Donington Park 2010

Donington Park next for Porsche Carrera Cup GB
 
Media release: 13 September 2010
 
The penultimate race weekend of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season at Donington Park (18/19 September) takes teams and drivers back to one of the most popular venues on the schedule as the title contests head into the closing stages.
 
With all four titles still to be decided, there will be great action throughout the grid as drivers and teams battle for vital points and every driver on the grid relishes the prospect of a return to racing at Donington Park.
 
In what is proving to be the best season yet for the Carrera Cup GB, Harvey stormed the first half of the season to win nine out of 10 races and take a 40-point championship lead. But the balance of power has changed since the mid-season break and Caine has now won four of the last six races to trim the margin back to 27 points.
 
For a driver of Harvey's class, that is still a pretty comfortable situation and he showed in the opening race at Knockhill that's he not prepared to sit back and cruise to the title. He battled ahead of Caine in that race but then had the escape of the season in the second Knockhill race. Coolant on the track at the start of the second lap sent Harvey slithering off the road. "It’s not often you go through the gravel, hit the wall, loose the splitter and flat spot the tyres and still finish fourth,” he said later.
 
Caine's team boss at Motorbase Performance, David Bartrum, could scarcely believe it. "Even when he has a bad day, Tim still gets good points," said an incredulous Bartrum. In reality, it will now need a non-finish for Harvey if Caine is to get close enough to really fight for the title.
 
But this is not just a two-way contest. Adding to the mix in the pro category will be Stephen Jelley, Euan Hankey, Glynn Geddie, Michael Meadows and Charlie Bateman and all of them are chasing a first Carrera Cup win. Jelley is on home ground this weekend and has shown fine pace, while Hankey was right back on the pace at Knockhill.
 
Beyond the overall title race, three more titles are still to be decided. In pro-am1, Ollie Jackson has a firm grip on the title, but cannot relax just yet as Jonas Gelzinis and Tony Gilham are still challenging. Jackson is both quick and consistent and stretched his remarkable Carrera Cup point-scoring sequence to 36 races in Scotland last time out. But a great double win north of the border went to Tony Gilham, one of the hardest working drivers on the grid. Gilham battles to raise the money to keep racing and was rewarded with a double at Knockhill, which has taken him closer to Lithuanian racer Gelzinis in the points. As usual, Jonas and his team mate Tautvydas Barstys will have to learn the Donington track during Friday's test sessions.
 
In pro-am2, it is getting very close as dropped scores come into play and Glenn McMenamin now heads George Brewster by only two points. Drivers in pro-am2 count only their best seven weekend scores, so the permutations are many and varied, as George Richardson and Mark Hazell lead the chase.
 
Finally, in the battle for the coveted team title, Red Line Racing leads Motorbase Performance by only eight points as Harvey and Meadows score points for Red Line and Caine and Bateman fly the Motorbase flag.
 
After qualifying at 14.40 on Saturday, round 17 will start at 10.45am on Sunday, while round 18 will be at 3.45pm and will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme.
Caine tops Carrera Cup testing at Donington Park

Media release: 17 September 2010

Michael Caine was the pacesetter ahead of rounds 17 and 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB during testing at Donington Park today (Friday 17 September) as eight-tenths of a second covered the top eleven cars in the fiercely competitive field.

While Caine (Motorbase Performance) and his title rival Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) topped the times, the chasing pack was firmly in contention as Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing), Charlie Bateman (Motorbase Performance), Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) and Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing) all lapped within half a second of Caine's best time.

In pro-am1, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing) and Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) were covered by less than a fifth of a second, while in pro-am2 Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) led the times over title rival George Brewster (Celtic Speed).

"The car feels that there is a bit more time to come," reckoned Caine after dipping to a 1m08.408s best in the closing moments of the afternoon test session. "We went out on new rubber at the end of the session." Having completed a race run on old rubber earlier in the afternoon session, Harvey also made the switch to new tyres for the last 10 minutes and chased Caine around to go second fastest just as the chequered flag came out. At the start of the day, Harvey had won a free set of tyres in the Michelin tyre draw and he used them at the end of the session. "The free set of tyres was most useful," said Harvey. "We changed the car before the second test and the race run was absolutely fantastic," he added.

Geddie was a very strong third and was on a better lap still when the red flag came out after Tony Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing) spun into the gravel. Meanwhile, Bateman also showed excellent pace without using new tyres. "We sorted out a brake problem this morning and the car felt brilliant," said Bateman.

Packing out the top eight were Jelley, Meadows, Tom Bradshaw (JHR) and Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing), with Bradshaw running well on his return to the championship after missing the previous two race weekends.

In pro-am1, the stage is set for some tremendous race action with Gelzinis, on his debut at Donington, just ahead of the flying Al Harthy and championship leader Jackson, while Gilham was fourth fastest despite his trip into the gravel.

Topping pro-am2 was McMenamin after a good performance. "I put in a couple of really good laps and I've been on old tyres all day, so I'm pleased with the pace," said McMenamin. Brewster and George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) were second and third in pro-am2, which currently features the closest title contest in the championship.
Caine takes double Carrera Cup pole at Donington Park

Media release: 18 September 2010

Donington 2010 qualifyingMichael Caine kept the pressure on title rival Tim Harvey by taking a double pole position for rounds 17 and 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Saturday 18 September).

Caine (Motorbase Performance) took pole for both races as Harvey (Red Line Racing) qualified second for round 17 but only fourth for round 18. It was a tremendous session for the Motorbase Performance team as it claimed five out of six pole positions with Ollie Jackson (pro-am1 pole for round 17) and George Richardson (pro-am2 pole for both races) heading their respective classes. Pro-am1 pole for round 17 went to Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing).

With rain threatening, Caine set the pace with a storming 1m08.168s lap. He then posted a second-best time of 1m08.341s to secure pole for round 18 and earn two extra championship points. "All credit to everyone who works on the car," said Caine. "The rain could be coming tomorrow and we need it to be changeable; I've got to take the risks," he added. Harvey was second for round 17, but slipped to fourth on the grid for round 18 behind Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelley from Team Parker Racing. So close is the Carrera Cup field that less than half a second covered the top 10 cars for round 17.

"This weekend it is very important to get two good finishes," said Harvey, who goes into the opening race with his championship lead trimmed to 25 points. Hankey was third fastest for round 17 and then second for round 18 after a strong qualifying performance. "That's a lot better than in testing," said Hankey. "I'm happy to have good consistent pace." Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) was fourth and then seventh, while team mate Jelley fifth and third in the tightly packed bunch.

Pro-am1 poles were shared between Gelzinis and Jackson, with the positions reversed for the second race. "It's very close," said Gelzinis. "Tomorrow it might rain and I don't like rain," said the Lithuanian. Jackson, meanwhile, felt that he had more time to come. "I think I could have found another couple of tenths on the second set of tyres," he said. Right in contention in pro-am1 were Tony Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing) with third and fourth fastest in each race.

Richardson was in fine form in pro-am2 to take both category poles, attributing his strong pace to input from team mate Caine and the Motorbase engineers on his data. "It's a good step forward," said the teenager. "Mr. Caine takes a lot of the credit for that; I worked with the team on the data and it paid off." Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) was second fastest in pro-am2 for both races. "I thought I'd done okay, but George has found a big chunk of time," said McMenamin. George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Mark Hazell (JHR) were right in contention in third and fourth places.
Caine takes Carrera Cup round 17 at Donington Park

Media release: 19 September 2010 Donington 2010 race one

Michael Caine swept to a resounding victory in round 17 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday 19 September). With a commanding display, Caine trimmed another three points from Tim Harvey's title lead as Harvey ran home a clear second.

In a close contest for pro-am1, Tony Gilham fended off Ollie Jackson and Jonas Gelzinis for victory while George Richardson took a clear victory in pro-am2.

Caine (Motorbase Performance) got the jump at the start and fended off Harvey (Red Line Racing) over the first lap. "After the second lap it was all working properly and I needed to get the point for fastest lap as well," said Caine, as he pulled steadily clear. "It was quite simplistic, but it was quite hard to get past the backmarkers and I did lose some time passing them," said Caine.

Harvey accepted that he had no answer to Caine's pace. "His car looked absolutely awesome," said Harvey. "We were driving away from everyone else, but Michael just had that bit on me." In the wake of Caine and Harvey, there was plenty of action and it was Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) who battled through to third after being hit in the rear during a first lap clash with Tom Bradshaw (JHR) at the chicane. However, early on it was Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing) who ran third with Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing) chasing hard. Into Redgate for the eighth time, Meadows attacked and the cars touched, which tipped Hankey into a spin and delayed Meadows.

Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) nipped through to third, but Jelley was on his tail and dived ahead when Geddie ran wide at McLeans as Charlie Bateman (Motorbase Performance) raced with them. Once into third, Jelley edged away as Geddie and Bateman battled hard, with the place finally going to Geddie. However, he was the reason for a red flag two laps early when he clipped the corner bale at the chicane and with the bale in the middle of the track, the race was halted.

"I made a blinding start," said Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing) after grabbing the pro-am1 lead from the start. Conversely, Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) made a terrible start and had to fight his way up onto the tail of Gilham as Gelzinis (Juta Racing) made it three-way contest. It was incredibly close, but Gilham retained the upper hand for victory. "I was just doing enough to keep them behind me," said Gilham after his third win on the trot.

The pro-am2 category opened with drama as title rivals Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) and George Brewster (Celtic Speed) touched on the run down the Craner Curves on lap two. McMenamin spun into the gravel and out of the race, while Brewster had to pit for a wheel change. Meanwhile, Richardson (Motorbase Performance) was driving a fine race and led from the start to take his first win of the season. "That's a proper job," said Richardson. "I just got my head down and got ahead," he said, as Mark Hazell (JHR) took second with Bob Lyons (Celtic Speed) completing the pro-am2 podium.

Caine takes Carrera Cup double at Donington Park

Media release: 19 September 2010

Donington 2010 race twoMichael Caine completed a perfect weekend by winning round 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday 19 September). However, with Tim Harvey once again finishing second, Caine was only able to peg Harvey's title lead back to 19 points with two races left to run.

Caine topped a fine weekend for Motorbase Performance as his team mates Ollie Jackson and George Richardson won pro-am1 and pro-am2 respectively. With Caine earning the 'driver of the weekend' award and Motorbase being announced as 'team of the weekend', it was a memorable weekend for the Kent-based squad.

Caine got the jump at the start to head the field into Redgate and was able to stretch clear as Harvey (Red Line Racing) ran fourth behind Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelley from Team Parker Racing. That was how it stayed until lap eight when Jelley went for the inside at the chicane and spun as Hankey took the line. Harvey narrowly missed Jelley as he dived through to third and two laps later Harvey took second with a bold move around the outside of Hankey as they raced down the Craner Curves.

Once into second, Harvey recognised that Caine was just out of reach and Caine duly reeled off the remaining laps to complete his domination of the Donington weekend. "We had a great car this weekend," said Caine. "I've just got to win races and I think I can still win the championship when we go to Brands Hatch." Harvey was pleased to have worked from fourth on the grid to finish second and retain his position as title favourite. "I enjoyed the race and the car was better. I was always going to keep my foot in when I went down the hill side-by-side with Euan."

Hankey ran home a strong third as fellow Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing) took fourth after a lengthy battle with Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing). Just behind, Charlie Bateman (Motorbase Performance) headed Tom Bradshaw (JHR) for sixth.

The top four in pro-am1 ran in close formation for many laps as Jackson headed Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing), Tony Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing). That was how it finished as Jackson moved very close to securing the pro-am1 title. "It was a tough race and Jonas was pushing all the way," said Jackson. Behind the leading quartet, Andrew Shelley (Red Line Racing) wrapped up his best weekend of the season with his second fifth place in pro-am1 of the day.

The pro-am2 battle delivered another win for Richardson, but he was under great pressure from George Brewster (Celtic Speed) over the second half of the race. Right with them was pro-am1 racer Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) as Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) tried to get ahead of Griffin to join the pro-am2 lead battle.