Rockingham 2011

Sutton claims Carrera Cup pole

Media release: 21 April 2007

James Sutton clinched his first pole position in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a superb performance at Rockingham today (Saturday 21 April) ahead of the third race of the season.
 
Sutton (Red Line Racing) topped the times after an exemplary qualifying session at the Northamptonshire venue, running just 10 laps to ensure his tyres are in good shape for the pair of races.
 
The quality at the head of the Carrera Cup field was amply demonstrated, as Sutton was the quickest of four drivers covered by only a fifth of a second. “The car worked really well and we tried to save our second set of tyres for the race, which should stand us in good stead,” said Sutton. Right behind Sutton came Steve Kane (Motorbase Performance) and Andrew Kirkaldy (Porsche Motorsport). Both former winners of the McLaren/BRDC/Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award lapped very close to Sutton’s best, but significantly did more laps on their tyres in the process. With Rockingham set to be tough on tyres in the pair of 22-lap races, Sutton’s fewer laps in qualifying could be a crucial factor.
 
“Today wasn’t quite so good as testing,” said Kirkaldy. “I probably tried a bit too hard in qualifying. The standard at the front is definitely good,” he added. “But it’s a long time since I last did a standing start!”
 
Battling with the three young guns was Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing). “We were so close to being on the front, but James’s time is fantastic,” said Caine. “But we’ve got a really good race car,” he added. Fifth fastest was Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) and the championship leader was struggling to find front running pace. “Not dialed in; neither me nor the car,” reckoned Tim. “I still don’t really know this place properly,” he added.
 
Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) and Rob Collard (Team Parker Racing) claimed the next two grid places, before Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) headed the pro-am category in eighth place overall. Like Sutton, Rice did very few laps in qualifying in order to preserve his tyres. Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) was close behind Rice in the pro-am battle, while Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) and Pete Osborne (Team O) both showed encouraging form to run close behind Britnell as third and fourth of the pro-ams.

Kirkaldy wins in Carrera Cup at Rockingham

Media release: 22 April 2007

Andrew Kirkaldy scored a debut victory in round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a superb performance at Rockingham today (Saturday 21 April). However, while Kirkaldy used all his GT racing experience to drive a fine race, James Sutton also starred and led for many laps until picking up a front puncture.
 
Sutton (Red Line Racing) took the lead from pole, but had Steven Kane (Motorbase Performance) and Kirkaldy in the Porsche Motorsport entry on his tail over the opening laps as Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) fended off Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) for fourth.
 
As Kane chased the leader, a small rear brake problem caused him to run wide over the grass at Brooke and Kirkaldy dived through to second. Caine and Harvey almost pushed Kane further back, but he recovered just in time to hold on to third.
 
Now it was Kirkaldy chasing Sutton, but the leader was driving with maturity beyond his years and fended off his challenger for lap after lap. However, Sutton locked a front wheel several times into Deene Hairpin and Kirkaldy was able to dive through under braking there for the 15th time. Eventually Sutton’s tyre punctured and he was forced into the pits. “I think it sends out a good message,” said Sutton after an impressive drive. “I’ll just put it down to experience.”
 
Once ahead, Kirkaldy was able to reel off the remaining laps for victory after a quality performance. “We weren’t quite quick enough at the start, but I just tried to conserve my tyres like a GT race,” he said.

Having recovered from his moment on the grass, Kane came through strongly to take second place and maximum points, despite a late scare when he just brushed the wall at very high speed on the exit of Turn One. “I spent most of my race trying to catch up; the car was very fast,” he said.
 
With Sutton now well down the order, Caine was able to claim third, having steadily eased away from Harvey after a big battle in the early laps. “We all had moments where we detoured a bit. I know what to do with the car for tomorrow,” added Caine. Harvey was fourth, needing to conserve his front tyres over the closing laps to avoid the same problem at Sutton.  “We were all making mistakes, it’s that kind of track,” said Tim.
 
Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) took fifth with a strong run, staying clear of Rob Collard (Team Parker Racing), while Nigel Rice took seventh and pro-am victory. “I made a storming start, but got a bit swamped at the first corner. It’s such hard work round here,” said Rice.
 
Initially, Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) led the chase of Rice, but a trip over the grass removed his front splitter and left him battling with major understeer. Britnell then came under attack from a charging Pete Osborne (Team O) until Osborne’s gear lever broke and then it was Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) who swept ahead to take second in pro-am, his best result so far.

Kane takes debut win in Carrera Cup

Media release: 22 April 2007

Steven Kane made it three winners in four races with a debut victory in round four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham today (Sunday 22 April). Kane led from the start to win from Tim Harvey, while James Sutton starred by fighting from the back of the grid to third place.
 
Absent from pole position at the start was Andrew Kirkaldy in the Porsche Motorsport car after driveshaft failure on the green flag lap. Instead, Kane (Motorbase Performance) was able to charge into the lead from Harvey (Red Line Racing), while a blistering start from Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) shot him briefly into third place.
 
Kane quickly started to edge clear from Harvey as Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) and Sam Hancock (Motorbase Performance) battled over fourth from Rice. Up from the back with a storming opening lap came Sutton (Red Line Racing) and he was into sixth place by the end of the first lap.
 
While Kane and Harvey settled into their stride, main interest lay in the progress of Sutton, who took fourth when Hancock ran wide at Deene on lap 12. Sutton’s next target was Caine, and it took another ten laps of attack before he got the chance to dive through at Deene on the final lap to take a fine third place.
 
But it was Kane who had dominated the race to score a resounding victory. “That’s definitely what I needed for the championship,” said Kane. “I made a clean start and it was just about keeping a consistent pace. We’ve worked hard with the car and everything has come together.” Motorbase Performance earned the ‘RAC team of the weekend’ award for their work.
 
Harvey was content to retain his championship lead with second place. “It was damage limitation and that was better than yesterday’s race,” he said. Sutton, meanwhile, had impressed greatly with a mature drive through the field and was named ‘RAC driver of the weekend’. “That’s a perfect reward for the team. I couldn’t feel any better about it,” said Sutton, who might have challenged team mate Harvey for second had there been another couple of laps.
 
Caine took fourth as Hancock slipped away in a secure fifth from Rob Collard (Team Parker Racing). “We’ve been making small improvements all weekend, but we’re still not quite there,” said Hancock.
 
 Having dropped behind Collard mid-race, Rice had to keep pushing on to fend off a challenge from Andy Britnell (Motorbase Performance) in the pro-am category. Only half a second split them at the flag after Britnell closed in over the closing stages. “That was a lot more interesting,” said Rice. “I got a mega start,” he added. Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) completed the pro-am podium, but only just as Pete Osborne (Team O) closed back in again over the final couple of laps.