Oulton Park 2008

Caine takes double Carrera Cup pole at Oulton Park

Media release: 26 July 2008

Michael Caine set a sensational pace at Oulton Park today (Saturday 26 July) to take pole position for both rounds 13 and 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Meanwhile, in pro-am1 Nigel Rice and Tony Gilham shared the category poles and VIP racer Ed Pead topped the pro-am2 category for both grids.

The leading times represented the fastest ever Carrera Cup laps at Oulton Park, despite the session running in very warm conditions. Initially, it seemed as though Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) had claimed pole when he lapped in 1m24.079s, and Hancock parked his car with 10 minutes of the session to run. He had just climbed onto the pit wall when Caine (Team Parker Racing) smashed through the 1m24s barrier to set the new standard at 1m23.686s. Caine made it a perfect run by taking pole for round 14 with his second best lap.

"I wound the brake bias a little to the rear and it transformed the car," said Caine. "I did give myself a little pat on the back after that," he said. A late push from Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) put him ahead of Hancock and just under the 1m24s mark. "It could be better, but being on the front row here is really important."

Hancock ended the session third fastest, although will be second on the grid ahead of Bridgman for round 14. "I think the track got faster as we put rubber on it. I really thought we had it," said Hancock. Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) posted fourth best time for both races, from Alex Mortimer (Team RPM) and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) for round 13 and Bateman and Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) for round 14. Unfortunately, Mortimer's times were later disallowed due to a ride height infringement.

Close to Quaife for the opening race was Paul O'Neill (PCGB), who qualified just ahead of Rice (Red Line Racing) and Pead (PCGB). "I was on my second set of tyres, but had to back off for yellow flags at Druids," said Rice of the closing stages of the session and he will start round 14 behind his pro-am1 rival Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing).

Pead topped pro-am2 for both races, showing strongly on his first Carrera Cup weekend. "The pace is very quick straightaway; the guys are really dialled in," said Pead. "I was hoping to get into the 1m24s and I got close," he added.

Very close to Pead in pro-am2 was series newcomer Karl Leonard (RSS Performance), followed by Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex). "I was losing time in the second sector; out of the hairpin and through Knickerbrook," said Geddie.

Caine takes Carrera Cup victory at Oulton Park

Media release: 27 July 2008

Michael Caine scored a superb victory at Oulton Park today (Saturday 26 July) in round 13 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. In pro-am1 Nigel Rice took a fine victory while Michael Leonard came through to win the pro-am2 category.

With a faultless performance from pole position, which included taking fastest lap, this was an important victory for Caine as it put him four points clear of Tim Harvey in the title race.

Caine (Team Parker Racing) took the lead off the start and was able to edge clear of Harvey (Red Line Racing) on the opening lap. Caine then drove a perfect race to fend off his title rival and erase memories of losing victory at Oulton Park a year ago with a last lap error. "It's great to be on the top step of the podium at Oulton Park after last year," said Caine. "We really had to come here and do it. The guys at Team Parker Racing have done a fantastic job."

Harvey, who suffered a broken clutch in the rush off the line, was always chasing his rival but accepted that second was the best that was available to him. "The clutch was dragging off the line and it made me a bit more cautious through the race, but Michael drove a good race."

The battle for third place raged race long between Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) and Sam Hancock (Jota Sport). Bridgman was left struggling when he lost the front splitter after a trip over the grass at Knickerbrook. "I had a mushy brake pedal and went straight on," explained Bridgman. With the car understeering badly, he had to defend very hard to keep Hancock at bay. "I had to drive the most defensive race of my life," said Bridgman after completing the podium. Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) chased them home in fifth, having been well in touch for much of the race.

Paul O'Neill drove a strong race in the PCGB entry to take sixth, having battled ahead of Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) while Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) was catching them both at the finish.

Rice (Red Line Racing) always had control of the pro-am1 category, and raced with some of the pro category racers in the process, but only one place behind at the flag was Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) who took second in pro-am1. "I got tagged on the opening lap and lost three places," said Gilham who beat Alex Mortimer (Team RPM) to the line by just 0.001s as Mortimer battled through from the back of the grid.

Caine completes Carrera Cup double at Oulton Park

Media release: 27 July 2008

Michael Caine completed a perfect weekend at Oulton Park today (Sunday 27 July) with victory in round 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. With a perfect score of 43 points from the weekend, he moved nine points ahead of title rival Tim Harvey.

In pro-am1 Nigel Rice took a second win of the weekend, while Ed Pead topped the pro-am2 cars in the PCGB entry. Caine's mighty weekend earned him the 'driver of the weekend' award, while ReDesign Racing were named 'team of the weekend' for their efforts in tending the pro-am1 car of Tony Gilham.

Caine (Team Parker Racing) knew the start was all-important and got away perfectly to head the pack into the first corner, as Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) edged ahead of Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) to take second place. Initially, Caine built a lead of up to a second, but Bridgman gave stern chase and was biding his time as he started to close the gap mid-race.

However, on lap eleven the lead gap suddenly started to grow again. "I was catching Michael steadily, but there was a dislodged tyre in the track at Knickerbrook and that damaged part of the front splitter," explained Bridgman. "I kept pushing in case Michael had a problem, but he drove a mega race."

Sure enough, Caine reeled off the laps to complete a great weekend and one that could prove to be very significant as the championship heads for the final six races of the season. "That's a fantastic result for the whole team. It gets us back on the right step for the rest of the season," said Caine.

Hancock (Jota Sport) ran third for much of the race, but was forced into retirement with a rear puncture with four laps to go, so it was Harvey (Red Line Racing) who took third, despite a problem with the brake bias adjuster. "I had too much oversteer in the race; it wasn't my day," said Harvey. Hancock's retirement also elevated Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) into fourth after a strong drive, while Pead (PCGB) tigered through to fifth overall and pro-am2 victory.

Initially, Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Paul O'Neill (PCGB) battled for fifth, but Quaife later suffered a rear puncture and O'Neill pitted with some bodywork damage, which put Pead through fifth. "Awesome! I'm really happy with fifth; I'd love to do some more Carrera Cup races," said Pead. Having battled with major damper problems in the opening race, Quaife had been on his way to a top five finish until the rear tyre deflated.

Despite losing a lot of time at the start as other cars faltered, Rice (Red Line Racing) drove a fighting race to work back to sixth overall and take pro-am1 spoils. "I had a storming start and had to hit the brakes," said Rice. "I was nearly last into the first corner." Rice's progress to pro-am1 victory was aided when Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) spun at Knickerbrook after contact, but he recovered to finish eighth behind Karl Leonard (RSS Performance) who was also second in pro-am2.