times are very quick, even though it took four or five laps to really get the tyre temperatures up." The cold northerly wind meant ambient temperatures were low, but the Carrera Cup pace was red hot.

Third and fourth fastest were the SAS-backed pair of Jason Templeman and Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing); both of them beating the pole time from September 2004 and lapping at an average speed of more than 100mph. "It's going to be very tight all season," said Faulkner.

Leading the chase of the top four was Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), while Dan Eagling completed the top six in the Porsche Cars with Team Autosport entry. Late in the session Eagling had a quick spin at McLeans, but he had continued his impressive progress on his Carrera Cup debut. "I'm reasonably pleased with that, but there is more time to come," he said.

Jason Young (Red Line Racing) and Emmanuel Crouvisier (Team RPM) both pushed hard to take the next two places on the grid, before David Ashburn posted ninth best time for Trackspeed. "That's two seconds a lap quicker than I've been here before," said Ashburn after an encouraging start in the Carrera Cup. Steve Clark (Team RPM) completed the top 10 qualifiers.

Westbrook opens account

Media release: 10 April 2005

Richard Westbrook swept to victory in the opening round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday, 10 April). By fending off a race-long challenge from Tim Harvey, Westbrook claimed the top step of the podium and scored his second Porsche victory in a week.

“If I’d made one mistake he’d have got me,” admitted Westbrook (Red Line Racing) as Harvey (Team RPM) chased him home. Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) completed the podium finishers after battling ahead of team mate Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing).

From the opening lap, it was Westbrook leading Harvey, Templeman and Faulkner, although a fast-starting Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) edged briefly ahead of Faulkner. Initially, Westbrook pulled a few yards clear as Templeman challenged Harvey. Then, by breaking the lap record three times, Harvey worked back onto Westbrook’s tail.

“It was the same old story - looking in my mirrors after the first corner!” said Westbrook. However, into the second half of the race he was just able to edge away from Harvey to win by 1.3s. “That’s a good start to the Carrera Cup season,” said Westbrook, who had won the Porsche Supercup race in Bahrain seven days earlier.

“It was a case of deja-vue, really,” said Harvey. “We’ll make a little set-up change for the second race,” he promised in his bid to topple Westbrook. Faulkner spent several laps working to find a way ahead of Templeman, but dived through to third under braking for the Chicane on lap 10. However, by then, Westbrook and Harvey were out of reach.

Templeman slipped away in fourth, struggling for rear grip in the second half of the race, and was being caught at the finish by Dan Eagling (Porsche Cars/Team Autosport). “I was a little cautious in the early laps, but from mid-race on I was really happy with my performance,” said Eagling, who raced well to move ahead of Rice.

Having lost the splitter from the front of his car on the opening lap, Rice was always going to struggle for front-end grip and was briefly edged back to seventh by Jason Young (Red Line Racing). But Rice then re-passed his team mate to claim sixth place as Emmanuel Crouvisier (Team RPM) completed the top eight.

Westbrook takes double

Media release: 10 April 2005

Richard Westbrook swept to his second victory of the day in a thrilling round two of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday, 10 April). Over the closing stages of the race, Westbrook had to fend off a strong challenge from Tim Harvey and the cars crossed the line nose-to-tail after 15 flat-out laps.

Initially, it was Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) who went after Westbrook (Red Line Racing) as Harvey (Team RPM) was edged down to third place. While Harvey had to fend off the attentions of Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) and Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing), Faulkner kept the pressure on Westbrook until mid-distance.

However, the complexion of the race changed over the final seven laps as Harvey’s car got stronger and stronger. Faulkner, by now slipping away from Westbrook with tyre woes, surrendered second place to Harvey on lap nine. “I knew there was no point trying to keep Tim behind,” said Faulkner.

Now, Harvey could concentrate on hunting down Westbrook and a gap that started at 2.5s came down lap by lap. Into the final lap, they were nose-to-tail and Westbrook had to defend hard to hold off his rival. “I wasn’t too comfortable on that last lap,” admitted Westbrook. “Tim’s car was slower at the start and ours was the complete opposite!”

“We made a small change to try and make the car better at the end of the race,” countered Harvey. “I just wish the race had been over 20 laps!” Once again, a fine contest between two top class racers had delivered an excellent race.

Faulkner completed the podium places, while Templeman just battled back ahead of Rice to take fourth in the closing stages. “He just looked after his tyres better than I did,” said Rice, who still claimed a great fifth place having run well up amongst the top four contenders.

Jason Young (Red Line Racing) and Dan Eagling (Porsche Cars/Team Autosport) were right with Rice and Templeman for much of the race, until Eagling dived for the inside at the Old Hairpin and the cars spun after contact. Both rejoined and Young was awarded the driver of the race trophy for his weekend’s efforts.

That incident allowed Emmanuel Crouvisier (Team RPM) to take an encouraging sixth from the recovering Young and Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing).