Croft 2007

Sutton takes Carrera Cup pole at Croft

Media release: 2 June 2007

James Sutton set a stunning time to take pole position for round seven of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB during qualifying at Croft today (Saturday 2 June). With the fastest ever Carrera Cup lap of Croft, Sutton headed by Steven Kane and Tim Harvey in the battle for pole.

"The car was mega," said Sutton (Red Line Racing). "The track looked dusty to start with, so I wanted to set a time on my second set of tyres once the track had cleaned up. We bolted the new set on and it was running on rails."

Having set the pace in testing on Friday, Kane (Motorbase Performance) took second fastest, but felt he could have gone quicker. "We changed the car for qualifying and the changes made it more difficult to drive. There's more time to come from the car and it will be good for the race," he promised.

Harvey, too, felt that he could have found more time. "James has done a stunning time," he confirmed of his Red Line Racing team mate. "But I think we could have got there. I hit traffic on my second run and was going for another lap when the flag came out," said Harvey, who goes into the first race with a two-point championship lead over Kane.

Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) led the chase of the top three and was three-tenths of a second adrift of Harvey. "The car had a good balance and I'm much more in the window where I need to be," said Hancock, despite a high-speed spin at Barcroft mid-session.

Fifth was a disappointed Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing). "That was hard work and I'm a second off pole," said Caine, who was only just clear of pro-am leader Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing). "I'd hoped to be further up overall," said Rice after setting some storming times in testing. However, he ended the session with slight damage to the front of his car. "I had the tyres on the way out of the chicane," he explained.

Rice was still nearly a second clear of his rivals in the pro-am category and it took a late run on his only set of new tyres to elevate Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) to second in the category. "The car was good; much better on new tyres," reported Britnell. Continuing his excellent progress was Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing), who was only a fifth of a second slower than Britnell, while Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing) was also well in touch with the pro-am front-runners. Chasing Willmott's time were Pete Osborne (Team O) and Peter Morris (Porsche Motorsport).

Sutton takes Carrera Cup win at Croft

Media release: 2 June 2007

James Sutton drove a faultless race to win round seven of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft today (Saturday 2 June). While Steven Kane and Tim Harvey battled for second place, Sutton swept clear from the start to score his first race victory in the championship. Meanwhile, Nigel Rice again topped the pro-am category.

Sutton (Red Line Racing) got an excellent start to convert pole position into the lead at the first corner. Harvey wanted to slot in behind his teammate into the corner from third on the grid, but was beaten to Clervaux by Kane (Motorbase Performance). "I've made good starts all season and when I really needed it today, I didn't do it," said Harvey.

While Sutton got his head down and rattled off a series of fast laps to gradually extend his lead to more than a second, Kane was busy fending off the challenge of Harvey. For most of the race, there was very little between the two cars as Harvey looked for an opportunity. "There was nowhere I could get past without Steven making a mistake," said Harvey. But he maintained a relentless pressure, nonetheless. "It was a struggle to keep Tim behind," admitted Kane, who had to concentrate on holding second place rather than chasing Sutton.

Meanwhile, Sutton drove superbly to score an emphatic victory. "That's just the way I wanted to win it, and for once it all went to plan. It did help me out that Steven was under pressure from Tim," said Sutton.

Behind the top three, Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) had to fight back ahead of Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) to reclaim fourth, and mid-race Hancock was nearly able to tag on to the Kane/Harvey battle, but the gap never quite came down enough for it to become a three-way contest. Caine was a lonely fifth, while Rice won the pro -am category as Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) chased.

"I got a mega start; it went like a bullet," said Britnell, who was nearly up alongside Rice on the rush to the first corner. However, as Rice moved to the right to avoid another car, Britnell had to back off. "I had to come out of it. I think if I could have got Nigel then, I could have stayed there." As it was, Rice built an advantage in the opening laps and was able to stay clear for his sixth pro-am win in seven races. "That was pretty straightforward," said Rice.

Pete Osborne (Team O) made a mighty start to set him on the way to third in pro-am and his progress was aided when Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) spun at the chicane on the second lap. He later worked back to fourth in pro-am, finishing ahead of Peter Morris (Porsche Motorsport) and Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing).

Sutton takes Carrera Cup double at Croft

Media release: 3 June 2007

James Sutton completed a perfect weekend with another victory in round eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft today (Sunday 3 June). Sutton led from the start as his rivals battled and it was Steven Kane and Sam Hancock who ultimately completed the podium, while Nigel Rice won the pro-am category for the seventh time in eight races.

Starting from pole position, Sutton (Red Line Racing) again led the pack into the first corner and then drove a textbook race to win by just over two seconds. Although Kane (Motorbase Performance) never stopped chasing, he was eventually forced to settle for second place and his result was enough to take Kane into the lead of the championship.

"That's exactly what we wanted to do," said Sutton. "This result has come slightly earlier than I thought it might and it's a turning point for my confidence. I'm enjoying it a lot!" Sutton's dominance of both races also earned him the 'RAC driver of the weekend' award. Meanwhile, Red Line Racing earned the 'RAC team of the weekend' award for a tremendous team effort.

Kane was pleased to take over the championship lead from Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) on his first visit to Croft for three years and his first races in a Porsche at the Yorkshire track. "To get two second places and come out with the championship lead is all we could have hoped for," said Kane.

While Sutton and Kane edged clear of the pack, much of the excitement centred on the battle for third place. Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) made a fantastic start and briefly held second, but then settled in to third place with Harvey right on his tail. Meanwhile, Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) was charging up the field from the back of the grid. Having badly damaged one set of tyres with a high speed spin in qualifying, Hancock elected to take a new set of tyres for the second race and start from the back of the grid as allowed under championship regulations.

By mid-race it was a three-car train, but Harvey was struggling with damaged steering after clipping the tyres at the chicane. Into Tower for the eleventh time, Harvey dived up alongside Caine and the cars touched. Caine spun and Harvey continued, but now had Hancock pressing hard. Two laps later, Hancock managed to battle ahead of Harvey at Tower and make certain of his first visit to the Carrera Cup podium. "Tim's a really tough racer," said Hancock. "I just want to thank the team at Motorbase for their support," he added.

Rice also got ahead of Caine, but then had to fend him off over the final laps to take fifth overall and pro-am victory. "I thought if I could keep him between me and Andy Britnell I'd get another point," said Rice. Caine, meanwhile, was pleased to have found better pace for the second race. "The car was better; we found a problem after the first race," explained Caine.

Britnell took second in pro-am and was never far away from Rice, while Pete Osborne (Team O) fended off Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) and Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing) for third in pro-am.