Mondello Park 2005

Westbrook takes Carrera Cup pole at Mondello

Media release: 23 July 2005

Richard Westbrook took pole position for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Mondello Park today (Saturday, 23 July) during qualifying for round 11 of the championship.

In an exciting qualifying session, the times tumbled with every lap as the track became less wet and Westbrook (Red Line Racing) and Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) battled for pole until the last few seconds of the session. Eventually, Westbrook grabbed the advantage by just three-hundredths of a second on his final lap.

“The session was getting better,” confirmed Westbrook. “There was a surprising amount of grip in some corners. I let Damien by early on and definitely learnt a few things for the wet by following him,” said Westbrook after driving the track for the first time in the wet.

Faulkner was frustrated to miss pole by such a small margin, losing top slot when Westbrook crossed the line to take the chequered flag. “We just need some luck,” said Damien. “That gap is like about 10 feet on the track!” For much of the session, Tim Harvey (Team RPM) traded pole with Faulkner and Westbrook, but he slipped back by half a second in the final laps as he tyres went past their best. “The track was changing with every lap and we just lot a bit in the last two laps,” explained Harvey.

Another superb performance came from Joey Foster in the Porsche Cars with Team Autosport entry. Despite having no experience of the Porsche in the wet, he adapted very quickly to take fourth slot on the grid. “I just felt where the grip was,” he said of his first few laps. “It felt as though the car had a bit more time in it,” he added.

Fifth fastest, still within a second of the pole position time, was Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing), despite an early spin at Turn 3 which caused a red flag while the car was pushed off the wet grass. Sixth fastest, and driving the track in the wet for the first time was Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing), while another driver learning Mondello Park in the wet was Steve Clark (Team RPM) who was close behind in seventh. Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), who does not really enjoy the wet, and Michael Corridan (Team Parker Racing) completed the grid.

Faulkner wins at Mondello

Media release: 23 July 2005

Damien Faulkner claimed victory in the re-run of round eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Mondello Park today (Saturday, 23 July).

By keeping his Team Parker Racing team mate Jason Templeman at bay on a wet but slowly drying track, Faulkner jumped into the championship lead. “That race was hanging over us so I’m just glad to have finally wrapped it up,” said Faulkner.

The extra race at the Irish track was the re-run of the race previously postponed from the Oulton Park meeting in June when a thunderstorm swept across the track. The race was re-run at Mondello using the original grid from the Oulton Park race and only those drivers who had at Oulton were able to take to the grid. That meant championship leader Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing) had to watch as Faulkner took over the championship lead.

Faulkner grabbed the lead from the start and stayed ahead as the track began to dry a little. Templeman was always running close to his team mate, but never quite got close enough to launch an attack. In the early stages, Tim Harvey (Team RPM) chased Templeman and was very close for several laps before starting to fall back a little. “I had to work the tyres very carefully,” said Faulkner. Meanwhile, Templeman was pleased to run strongly after resolving a damper problem in qualifying.

“I was having a good go,” said Templeman. “It’s been a great day for the team!” Harvey, however, slipped back as the race progressed. “We put new wets on, but that was the wrong way to go and it would have been better on used wets as the race progressed.”

A race-long battle raged for fourth as Stephen Shanly held off his Red Line Racing team mate Nigel Rice and Steve Clark (Team RPM). “That was serious pressure,” said Shanly. “Ricey was all over me!” For his efforts in this race, and the opening race of the pair at Oulton Park, Rice was awarded the ‘driver of the day’ award. Clark ran right with Shanly and Rice until a late spin at Birrane’s Bends. “It was a case of come out of the throttle and spin or hit Nigel,” admitted Clark after another strong showing.

Meanwhile, watching the race from the commentary tower was Richard Westbrook. “This is just horrible watching this! Now I know what my brother goes through!”

Faulkner takes dramatic win at Mondello Park

Media release: 24 July 2005

Damien Faulkner claimed victory in a dramatic round 11 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Mondello Park today (Sunday, 24 July).

The result was decided when Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) and Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing) made contact on the last lap and Westbrook slid off the track and retired. The result is that Faulkner extended his championship lead to 30 points over Westbrook.

The action started right from the off as Faulkner got a better start and ran side by side with Westbrook on the sprint to the first corner. Faulkner even nosed marginally ahead, but Westbrook – from pole position - held the inside line and just got into Turn 1 ahead.

Over the first half of the race, Westbrook eased a few yards ahead and extended his lead to just over a second. However, as the race developed, Faulkner came back into contention and was sitting on Westbrook’s tail with two laps left to run. Faulkner attacked all around the lap, but Westbrook defended until matters came to a head as they braked for Ireland Corner on the final lap.

Faulkner dived for the inside line as Westbrook defended and the cars touched. Westbrook was sent across the gravel and just nudged the barriers, his race run. Inevitably, the two drivers had differing views of the incident.

“I just went for the gap on the inside and he closed the door,” said Faulkner after taking the chequered flag. “I was already turning into the corner,” countered Westbrook. “I tried to turn out of it and avoid contact. It’s a real shame.”

While all the drama for the lead contest was going on, Tim Harvey (Team RPM) was running to a safe third, but was just unable to stay on terms with the two leaders. “We’re just missing a couple of tenths on Richard and Damien; I want to be in there racing with them,” said Harvey.

Third place went to Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing), but he had to fend off a concerted challenge from Joey Foster in the Porsche Cars with Team Autosport entry. In the later stages, they both closed in on Harvey and there was little between the three cars at the flag. Foster had, in fact, run ahead of Templeman on the opening, but ran wide onto the main straight and dropped a place. “We came strong at the end, but it was a bit late,” said Templeman.

Foster, meanwhile, had again impressed with his speed. “I had a bit of a go at Jason, but the track is pretty narrow here,” said Foster. “But I absolutely loved racing the car!”

When Stephen Shanly ran wide on the second lap, his Red Line Racing team mate Nigel Rice nipped through to take what became fifth as Shanly had to defend over the closing laps from the chasing Steve Clark (Team RPM).

Faulkner does the triple at Mondello

Media release: 24 July 2005

Damien Faulkner completed a remarkable triple win as he claimed victory in round 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Mondello Park today (Sunday, 24 July).

While Richard Westbrook tigered through to third place behind Tim Harvey after starting at the back of the grid, Faulkner romped away to win his third race of the weekend and stretch his championship lead to 35 points.

There was confusion at the start when the red lights failed to come on and the green light flashed instead. Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) stormed away, but Harvey (Team RPM) was badly delayed and dropped behind the fast-starting Joey Foster (Porsche Cars with Team Autosport). “All of a sudden there was a green light and Damien was gone,” said Harvey.

While Westbrook (Red Line Racing) stormed up the order, Foster tried to hold onto second, but a spin at Turn 3 on the second lap cost him his hopes of a podium finish. “I just carried too much speed in and it got away from me,” he explained. Now, Faulkner was able to take his lead out to five seconds as Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing), Harvey and Westbrook ran nose to tail for second. Harvey managed to squeeze ahead of Templeman, but Westbrook spent a long time trying to find a way through.

Eventually, down to Turn 3 for the seventh time, the cars touched and Templeman spun as Westbrook nipped through to third. In the remaining laps Westbrook tried to close in on Harvey, but finally had to settle for third after a tough weekend. “This has really hurt us, but I’ve just got to go for it. I was this many points behind Tim last season and got it back,” he pointed out.

Faulkner was elated to complete his hat trick. “It’s just amazing! It’s an overwhelming feeling to win three races in a weekend,” said Faulkner. Harvey earned the ‘driver of the day’ award for his efforts in securing second despite losing out to the light problem at the start.

Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) had a fairly lonely race to fourth as Foster recovered in time to edge Templeman back to sixth. Into seventh went Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing), but only after a race-long battle with Steve Clark (Team RPM) as Michael Corridan (Team Parker Racing) completed the finishers.