Silverstone 2005

Westbrook takes Carrera Cup pole

Media release: 17 September 2005

Richard Westbrook set pole position in qualifying for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Saturday, 17 September) in readiness for round 17 of the championship.

With a series of laps under the 58s barrier, Westbrook (Red Line Racing) dominated the session and then went even faster on his very last lap to set the pole time at 57.696s, an average speed of over 102mph. It was also his seventh pole position from eight Carrera Cup qualifying sessions this season. “I’ve always loved qualifying and I just got the best out of the tyres,” said Westbrook.

Pole also earned Westbrook one championship point as he battles to claw back the substantial lead held by Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing). Westbrook is simply aiming to win both races on Sunday, knowing that if he finishes ahead of Faulkner in both races, the title contest will not be resolved until the final races of the season at Brands Hatch on 2 October.

Second fastest this afternoon was Tim Harvey (Team RPM) after an excellent session left him only a fifth of a second slower than Westbrook. “The speed was consistent,” said Harvey. “I really would like to win this weekend,” he added. His only concern came when a stone flicked up by another car cracked his windscreen during qualifying.

Although he claimed a respectable third place on the grid, Faulkner was not particularly happy after qualifying. “I would have liked to be on the front row, but we don’t seem to be quite there,” he admitted. Fourth fastest was his Team Parker Racing team mate Jason Templeman, who reported that his car was just lacking overall grip.

An excellent fifth fastest went to Scott Mansell in the Porsche Cars with Team Autosport entry, who continued his strong showing from testing the previous day. “That’s found another three-tenths, so we’re getting a bit closer. It’s good fun driving the Porsche and I’m just finding the limits.”

Completing the top six, only a second away from Westbrook’s pole time, was Nigel Rice as he headed a trio of Red Line Racing cars. “I’d like to have beaten the VIP racer,” joked Rice, as he compared times with Mansell. Jason Young and Stephen Shanly took the next two places in a closely matched group that also included Steve Clark (Team RPM). Michael Corridan (Team Parker Racing) was tenth, having improved by over a second from testing, while series newcomer Paul Ip (Team RPM) completed the field.

Faulkner wins Carrera Cup thriller

Media release: 18 September 2005

Damien Faulkner closed in on the 2005 title with victory in an action-packed round 17 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Sunday, 18 September).

Faulkner battled ahead of Richard Westbrook for victory as a wet buy drying track delivered a thrilling race of constantly changing fortunes and fierce battles all the way down the pack.

For the first half of the race, Westbrook (Red Line Racing) and Tim Harvey (Team RPM) battled for the lead as the track surface started to dry out. However, with all the cars running on treaded tyres, the complexion changed dramatically as the race developed.

First to suffer was Harvey, as his tyres started to lose grip and as he dropped away from Westbrook he started to come under pressure from Faulkner (Team Parker Racing). By mid-distance Faulkner had caught Harvey and, with his car sliding around increasingly, Harvey was unable to fend Faulkner off when he dived through into Copse on lap 13. While Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) also started to close in on Harvey, Faulkner started hunting down race leader Westbrook.

“I got a slow puncture and so they were reeling me in,” said Westbrook. By lap 17, Faulkner was right on Westbrook’s tail, with Templeman closing fast. Faulkner grabbed the lead into Copse, but Westbrook dived back ahead as Becketts as Faulkner saw him coming and made room. That allowed Templeman to make it a three-way lead battle and he even briefly grabbed second from Faulkner at Luffield on lap 18.

Still Westbrook held on in the face of constant challenges from Faulkner, who’s car was clearly now faster as the track dried still further. Then, through Brooklands for the penultimate time, Templeman clipped the back of Faulkner’s car and damaged his radiator. Finally, into Copse for the last time, Faulkner went decisively ahead and immediately pulled a few yards clear of Westbrook to take a remarkable victory. “It was quite a tricky race and the championship was at stake,” said Faulkner of his carefully measured performance. 

With his car leaking coolant from the damaged radiator, Templeman had a quick spin on the final lap as he finished third behind Westbrook. “It was a really good race,” said Westbrook on the podium. “It was the best race this season,” confirmed Templeman after a fighting drive.

Harvey was a secure fourth, but fifth place provided more fabulous racing as four cars battled furiously for position. Scott Mansell made the early running in the Porsche Cars with Team Autosport entry. However, as his tyres suffered the battling Red Line Racing cars of Nigel Rice and Stephen Shanly reeled him in. Then, in the later stages, Steve Clark (Team RPM) worked into contention to make it a four-way battle, with the cars running three abreast on several occasions.

Ultimately, it was Shanly who worked to the front of the pack to take fifth from Clark, Rice and Mansell. “That was really, really good. It was very fair,” said Shanly. “That was a great race; my car was really good at the end when the others were struggling,” added Clark.

Faulkner clinches Carrera Cup

Media release: 18 September 2005

While Richard Westbrook claimed victory in round 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Sunday, 18 September), second place was enough to confirm Damien Faulkner as provisional 2005 champion.

In another action-packed race, Westbrook was able to edge clear for victory as Tim Harvey, Faulkner and Jason Templeman battled for second. While Harvey and Templeman clashed on the final lap, Faulkner took second place. Subject to technical checks, he will be confirmed as 2005 champion, having only needed to finish in the top three to put the title out of Westbrook’s reach with two races to run at Brands Hatch in early October.

For much of the race, Harvey defended against Faulkner as they ran nose-to-tail for lap after lap. However, into the closing stages, Templeman was able to close in and he dived through ahead of Faulkner to take third as they braked for Becketts on the final lap. In the process, Templeman made contact with Harvey and pushed him wide. Then, under braking for Brooklands, Harvey made contact with the back of Templeman’s car, which slid into the gravel and out of the race. Faulkner carefully picked his way through the drama to finish second. Harvey was later excluded from the results over the incident, while Templeman received a fine.

Westbrook, meanwhile, had taken a commanding victory. “I wanted to go out and prove a point and I enjoyed every lap of that race,” he said. “Damien did what he had to do and he’s been consistent all year. You can’t fault him for that.”

“I’m just overwhelmed really,” said Faulkner of his title. “The race didn’t go as well as I expected, but I’m so delighted for everyone, including Team Parker Racing and my sponsors.”

With Harvey out of the results, Scott Mansell moved up to third in the Porsche Cars with Team Autosport entry after a strong race. He enjoyed a major battle with Stephen Shanly and Nigel Rice and when Shanly went out with a broken gear linkage, Rice took up the battle with Mansell. Rice also earned the driver of the day award for his efforts. “I’ve learnt a lot about driving a very different type of car and I’ve really enjoyed the weekend,” said Mansell.

Just adrift of Rice, another battle between Jason Young and Steve Clark finished in that order as Michael Corridan completed the finishers.