Brands Hatch (GP) 2007

Sutton takes Carrera Cup pole at Brands

Media release: 18 August 2007

James Sutton claimed pole position for round 15 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 18 August), in a session where the top 10 drivers were covered by eight-tenths of a second.
 
At the head of the grid the times were incredibly close, with just over a quarter of a second covering the top six drivers as Sutton (Red Line Racing) bagged pole by a tenth of a second. "The car felt mega. We changed the car a bit after testing and I knew I could improve on the second set of tyres in qualifying. It felt really good," said Sutton.
 
For much of the session, Steven Kane (Motorbase Performance) headed the times. However, a mid-session trip through the gravel at Paddock Hill bend interrupted his running and, though he later rejoined, he was not able to improve on his time. "I think the track changed a bit from yesterday," said Kane. "I got oversteer and couldn't get Paddock the way I wanted to. But P2 here isn't a bad deal."
 
Right behind Kane on times was Jon Barnes (Team Parker Racing), with a best lap only 15-hundreths of a second away from pole, while Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) almost matched Barnes's time. "Almost perfect," said Harvey. "It's really close and I just couldn't find another tenth out there."
 
"I'm so frustrated," admitted Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance), after slipping to fifth. He had been second fastest for much of the session, but was frustrated to have been edged down to fifth in the late stages of qualifying. Hancock was very closely pursued by Oliver Turvey in the Porsche Motorsport entry. "I learnt a lot about new tyres in that session and I got more out of them. To be two-tenths off pole is not too bad, and I still think I can finish on the podium," said Turvey as he continues his impressive Carrera Cup debut.
 
Disappointed to be seventh, and half a second away from the pace was Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing). "There is something fundamentally not right with the car," said Caine. "That's my worst Carrera Cup qualifying," he said as the team started work to try and identify the handling problem.
 
The top three drivers in the pro-am category were close behind Caine and covered by a quarter of a second as Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) all lapped within eight-tenths of the overall pole time of Sutton. Meanwhile, Pete Osborne (Team O), Steve Clark (Team RPM) and Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing) packed out the top six pro-am places.

Sutton takes Carrera Cup win at Brands

Media release: 18 August 2007

James Sutton won an action packed round 15 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 18 August), as battles raged all down the field. Jon Barnes scored his best result to date with second, despite fierce pressure from Tim Harvey, while Andy Britnell narrowly won the pro-am category as Nigel Rice challenged.
 
As rain threatened, Sutton (Red Line Racing) got a great start from pole to lead the pack into Paddock Hill Bend as Barnes (Team Parker Racing) went side by side with Steven Kane (Motorbase Performance). They ran neck and neck all the way to Druids, where Barnes edged ahead as Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) and Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) soon made up a five-car lead pack. A few yards back, Oliver Turvey (Porsche Motorsport) grabbed sixth from Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing).
 
"I got a good start and tucked in behind James. I was right with him until the first shower started, and I was a little bit nervous about driving the car in the damp on slicks for the first time, which let James get away," said Barnes.
 
Little by little, Sutton was able to extend his lead as Barnes came under pressure from Kane. But Hancock was also on a charge and dived past Harvey into Paddock to grab fourth. Six laps later, Hancock made the same move on Kane, but the cars touched wheels and, with a rear tyre pulled off the rim, Hancock spun into the gravel. Meanwhile, Kane was delayed and Harvey dived through to third. A long yellow flag period at Paddock followed as marshals worked to move Hancock's car.
 
With light rain falling, Sutton had to drive a very controlled race, but extended his lead to over two seconds for a fine victory. "These little sprinkles of rain looked like tropical rainstorms from inside the car! I just had to get my head down," said Sutton. "Fortunately I got a bit of a gap and I could manage myself from then on."
 
However, things were far from settled in the battle for second and Harvey mounted a mighty challenge on Barnes over the closing laps. "Towards the end I could see that Tim was on a charge," said Barnes. "The last six laps I just sat in the middle of the track. That's a really good result."
 
Harvey, meanwhile, tried all ways to depose Barnes, but never found a gap. "There was absolutely nothing I could do. Even if I got a run out of Clearways, there were yellow flags at Paddock. I needed him to make a little mistake," said Harvey. Kane struggled over the second half of the race, but still claimed important points in fourth, as Caine moved ahead of Turvey after a clash at Clearways and they both moved in on Kane in the closing stages.
 
In pro-am, Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) was out on the opening lap after contact sent him through the gravel at Paddock, and it was Britnell who led as Pete Osborne (Team O) slotted into second from Rice (Red Line Racing). It took Rice a while to find a way around the flying Osborne and he then mounted a race-long pressure on Britnell. But the local racer drove a great race to take pro-am spoils by a fifth of a second. "That was frantic," said Britnell. "Nigel drove a terrific race, but the team had given me a great car."

Sutton takes Carrera Cup double at Brands

Media release: 19 August 2007

James Sutton won round 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 19 August), and in the process slashed the championship lead of Steven Kane to just four points with four races to run.
 
On a virtually dry track, the drama started at the first corner. While Sutton (Red Line Racing) and Jon Barnes (Team Parker Racing) went side by side through Paddock Hill Bend, in the battle for third place there was contact between Steven Kane (Motorbase Performance) and Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing). Kane's car spun and Harvey went through the gravel, losing its front splitter in the process. Kane then had to make a pit stop for a tyre change and rejoined a lap down, while Harvey dropped to the tail of the field.
 
Up front, Sutton finally squeezed clear of Barnes on the exit of Druids to take the lead as Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) and Oliver Turvey (Porsche Motorsport) took third and fourth.
 
That was how the leading quartet stayed, but the lead gap was seldom more than a second as Barnes gave a dogged chase of Sutton. "I thought I'd got a bit of a break and then he caught me again," said Sutton. "The first lap after the safety car went in my car was all over the place," said Barnes after an early caution period when Maxi Jazz (Red Line Racing) spun into the gravel at Paddock. "But over the last third of the race it was really good," he added, after the gap came down again in the final laps.
 
Caine was only a second adrift in third, but had Turvey as a constant shadow. "It's tough, but I was pleased to go with the guys at the front," said Turvey after an impressive weekend. "I'd love to come back!"
 
Through from the back of the grid into a fine fifth came Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) and he was closing on the cars ahead in the second half of the race. But before he got to fifth, he had to battle ahead of the pro-am leaders, Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) and Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing). "If I'd been able to get through to fifth sooner, I think I could have tagged on to the guys in front," said Hancock.
 
The battle for pro-am was an absorbing contest as Britnell drove a mighty race to soak up relentless pressure from Rice to score his second pro-am win of the weekend. "That was a great race," said Britnell. "Nigel's a formidable competitor and it was really good to do it here in front of a lot of guests." Rice was right on Britnell's tail at the flag and also had to contend with the recovering Harvey. But having battled ahead of Rice at Paddock, Harvey slid wide at Druids and lost the place back again as he battled with major understeer, the legacy of losing the front splitter on the opening lap.
 
Pete Osborne (Team O) claimed the third podium place in pro-am, but was under pressure at the flag from Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing), who had driven well from the back of the grid. Kane was classified 12th and saw what started the weekend as a 28-point championship lead over Sutton reduced to just four points.