Oulton Park 2009

Bridgman storms to double Carrera Cup pole at Oulton Park

Media release: 30 May 2009

Tim Bridgman maintained his unbeaten run of pole positions in the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB when he set a stunning pace to take pole for rounds seven and eight at Oulton Park today (Saturday 30 May 2009). In a sensationally fast session, Derek Pierce and Robert Lawson shared the pro-am1 poles, but the biggest revelation was the pace of leading pro-am2 racer Karl Leonard who took fourth overall for both grids.

The cool morning air and bright sunshine combined to help make it the fastest ever Carrera Cup qualifying session at Oulton Park and Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) finally left the mark at 1m22.207s, nearly a second and half faster than ever before in the championship. With a second fastest lap of 1m22.528s, Bridgman also set pole for round eight to make it eight poles from eight races in 2009.

"I'm amazed at the lap times," admitted Bridgman. "You're rewarded with commitment here and I knew there was a big chunk of time to be found after testing." Second fastest for both races was Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance), but the three-tenths of a second gap to Bridgman is a significant factor ahead of round seven later this afternoon. "It was a shock; the pace was unbelievable," said Caine.

James Sutton (Red Line Racing) ran strongly on his least favourite track to be fourth and then third on the two grids, but the sensation of qualifying was Karl Leonard (RSS Performance), who pushed his 2006-model 911GT3 Cup car right up into the very front of the times. "I knew there was more time in me, and I've only ever been here once before," said Leonard. "The car was brilliant; RSS gave me a great car."

Fifth for both races was Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing), but he was frustrated not to have got a clearer lap. "There was definitely more in me and the car, but the pole time was out of reach," he said. Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing) bagged sixth for the first race, while a tremendous performance from Richard Singleton (Porsche Motorsport) took sixth on the grid for the second race.

Singleton earned his weekend in the VIP car as one of the six finalists in the Carrera Cup GB Scholarship, and showed excellent pace. "That was a big improvement and I feel that I'm on the pace now; my aim was to be top eight," said Singleton.

The JHR team topped the pro-am1 times, with Pierce seventh overall for the first race from Lawson and the positions then reversed for the second race. "It was a great session and I really got into it," said Pierce, who ran as high as fourth overall at one point. In a tightly packed pro-am1 group, Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing), Tony Gilham (Red Line Racing), Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance) and Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing) packed out the top six in pro-am1.

While Karl Leonard dominated pro-am2, the contest for second will be between Bob Lyons (Celtic Speed) and Glenn McMenamin (Parr Motorsport).

Bridgman wins Carrera Cup GB round seven at Oulton Park

Media release: 30 May 2009

Tim Bridgman claimed his third win of the season with a commanding victory in round seven of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Saturday 30 May 2009). In pro-am1 Robert Lawson battled to the head of a tremendous contest, while Karl Leonard won pro-am2, as well as taking a mighty fourth place overall.

Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) got the jump on Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) off the line, but Caine's lead lasted only until the Island Hairpin on lap one when Bridgman dived for the inside. As the cars touched, Caine was forced wide and was instantly pushed back to fourth place by Red Line Racing team mates James Sutton and Tim Harvey. "The car wasn't right after that," said Caine, who settled into fourth as the leading quartet started to edge away. After the race, Bridgman was penalised three championship points over the first-lap incident.

Sutton gave valiant chase to Bridgman over the early laps, but gradually the gap extended as Bridgman pressed home his advantage. "I had to work hard to stay up there and I paid for it later," said Sutton, who dropped away from the leader over the closing laps and concentrated on monitoring the gap to the chasing Harvey.

Up front, however, Bridgman maintained a strong pace all the way to the finish. "You never know what's going to happen, so I kept pushing hard. That's an important result," said Bridgman. Behind Sutton, Harvey claimed his 80th Carrera Cup GB podium as Caine spun out later after contact with Robin Clark (Parr Motorsport) during lappery.

One of the drives of the race came from Karl Leonard (RSS Performance) who raced to a clear fourth and a resounding pro-am2 victory, going clear of the rest of the field. "I just lacked a tiny bit of pace at the start against the top four," said Leonard. "Then I was well clear of the rest so there was no point pushing."

In contrast, the battle for the pro-am1 category was race-long and intense, with up to five cars in the pack. For the first nine laps, Derek Pierce (JHR) fended off his team mate Lawson despite intense pressure. However, up into contention came Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance), Tony Gilham (Red Line Racing) and Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) to make a fabulous five-car battle. Eventually, Lawson dived past Pierce under braking for Knickerbrook, but in doing so he clipped the tyres and had to contend poor handling after that. "I'm amazed that it hung on to the end," said Lawson. "I thought I was out."

Jackson then moved ahead of Pierce at Lodge and as Pierce was edged wide he dropped behind Gilham. Then, Pierce suffered suspension damage after hitting the Knickerbrook kerb and went out as Gilham attacked Jackson for second. With a bold move under braking at Old Hall, Gilham grabbed second. "Tony pulled a really good move on me," said Jackson. "But that was a great race," he added. "I always do it the hard way," said Gilham after an attacking drive from 12th on the grid to sixth.

With a final charge, Richard Singleton (Porsche Motorsport) nipped ahead of Geddie on the final lap to take eighth overall after a fine comeback. After being squeezed wide at the first corner, Singleton tigered back from 15th place to finish eighth on his Carrera Cup debut. Meanwhile, Bob Lyons (Celtic Speed) had to push hard to fend off Glenn McMenamin (Parr Motorsport) for second in pro-am2. "I thought I'd got rid of him, but then I made a mistake and he was in my mirrors the rest of the race," said Lyons.

Bridgman wins Carrera Cup GB round eight at Oulton Park

Media release: 31 May 2009

Tim Bridgman completed a weekend double with victory in round eight of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park today (Sunday 31 May 2009).  In pro-am1 Robert Lawson also took his second win of the weekend while series newcomer Glenn McMenamin drove a fine race to take pro-am2 spoils.

Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) got the jump off the line to head the pack into Old Hall as Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) and the fast-starting Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing) filled the next places. However, James Sutton (Red Line Racing) dived ahead of Leonard at Druids and Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) soon edged Leonard back to fifth.

Caine gave chase to Bridgman and the small lead margin that Bridgman had built was lost when the safety car came out on lap six. Suffering a front tyre problem, Leonard went off into the gravel at Druids and the field bunched up behind the safety car while Leonard's car was moved.

"I gained the gap back with a good re-start," said Bridgman and Caine soon realised that he could not take the fight to Bridgman. Instead, Caine had to concentrate on his mirrors as Sutton closed in. Into the Island Hairpin on lap 14, Caine slid wide and Sutton nipped through to make sure of second as Harvey tracked them in fourth place.

That was how it ran to the flag, with Bridgman taking his fourth win of the season to trim Harvey's championship lead to just two points. "The team has really delivered for me this weekend," said Bridgman. "That's the first time I've ever had a good weekend at Oulton Park." Sutton claimed second and earned the 'driver of the weekend' award, while Caine completed the overall podium, suffering from lack of grip at the rear as the race developed.

In pro-am1 there was more great racing, with Lawson (JHR) taking control after the re-start as he battled for fifth overall with Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing). Slight contact as they ran neck-and-neck into Druids sent Bradshaw through the gravel and left Lawson with a secure fifth and pro-am1 victory. "I'm pleased with that; but I didn't quite have the pace after the safety car to go with the top four," said Lawson.

Up into second in pro-am1 came Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing) after a tigering drive, while Derek Pierce (JHR) and Tony Gilham (Red Line Racing) were badly delayed at Cascades on the opening lap. Instead, it was Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance) who took third in pro-am1 from Pierce and Gilham.

With Karl Leonard out of the race, the pro-am2 battle was a race-long contest between Glenn McMenamin (Parr Motorsport) and Bob Lyons (Celtic Speed). Lyons led the opening lap, but McMenamin saw a chance at Lodge at the end of the first lap and dived ahead. He then had to withstand constant pressure from Lyons with only a fifth of a second between them at the flag. "That was just intense; he made me earn it," said McMenamin of his first Carrera Cup win. However, Lyons was later excluded over a technical infringement, handing second in pro-am2 to Michael Corridan (Motorbase Performance).