Oulton Park 2006

Watts Grabs Carrera Cup Pole at Oulton

Media release: 13 May 2006

Danny Watts clinched a dramatic pole position in a thrilling qualifying session for round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Saturday, 13 May). As times tumbled on a rapidly drying track, Watts snatched pole away from Tim Harvey on the last lap of the session.
 
Initially everyone started the session on wet tyres, but conditions were improving and Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) was first to head to the pits to change to slicks. It was a brave move, but proved to be the right choice and Caine was confident that he could set the pace in still tricky conditions.
 
However, the session was halted after Jason Young (Red Line Racing) slid into the barriers at Old Hall and it took some time to rebuild the tyre wall before the session could resume. In the break, many more cars switched to slicks and Caine lost his advantage as his slick tyres cooled down during the 20-minute delay. "The stoppage wrecked it for me," admitted Caine.
 
When the session restarted, there were only five minutes to run and tyre choice was split down the field. Slicks proved the right choice and it was Harvey (Motorbase Performance) who set the pace in the three flying laps that remained. However, on his second lap Harvey slid wide at Knickerbrook and clipped the tyres, so his final lap was the one that really mattered. "I was a little bit cautious on my third lap," he said. "But I just love sessions like that!"
 
Harvey was briefly on pole, but as Watts (Team Irwin with Red Line Racing) took the chequered flag, he snatched pole by a fifth of a second. "The pressure was on with five minutes to go and I pushed very, very hard and made sure I had a clear track for my last lap," explained Watts.
 
Caine took third, but was rightly disappointed to lose his advantage during the break, while Richard Williams (IN2RACING) was pleased to be fourth. "I didn't think my time was good enough for fourth," he said. Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) was fifth fastest, but was back down the queue for the restart of the session and got one flying lap less than Watts and Harvey. "It's just frustrating; we've got such pace round here," said Faulkner.
 
Phil Quaife headed the pro-am category for Motorbase Performance with a strong sixth. "The car was fantastic; I just popped in a lap behind Michael Caine," he reported. Equally pleased with seventh was Paul O'Neill in the Porsche Cars GB VIP car. "I just tried to keep on the dry line," he said after a strong run. Behind David Ashburn (Trackspeed) were the leading drivers to stay on wets. Although it was a difficult call, it proved to be the wrong decision, with Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) and Tech 9 Motorsport's Mark Cole and Phil Hindley all ending the session further down the order than expected.

Watts Takes Carrera Cup Win at Oulton

Media release: 14 May 2006

Danny Watts claimed his debut series victory in round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park yesterday (Saturday, 13 May). On a wet and slippery track, Watts battled ahead of Tim Harvey as Damien Faulkner chased, while Phil Quaife claimed a pro-am category hat-trick.
 
Harvey (Motorbase Performance) got the jump on the field as the pack streamed into the first corner, but team mate Michael Caine slid wide after contact with Watts (Team Irwin with Red Line Racing). Initially, Harvey was able to edge clear, but Watts and Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) were chasing hard in the challenging conditions. Caine, meanwhile, toured into the pits with a puncture.
 
Watts quickly moved in on Harvey and dived ahead under braking for the Island Hairpin on the fourth lap. "The team made the car so good," said Danny. "It was down to me then." However, having built a five-second lead, Watts saw it evaporate when the safety car was deployed at the start of lap eight.
 
Mark Cole (Tech 9 Motorsport) had made a great start to storm through to sixth place after starting tenth on the grid, and was challenging Richard Williams (IN2RACING) for fifth when contact with Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) sent Cole into a spin at Island with a damaged wheel.
 
Once Cole's car was clear of the track, the pack was released for one final lap of racing and Watts quickly went clear. However, Harvey spun out of second place at Cascades. "I'd let my tyres cool down and I didn't expect the race to restart as the 20 minutes had ended before we crossed the finish line," said Harvey. The results were later confirmed at 20 minutes, which was at the end of the final safety car lap, and so Harvey was still classified second in the corrected results.
 
"I'm over the moon with that result," said Quaife (Motorbase Performance) after his best Carrera Cup finish to date in fourth overall and first in pro-am. "I got a good start and then didn't push too hard," he said. With Cole and Templeman out of the running, Williams was a secure fifth. "I just stayed out of trouble," reckoned Williams after another strong result. Meanwhile, with a nicely controlled drive, Paul O'Neill brought the Porsche Cars GB VIP car home in sixth place. "I got my start all wrong, but after that I just kept it consistent and made up places. I'll get a nose bleed starting that far up the grid for the second race," he joked.
 
Phil Hindley (Tech 9 Motorsport) took an excellent seventh ahead of pro-am podium finishers Mike Richards (IN2RACING) and Sam Edwards (Team Parker Racing), while a strong performance from Mark Hazell (Team Parker Racing) was rewarded with a top 10 finish.

Watts Takes Carrera Cup Double at Oulton

Media release: 14 May 2006

Danny Watts clinched his second victory of the weekend in round six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Sunday, 14 May). Watts held off fierce challenges from Tim Harvey and Damien Faulkner to win, while Phil Quaife also took a weekend double in the pro-am category.
 
For much of the race the top three were covered by less than a second as Watts (Team Irwin with Red Line Racing) headed Faulkner (Team Parker Racing) and Harvey (Motorbase Performance) and the three cars made a great sight as they raced neck and neck in front of a packed BTCC crowd. Faulkner had dived ahead of Harvey on the opening lap but Harvey later got the place back with a tremendous move at Lodge on lap seven.
 
As Faulkner attacked Watts, Harvey saw his chance and jinked back inside Faulkner under braking. It was a fine move that put Harvey back onto the leader's tail for the closing laps. "It was a good touring car move," said Harvey after the race. However, he could not unseat Watts, who claimed a fine victory to complete a perfect weekend. "To get two poles and two wins is fantastic. But Tim was always there and he was quicker than me in some parts of the lap."
 
Faulkner was disappointed with third. "I was pushing really hard, but later in the race I was getting more and more understeer," he reported. Although he had a relatively lonely race, Richard Williams (IN2RACING) was a strong fourth to maintain his title challenge. He also earned the ‘driver of the weekend' award for two more excellent performances. "I got it off the line OK this time and I'm really pleased with the weekend."
 
Another driver with reason to celebrate was Quaife (Motorbase Performance) after completing a pro-am double. However, mid-race he came under pressure from Sam Edwards (Team Parker Racing) and had to up his pace to retain his lead. "I saw his lights in my mirror so I had to push again," said Quaife after chalking up his fourth pro-am win on the trot.
 
Edwards, meanwhile, was lucky even to finish after getting caught up in a clash off the startline. He was squeezed into the pit wall in an incident that launched Phil Hindley's Tech 9 car off the ground. Hindley was out along with Pete Osbourne (Team O) and Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING), but Edwards managed to keep going, even with two damaged wheels and his steering knocked out of line.
 
Up from a lowly grid position, Mark Cole (Tech 9 Motorsport) did well to battle through to seventh, while Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) took the final pro-am podium position and fended off Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing) for eighth in the process.