Thruxton 2009

Bridgman takes double Carrera Cup pole at Thruxton

Media release: 25 April 2009

Tim Bridgman continued his superb start to the season by taking a double pole position at Thruxton today (Saturday 25 April 2009) ahead of rounds three and four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) headed Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) and Michael Caine (Motorbase Performance) in both sessions to claim two more championship points, while Robert Lawson (JHR) set the pro-am1 pace and Paul Mace (GT Marques) headed pro-am2.

With two best laps in the mid-1m14s bracket, Bridgman claimed a double pole, but admitted that the strong crosswinds at the Hampshire track made it a difficult session. "The wind was kicking you everywhere and it was a real seat of the pants job," said Bridgman. "It makes it very difficult, but it's the same for everyone. I'm very pleased to come out of that one on top, with two more championship points."

Leading the chase of Bridgman, just as they did in the opening weekend of the season at Brands Hatch, were Harvey and Caine. They will line up in that order for round three and then reverse positions for round four. Harvey was frustrated not to get a clear lap when his tyres were at the optimum. "You've really got two laps to do it and I just couldn't get a clear lap," said Harvey.

Next to the established 'big three' was championship returnee James Sutton (Red Line Racing) after concluding a very late deal to rejoin the team that took him to the 2007 Carrera Cup title. "I'm chuffed what that," said Sutton, having gone straight into qualifying without the benefit of any testing. "It just feels natural being back with Red Line Racing."

Heading pro-am1 for both races, with fifth and seventh best times was a fine effort from Lawson, particularly at a track where both driver and team have little Carrera Cup experience to draw on. "We tried to keep hard push laps to a minimum, and I haven't taken too much out of the tyres," he said.

Sixth fastest for round three was an excellent result for Carrera Cup Scholarship driver Lewis Hopkins (Red Line Racing), ahead of his debut race at his home track. "I got the best out of the second set of tyres," he said as he continued to build his experience at his local circuit. It was a mixed session for Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing), who was only seventh fastest for round three but a strong fourth ahead of Sutton for round four.

Similarly, Scholarship driver Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing) was eighth fastest for round three, but jumped up to sixth fastest for round four. Completing the top 10 for round three were pro-am1 contenders Tony Gilham (Red Line Racing) and Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance), with Gilham qualifying very close to Lawson for round four. Meanwhile, in pro-am2, Mace topped both grids from Robin Clark (Parr Motorsport).

Harvey takes Carrera Cup victory at Thruxton

Media release: 26 April 2009

Tim Harvey claimed his first victory of the season at Thruxton today (Sunday 26 April 2009) in round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Harvey stayed clear of Michael Caine for a hard-earned victory as Tim Bridgman took third, while Robert Lawson scored an impressive pro-am1 victory and Paul Mace headed pro-am2.

"The start was the key," said Harvey (Red Line Racing) after beating poleman Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) into the first corner. "I got a mega start and then pushed very hard in the few laps," said Harvey as he quickly went clear of Bridgman and Caine (Motorbase Performance).

Rather than chase after Harvey as expected, Bridgman was struggling to fend off Caine and a neat move from Caine at the Complex on lap six put him through to second. While Caine set off in pursuit of Harvey, who was now more than three seconds clear, Bridgman soon came under attack from James Sutton (Red Line Racing).

Over the next 10 laps, Caine mounted a dogged pursuit of Harvey and lap-by-lap was able to rein the leader in. By lap 17, the gap was down to just 0.7s, but that was as close as it got. "I could see Michael was pushing hard and I was just trying to manage the gap," said Harvey. However, with three laps to run, Caine knew he had a problem. "There was a big vibration in the car with three laps left and I wasn't sure what it was," said Caine. "I stopped pushing; it was my decision."

With the first two places settled, Bridgman was working hard to fend off Sutton and hang on to third place. "I'm not sure what was wrong," said Bridgman of a troubled race. "It was really hard work with oversteer. I thought the car would come in later in the race, but it got worse," he said after narrowly fending off Sutton to the flag.

Running a great fifth for much of the race was Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Lewis Hopkins (Red Line Racing), although as he lost rear grip Lawson (JHR) was able to move ahead. Then on the final lap, Hopkins lost a top six finish when a rear puncture brought a very good drive to a finish. "That's frustrating. It felt really comfortable out there," said Hopkins.

Lawson claimed fifth overall and pro-am1 victory to cap an excellent race. "I lost a place at the start and it was unfortunate for me the way the backmarkers fell," said Lawson. "But I'm very pleased with where we've got to." Closing on Lawson at the flag for sixth overall and second in pro-am1 was Tony Gilham (Red Line Racing) after a real charge up the order over the second half of the race. "The team set the car up for me so that it was strong over the whole race," said Gilham, who was able to capitalise well as the race developed.

Close behind Gilham, after chasing Lawson for much of the race, was Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing), while Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) took eighth and the final place on the pro-am1 podium. Wrapping up the top 10 were Ben McLoughlin (Porsche Motorsport) and Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing), while Mace (GT Marques) was thirteenth overall and a clear winner in pro-am2.

Caine wins Carrera Cup round four at Thruxton

Media release: 26 April 2009

Michael Caine made it three winners from four races in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton today (Sunday 26 April 2009) in a tremendous round four of the championship.

While Tim Harvey and Tim Bridgman battled mightily for second, Caine made good his escape for a fine victory. Meanwhile, Tony Gilham drove an excellent race to claim pro-am1 spoils as Paul Mace completed a weekend double in pro-am2.

Caine (Motorbase Performance) got a great start to beat Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) into Allard, with Harvey (Red Line Racing) third. Initially, Caine was under intense pressure from Bridgman and knew that he had to defend his lead over the opening laps. "I knew my car wasn't as good as Tim's in the early laps, so I just held on. But then my car was very good mid-race."

Sure enough, by lap 10 of 21 Caine was extending his lead as Bridgman came under increasing pressure from Harvey. As the race entered the closing stages, and with Caine now well clear, the battle between Bridgman and Harvey made a fantastic spectacle as they raced wheel to wheel. It finally came to a head when Harvey got the inside line on the approach to the high-speed Church Corner. Bridgman tried to hold on around the outside but slid wide and bounced across the grass, losing the car's front splitter in the process.

Caine stroked home to a clear victory, but Harvey was now under attack from his team mate James Sutton and the defending champion just held on for second place. "All credit to the guys at Motorbase," said Caine of his victory. Harvey, meanwhile, was thrilled at his battle with Bridgman. "It was great fun! We were falling over each other like a pair of junior kart racers," said Harvey. "It was great racing."

Behind Sutton, Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) completed a good weekend by moving ahead of Bridgman, who brought his ailing car home fifth after struggling with increasing oversteer as the race developed.

Sixth overall and a superb pro-am1 victory went to Gilham (Red Line Racing), but he again had to work very hard for the result. "I had to be patient at the start, but then the car came in and I was getting quicker and quicker," said Gilham. He moved into the pro-am1 lead with a great opportunist move at the chicane as Tom Bradshaw (Team Parker Racing) and Robert Lawson (JHR) battled. They slowed each other in the middle of the chicane and Gilham swept past both of them on the run past the pits. Once ahead in pro-am1, Gilham was secure in sixth overall as Bradshaw took seventh and Lawson, after a quick spin, dropped a place at the last corner to Ben McLoughlin (Porsche Motorsport). Lawson still took second in pro-am1.

Tenth overall and third in pro-am1 to mark his 25th birthday was Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance), but he had to race hard to see off a determined challenge from Derek Pierce (JHR). While Lawson's pro-am1 victory in race one earned him the 'driver of the weekend' award, JHR bagged the 'team of the weekend' award for their efforts on a first visit to Thruxton with the Carrera Cup cars.