Brands Hatch (Indy) 2009

Bridgman takes double Carrera Cup pole at Brands

Media release: 4 April 2009

Tim Bridgman took a double pole position at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 4 April 2009) ahead of the opening two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. With a late charge in qualifying, Bridgman leapt to the top of the times as Glynn Geddie headed the pro-am1 category and Karl Leonard topped pro-am2. Such was the overall pace and closeness of the field that less than eight tenths of a second covered the first 15 cars for race one.

Times were incredibly close throughout qualifying on the Indy circuit and with 18 cars on track it was a very busy session. While Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) sat out the early minutes of the session and it was Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) who cut the early pace, posting a best of 47.209s. That lap topped the times until Bridgman went out on his second set of tyres in the closing minutes of qualifying.

With a mighty charge, Bridgman set a 47.186s lap to grab pole for round one and then turned in a 47.193s second best lap to secure pole for race two. "The pace was a bit slower today as the ambient temperature was higher," said Bridgman. "I hit traffic on my first run, but I got a reasonable run on my second set of tyres."

Harvey was disappointed to lose pole position as well as the two championship points that Bridgman earned for the two best times. "I got out of the car mid-session as the track was getting slower, then cloud came over," said Harvey, feeling that the cloud cover helped improve times in the closing minutes of qualifying.

Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) was third fastest for race one, but nipped ahead of Harvey to be second fastest for race two. "I got held up on my first run and there were yellow flags out on my second run," said Caine, who was just over a tenth of a second away from Bridgman's overall best lap.

Heading the pro-am1 times for both races was Geddie (Team Parker Racing) and such was his pace that he qualified fourth overall for race one and fifth overall for race two just behind Dean Smith (Red Line Racing). "I never got any real track space for the second run," reported Geddie, who was three-tenths up on his pro-am1 rivals Robert Lawson (JHR) and Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing) for the opening race. Lawson ended his session a few minutes early after a nudge with the tyre wall at McLaren after a spin.

Completing the top six overall times for both races was Carrera Cup Scholarship driver Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing) from his team mate Jake Rosenzweig. Meanwhile, in pro-am2, it was Karl Leonard (RSS Performance) topping the times from George Richardson (Motorbase Performance). However, Leonard was frustrated not to be further up the overall order after being troubled by understeer.

Bridgman takes Carrera Cup victory at Brands

Media release: 4 April 2009

Tim Bridgman underlined the strength of his 2009 title bid by winning the first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 4 April 2009). Bridgman led from the start as Tim Harvey and Michael Caine chased, while Tony Gilham won an action-packed pro-am1 category and 17 year-old George Richardson took pro-am2 spoils.

For Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) it was a different outcome to the corresponding race of 2008 when he failed to finish. "I can't say I haven't thought about last year once or twice," he said. "But it was a pretty straightforward race and it has started the season off well."

Bridgman led from the start, but had Harvey (Red Line Racing) and Caine (Motorbase Performance) as constant shadows. Then, with the cars Anthony Reid (Porsche Motorsport) and Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) off in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, a safety car period bunched the field up once more. But Bridgman was able to re-establish his lead to score a classy victory. "I'm just pleased with maximum points," said Bridgman after the perfect start to the season.

Harvey chased all the way and was less than a second adrift at the flag after 27 laps. "It could have been any order between the three of us; it was very close," said Harvey. Any chance of a late-race challenge for the lead from Harvey was thwarted when the race was halted early with a car in the gravel at McLaren. Caine, meanwhile, ran a strong third but was unable to attack Harvey once a lock-up into McLaren left him struggling with a flat-spotted tyre. "It's a good way to start; you've got to keep getting podiums," said Harvey.

An excellent fourth overall went to Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing). A superb start catapulted him into fourth place and he was able to hold the place despite early pressure from team mate Glynn Geddie. "That's a result I'm happy with," said Bradshaw after finishing the best of the championship newcomers.

Geddie set a fierce pace at the head of pro-am1 in fifth overall, but was under constant pressure from Dean Smith (Red Line Racing). After the safety car, Geddie found himself struggling with understeer and he ran wide at Paddock, dropping several places as a result.

That assured Smith of fifth place, while through to sixth place and pro-am1 victory went Gilham (Red Line Racing) after moving ahead of Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing) going into Paddock. "I knew I had to get a good start, and it was a busy race from start to finish," said Gilham. Leonard had an equally busy race, having run right behind the battling Geddie and Smith for many laps. "I made a small mistake at Clearways and Tony got a good run on me," said Leonard of the move that settled pro-am1.

Geddie recovered to take third in pro-am1 from Derek Pierce (JHR), while a late tangle at McLaren eliminated Robert Lawson (JHR), Karl Leonard (RSS Performance) and Lewis Hopkins (Red Line Racing). With Karl Leonard out, Richardson (Motorbase Performance) moved ahead to claim pro-am2 spoils on a good Carrera Cup debut. "Fantastic," said Richardson. "I'm not used to doing that many laps!"

The race results remain provisional, subject to judicial and technical matters.

Bridgman completes Carrera Cup double at Brands

Media release: 5 April 2009

Tim Bridgman got his 2009 season off to the perfect start by completing a weekend double win in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 5 April 2009). In similar style to Saturday's round one, Bridgman swept to victory from Tim Harvey and Michael Caine. Glynn Geddie claimed pro-am1 spoils, while Karl Leonard topped the pro-am2 runners.

In front of a big crowd and live on ITV4, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) led from the start and controlled the race from the front. Even an early safety car period failed to unseat him and Bridgman completed a faultless weekend to take the early championship lead. "I can't ask for any more than that," said Bridgman. "It was how I wanted it to be, so I'm very, very happy. The guys at Team Parker Racing have done a great job." His dominance also earned him the 'driver of the weekend' award, while Red Line Racing won the 'team of the weekend' award.

Harvey (Red Line Racing) and Caine (Motorbase Performance) chased after Bridgman, and were never too far apart as they raced to the remaining podium positions. "The margins are very close between us; it came down to set-up over 32 laps," said Harvey. "We just didn't have the pace of Tim Bridgman this weekend," accepted Caine.

With Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing) out early on when contact with team mate Glynn Geddie sent him into the gravel at Clearways, it was Dean Smith (Red Line Racing) who wrapped up a strong weekend with fourth place. He pulled clear of the chasing pack and it was Geddie who had to fight his way back through from ninth to finish fifth and win the pro-am1 category. "I really had to chase back, but that feels good after a disastrous race yesterday," said Geddie.

Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing) ran as high as fifth at one point, after starting down in 11th place. "I got a fantastic start," said Leonard but a spin at Druids later dropped him back to seventh behind team mate Jake Rosenzweig. In an amended result for race one, Leonard has earlier been confirmed as pro-am1 winner after Tony Gilham was penalised back one place for overtaking under a yellow flag.

Completing the pro-am1 podium in race two was Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance) after a fine drive. He worked hard to try and fend off the recovering Geddie and was just ahead of the incident that eventually led to a red flag after 32 laps. "I got a decent start, but then I worked the front tyres a bit too hard," said Jackson.

Right behind Jackson was the battle between Gilham (Red Line Racing) and JHR team mates Robert Lawson and Derek Pierce. However, after many laps of close racing, Gilham and Lawson touched coming onto the pit straight and Gilham spun into the barriers, causing a red flag.

In pro-am2, Karl Leonard (RSS Performance) made the running and battled with some of the pro-am1 racers before a touch with another car sent him wide onto the grass at Graham Hill Bend. He recovered well to take pro-am2 victory from George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) and Robin Clark (Parr Motorsport).