Croft 2008

Harvey takes double Carrera Cup pole at Croft

Media release: 30 May 2008

Tim Harvey claimed a double pole position with an exemplary performance in qualifying at Croft today (Saturday 31 May) ahead of rounds 9 and 10 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

In just three flying laps, Harvey (Red Line Racing) set the two fastest times of the qualifying session to secure pole position for both races. He was then able to sit out the balance of the qualifying session before running two laps later on to simply scrub in a second set of tyres ahead of the races. Harvey will now go into both races with his tyres in the best possible condition.

"It went perfectly," said Harvey. "I did two laps and was able to sit in the pits. It was getting hotter and hotter and so the track was probably getting slower as well," said Harvey after executing a perfect qualifying session.

Second for both races was Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing). "Tim's car has definitely got the set-up and we've got to find something," said Bridgman. "I think I could have matched that, but not twice."

Third fastest for round nine was Stefan Hodgetts (PCGB) after a strong run. "We're just getting faster each time we go out. I don't think they'll leave me in the race and I just want to follow them and learn," said Hodgetts. For round ten Hodgetts will start from fourth place, as Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) took third fastest. Hancock gambled on doing very few qualifying laps to preserve his tyres, but was edged back to fifth for round nine by his team mate Phil Quaife.

"It's a big risk, but I've got a brand new set of tyres for the first race," said Hancock of his qualifying strategy. Quaife took fourth and fifth places, finding the track a bit slower than in Friday testing as the ambient temperature rose markedly. "I just hope I can get off the line a bit better," said Quaife.

Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) couldn't repeat his testing form and was sixth fastest for both races, just ahead of team mate Charles Bateman. Very close to Bateman was Nigel Rice who topped the pro-am1 times for Red Line Racing. However, Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) was less than a second behind Rice for both races on his first experience of racing at Croft. "We've got the car somewhere near and I'm just learning the track," said Gilham.

Pro-am2 leader Glynn Geddie (PCGB) continued his excellent testing pace to post times in touch with Gilham and stay clear of his pro-am2 rivals Bob Lyons (Apex Tubulars) and Tommy Dreelan (Qserv), who both trimmed their lap times well in comparison to testing on Friday.

Bridgman takes Carrera Cup win at Croft

Media release: 31 May 2008

Tim Bridgman continued his fight back up the championship standings by winning round nine of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft today (Saturday 31 May). While Nigel Rice (pro-am1) and Glynn Geddie (pro-am2) took category victories, Bridgman's fifth win of the season took him to within 10 points of championship leader Michael Caine.

The order at the front of the pack was shuffled right from the start as poleman Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) made a poor start and dropped to third behind Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) and Stefan Hodgetts (PCGB). "The start; it didn't go," said Harvey, who slotted into third as the pack rushed into the first corner.

Up front, Bridgman knew that he had been gifted a big opportunity. "Once I got ahead at the start, I knew that 90% of my plan was done," he said. With Hodgetts between him and championship rival Harvey, Bridgman was able to control the pace as Harvey set about challenging Hodgetts.

With the cars so evenly matched, Hodgetts was able to defend his place, although Harvey mounted several attacks. "I had a couple of looks and I knew the move had to be something fairly committed," said Harvey, whose biggest move came at the Hairpin on lap six. As Hodgetts closed the door, the cars touched and Harvey suffered bent steering as a result. "After that, I couldn't risk another attempt to pass," admitted Harvey who ran home third.

"It's really hard to pass round Croft and I was just trying to hang on to Tim Bridgman," said Hodgetts. "I enjoyed the race." As the race developed, Bridgman built his lead to nearly two seconds, although lapping backmarkers later on reduced his lead and he was just under a second ahead at the flag.

Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) ran fourth throughout and was close to Harvey over the opening laps as the top four cars running nose-to-tail made an impressive spectacle. But as the race developed Hancock wasn't able to challenge Harvey and settled into a secure fourth as Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) ran fifth. "We just struggled like we did in qualifying; we're getting way too much heat in the tyres," said Caine.

Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) took sixth and seventh before pro-am1 winner Rice (Red Line Racing) finished eighth. However, Rice had to work hard for his victory after bogging down at the start and dropping behind Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing). Gilham stayed ahead until a quick spin at the Hairpin on lap three cost him the lead and delayed Rice enough to allow Geddie to get ahead.

Rice then battled back to pass Geddie, but the 17-year old from Aberdeen still made an impressive Carrera Cup debut as he took ninth overall and pro-am2 victory in the PCGB entry. "It's a lot different at this level," he said after a major learning experience. Bob Lyons (Apex Tubulars) and Tommy Dreelan (Qserv) completed the pro-am2 podium.

Hodgetts wins Carrera Cup thriller at Croft

Media release: 1 June 2008

Stefan Hodgetts scored a dramatic victory in an enthralling round ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft today (Sunday 1 June) as changing weather conditions made tyre choice a critical factor. Second place on the road to Hodgetts to take maximum points championship points was Michael Caine, while Tony Gilham won pro-am1 and hugely impressive newcomer Glynn Geddie won pro-am2.

With the track drying out after heavy rain earlier in the day, tyre choice was crucial as the field headed to the grid. Eventually, seven cars dived into the pits for slick tyres, while five others lined up on the grid to start on wets. "It was so obviously not wet," said poleman Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing), while others heading for the pits included Caine (Team Parker Racing), Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Hodgetts (PCGB). Meanwhile, Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) and Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) were the leading drivers to stay on wets.

Some rapid pit work by the PCGB crew had Hodgetts onto slicks first and to the end of the pit lane at the head of the queue of seven cars, joining the race after the other cars had gone by. Initially, Bridgman headed the race, but after two or three laps it was very clear that slicks was the right call as Hodgetts headed Caine, Harvey and Quaife in the slick-shod contest.

By lap five Hodgetts had caught Bridgman and swept ahead to take a lead he would retain all the way to the flag, scoring a hugely impressive victory on his first weekend of Carrera Cup experience. "I've never felt better," said an elated Hodgetts. "I'm just hoping the phone rings now. I really want to be in this championship; the cars are fantastic to drive," said Hodgetts.

While Bridgman was powerless to stop his slide down the order as his wet tyres struggled badly on the dry line, Caine had to work hard to fend off Harvey and take an extended points' lead into the six-week mid-season break. "It was the right call to come in for slicks," said Caine. "I don't think I'd have caught Stefan, but the race wasn't with him, it was in my mirrors," said Caine after fending off title rival Harvey.

Quaife was never far away from the Caine/Harvey battle to take fourth, while a superb fifth overall and pro-am2 winner was Geddie in the PCGB entry. Driving with a pace and style that belied his age and experience, the 17-year old was the revelation of the weekend. "It's been a brilliant weekend," said Geddie, who was almost caught on the line by Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing). Over the line the cars were side-by-side and Geddie was ahead by just a hundredth of a second.

Bridgman struggled home seventh, while Hancock took eighth having stopped mid-race to change to slicks. Gilham (ReDesign Racing) battled home on his wets to take pro-am1 victory after Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) went out with a damaged radiator after clipping the back of Bateman's car in the frenetic early laps.