Brands Hatch (Indy) 2008

Bridgman takes double Carrera Cup pole at Brands

Media release: 20 September 2008

Tim Bridgman was the star of qualifying at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 20 September 2008) when he took pole position for both of the final two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Title leader Tim Harvey will start second on the grid for both races, while his championship rival Michael Caine will start from fourth and third on the pair of grids as the season-long title contest heads towards a conclusion.

In the pro-am1 category Nigel Rice took the advantage with eighth and seventh fastest overall times while Michael Leonard headed pro-am2 for both races after a stirring performance.

Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) went straight out at the start of the session and bagged two laps very close to the 47s mark to make certain of a double pole. Both laps were a quarter of a second clear of the rest of the field and Bridgman was then able to preserve his second set of tyres for the races. "The laps weren't perfect, but I'm just happy to get two poles," said Bridgman.

Second on both grids will be Harvey (Red Line Racing), which importantly puts him ahead of title rival Caine (Team Parker Racing) for both races. "The track was definitely quicker at the start of the session and I knew the window was very short," said Harvey. "I'm just taking the weekend one step at a time," he added.

Caine and Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) will share third and fourth slots on the two grids, while Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) will each have a fifth and a sixth place start on the two grids.

Heading the pro-am1 times for both races is Rice (Red Line Racing) and with his title rival Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) several places further back on both grids, Rice knows that he has a chance of grabbing the category title. "My second set of tyres were just coming in when the red flag came out towards the end of the session," said Rice. "But it's looking good so far."

In pro-am2, Leonard (RSS Performance) claimed a double category pole despite a high-speed spin at Surtees.  "I was on a faster lap when I spun; I've never driven at Brands Hatch before," said the Irishman after an impressive performance. But with a gaggle of very closely matched cars right behind him, including Ollie Jackson (PCGB), Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING) and Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex), the scene is set for some great battles in pro-am2.

Harvey takes Carrera Cup victory at Brands

Media release: 20 September 2008

Tim Harvey moved a step closer to the 2008 title when he won round 19 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 20 September 2008). His victory over title rival Michael Caine gives Harvey a 10-point championship lead heading into Sunday's final round.

In the pro-am1 category Nigel Rice bagged a fighting sixth place overall to further close the gap to Tony Gilham in the title contest and Michael Leonard topped the pro-am2 category after a hectic race.

There was disaster for poleman Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) as the grid assembled when a broken driveshaft put him out. Instead, Harvey (Red Line Racing) dived into the lead off the line as Caine (Team Parker Racing) grabbed second from Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) on the race to the first corner. Now Harvey faced 33 laps with his title rival filling his mirrors, and the gap ranged from around a second to just a few inches as they reeled off the laps, and started working through the slower traffic.

"I just got my head down and tried to win the race," said Harvey. But mid-race, a problem developed, highlighted by a warning light, and he began to lose engine revs over the closing stages. Meanwhile, Caine started preparing for a last lap attack, recognising that his best chance was under braking for Clearways. "The car had good pace, but Michael would have got past," said Harvey after the race. But, with seven laps to run, the race was red flagged when Ollie Jackson (PCGB) spun into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.

"The red flag helped me a lot," admitted Harvey. "It didn't happen and it's unfortunate," countered Caine. "But we're still here," he said of the title race. Hancock ran third all the way, but could not challenge the leading pair. "We made a massive change to the car, but the gap to the guys in front was the same," he said. Running right behind Hancock to the finish with an excellent drive was Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) after battling ahead of Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) early in the race.

Into a fighting sixth place, despite race-long pressure from Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) came Rice (Red Line Racing), with a performance that gives him a real shot of clinching the pro-am1 title in the final race. "We're only one or two points behind now," said Rice as his pro-am1 rival Gilham (ReDesign Racing) fought through to eighth overall and second in pro-am1.

In the pro-am2 category, Leonard (RSS Performance) had to work very hard for victory, having lost a lot of places when edged wide onto the grass at Druids as Gilham overtook. But with Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) and Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING) both spinning after contact at Clearways, Leonard was able to recover lost places to win the category from Geddie, Hogarth and Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance).

Harvey takes Carrera Cup title at Brands

Media release: 21 September 2008

Tim Harvey was crowned champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 21 September 2008) after finishing second to Tim Bridgman in final race of the season. In the pro-am1 category, Nigel Rice clinched the title at the expense of Tony Gilham as the season wrapped up in style in front of a huge crowd and live on ITV4.

"I've been very close to this title before," said Harvey (Red Line Racing). "I haven't enjoyed my racing as much in years; the cars are great and the competition is brilliant," said Harvey after seeing off the title challenge of Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing). Having finished championship runner-up three times in the previous four seasons, it was an emotional result for Harvey at the end of a tough season of racing.

Rice (Red Line Racing), meanwhile, retained the pro-am1 title in the final race after a fighting drive to seventh overall to finally overtake Gilham (ReDesign Racing) in the title contest. While Rice earned the 'driver of the weekend' award, Red Line Racing was announced as the 'team of the weekend'.

Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) was the dominant race winner, converting pole position into a lead that he held for every lap of the race. With Harvey running second, and content to drive a measured race knowing that title rival Caine was behind, Bridgman was untroubled, even when his five-second lead was lost as the safety car came out.

The safety car was needed after Michael Leonard (RSS Performance) spun at Clearways and the closely following Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) and Pippa Mann (Team Eurotech) could not avoid the spinning car. Gilham was very lucky to avoid Leonard and escaped the incident with a damaged door. But with three cars damaged, the safety car came out while the track was cleared.

From the restart, Bridgman swept clear once more and rebuilt his lead to over three seconds at the flag. "I wanted to dominate this race; I feel that I deserve more than I've had this season and I really wanted to prove it," said Bridgman after an emphatic victory.

Second place was more than enough for Harvey to be confirmed as champion, while Caine was third and an ever-present shadow for Harvey. "The pace of the car has been good and the support I've had from my sponsors has been tremendous," said Caine after a superb season.

Jota Sport drivers Sam Hancock and Phil Quaife were fourth and fifth, but Quaife had to battle back in front of Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) later in the race after a long tussle.

Rice raced hard to take the pro-am1 after a dogged chase of Gilham in the points' table and finally went narrowly ahead in the concluding race of the season. "I suppose I should concentrate a bit harder at the start of the season," joked Rice after having to claw back a major points' deficit. Gilham took second in pro-am1, while Ray MacDowell (Red Line Racing) joined them on the podium.

The incident that eliminated Leonard and Geddie left the pro-am2 category to Ollie Jackson (PCGB) after an excellent drive to fend off Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING) and Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance).