Oulton Park 2007

Kane takes Carrera Cup pole at Oulton Park

Media release: 23 June 2007

Steven Kane claimed pole position for round nine of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Saturday 23 June) in a qualifying session run in ever improving weather conditions.
 
A shower of rain just before qualifying left the track wet, but it dried quickly and, as the times tumbled, Kane (Motorbase Performance) clinched pole as a third of a second covered the top four cars. A great performance from Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) earned him a first pro-am pole and sixth fastest overall.
 
Only four cars started qualifying on wet tyres, but the session was red flagged after two laps when Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) slid into the gravel at Lodge Corner. "It was the first time I was on a hot lap," admitted Rice, who will start the opening race at the back of the grid as a result.
 
When the session restarted, everyone had changed to slicks and it was Kane and James Sutton (Red Line Racing) who headed the times for most of the remaining 15 minutes, with Kane setting pole as the top four drivers all lapped underneath the existing lap record. "We just had the car right and I could feel that the grip was there. Every lap was getting faster," said Kane.
 
Despite damage to the front splitter after another car dislodged the tyres at the Knickerbrook chicane, Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) turned in a strong qualifying performance to take second on the grid. "I thought we might struggle in the dry, but that was a good session," said Caine. Right behind came Red Line Racing team mates Sutton and Harvey. "That was a bit frantic," said Sutton. "I was surprised how much grip there was." Harvey was also right in the leading times. "It's all very close. Within two laps of the restart it was dry," he added.
 
Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) was fifth fastest, while Bateman completed the top six to head the pro-am category for the first time. "I'm pleased with that; it shows we're quick in the dry as well as in the wet," said Bateman after his best qualifying performance to date in Carrera Cup GB. Close behind was Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance). "My team manager David Bartrum said I'd got to find four-tenths, so I found seven-tenths and it wasn't enough," joked Britnell.
 
Driving the Porsche Motorsport entry for the first time in the dry, Nathan Freke was eighth fastest and reckoned that traffic over the final two laps of the session cost him the chance of improving. Pete Osborne (Team O) and Colin Willmott (TWC/Willmott Racing) rounded out the top 10 times.

Kane takes Carrera Cup win at Oulton Park

Media release: 23 June 2007

Steven Kane won round nine of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Saturday 23 June) in a race where the top four drivers were covered by less than two and a half seconds after 25 minutes of racing. Kane had to race hard for lap after lap as Michael Caine, James Sutton and Tim Harvey chased relentlessly. Meanwhile, Andy Britnell scored a fine pro-am victory after fending off a stern challenge from Charles Bateman.
 
On a dry track, Kane (Motorbase Performance) and Caine (Team Parker Racing) went side by side into the first corner and with Kane on the inside, he was just able to edge ahead. With Sutton and Harvey slotting into third and fourth places for Red Line Racing, the leading quartet made a superb sight as the cars raced nose to tail around the parkland track. Initially Kane made a small gap, but he was soon reeled in again and there was nothing to choose between the four cars for the second half of the race.
 
"My car started to go off a bit and the cars of the guys behind seemed to get better," said Kane. "Then I was struggling on the brakes," he added, having defended his lead from Caine to take an important victory for his title challenge. "I just need to keep on doing that!"
 
Caine had his strongest race of the season to date and finished just seven-tenths of a second behind Kane. "Steven made a mistake into the hairpin and locked up, but so did I, and I looked in my mirror and James was locked up as well! Team Parker Racing has done a fantastic job with the car," said Caine. Sutton and Harvey were always in the wheel tracks of the two leaders. "It was nose-to-tail the entire time; we all had the same pace," said Sutton. "I enjoyed the race, but I'm disappointed with the result," said Harvey.
 
Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) was never far away from the four leaders in fifth place, while Nathan Freke took an excellent sixth in his debut race in the Porsche Motorsport entry. He had to find a way ahead of Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) early on and, with a handy advantage in the pro-am category, Britnell didn't want to fight too much with Freke.
 
"There was no point in racing with him, but I kept him behind as long as I could before I let him through," said Britnell, who then had to concentrate on the growing challenge of Bateman (Team Parker Racing). "Charles really came at me a couple of times," said Britnell. However, on the penultimate lap, Bateman spun at the hairpin. "I was trying to line Andy up to go down the inside of him," explained Bateman, who recovered to retain second place before Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) arrived in third. After starting at the back of the grid after a spin in qualifying, Rice quickly battled through to third in pro-am but could not make any further in-roads into the lead of Britnell and Bateman.

Kane takes Carrera Cup double at Oulton Park

Media release: 24 June 2007

Steven Kane completed a weekend double when he won round ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Sunday 24 June) to extend his championship lead to 16 points at the halfway stage of the season.
 
However, a tremendous race in front of a massive crowd looked set to deliver the first Carrera Cup win for Michael Caine until he spun two laps from home and handed victory to Kane. In the pro-am category, Andy Britnell also made it two wins at Oulton Park despite constant pressure from Charles Bateman in a thrilling battle.
 
Caine (Team Parker Racing) got a superb start to beat Kane (Motorbase Performance) into the first corner. "He got a brilliant start and I bogged down," said Kane, as Red Line Racing team mates James Sutton and Tim Harvey slotted into third and fourth on what had quickly become a dry track. For lap after lap, Caine drove superbly to fend off the championship leader, but from early in the race, Caine knew he had a problem under braking. "From lap two it was locking the rears. I wound all the brake bias to the front and it was still locking the rears," explained Caine.
 
Finally, into Knickerbrook for the penultimate time, the leading car slithered across the grass and spun. "I braked in exactly the same place," said Caine. "There was a big bump in the grass and it was so wet that it turned me round." Utterly dejected at the loss of what would have been his first Carrera Cup win, Caine rejoined in fourth behind Caine, Sutton and Harvey.
 
"That was a real surprise," said Kane of his win. "Michael has driven very well all weekend." The result pushes Kane further clear in the points with 10 of the season's 20 races complete. Sutton and Harvey took second and third, having run well in touch with Caine and Kane for most of the race, with Harvey constantly shadowing his younger team mate. "Tim's always there; he's the most consistent driver I've ever raced against," said Sutton.
 
Nathan Freke (Porsche Motorsport) grabbed fifth from Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) on the opening lap and fended off his rival until Hancock dived back ahead under braking for Old Hall Corner on lap seven.
 
One of the best contests of the race was for the pro-am lead and seventh place overall as Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) had to fight off a mighty challenge from Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing). Seldom were the cars more than a few yards apart, but Britnell managed to defend all the way to the flag for a great victory. "What a scrap! It was a mega race and I just could not get away from Charles," said Britnell. "Brilliant!" added Bateman. "That was the hardest race and he would just not let me through."
 
For his best weekend to date in the Carrera Cup, Bateman was named as 'RAC driver of the weekend', while Team Parker Racing won the 'RAC team of the weekend' award for an excellent team performance.
 
Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) chased Britnell and Bateman but had to settle for third in pro-am, while Colin Willmott (Willmott Racing) was a strong fourth in pro-am.