Knockhill 2010

Caine tops Carrera Cup qualifying at Knockhill

Media release: 4 September 2010

Michael Caine claimed a double pole position ahead of rounds 15 and 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Saturday 4 September).

Caine topped an incredibly close qualifying session at the Scottish track to head the grid for both races, while Jonas Gelzinis set the pro-am1 pace and Rory Butcher led the pro-am2 times for each race. However, with guest racer Butcher not scoring points this weekend, George Richardson and George Brewster shared the points for pro-am2 poles.

After a troubled day in testing, Caine (Motorbase Performance) jumped to the head of the time sheets as less than a second covered the fastest 13 cars around the challenging Fife circuit. The qualifying results also allowed Caine to trim two points from Tim Harvey's championship lead. "After the first run I thought pole would be in the 50s bracket," said Caine. But his best lap of 51.041s was the fastest of the session. Importantly for Caine, title leader Harvey (Red Line Racing), who qualified third and then second fastest, has a gaggle of quick drivers around him.

"I need the other boys up there," said Caine, knowing that he needs other drivers taking points from Harvey if the championship gap is to come down sufficiently for Caine to challenge over the final six races of the season. "It's safer at the front," added Caine. Second for race one was a good result for Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing). "That's so much better; we're back to the car feeling good and I hooked up all my sectors," said the Carrera Cup Scholarship driver. Hankey was third fastest for race two, while Harvey will start from third and second places. "I think the car was capable of being on the front," said Harvey. "I've just got to keep my nose clean in the first race," he added.

Fourth on the grid for both races will be Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) after a strong session, while Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing) and Charlie Bateman (Motorbase Performance) each posted a fifth best time.

In pro-am1, Gelzinis (Juta Racing) clinched both pole positions, despite being further down the overall times than he had been in testing on Friday. "I had a spin on my first set of tyres, which was not so good," said Gelzinis, who had category rivals Tony Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing), Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing) very close behind for what promises to be a pair of great races in pro-am1. "Today was my first run on new tyres and there's more time to come," said Gilham.

In pro-am2, Butcher (Celtic Speed) set a fierce pace, ending the session with eighth and tenth places overall. "We've made up a lot of time since testing and I'm now up where I'd hoped to be," said the young Scot. The points for pro-am2 poles, however, went to George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) and George Brewster (Celtic Speed), with category leader Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) also well in contention as a tenth of a second covered the three title contenders on the grid for round 15. "Our engineer Patrick said to park it; we weren't going any quicker," said Richardson of the later stages of qualifying.

Harvey wins Carrera Cup round 15 at Knockhill

Media release: 5 September 2010

Tim Harvey scored one of the most important wins of his 2010 title campaign when he clinched round 15 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 5 September).

While Harvey battled ahead of early leader and title rival Michael Caine, some tremendous battling all the way down the field led to victories for Tony Gilham in pro-am1 and guest racer Rory Bucher in pro-am2. But the biggest winner was Harvey, who maintained his title lead with five races left to run.

Off the line, Caine (Motorbase Performance) got the lead as Harvey (Red Line Racing) settled into second place. Behind them, Glynn Geddie and his Team Parker Racing team mates Euan Hankey and Stephen Jelley battled for third and initially Geddie went after the two leaders.

On lap four, the fierce battle between Hankey and Jelley came to a head as they dived into Duffus Dip and contact pitched Jelley onto the grass. "It was a wild ride trying to get it stopped on the grass," said Jelley. While Hankey retired with a damaged radiator, Jelley rejoined well down the order and faced a tough race now that the car was missing its front splitter.

Up front, Harvey shadowed Caine for 15 laps and could easily have settled for a safe second place and important championship points. But Harvey had other ideas and saw where Caine was struggling before attacking on the run out of the Hairpin to take the lead as they sprinted past the pits. Once ahead, Harvey steadily eased away for a very significant win. "That was about pride," said Harvey. "It would have been easy to follow Michael but I wanted to win for the team. It was a special win."

Caine accepted that he did not have the pace to re-challenge Harvey. "Out of the hairpin was a real struggle; the engine was flat and Tim just drove past me," said Caine who took a secure second place while Geddie bagged third after a strong drive on his home track. "After a few laps I was struggling for traction," said Geddie, as Charlie Bateman (Motorbase Performance) battled into fourth. "Hankey and Jelley made it easier for me, but I struggled in the last part of the race," said Bateman.

A tremendous fifth overall went to Butcher (Celtic Speed), who was the leading pro-am2 racer although not eligible for points. "I'm just delighted," said the local ace. "The car was working so well." Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing) and the recovering Jelley were next up before pro-am1 winner Gilham (Collins ReDesign Racing), who dived ahead of Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) in the final two laps. "I had the pace all race and it was a now or never move into the Hairpin," said Gilham. Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) completed the pro-am1 podium, with Ahmad Al Harthy (Red Line Racing) right on his tail at the finish.

While Butcher dominated pro-am2, maximum points went to George Brewster (Celtic Speed) after he fought ahead of George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) as Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) chased throughout. "Excellent," said Brewster. "It worked out perfectly and George kept it absolutely clean."

Caine wins Carrera Cup round 16 at Knockhill

Media release: 5 September 2010

Michael Caine won a dramatic round 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill today (Sunday 5 September) to narrow the gap to championship leader Tim Harvey to 27 points with four races to run.

Harvey rescued a potentially disastrous non-finish to claim fourth place after a trip through the gravel and into the tyre wall. In pro-am1, Tony Gilham completed a tremendous weekend double and guest racer Rory Butcher also wrapped up a second win in pro-am2 as George Brewster took maximum points.

There was action from the start when a multi-car tangle at Duffus Dip on the first lap delayed Stephen Jelley and sent Karl Leonard, Liam Griffin, Jonas Gelzinis and Tautvydas Barstys to the pits. Although none of the cars were left at Duffus, there was coolant dropped on the track and that was to provide more drama when the leading pack arrived on lap two. Caine (Motorbase Performance) scrambled through but Harvey slid wide at the following Scotsman Corner and ran across the gravel and nudged the tyre wall. He then scrabbled out of the gravel trap and bounced over the grass before rejoining, but lost his front splitter in the process. Meanwhile, Glynn Geddie (Team Parker Racing) followed Harvey through the gravel and the safety car was sent out to allow the marshals to treat the slippery track.

From the restart, Caine swept ahead as Charlie Bateman (Motorbase Performance) ran second from Euan Hankey (Team Parker Racing). While Caine pulled away to score a resounding win, Bateman and Hankey battled all the way to flag and Hankey took second after making the decisive move into Clark on the 13th lap. "I just got my head down after the safety car and looked after the car," said Caine. "That was one for the team and a good birthday present for my mum," he said.

Hankey was delighted to be back on the overall podium after a strong race, while Bateman earned the 'driver of the weekend' award for his fighting third place. "It was a great result and I think I had the pace to beat him. But I made a small mistake and he got through," said Bateman. Remarkably, Harvey claimed fourth after running with team mate Michael Meadows (Red Line Racing) on his tail. "It's not often you go through the gravel, hit the wall, loose the splitter and flat spot the tyres and still finish fourth," said Harvey after a vital recovery drive in title terms.

Into a great sixth overall and first in pro-am2 went Butcher (Celtic Speed), who had Geddie in pursuit over the closing laps. "It shows that Celtic run a great car," said Butcher after a superb weekend, which earned Celtic Speed the 'team of the weekend' award. Into eighth, after a tough race with Ollie Jackson (Addison Lee Motorbase) went Gilham to win pro-am1 for the second time in the day. "I struggled after the re-start to get the tyres working, but it's been a great weekend," said Gilham.

Top scorer in pro-am2 was Brewster (Celtic Speed) after a fine race, having had George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) as a constant shadow over the first half of the race. "That might be a defining moment in the championship," said Brewster after points' leader Glenn McMenamin (Red Line Racing) retired with a water leak after an early knock.