Rockingham 2008

Bridgman takes double Carrera Cup pole at Rockingham

Media release: 12 April 2011

Tim Bridgman took pole position at Rockingham today (Saturday 12 April) for rounds three and four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend. With an impressive run in a dry qualifying session, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) claimed pole for round three and then added pole for round four with his second best lap in the half-hour qualifying run.

"I came in a few laps from the end of the session because I didn't think I could have bettered my time," said Bridgman. It was a perfect display from the Essex racer after accidents put him out of both of the opening races at Brands Hatch two weeks ago. "The season really starts now for me," said Tim. "I love the cars and the circuit is great, so I'm very, very happy."

In fact, the top three grid positions will be the same for each of Sunday's races, with Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) and Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) leading the chase of Bridgman. "I'd have liked to have been on pole, and the car was probably good enough to do it," said Harvey. "It was good to get out on a dry track with new tyres on the car," he added.

Caine, meanwhile, was content with third, having wanted to be either first or third fastest to secure a place on the right hand side of the grid. "It's the cleaner side of the circuit," he explained. "I started on the left hand side last year and it was my worst start of the season."

With the top five cars covered by less than half a second, Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) was fourth fastest from Dean Smith (PCGB). "I think the track was a little bit green today, and I'm still getting used to it," said Smith as he continued his impressive debut in the championship. "I know what to do and all the top guys are right in front of me on the grid," added the 20-year old. For the second race, Smith will start fourth on the grid, marginally ahead of Hancock.

Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) was an encouraging sixth for both races. "That's a lot better after some problems in testing yesterday," he reported. "Here last year I was two seconds off pole, now the gap is seven-tenths of a second, so that's good progress," said Bateman. "I think we've got a good consistent race car."

Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) was seventh fastest, with pro-am1 leader Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) next up. Rice had a trouble free session, but had hoped to out-qualify some of the pro category racers. However, he was clear of his pro-am1 rivals Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) and Fergus Campbell (Red Line Racing). In pro-am2, John Stack (PCGB) continued to make good progress ahead of his debut race in a Porsche.

Bridgman storms to victory at Rockingham

Media release: 13 April 2011

Tim Bridgman claimed a superb victory in round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham today (Sunday 13 April). On his way to his first victory in the championship, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) saw off the early challenge of Tim Harvey to take a stylish win.

The start was all-important and the leading drivers were evenly matched as they raced through Turn One and down the Deane hairpin. "I managed to get a good start and pull out a gap in the early laps," said Bridgman after a faultless performance. Harvey (Red Line Racing) chased hard for many laps, but over the closing stages the gap grew as arvey found his car struggling for pace. "Tim drove a really tidy race," said Harvey of his rival. "My car was consistent all the way through," said Bridgman.

Conversely, Harvey found his car's handling going away as the race developed. "We haven't done as much dry testing as the others and we just need to make a couple of changes to make it last better in the race," said Harvey.

In fact, Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) was catching Harvey over the closing stages, with Caine having run much of the race with Dean Smith (PCGB) in close attendance. However, Harvey had things under control and that was how they finished, with Smith impressing with a mature drive to fourth. "Tim was struggling a bit later in the race, but I had understeer all the time," said Caine. "That was definitely good experience," said Smith after chasing the leaders. "I briefly got up to third at the first corner. The set-up changes we made after qualifying worked really well."

A tremendous battle raged over fifth place for much of the race as Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) fought tooth and nail. Bateman briefly got ahead, but Hancock re-challenged at Deane and they both ran wide after slight contact. Eventually, Bateman had a quick spin at Brooke and so Hancock was finally safe in fifth. Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) was out before the start with a gearbox problem.

There was drama in the pro-am1 category as well as Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) fought back from a drive-through penalty. Rice spun on the parade lap and was penalised for recovering to his grid position. After the penalty, he was third in pro-am1, but tigered back to pass team mate Fergus Campbell for second and set about closing the gap to leader Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing).

On the final lap they were nose to tail, but Gilham held on very well to claim victory. "I saw that he had a drive-through and so mid-race I backed off a bit to save my tyres," said Gilham. But in the last two laps, Rice came storming up into contention and Gilham had to defend hard to make sure of his win. "I just managed to hold him off," said Gilham.

Bridgman takes Rockingham double

Media release: 13 April 2011

Tim Bridgman completed a perfect weekend with his second victory of the day in round four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham today (Sunday 13 April).

In what was something of a re-run of the earlier race, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) went ahead from the start and was able to work clear of Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) as Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) again completed the podium. "It's been a perfect weekend and that's just what we needed after Brands," said Bridgman. "The team gave me a great car and I was really focused on getting a strong weekend, so I'm really, really pleased," said Bridgman.

With Bridgman settled into the lead and Harvey establishing himself in second place, the focus of attention moved to the contest for third as Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) dived through to third at the first corner ahead of Caine. "As I went from fourth to fifth out of Turn One, it jumped out of gear," said Caine after briefly losing momentum.

Dean Smith (PCGB) was also in the scrabble for position in the opening corners, but spun at Yentwood and also tipped Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) into a spin. Both resumed after a delay as Caine set about challenging Hancock. But with Jota Sport's Phil Quaife right on his tail, Caine found himself sandwiched between team mates.

For lap after lap, Caine attacked Hancock but it was not until lap 16, three from the finish, that Caine finally squeezed ahead after they ran side-by-side through Brooke. By now, Harvey was long gone in second, but Caine believed that it could have been different if he had found a gap to get by Hancock earlier. "I think our car had the pace to be second," said Caine. Harvey, meanwhile, acknowledged that Bridgman was out of reach. "It was pretty much the same as the first race; I wasn't going to catch him today."

Quaife ran close behind his team mate Hancock over the final laps to take fifth place, but was under pressure at the flag from Smith after the guest racer mounted a strong recovery following his first lap delay.

A commanding pro-am1 victory went to Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), and he was just unable to go with the pro drivers ahead of him. "I didn't want to fight with Dean Smith when he came through," said Rice. Second in pro-am1 and backing up his earlier category win was Tony Gilham and his performance earned him the 'driver of the weekend' award, while his ReDesign Racing team was confirmed as winners of the 'team of the weekend' award.