Donington Park 2008

Bridgman takes double Carrera Cup pole at Donington

Media release: 4 May 2008

Tim Bridgman took two pole positions at Donington Park today (Saturday 3 May) for rounds five and six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend.

In an incredibly competitive qualifying session, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) set the fastest lap ever at Donington for a 911GT3 Cup car when he lapped more than a second beneath the existing lap record. However, it took a second push from Bridgman to take pole back from his team mate Michael Caine in what proved to be a tremendous day for Team Parker Racing.

During an enthralling qualifying session, Bridgman set the early pace by twice breaking into the 1m8s bracket. "They were both good laps, but not perfect," said Bridgman. But then Caine threw down the gauntlet with a lap in 1m08.788s to take pole. That sent Bridgman back onto the track and he set a stunning best of 1m08.540s to make sure of pole for round five, while his second best lap earned him pole for round six.

"I was smiling in the car because I thought 1m8.7s would get it, but Tim's time is amazing," said Caine. "Team Parker Racing has done a fantastic job." To complete a near perfect day for the team, Charles Bateman turned in the performance of his career to date to be fourth for round five and then third fastest for round six, ensuring a TPR one-two-three on the grid for round six on Sunday afternoon.

"That's definitely good progress," said Bateman, and his pace drew praise from team boss Stuart Parker. "The performance of the day is from Charles; I'm absolutely over the moon for the team to get a one-two-three for round six," said Parker.

Splitting the TPR cars in third on the grid for round five will be Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing). "The pace was unbelievable; I was pleased with an 8.8s," said Harvey. Close behind Harvey for round five was Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) and their positions are reversed on the grid for round six. Also showing well was Callum MacLeod (PCGB), who claimed sixth and seventh grid positions as he continued to learn about the 911GT3 Cup car.

Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) took seventh and sixth places, having lapped within seven-tenths of a second of Bridgman's pole times, and he headed pro-am1 pacesetter Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing). Even though he broke the 1m10s barrier, Rice believed that a better lap had been possible. "I should have gone better, but I had to pass a car at McLeans on my best lap," he said.

Leading the chase of Rice in pro-am1 was Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing), while Nick Whale (Team RPM) was also showing strong pace to be third in pro-am1 ahead of his Carrera Cup debut. In pro-am2, John Quartermaine (PCGB) continued to up his pace, but admitted to a couple of spins during the half-hour session.

Brewster (Celtic Speed) shared second and third places. “I flat spotted a front tyre on the first set and then spun on the second set,” said Webster. “I decided to go into the pits and save some tyres for the races.”

Bridgman takes Carrera Cup victory at Donington

Media release: 4 May 2008

Tim Bridgman completed a hat-trick of victories at Donington Park today (Sunday 4 May) in round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. With a faultless performance for Team Parker Racing, Bridgman made it three wins from three races as Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) headed the pursuit. Nigel Rice claimed pro-am1 spoils for Red Line Racing.
 
Starting from pole position, Bridgman led the pack into Redgate as Harvey edged ahead of Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing). "When I hooked second off the line, there was a big bang and I thought second gear had gone; that's when Tim got me," said Caine.
 
Up front, Bridgman set about building his advantage. "I got an okay start and managed to pull a gap. Then I just pushed hard for the whole race," said Bridgman. "The hat-trick of wins is great, but we're just taking each race as it comes." Harvey never stopped chasing, and was able to ease clear of Caine. By setting fastest lap, Harvey also ensured that he took over the championship lead from Caine.
 
"It was a case of job done," said Harvey. "I'm very happy with that race." With no apparent gearbox problem, Caine ran a strong third and brought the gap to Harvey back down to 1.5s at the flag. "I started taking a bit of time off Tim towards the end, but I'm sure he was backing off," said Caine.
 
Fourth belonged to Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) and at one stage he was shadowing Caine for third. But as the race developed, Hancock dropped away and slipped into the clutches of Callum McLeod (PCGB). Into the final lap there were nose-to-tail, but Hancock held on to secure fourth. "We've still got some work to do; it's just little bits everywhere," said Hancock. MacLeod drove a strong race to work through to fifth as his experience of the 911GT3 Cup car grew lap by lap.
 
Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) took sixth, but had to battle ahead of pro-am1 leader Rice, who ran as high as sixth place overall after a rocket start. "It's really good fun just driving the car," said Rice after settling into seventh place and a commanding pro-am1 lead. Out of contention after running fifth on the opening lap went Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) after picking up a rear puncture in the opening stages.
 
Behind Rice in pro-am1, Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) had to push hard in the early laps to fend off Nick Whale (Team RPM). However, as the race developed, the gap grew to a few seconds. "It took a couple of laps to get heat into the tyres in the early laps," said Gilham.

Bridgman takes Carrera Cup thriller at Donington

Media release: 4 May 2008

Tim Bridgman scored his fourth victory in a row in a thrilling sixth round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday 4 May). In tricky weather conditions, six cars put on a fabulous contest in front of a big crowd and live TV cameras and it was Phil Quaife who battled through to take the flag first from Tim Bridgman and Michael Caine, while Nigel Rice completed a double victory in pro-am1. However, Quaife was later penalised for passing under a yellow flag and dropped to third in the amended results.

With rain threatening, tyre choice was an issue before the race but all except John Quartermaine (PCGB) went to the grid on slicks. There was an early safety car period after a first corner brush sent Nick Whale (Team RPM) into the gravel at Redgate.

As the cars completed the opening lap, just before reaching the safety car, the top four were incredibly close after Bridgman ran wide at the chicane and delayed Caine as Quaife and Charles Bateman dived up alongside. The clerk of the course later ruled that Quaife had passed under a yellow flag, and the resulting penalty would change the results. As the cars toured behind the safety car, more rain fell and conditions were incredibly difficult over the opening laps of the restart.

From the green flag, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) led, but the track was very slippery and drivers were struggling for grip at every corner. It made for a fantastic spectacle as the top six cars ran nose-to-tail for lap after lap, rapidly increasing their pace as the track started to dry once more.

It was Quaife (Jota Sport) who took the fight to Bridgman, but right behind were Caine (Team Parker Racing) and Sam Hancock (Jota Sport), while Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) and Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) completed the tightly packed top six.

The critical moment came under braking for the chicane on lap 12 when Quaife pulled off an audacious passing move on Bridgman. "I did a pretty crazy move on Bridgman into the chicane and I only just made the corner," said Quaife. "I thought there was no way he would make the corner," said Bridgman. However, Quaife found enough grip to get his car slowed down and through the corner, now ahead as Bridgman, Caine, Bateman, Harvey and Hancock chased.

The six cars still ran nose-to-tail and produced a superb spectacle, but up front Quaife held on with a fine performance to take the flag ahead of Bridgman and Caine. "Phil drove a great race and was prepared to take the risks; I was pushing all the time," said Bridgman, who later discovered that he had taken over as race winner. Caine chased them home. "I'd got the championship to think about," said Caine, who moved to second ahead of Quaife in the amended result.

Bateman drove a superb race to claim fourth from Hancock and Harvey, as less than three seconds covered six cars at the end of half an hour of flat out racing. Rice had a straightforward run to pro-am1 victory and seventh overall after Callum MacLeod (PCGB) retired after making a change to wet tyres when the track was at it's worst. Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) headed the chase of Rice in pro-am1.

Bateman clinched the 'driver of the weekend' award for his outstanding pace, while Jota Sport was confirmed as 'team of the weekend'.