Donington Park 2007

Sutton takes Carrera Cup pole at Donington

Media release: 14 July 2007

James Sutton took pole position for round eleven of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Saturday 14 July) in a hard-fought qualifying session. Tim Harvey was only 15-hundredths of a second slower than his team mate, while Nigel headed the pro-am category where just a fifth of a second covered the top four drivers.
Sutton set the pace with one of the fastest Carrera Cup laps ever recorded at Donington. He posted a best of 1m08.921s, over half a second inside the existing lap record. "I thought I'd had the best out of my tyres on the previous lap,' said Sutton. "That was the lap I relaxed and it proved to be quicker.'
Harvey will share the head of the grid with his Red Line Racing team mate after a strong run in qualifying. "The car felt very good and I'm happy with the front row of the grid," said Harvey, who lapped a tenth of a second faster than championship leader Steven Kane (Motorbase Performance). Kane elected to join the session after the first five minutes were over in a bid to find some clear track. But he slid wide through the gravel at Coppice and had to pit rather than stay out chasing a better lap. "I think I missed the best of the track," said Kane, even though he was only a quarter of a second away from Sutton's pole time.
Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) was fourth fastest, but also thought he had been in with a shot of pole. "I really felt we could have been on pole today, but the balance of the car wasn't as good as in testing on Thursday," said Hancock.
Oliver Jarvis, in the Porsche Motorsport guest car, and Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) completed a top six of great quality, while Jon Barnes (Team Parker Racing) was seventh on his return to the championship. "We've found another seven-tenths, so I hope to go forward from here in the race,' said Barnes.
The battle for pro-am pole was one of the toughest of the season and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) had provisional pole until a late charge from Rice (Red Line Racing) took him back to the top of the category. "I wanted to be in the 1m9s," said Bateman, who continues to make excellent progress in his debut Carrera Cup season.
Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) was third fastest. "It'll be very close in the races," said Britnell. "I did a couple of laps in 1m10.2s, so I'm happy with that." Fourth fastest in pro-am, just behind series debutant David Epton (Team Parker Racing), was Colin Willmott (TWC/Willmott Racing). "It's going well, but now I'm frustrated to be two-tenths off the pro-am pole," said Willmott, another driver to be making excellent progress as the season develops.

Sutton takes Carrera Cup win at Donington

Media release: 14 July 2007

James Sutton scored a fine victory in round eleven of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Saturday 14 July). Sutton coped with pressure from Tim Harvey and Steven Kane to take his third win of the season. Meanwhile, a great battle in the pro-am category heralded the first category win for Charles Bateman.
Sutton (Red Line Racing) got away best to fend off team mate Harvey into Redgate and with Kane and his Motorbase Performance team mate Sam Hancock going after them, the four-car lead pack soon broke clear of the rest.
"It was just a matter of getting into a rhythm," said Sutton, who had to soak up pressure from Harvey. But with Kane running a close third, Harvey had to watch his mirrors as well. Out on the opening lap with a gearbox problem went Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) and so it was Jon Barnes (Team Parker Racing) who led the chase of the leading quartet.
Gradually, as Kane mounted the pressure on Harvey, Sutton was able to edge away a little and into the later stages Harvey knew he was in tyre trouble. Finally, into Redgate on lap 20, Harvey slid wide and Kane nipped through. Hancock was then able to grab third from Harvey at the Old Hairpin. "I was driving defensively and just ran out of grip," explained Harvey.
Kane set off in pursuit of Sutton, but with only three laps to run, Sutton was comfortably clear and reeled off the remaining laps for a superb victory. "The car just felt mega for the whole race," said Sutton. "It's a pity I didn't get past Tim earlier," said Sutton, feeling that he could have challenged Sutton given more laps. Meanwhile, Hancock, despite tyre concerns of his own, clinched third. Hancock then dedicated his podium to seven-year old leukaemia patient Billy Frampton, the winner of a competition run by the Starlight Foundation to design a livery for Hancock's Porsche.
As Harvey struggled home, Barnes almost caught him on the line, while sixth overall and pro-am victory went to Bateman (Team Parker Racing) after a great drive. He had to fight ahead of guest racer Oliver Jarvis (Porsche Motorsport) and then cope with constant pressure from Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) before scoring his first win. "It's been a while coming," said Bateman. "I never let up for a second the whole way through," said Rice. Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) completed the pro-am podium ahead of Pete Osborne (Team O).
Jarvis finished eighth in the guest car, while out after a clash with Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing) went David Epton (Team Parker Racing), who spun into the gravel at McLeans. Willmott continued to take eleventh behind Maxi Jazz (Red Line Racing), having made a pit stop to change a punctured tyre.

Sutton completes Carrera Cup double at Donington

Media release: 15 July 2007

James Sutton completed a superb weekend double win in an action packed round twelve of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday 15 July).
While Sutton fended off a fierce race-long challenge from Steven Kane, there were battles and drama throughout the field and it was Michael Caine who drove a storming race to take third, while Nigel Rice bagged another pro-am victory to extend his championship lead in the category.
Following earlier rain, the track was sufficiently dry for everyone to start on slicks, although there were still damp patches away from the racing line. Sutton (Red Line Racing) just beat Kane (Motorbase Performance) into Redgate, as Jon Barnes (Team Parker Racing) shot into third with a brilliant start. Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) dived ahead of Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) to grab fourth at the end of the lap. Already out was Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing), after sliding off at high speed at Starkey's Bridge.
After several laps behind the safety car while Bateman's damaged car was moved, racing resumed with Sutton again taking control from Kane. Under pressure from Hancock, Barnes spun at the chicane on lap six and now Hancock and Harvey joined in a fierce contest that would rage until the final lap. As Harvey attacked into the Old Hairpin, the cars touched and Harvey ended his race in the gravel while Hancock limped to the finish in seventh place with a puncture.
At the head of the race, Kane challenged Sutton hard over the second half of the race and the gap was seldom more than a few car's lengths. But Sutton drove a fine race to fend off his rival by less than half a second at the flag. "That was a perfect race," said Sutton. "But there was no time when I could rest." Kane, meanwhile, had never stopped chasing. "The car was brilliant and I tried to make a couple of moves."
With Harvey out and Hancock limping to the flag, Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) swept through to an amazing third place after starting at the back of the grid. "It's been an emotional weekend, but that's where the car should be," said Caine. "Hancock and Harvey were both driving incredibly hard and I was just glad to see them both exit," said Caine, having caught the battle for third in the closing stages. Caine's performance earned him the 'RAC driver of the weekend' award, while Team Parker Racing were announced as 'RAC team of the weekend' after fielding four cars for the first time this season.
Through to fourth overall came Rice (Red Line Racing) to win the pro-am category. Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) and Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing) had chased Rice hard over the first half of the race. But out of the chicane on lap 18, Britnell and Willmott touched and while Britnell slithered into the barriers, Willmott spun like a top down the pits straight. "I lost count at four times," said Willmott, who missed the barriers and continued to take third in pro-am behind Pete Osborne (Team O). Ahead of them in fifth overall was Oliver Jarvis (Porsche Motorsport), while Barnes recovered to take ninth and Maxi Jazz (Red Line Racing) finished tenth.