Knockhill 2008

Hancock takes double Carrera Cup pole at Knockhill

Media release: 16 August 2008

Sam Hancock claimed a double pole position for rounds 15 and 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Saturday 16 August 2008). However, with less than a tenth of a second covering the top five drivers on the grid for round 15, the stage is set for two stunning races at the spectacular Scottish track.

In the pro-am1 category Tony Gilham turned in a mighty qualifying performance to top the times and VIP racer Rory Butcher continued his highly impressive debut to head the pro-am2 category times.

Hancock (Jota Sport) claimed pole for round 15 by just eight-thousandths of a second after a late burst from Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) took him through to second fastest. Hancock's next best lap was also good enough for pole for round 16. "We had a little bit of understeer that we improved overnight after testing and that's where the time came from," said Hancock. "We'll try and make the car better still for tomorrow's races."

Bridgman will start second on the grid for round 15, but only fifth best for round 16 after struggling to find a clear lap in qualifying. "I finally got a gap and went for it," said Bridgman. With a third and a second on the grid, championship leader Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) is right in the thick of the leading pack. "I thought I was on the front row for the opening race, so I parked it," said Caine, only to be pushed back to third as team mate Bridgman moved up late in the session.

Making it an excellent session for Jota Sport, Phil Quaife claimed fourth and third fastest time after the team's best qualifying session to date. "We made a few tweaks overnight and definitely went the right way," said Quaife. "I think we're in a good place for the race and I can go all out for a win," he added, aware that the drivers around him have scoring championship points as their main focus.

Less than nine-hundredths of a second away from pole meant fifth on the grid for round 15 for Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing). He then took fourth for round 16, while Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) was firmly in touch with sixth on the grid for both races.

Leading pro-am2 for both races will be Rory Butcher (PCGB) with a tremendous performance. "I'm really chuffed," said the local racer. "I got into the groove on my first set of tyres, but just overdrove a bit on the second set," he said. Right behind Butcher on both grids will be pro-am1 leader Gilham (ReDesign Racing) after his strongest qualifying performance to date, despite this being his first time racing at Knockhill. "I'm really pleased with that. This is the best that the car has been so far," he said.

Chasing after Gilham in both races will be his pro-am1 rival Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), while second fastest in pro-am2 for both races after an excellent session was Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance). Just outside the top 10 times were Pippa Mann (Team Eurotech) and Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex), although Geddie's session was cut short after a spin into the tyre wall.

Bridgman takes Carrera Cup win at Knockhill

Media release: 17 August 2008

Tim Bridgman pulled off a fine drive to claim victory in round 15 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 17 August 2008). In an action-packed race, Bridgman set the seal on his victory by beating Sam Hancock on the rush to the first corner.

In the pro-am1 category Nigel Rice had to race very hard to beat title rival Tony Gilham, while Rory Butcher drove a tremendous race in the PCGB entry to win the pro-am2 category and finish fifth overall.

Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) got the jump on poleman Hancock (Jota Sport) and was able to dive ahead as they braked for Seat Curve. "I knew if I got a good start I could keep the lead," said Bridgman, and his plan worked to perfection. Hancock could only slot into second place at the opening corner of the race. "It felt like quite a good start, but it obviously wasn't good enough. He had three-quarters of a length on me at the first corner," said Hancock.

With Bridgman and Hancock settled into the top two places, Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) ran third on the opening lap but was almost immediately in trouble with gearbox problems. The loss of second and fifth gear left him powerless to defend his pace and Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) both swept ahead over the opening lap.

Next to edge Caine back was his team mate Charles Bateman, but it all went wrong for Bateman when he missed his braking point into Seat Curve on lap ten. The hefty impact damaged the tyre wall and though Bateman was unharmed, there was a long safety car period while the car was moved and the tyre wall rebuilt.

From the restart, just four racing laps remained and Bridgman controlled the race to take a polished victory. "It was just a case of not making a mistake," said Bridgman. "I needed that one." Hancock was second, but frustrated not to have converted pole position into a race win. Making it two Jota Sport drivers on the podium was Quaife, who had raced hard to fend off a typically determined challenge from Harvey. "It's hard work to keep Tim behind, but I just stayed calm in the car," said Quaife.

Harvey was right on Quaife's tail at the flag, and set fastest lap in the process to pull back three points from Caine's championship lead. "Phil drove a very tight race where he needed to," said Harvey. Into a fine fifth overall and pro-am2 victory came Butcher, with a very impressive performance in his first Porsche race. "That's an awesome achievement; that's just what I wanted to do before the weekend," said the young Scot.

Over the line in sixth went a frustrated Caine, but the damage to his championship lead could have been far worse. From a nine-point lead over Harvey going into the race, Caine had lost only three points.

The battle for the pro-am1 category between Rice (Red Line Racing) and Gilham (ReDesign Racing) raged race long and the decisive moment was when Rice edged ahead at the hairpin at the end of the second lap. "I was glad of the safety car because it would have been hard work for 32 laps," said Rice. "I was biding my time to re-challenge and then the safety car came out," said Gilham. Right behind Rice and Gilham, and finishing second in pro-am2 was Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex).

Hancock takes Carrera Cup race two at Knockhill

Media release: 17 August 2008

Sam Hancock claimed victory in a thrilling round 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 17 August 2008) as Tim Bridgman battled through to second place on the last lap. On an action-packed final lap, Tim Harvey took third to close to within just three points of Michael Caine in the championship race.

It was also dramatic in the pro-am1 category as Tony Gilham beat Nigel Rice, but only after both had spun through the gravel after a clash at Seat Curve. Meanwhile, Rory Butcher drove another fine race in the PCGB entry to complete a double in the pro-am2 category and finish fifth overall.

This time around, Hancock (Jota Sport) was able to convert his pole position into a first lap lead and he was never headed again, but there was plenty going on in his mirrors, with Caine (Team Parker Racing) as a constant shadow. "You can't rest for a moment round here," said Hancock, who found himself coming under increasing pressure from Caine heading into the closing stages. "I was having some brake balance issues and I just wanted to get a small margin," said Hancock after taking victory. "To come away from the weekend with two poles, a second and a win is great."

However, it all went awry for Caine on the final lap. He had been battling against a soft brake pedal and Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) was getting closer and closer having earlier battled ahead of Harvey (Red Line Racing). Into Carlube Corner with less than half a lap to go, Caine's brake problem came to a head and he ran wide as Bridgman dived through. Then, at the final hairpin, Harvey dived inside Caine and Caine's can spun as they touched. "Michael made a mistake and I had to go for it," said Harvey. But the time he rejoined, Caine was down to sixth behind Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Butcher.

"I was just running out of brakes," said a frustrated Caine, having seen his nine-point championship lead over Harvey drop to three points over the course of the weekend. Bridgman, having started fifth on the grid, was elated to have fought through to second. "I'm really, really happy with that," said Bridgman.

The battle between Gilham (ReDesign Racing) and Rice (Red Line Racing) raged all race and came to a head as they battled side-by-side into Seat Curve with three laps to go. The cars touched and both spun into the gravel and it was Gilham who managed to get back onto the track first to make certain of victory. "I just tried to keep it spinning through the gravel. That was hard work," said Gilham.

Behind Butcher in pro-am2, Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) drove a measured race to take second as Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance) battled through to third place.