Donington

Sherwood heads GT3 Cup Challenge GB opener at Donington Park

Media release: 14th April 2013

The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge GB will get underway at Donington Park on Sunday 14 April with the first of six double-header meetings for the fabulous 420bhp racing Porsches used in the Carrera Cup GB up to 2009.
 
The GT3 Cup is the perfect way for less experienced drivers or those running on smaller budgets to sample these cars and some of the drivers will have the Carrera Cup as their aim for future seasons. The following weekend (20/21 April) at Donington Park, former GT3 Cup racer Peter Smallwood will be one of the drivers on the Carrera Cup GB grid during the BTCC event.
 
Heading the GT3 Cup field is local ace Justin Sherwood who lives almost within sight of Donington Park and brings extensive experience to his second season in a Porsche. The former British F3 racer will surely set the mark on home ground as he opens his 2013 campaign. Ranged against Sherwood will be his Team Parker Racing team mate Steven Liquorish, who is another race winner and strong title contender. With Stuart Parker’s team based at Leicester and enjoying long-established links with Donington Park, this really is a home event for the squad.
 
Joining the grid to make his Porsche with Redline Racing debut is Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher. Fletcher is making a big jump up the racing ladder this season but showed superb pace in his debut season of racing last year and starred with a mighty performance in his first race at Donington last spring. The step from a Mighty Mini to a Porsche is very, very big, but he clearly has good natural talent.
 
Having their first ever races will be Parr Motorsport’s Rob Boughton and Peter Kyle-Henney, although both have shown good pace in pre-season testing and the team headed by the hugely experienced Paul Robe will be the perfect place for the two racing novices to learn about racing. Both drivers have track day experience and Kyle-Henney has competed successfully in speed events with a 911 GT3 Cup car.
 
Back for a second season are Harrogate-based Guy Riall (Almara Racing) and Irish racer Tom Hallissey (ASK Racing), while Mark Cowne (Parr Motorsport) will start his second season of racing after a climbing a tremendous learning curve in the 2012 GT3 Cup Challenge.
 
The Donington event will be busy for the teams and drivers with qualifying and two 25-minutes races all on Sunday. Qualifying starts at 10.40 with the races scheduled for 13.45 and 16.05. The action can be followed on the new Porsche Cars GB motorsport web platform at www.porscheracinggb.porsche.com

Sherwood nets double pole

Media release: 14th April 2013

Sherwood made his intentions clear in qualifying with a classy performance to take pole position for both races. “I was just getting used to the new tyres,” said the local ace, 21 years on from starting his racing career at Donington Park. Also focusing his attention were strong winds blowing the across the track, making things particularly tricky down the Craner Curves.
 
Second fastest for both races was Liquorish, but it took a late push in qualifying to dislodge Fletcher (Redline Racing) from second spot. “Could do better is the report from qualifying,” reported Liquorish. “There’s still more time there,” he added.
 
Fletcher was very impressive on his Porsche debut to qualify third and then fourth for the two races, but he was frustrated to lose six-tenths of a second at the chicane on his best lap. Just as impressive ahead of his first ever race was Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport), who took fourth and then third grid places for the two races. “It’s incredibly difficult when you go out there with these guys,” he said.
 
Guy Riall (Almara Racing), racing newcomer Rob Boughton (Parr Motorsport) and Mark Cowne (Parr Motorsport) packed out the next grid places.

Sherwood takes season opener

Media release: 14th April 2013

Sherwood got the jump on his team mate Liquorish to head the field into Redgate in the opening race, with Fletcher third and Kyle-Henney fourth. While the leading two drivers quickly got into their stride, Kyle-Henney chased Fletcher but then had a spin at the chicane on the fourth lap. He dropped to the tail of the field, before starting a stirring recovery drive.
 
At the head of the race, Sherwood took control and drove faultlessly to work clear of Liquorish. The gap was never too great, but Sherwood was controlling the pace and monitored the gap to his chaser. “It’s never easy and I was managing the tyres later in the race,” said Sherwood. “My pit crew was giving me the gap to Steven.”
 
Liquorish admitted that he had let Sherwood escape in the early laps, but the gap was still only five seconds after more than 25 minutes of racing. Completing the podium after an impressive start to his Porsche racing career was Fletcher. “That’s a great result,” he said. “Every time I pushed I made a couple of mistakes and it was a big learning curve,” said Fletcher.
 
Kyle-Henney fought back from his spin to take fourth. “It was absolutely fantastic, but it could have been a lot easier,” he said of his debut race. Riall was a strong, if lonely, fifth, while Boughton just fended off Cowne to take sixth.
 
Results: round one:
1 Justin Sherwood; 2 Steven Liquorish; 3 Kelvin Fletcher; 4 Peter Kyle-Henney; 5 Guy Riall; 6 Rob Boughton. Fastest lap: Sherwood 1m10.940s (100.43mph).

Kyle-Henney stars in race two

Media release: 14th April 2013

Sherwood made it two wins from two races with a commanding victory in the second race and made his escape on the opening lap as Liquorish battled to overcome the fast-starting Kyle-Henney. Their contest for second, and the pace of racing newcomer Kyle-Henney was the talking point of the race.
 
Up front, however, Sherwood was peerless and quickly established a handy lead as spots of rain started to fall.  But nothing was going to unseat Sherwood and he rattled off the remaining laps for a second victory of the afternoon and an immediate championship advantage. “I was trying to monitor the amount of rain: Donington has its own weather,” said Justin. “I enjoyed the race; these cars are superb to drive.”
 
Behind Sherwood, things were far from settled as Kyle-Henney fended off Liquorish for the first lap. Into Redgate for the second time, Liquorish dived through, but Kyle-Henney belied his lack of racing experience by staying on the tail of his rival and mounting a series of attacks. Eventually, as the rain increased slightly, Kyle-Henney opted for a safe third and dropped back a little.
 
“I got a bad start,” reported Liquorish. “I thought it was Kelvin coming up the inside of me. It was a good battle,” he said of the contest with Kyle-Henney. A mid race brush at Redgate showed how close the battle had been. “My apologies to Steven,” said Kyle-Henney on the podium. “Coming into the first races, we just didn’t know where we were going to be,” he said after being elated to take a podium finish.
 
Fletcher and Riall had clear runs to take fourth and fifth while Boughton was sixth, but only after a tussle with Cowne in the opening laps. Once he had edged through at Redgate, Boughton was able to consolidate the place.
 
Results: round two:
1 Sherwood; 2 Liquorish; 3 Kyle-Henney; 4 Fletcher; 5 Riall; 6 Boughton. Fastest lap: Sherwood 1m10.906s (100.48mph).
 
Provisional points after round two:
1 Sherwood 44; 2 Liquorish 36; 3 Fletcher and Kyle-Henney 30; 5 Riall 24; 6 Boughton 20. Next rounds: Snetterton 11/12 May.

Race Highlights

Media release: 24th April 2013

Watch highlights of the opening races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge from Donington Park.