Donington Park

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Donington Park Circuit - Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2RP

Location: off the A453, nr East Midlands Airport, from j23a or 24, M1 (M42 interchange)

Tel: 01332 810048

Website: www.donington-park.co.uk

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Porsche Carrera Cup GB heads for Donington Park

Media release: 11 April 2011

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

The 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB resumes at Donington Park this weekend (16/17 April) for rounds three and four of the 19-race season. With a superb field of 24 of the new 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars on the grid, there will be plenty of superb race action at the popular East Midlands track, with a host of strong contenders across all three categories.

The driver heading to Donington with the early lead in the points’ table is Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) and this is very much home ground for the Anstey-based racer who took a win and a second at Brands Hatch to take a four-point championship lead.

“That’s a great start to the season,” said Jelley. “Coming into my home races of the season at Donington leading the points is mega. I’ve probably done more races at Donington than any other circuit and I know it very well. It’s always been a good track for me in terms of pace, but with a home track there is always added pressure.”

The biggest rival to Jelley at Brands Hatch was his team mate Euan Hankey, who also pulled together a very late deal to contest a second season in the Carrera Cup GB. Hankey became the first Carrera Cup Scholarship driver to win a race with victory in the season opener at Brands and should be a major contender at Donington Park.

Ranged against Jelley and Hankey are more than half a dozen drivers in the pro category and all of them have very serious race winning intent. James Sutton and Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline) were consistently strong at Brands Hatch to offer the biggest challenge to Jelley and Hankey and it is Sutton who currently lies just four points behind Jelley at the head of the table. Meanwhile, youngsters Sam Tordoff (Leeds) and Richard Plant (Sheffield) made impressive debuts for Team Parker Racing and will be on their home track at Donington.

For Nationwide/Motorbase duo Michael Caine and Tim Harvey, Brands was a difficult weekend and they will be battling to come back strong at Donington, while 2011 Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Ben Hetherington (Redline/Oman Air) will be aiming to move up the order having raced at Brands when less than 100% fit after being hit by tonsillitis.

In the Pro-Am1 category, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) emerged from Brands Hatch with an early points’ lead but he faces some tough challenges. Notably, round one winner Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed), Derek Pierce (Dextra/J&D Pierce by Parker) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) are all strong contenders.

For Pro-Am2 pacesetter George Brewster (Celtic Speed) it was a great start to the season with a double win at Brands. But Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing), Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) and Keith Webster (Redline Racing) all had strong starts to their campaigns.

After qualifying at 14.15 on Saturday, round three will start at 09.20 on Sunday with round four at 15.05. Round four will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme, with highlights from round three possibly being broadcast during the lunch break, which starts at 12.45 on Sunday.

Gelzinis tops Carrera Cup GB test at Donington Park

Media release: 14 April 2011

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

The stage is set for a fascinating weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park this weekend (16/17 April) after testing today (Thursday 14 April) ahead of rounds three and four of the championship.

With a mighty lap in the afternoon session, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) shot to the top of the times to not only head the Pro-Am1 category but the overall times as well. His best lap of 1m07.215s was almost a second faster than any previous Carrera Cup lap at Donington as the teams and drivers exploit the latest model 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup.

“I’m very happy,” said the Lithuanian driver. “That is more than I dreamed; I got a very good clear lap,” he added. Second fastest to go top of the Pro category was James Sutton (SAS/Redline) and he was quick to acknowledge the pace of Gelzinis. “He’s driving exceptionally well,” said Sutton. “We’re looking good and are where we need to be; I think we’ve got a very good race car.”

A tenth of a second behind Sutton in third was Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta), who was quick to congratulate Gelzinis after the session. “What a job,” enthused Hankey of Gelzinis’ performance. Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) and Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline) were right on the pace in fourth and fifth as less than four tenths of a second covered the top eight cars.

Continuing his impressive form from the season opener at Brands Hatch with sixth overall and second in Pro-Am1 was Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air). “That’s very good,” said the Oman-based racer. “It was important to be strong again and now we know what we can do in qualifying,” he said.

On face value, seventh fastest for Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase) was a modest result, but Harvey was one of the only leading runners not to use new tyres in the test session. Lapping less than four-tenths of a second away from the ultimate pace on used tyres, suggests that Harvey will be right in contention in Saturday’s qualifying session. “We’re very happy with that,” said team boss David Bartrum. “We seem to have hit the ground pretty much on the front pace,” said Harvey after being second fastest to Meadows by 13-hundredths of a second in the earlier test session.

However, there was drama for the Nationwide/Motorbase team as Michael Caine was involved in an incident with John Taylor (Team Parker Racing) and Michael Leonard (Parr Motorsport) on the run to Redgate in the first test session. A clash sent Caine’s car into Leonard’s at high speed as Leonard exited the pits and both cars were damaged. Leonard’s car is out for the weekend, but the Motorbase squad set about rebuilding Caine’s car, which should be ready in good time for qualifying.

Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) was well in contention with a strong eighth, while championship leader Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) was down in ninth after a trip into the gravel in the second session.

Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) was just outside the top 10 overall to take third in Pro-Am1, while Andrew Shelley (Redline Racing) had an excellent day to head the Pro-Am2 times. “It’s been a good day,” said Shelley. “I’m still off what I need to be but I learnt one or two tricks about Donington today,” he added. George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Keith Webster (Redline Racing) completed the top three in Pro-Am2, which again promises to deliver some great racing.

April 14th 2011

Gelzinis and Meadows top Carrera Cup qualifying at Donington Park

Media release: 16 April 2011

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Jonas Gelzinis and Michael Meadows each took a pole position in an exciting qualifying session for rounds three and four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Saturday 16 April).

In a fascinating qualifying session, the times changed constantly among the incredibly closely matched grid and by the end of the session both Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and Meadows (SAS/Redline) had each claimed their first pole position in the Carrera Cup GB. Gelzinis also dominated Pro-Am1, while Andrew Shelley (Red Line Racing) continued his excellent testing form to take two poles in Pro-Am2.

In one of the closest qualifying sessions in Carrera Cup history, just nine-hundredths of a second decided the top three places for Sunday's first race as Gelzinis headed Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) and Meadows. On the grid for the weekend's second race, Meadows jumped to the top spot with Tordoff second and Gelzinis third.

"The luck is still with me," said Gelzinis, who had also been fastest in pre-race testing. "I love this circuit and it was even better on my second set of tyres." Meadows was equally delighted with his pole position for round four. "That's fantastic; my first pole in Carrera Cup," said the former Carrera Cup Scholarship driver.  "But I had no idea as my lap times were not coming up on the display."

Tordoff came within eight-hundredths of a second of taking pole for round three with a very impressive performance. "That's mega; we had the pace in testing, but we didn't string a lap together," he said. "I knew if I could piece it all together we'd be up there." Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta) and James Sutton (SAS/Redline) each took a fourth and a fifth position, while Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta), Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase), Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing), Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) and Ben Hetherington (Redline/Oman Air) packed out the next places as less than eight-tenths of a second covered the top 10.

While Gelzinis took a major lead at the head of Pro-Am1, Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air), Derek Pierce (Dextra/J&D Pierce by Parker) and his team mate Alex Martin ran close in the top four. "I was hoping to be quicker but both runs were compromised by traffic," said Al Harthy. "I should have been further up," said Pierce, who had a late spin at McLeans when he found grass spread across the track from a previous car.

Shelley had a very strong session to top Pro-Am2 and was able to set his times in just eight laps to leave his tyres very fresh for the races. "That's great; I sat in the pits once the job was done," said Shelley. "Donington has always been my favourite circuit." George Brewster (Celtic Speed) was second in Pro-Am2 for both races, while Keith Webster (Redline Racing) took two thirds. "It's all good," said Webster. "I feel a lot more comfortable in the car," he said ahead of only his second weekend in the Carrera Cup.

Hankey wins Carrera Cup round three at Donington Park  

Media release: 17 April 2011

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Euan Hankey made it two wins from the first three races when he won an action packed round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday 17 April).  Hankey swept ahead to win after long-time leader Sam Tordoff spun, while Ahmad Al Harthy (Pro-Am1) and Andrew Shelley (Pro-Am2) both claimed debut category victories.

In a topsy-turvy race, Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) led from the start, having edged ahead of pole sitter Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) on the run to Redgate. Behind them, Hankey (Parker with Juta) boldly went all the way around the outside at Redgate to grab second. Moments later, a clash of wheels at the Old Hairpin wrecked the races of Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) and Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase), with Jelley out with damaged suspension and Harvey losing a lap in a pit stop to change a punctured rear tyre.

Tordoff quickly established a lead of more than a second and, driving with an assuredness that belied his Carrera Cup experience, led for 17 laps as Hankey led the chase. Behind Hankey, Gelzinis headed SAS/Redline pairing Michael Meadows and James Sutton, with Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) and Ben Hetherington (Redline/Oman Air) chasing along.

At the head of the race, it all went wrong for Tordoff at the Old Hairpin on lap 17. He went to go around a backmarker and his car snapped into a spin. "I got onto the marbles, touched the grass and away it went," said Tordoff. "But until then I did everything right," he said after only his third race in a Porsche. He recovered to finish eighth.

That left Hankey with a clear lead and he was able to ease off over the closing stages to preserve his tyres. "I never predicted that," said Hankey. "I was gently eating into Sam's lead, but then I could back off as I need to use the same set of tyres for the second race this afternoon."

Meadows drove one of his strongest races to date to head Sutton home for second after Gelzinis became another driver to spin at the Old Hairpin. "I was pushing to the maximum and the corner was a little bit dirty," said Gelzinis. "I was lucky to just finish," he added after recovering to seventh and second in Pro-Am1. "That's good for the points," said Meadows as Sutton took the championship lead with third. Plant was a strong fourth, well in touch with the SAS cars, while Hetherington claimed his best result to date with fifth.

With Gelzinis spinning down the order, Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) raced to Pro-Am1 victory with a great performance. "That is my first win in the UK and words cannot express how happy I am," said Al Harthy. "But it wasn't an easy race." Alex Martin (Dextra/J&D Pierce by Parker) had chased driver until a spin at the Old Hairpin, so it was Gelzinis second and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) third in Pro-Am1.

Shelley (Redline Racing) always had Pro-Am2 under control, despite a moment on the grass at the Old Hairpin. "I managed to stay out of trouble and I felt comfortable," said Shelley, who went clear of team mate Keith Webster early in the race. Second in Pro-Am2 in only his third Porsche race was a good result for Webster, but over the closing laps he had to defend his place from George Brewster (Celtic Speed) as Brewster recovered from an early spin at McLeans.

Meadows takes Carrera Cup win at Donington Park

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Media release: 17 April 2011

Michael Meadows became the third winner in four races when he scored his debut championship win in round four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Sunday 17 April).

Meadows headed James Sutton home in an impressive one-two for the SAS/Redline team as Euan Hankey completed the overall podium. A tremendous fourth overall and Pro-Am1 win went to Jonas Gelzinis, while George Brewster won Pro-Am2 after a mighty battle with category rivals Andrew Shelley and Keith Webster.

"My start was the next best thing to perfect," said Meadows after converting pole into a first lap lead from Sutton, Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) and Hankey (Parker with Juta) before a gaggle of cars comprising Gelzinis (Juta Racing), Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta), Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase) and Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing).

Lap by lap, the two SAS cars edged clear and Hankey moved through to third when Tordoff retired with an engine problem after 10 laps. Two laps later Hankey had a major moment at the chicane and nearly spun, which cost him the ground he had made on the two leaders and almost allowed Gelzinis to grab what had become third. That moment for Hankey ensured that Meadows and Sutton were away clear and they drove home for a one-two formation team finish.

"It's never easy and I was trying all the time," said Meadows, who became the second former Carrera Cup Scholarship winner to win a race. Sutton shadowed his team mate home. "I was comfortable behind Michael," said Sutton. "We wanted a clinical one-two for the team." Hankey accepted that the moment at the chicane cost him any chance of attacking Sutton, but he bagged his third podium in four races by moving clear of Gelzinis, Jelley, Harvey and Plant.

Gelzinis drove a well-judged race among the pro racers to clinch Pro-Am1 victory, while Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) raced to second as Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) fended off Daniele Perfetti (Motorbase Performance) to complete the Pro-Am1 podium. "That's the best weekend I've had so far," said Al Harthy.

The battle for Pro-Am2 was one of the highlights of the races as Brewster (Celtic Speed) battled with Redline Racing team mates Shelley and Webster. At one point they ran three abreast into Redgate at the height of the battle as Brewster just held on to a lead he grabbed from Shelley off the line. "It was a good race," said Brewster. "Once I got a break I was able to hold it," he added as Shelley fought back ahead of Webster to take second. "It was fantastic; the best race I've been in," said Webster.