Brands Hatch 2006

Harvey Storms to Carrera Cup Pole

Media release: 8 April 2006

With the fastest lap ever recorded in the championship at Brands Hatch, Tim Harvey stormed to pole position in qualifying for the opening round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB today (Saturday, 8 April).
 
Harvey set a fierce pace by lapping in 46.916s as little more than a tenth of a second covered the top three drivers and less than a second covered the fastest 12 cars in the fabulous 21-car field.
 
“I’m absolutely made up,” admitted Harvey (Motorbase Performance). “I never thought we’d go that quick!” Right behind Harvey was Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing), who also dipped below the 47s mark. “I’m very happy to be on the front row. We’ve taken a very conservative approach for qualifying set-up, but in terms of race pace we’re unequalled,” reckoned Faulkner.
 
Third fastest, just outside the 47s mark was Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing). “We didn’t do too many laps,” confirmed Westbrook, having been conscious of keeping his tyres in good shape for the opening 34-lap races. Westbrook completed notably fewer laps in qualifying than most of his rivals, although he did go back out later in the session in a bid to crack the 47s mark.
 
Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) was right in contention in fourth slot, as was Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance). “It’s up there,” said Caine of his qualifying position. “It’s a 34-lap race so I wanted to look after my tyres.” Mark Cole continued his strong showing for Team RPM with sixth best time, while seventh fastest put Phil Quaife (Motorbase Performance) top of the pro-am category racers.
 
“I’m happy with that,” said Quaife. “Our target was to be quickest in the pro-ams.” Right behind Quaife in the new category was Mike Richards (IN2RACING) who set an impressive pace ahead of his first Carrera Cup race, while Sam Edwards (Team Parker Racing) and Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) completed the top 10 times. Also qualifying within a second of Harvey’s pole time were Richard Williams (IN2RACING) and Piers Masarati (Trackspeed).
 
The opening race of the Carrera Cup GB will run over 34 laps of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Saturday afternoon, starting at 3.50pm.

Westbrook Claims Carrera Cup Round 1

Media release: 8 April 2006

Richard Westbrook claimed a mighty victory in the opening round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday, 8 April).
 
Despite starting third on the grid, Westbrook (Red Line Racing) dived past Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) off the grid and then jumped ahead of Tim Harvey (Motorbase Performance) going into Clearways for the sixth time. Once ahead, even a brief safety car period failed to unsettle Westbrook as he swept to victory.
 
“We got the car completely sorted for the race and it was absolutely spot on,” said an elated Westbrook. “What a win! I’m just delighted.” Things were far less comfortable for Harvey, however, as he spent lap after lap fending off Faulkner and, later in the race, Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing). The three cars were always incredibly close, but Harvey just held on over the 35-lap race.
 
“That’s the first time we’ve run a race distance,” admitted Harvey. “I made room for Richard when he dived up the inside and Damien was very fair to me; it was a very clean race.”
 
Faulkner was left to rue a poor start, before spending nearly 30 laps glued to the tail of Harvey’s car. “We just weren’t quick enough in the right places,” accepted Faulkner, who was never able to mount a decisive passing move. Meanwhile, Templeman shadowed his teammate home to take fourth, only a second behind at the flag.
 
Down the field, battles raged throughout the race and it was Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) who fended off Sam Edwards (Team Parker Racing) and Richard Williams (IN2RACING) to take fifth. Caine had tried to go after the leading quartet, but lost touch when he was caught behind Mark Hales in the VIP car during mid-race lappery. Mark Cole (Team RPM) had run ahead of Edwards until being edged onto the grass at Graham Hill Bend and spinning while trying to lap a slower car. Edwards raced hard to move up from ninth on the grid in an impressive drive, while Williams also had a good afternoon as he chased them home for seventh.
 
Meanwhile, the new pro-am category proved an instant hit, with a fabulous contest raging race-long. Initially Phil Quaife (Motorbase Performance) made the running, but he slipped down the order with a spin at Druids as he suffered worsening oversteer. Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) then took over the category lead, but was under constant attack from Mike Richards (IN2RACING). Then, in the closing stages Jason Young (Red Line Racing) worked into contention from the back of the grid and nipped ahead of Richards for second when Richards had to back off when attacking Rice. “That was hard work,” admitted Rice after a great performance.
 
All the time Quaife was clawing his way back towards the leaders as Andy Purdie (Paragon) claimed fifth in pro-am after starting last when the car jumped out of gear on the start line.

Westbrook Takes Carrera Cup Double

Media release: 9 April 2006

Richard Westbrook completed a superb double by winning round two of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Sunday, 9 April).
 
For the entire 34-lap race in front of a packed BTCC crowd, Westbrook (Red Line Racing) was under pressure, and even at the flag his winning margin was only half a second over Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing). Throughout the race, Westbrook’s lead margin was never more than a second as first Tim Harvey (Motorbase Performance) and then Faulkner gave strong chase.
 
“That was tough; I had to push all the way,” admitted Westbrook. “I just managed to always get a clean exit to the corners,” he said of defending his lead. In the second half of the race, Faulkner was ever-present in Westbrook’s mirrors, having dived into second when Harvey ran wide at Clearways on lap seven. That was all the opportunity that Faulkner needed, and he powered ahead on the run past the pits.
 
“Tim just made a big enough mistake to give me a chance,” said Faulkner. “I’m happy to be more competitive and we certainly had good pace.” Harvey stayed with the two leaders until the closing stages, when he found himself coming under pressure from Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing). “We’ve had two podiums and we’ve learnt a lot,” said Harvey. “The new cars are fantastic!” Templeman, meanwhile, found his car getting quicker as race developed and could have challenged Harvey for third had there been a couple more laps to run.
 
Into a strong, if rather lonely, fifth came Richard Williams (IN2RACING), giving the team a fine start to its Carrera Cup campaign. “It’s been good fun and that’s a good start for us; it’s something to build from,” said Williams. Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) completed the top six, while seventh was the best of the pro-am category as Jason Young gave Red Line Racing a double reason to celebrate.
 
Mike Richards (IN2RACING) led the pro-am category early on, but was soon struggling as a rear tyre lost pressure after the valve was damaged in a first lap touch. Eventually the tyre deflated and Richards headed for the pits, leaving Young clear in the pro-ams. A great battle raged for the remaining pro-am podium places as Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) worked hard to hold off Phil Quaife (Motorbase Performance) and David Ashburn (Trackspeed). Eventually, Rice was edged back to fourth. “Nigel was very hard to overtake, but that’s much better for us and I was catching Jason towards the end,” said Quaife. Ashburn, meanwhile, earned the driver of the weekend award for his battling drive.