Donington Park

The Circuit - April 14/15 2012

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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Donington Park next for Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Media release: 10 April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

The glorious sweeps of the Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire are the setting for rounds three and four of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Another fine entry of 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars should deliver two more absorbing contests at a track that most drivers rate as one of their favourites.

Right now, the early championship momentum is with Michael Meadows (Redline Racing). He was unfortunate to be denied a double win at Brands Hatch by a penalty and then set a blistering pace in testing at Thruxton last week. Now, Meadows heads to Donington with a five-point lead and he will be determined to press home his advantage.

However, as the Carrera Cup celebrates 10 years with its youngest ever driver line-up in the Pro category, a gaggle of drivers will all fancy their chances to stopping Meadows taking all the glory. Second in the points is Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) and he will fly at Donington. So too, will the Yorkshire youth squad from Team Parker Racing of Richard Plant (Sheffield), Sam Tordoff (Leeds) and Daniel Lloyd (Huddersfield). Plant scored a fine debut win at Brands, while Tordoff led a race at Donington a year ago and will surely shine. Then, Carrera Cup Scholarship driver Lloyd will also be a strong contender after a massively impressive start to his season.

Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) is another major title contender and showed his pace with a feisty recovery drive in the second race at Brands Hatch. He will expect to be challenging for the podium at Donington, while Glynn Geddie (Redline Racing) will also be eager to step up the order after, by his own high standards, a modest weekend at Brands. Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) and Chris Dymond (Parr Motorsport) pack out an incredibly strong Pro category.

Heading Pro-Am1 after two races is Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) and he is set to be the benchmark once more at Donington Park. However, the Oman racer faces some tough opposition, including Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) who won the second race at Brands to show his potential despite very limited seat time to date. Derek Pierce and Michael Leonard race with Team Parker Racing and both are potential winners, with Pierce aiming to repeat his opening round victory.

Pro-Am2 seems to be wide open at this stage and three drivers will head to Donington vying for a place on the top step of the podium. Will Goff (Goff Racing) and Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) shared the wins at Brands, but Tania Mann (SIBSport) made a superb Carrera Cup debut and should build on that as her experience in the car grows.

After qualifying at 14.40 on Saturday, round three will start at 10.00 on Sunday, with round four at 15.40 on Sunday. Round four will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme.

Lloyd tops Carrera Cup GB test at Donington

Media release: 12th April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain
 
Daniel Lloyd continued his hugely impressive start to the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB when he set the pace during testing at Donington Park today (Thursday 12 April) ahead of rounds three and four of the championship.
 
Once again, the incredibly strong field set a fearsome pace at the East Midlands track and the top eight drivers ended the day covered by less than four-tenths of a second. While Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) and Tania Mann (SIBSport) headed Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2, Carrera Cup Scholarship racer Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) lapped three-tenths of a second under the lap record to head the overall times.
 
For Lloyd it was the first time in his short Carrera Cup career to date that he had ended the day with the best lap, having run two laps in the 1m07.2s bracket in the afternoon session. “It’s been a mega day,” said Lloyd. “I’m over the moon to be P1 but I think there is a bit more to come.” Sam Tordoff made it a good day for Team Parker Racing by setting the pace in the morning test and he ended the day only six-hundredths of a second behind his team mate. “We had a good set-up from testing before the start of the season and I seem to go well here,” said Tordoff, who believes that a lap beneath the 1m07s mark could be the pole time in Saturday’s qualifying session.
 
Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) both ran very strongly to wrap up the top four and mark themselves as major contenders, while Michael Meadows (Redline Racing) and Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) made it five teams in the top six places. Meadows, the man who has generally set the pace to date this season, reported that he didn’t get a proper run on new tyres but he will surely be in the battle for pole position when qualifying starts on Saturday afternoon.
 
Right in among the Pro drivers was Al Harthy, who topped Pro-Am1 with eighth best time overall. “The car was perfect and I’m happy with that,” said the Omani racer. “I’ll try and fight the Pros in the races,” he added. However, the strength of the Pro-Am1 pack was amply illustrated as less than a second covered the other six drivers in the category with Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) heading the pursuit of Al Harthy.
 
“The car is fantastic,” said Pierce. “I was pleased to be only eight-tenths off the overall best time, but disappointed to be down in tenth place overall,” he added. Third in Pro-Am1 came from a strong performance by Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) with series returnee Karl Leonard (Parr Motorsport) well in touch in fourth. “That’s blown the cobwebs away,” said Leonard after his first proper day of running since the end of the 2011 season.
 
In Pro-Am2, Mann worked away to find nearly a second between the two sessions and come within an ace of breaking the 1m10s mark. With Will Goff (Goff Racing) likely to miss the weekend due to business commitments and Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) missing testing, Mann had the Pro-Am2 category to herself for testing.
 
After qualifying at 14.40 on Saturday, round three will start at 10.00 on Sunday, with round four at 15.40 on Sunday. Round four will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme.

Team Reaction

Practice for rounds three and four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB got underway on Thursday, rather than the usual Friday, in sunny conditions. Practice One was about prepping the cars for the weekend as well as getting new signing Karl Leonard, used to driving a Cup car again. Karl, replacing Chris Dymond for this weekend, last raced at the end of the 2011 season. “Karl I’m very pleased with, considering he hasn’t been in the car since Silverstone,” said team boss Paul Robe after session one. Karl set good times and was comfortably amongst the Pro-Am 1 frontrunners. Ben spent time bedding in brakes and getting used to a track that he last raced on in 2009 in a Formula Ford. Overall the first session was productive despite electronic gremlins causing Ben a few issues.

The expected rain blew over and session two got underway as the team concentrated on finding pace for Saturday’s qualifying. It was a closely fought session as the top drivers went out on new rubber. Lloyd set the benchmark time on a 1.07:235. Ben was close behind finishing third with Karl fourth in class.

“It went much better,” Said Ben. “We fixed the problems with the car so to be P3 in practice Two I’m dead happy. We’re only a tenth off so we’ve got to find a little bit but I think it’s down to me perfecting a lap so I’m pleased. We’ll have a good crack at qualifying tomorrow.” Paul Robe added “I’m really pleased, excellent job from Ben. There is still more to come which is really encouraging but that was a really good session for us and puts us right in the ball park for where we need to be. It was great for Karl too. He didn’t quite make the best of it due to traffic but I was pleased with the pace he’s shown and he’s taken the rust off so he’s sharp again.”

Meadows takes Double Pole

Media release: 14th April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Michael Meadows re-asserted himself at the head of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park today (Saturday 14 April) by taking two more pole positions for rounds three and four of the 2012 championship. Meadows has now completed a run of four consecutive poles in the opening four races.
 
Jonas Gelzinis and Sam Tordoff led the chase of Meadows in the contest for top position overall and Ahmad Al Harthy clinched both pole positions in Pro-Am1, while Tania Mann (SIBSport) had Pro-Am2 to herself, but ran in among the Pro-Am1 pack with another strong performance.
 
“That’s exactly what we wanted,” said Meadows (Redline Racing) after slipping from the top spot in pre-race testing on Thursday. “The set-up clicked perfectly just when we needed it. That’s two more championship points,” added Meadows. However, the margin over his rivals was tiny for both races, with Gelzinis (Juta Racing) 44-hundredths of a second behind on the grid for round three and Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) 32-hundredths of a second down on Meadows on the grid for round four. Gelzinis and Tordoff both took a third place to make the top three drivers the same for both races.
 
“It was okay, but I lost some time in traffic and only made one good lap,” said Gelzinis. “I think the start of the session was quicker as the wind picked up,” said Tordoff. “But I got two strong consistent laps, so I’ll take that.”
 
Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) were fourth and fifth for both races. “It could have been a little bit better,” said Barker. “I went into the chicane a bit too hot on my best lap.” Plant, meanwhile, didn’t feel that he had got the session right and felt that there was still more time to come.
 
Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) topped Pro-Am1 for both races and took an excellent sixth fastest overall for round three to put three Pro drivers between him and the rest of the Pro-Am1 category. “It’s good for us to be up among the Pros,” said Al Harthy. “It was tough on the first set of tyres but we improved on the second set.”
 
Behind Al Harthy, Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) and Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) each took a second and a third place in Pro-Am1. “Good pace: very happy,” said Spaniard Jimenez after a strong showing. “It didn’t go to plan,” said Pierce. “I had a really good lap and just got held up.” The overall level of competition was illustrated when, for round three, Pierce qualified 11th on the grid with a time less than seven-tenths of a second down on Meadows’ pole time.
 
Round three grid:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows (1m07.013s); 2 Jonas Gelzinis (1m07.057s); 3 Sam Tordoff (1m07.213s).
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy (1m07.443s); 2 Victor Jimenez (1m07.646s); 3 Derek Pierce (1m07.662s)
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann (1m09.869s).
 
Round four grid:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows (1m07.186s); 2 Sam Tordoff (1m07.218s); 3 Jonas Gelzinis (1m07.311s).
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy (1m07.662s); 2 Derek Pierce (1m07.778s); 3 Victor Jimenez (1m07.783s).
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann (1m10.180s).

Team Reaction

After testing on Thursday it seemed like an eternity before we were back out on track today. As it happened the timetable which had already seen many revisions issued, was five minutes fast and so qualifying got underway at 2:35. Having had good runs in free practice Two on Thursday, confidence was high for a good result. As it was, Ben was marginally disappointed to be fourth for both races.  Sam Tordoff set the initial pace before Michael Meadows posted a pole time with Jonas Gelzinis very close behind in second.

To demonstrate how close it is at the front in this season’s Carrera Cup, Ben was 0.246 seconds off pole for race four and only 0.174 seconds off in race three. “It was good, “ said Ben “I was consistently at the top again but I made a bit of a mistake on my fast lap at the chicane which lost me a couple of tenths which was a shame. We’ve got a few issues with the car we need to sort out and get it a bit more settled but I think we’ll be good for the race, well up there and fighting for the podium.” Team boss Paul Robe added “Good qualifying from Ben, we were hoping for the top three but it is very, very close up there and he did a good job.”

Karl faired less well in a session that saw him have a minor off through the gravel trap losing his front splitter in the process. “The car just handled differently to the other day and had a lot of oversteer, “ said Karl. A best time of 1 minute 08.447 put him fifth in the Pro-am 1 class. Paul Robe said “It didn’t go his way in that session but all to race for.”

Meadows takes second Carrera Cup GB win at Donington

Media release: 15th April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Michael Meadows made it two wins from the opening three races in the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB with victory in round three at Donington Park today (Sunday 15 April) as just one second covered the top four drivers after 26 minutes of flat out racing.
 
In Pro-Am1 Ahmad Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) led from the start to underline his status as current category pacesetter and Tania Mann (SIBSport) took maximum Pro-Am2 points and chased the Pro-Am1 pack for much of the race.
 
Meadows (Redline Racing) got the start he wanted to lead the pack into Redgate and edged clear in the opening laps as a fierce battle developed for second between Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing), Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) and Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing). Gelzinis struggled with his start when the team fitted a new clutch after qualifying and he got too much wheelspin as he dropped from second to fifth.
 
On lap three, Tordoff missed a gear at the chicane and instantly dropped to fifth, which helped Meadows build his lead to nearly three seconds. But as the race progressed all was not entirely well with the lead car. “Mid-way through the race I was locking the rear brakes,” said Meadows as Plant inexorably closed the gap. But it all went wrong for Plant as he dived down to the Old Hairpin on lap 13 when a front tyre deflated and wrecked his chances.
 
Now it was Barker chasing Meadows while also trying to defend from the challenge of Gelzinis and Tordoff. With three laps to go, Meadows had barely half a second in hand as Barker came under intense pressure from Gelzinis and Tordoff. Into the final lap, the four cars were nose-to-tail and a relieved Meadows finally took the flag just a quarter of a second up on Barker with Gelzinis and Tordoff in their wheel tracks.
 
“I was struggling a bit and had to push harder than I wanted,” said Meadows. “I was just counting the laps down to the finish,” he said. “It was so tight at the front: ridiculously close,” said Barker. “Michael got a gap when we were fighting, but we got up to him at the end.” Gelzinis completed the podium despite losing time at the start. “I just got my head down and drove very quick,” he said after smashing the lap record by half a second. “But I didn’t want to take any big risks,” he added.  For Tordoff, fourth place was scant reward for his pace.
 
Al Harthy always cut the pace in Pro-Am1 and had one or two Pro category drivers between him and the rest of the Pro-Am1 field as he claimed a stylish victory. “That was a perfect race for me,” said Al Harthy. “I kept my head down and concentrated the whole race.” Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Parker) was a strong second, after following a fierce battle between Glynn Geddie (Redline Racing) and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) for many laps. Pierce then worked ahead of Geddie to take seventh overall. “The car was really good and I’m pleased to have gone from eleventh to seventh,” said Pierce.
 
Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) completed the Pro-Am1 podium with a strong run. “That was fantastic,” said the Spanish racer. “Now my start is good.” Meanwhile Mann ran alone in Pro-Am2, but drove well to chase the Pro-Am1 pack for many laps before a quick spin at the chicane.
 
Round three results:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows; 2 Ben Barker; 3 Jonas Gelzinis
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy; 2 Derek Pierce; 3 Victor Jimenez
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann

Team Reaction

Ben Barker P2 at DoningtonIt was an early start for the first Sunday morning race of the season but more than worth it as race one got underway in brilliantly sunny conditions. Starting fourth Ben got a bad start, bogging down but positioned the car so he was able to retake lost positions around the outside of the first corner. With Meadows making an early break for freedom it left Tordoff, Plant, Ben and Gelzinis to bunch up. Tordoff then missed a shift losing two places and with Plant having a left front puncture, Ben was promoted to second place.

In the second half of the race Ben was able to create a gap to third placed man Gelzinis as he battled with Tordoff. “My tyres started to go off a little bit towards the end,” said Ben. “It was a matter of being as smooth as possible. I was pushing Meadows, he was pushing as well because he was sideways a few times.” It was a close race, with Ben able to reel in Meadows in the closing laps. By the time the chequered flag fell he was less than a quarter of a second behind the leader and secured the first podium of his 2012 campaign. “I’m pleased with the result,” said team boss Paul Robe. “Ben drove really well. It was a really exciting race. It was a pressurised race but he had the pace to put pressure on Michael for the lead. We’ve got a bit of work to do but we can build on what we’ve got.” “I’m happy with it, P2 is really good,” added Ben.

Teammate and Carrera Cup returnee Karl Leonard had an equally enjoyable race. “I got a lovely start, ” said Karl who took three positions to finish the first lap in eleventh and finished the race fourth in the Pro Am 1 class. “The car was good, “ said Karl. “I’m happy with that. Starting so far back it was hard to get up but I had good mid race pace so I’d like to get a podium in race two.” Paul Robe added “Karl had a terrible qualifying which was really disappointing but made amends for it in the race. Unfortunately he didn’t quite make a podium but was very close. “

Race one will be shown on ITV4 at 1pm today. Race two starts at 3:40 and will be shown live.

 

Meadows completes Carrera Cup GB double at Donington

Media release: 15th April 2012

Source: Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

Michael Meadows made it a perfect result by taking his second win of the day in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB during round four at Donington Park today (Sunday 15 April).
 
While Meadows stayed ahead of Jonas Gelzinis to make it three wins from four races this season, Daniel Lloyd starred with a fighting drive through to grab third place on the final lap from Sam Tordoff. Despite constant pressure from Derek Pierce, Ahmad Al Harthy won Pro-Am1 for the second time in the day, while Tania Mann (SIBSport) took Pro-Am2 with another strong performance.
 
Meadows (Redline Racing) dived ahead at the start from pole position as Gelzinis (Juta Racing) forged through to second at the expense of Team Parker Racing team mates Sam Tordoff and Richard Plant. This quartet soon started to edge clear and their escape was aided when Ben Barker (Parr Motorsport) spun off into the tyre wall at Schwantz Curve when battling with Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) for fifth.
 
Gelzinis stalked Meadows for a dozen laps but then came the decisive moment in the lead battle when Gelzinis had a big moment under braking for the chicane and lost nearly two seconds to Meadows. “Maybe there was coolant down,” said Gelzinis. “I didn’t want to push Meadows too hard at the beginning.” With two such closely matched cars, the gap was now just too big for Gelzinis to close it down and Meadows was able to take a two-second advantage to the flag. “We were really quick in that race and I was able to edge out the gap,” said Meadows. “We made quite a few changes for the second race and they worked.”
 
The action now centred on the contest for third as the trio of young Yorkshire racers from Team Parker provided the fireworks. Tordoff lost third with a moment on the grass on the exit of Coppice and then set about closing back up to Plant as Lloyd chased them both. By lap 20, they were nose-to-tail and into Redgate with two laps to go Plant locked a wheel and ran wide, instantly losing two places. Now it was Lloyd attacking Tordoff and they ran side-by-side into Redgate for the final time. Lloyd dropped down another gear to get the drag out of the corner and edged ahead as they raced side-by-side through Hollywood in a display of fine racing. “Sam went defensive into Redgate and I got a bit of a cut back,” said Lloyd after a great contest. Plant deserved more than fifth for his efforts and only just held off the charging Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) on the dash to the line.
 
In Pro-Am1, Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) led all the way but was kept under constant pressure by Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) and was still less than two seconds ahead at the flag. “It was a very hard race from start to finish,” said Al Harthy. “That’s the first time we’ve had a perfect weekend with two wins.” Meanwhile, Pierce had driven a great pursuit. “I chased and chased and never gave up, but it was his weekend this time.” Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air) completed the Pro-Am1 podium once Michael Leonard (Naas Court Hotel with Parker) and Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) tangled at Coppice and both retired.
 
Round four results:
Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows; 2 Jonas Gelzinis; 3 Daniel Lloyd
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Ahmad Al Harthy; 2 Derek Pierce; 3 Victor Jimenez
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Tania Mann