The most successful driver over one season in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, 2015 and 2016 champion Dan Cammish (Redline Racing), underlined his position by securing his 23rd and 24th championship pole positions for the opening two rounds of 2017.
However, lap times around Kent’s historic Brands Hatch Indy circuit were closer than ever and promise an electric start to the racing season. Less than one tenth of a second marked out Cammish from his fourth placed pursuer, and less than one second separated over two thirds of the entire grid. In Pro-Am1, team manager and guest driver Greg Caton (G-Cat Racing) secured pole position for both of Sunday’s races, with Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) achieving the same in Pro-Am2.
The highest track temperatures of the weekend so far brought the quickest times, the top ten all lapping comfortably under the existing lap record. Cammish was the early pace setter, with Redline Racing team mates Charlie Eastwood and Tom Oliphant in hot pursuit. Before long, the rapid JTR duo of Dino Zamparelli and Lewis Plato were in the mix, all five drivers swapping places at the top of the timing sheets within fractions of each other before the order settled with Cammish ahead of Eastwood and Plato for the top three. Zamparelli claimed fourth, just 0.086 away from pole, with Oliphant only 0.116s behind in fifth.
The customary mid-session tyre change saw Zamparelli make an early break back onto a clear track, but the Bristolian was unable to capitalise. In this he was not alone, as throughout the remainder of the session none of the top contenders were able to do more than get close to matching their best times which resulted in a grid for race two very similar to that for race one. Pro-Am1 graduates Euan and Dan McKay (Redline Racing) once again showed their differing styles leave little to separate them on track. Reigning Pro-Am1 champion Euan starts ahead of Dan for race one, and vice versa for race two.
Of the Rookies, Tio Ellinas took the final JTR car into the top six in a qualifying performance that put him to the top of the class. Another Rookie making an impression was Tom Wrigley (IN2 Racing), lining up sixth overall for race two after his first Porsche qualifying session. Both Ross Wylie (Slidesports) and Jamie Orton (Redline Racing) showed the benefit of getting some miles under their belts with their times improving every lap.
Caton always looked like being in control of the Pro-Am1 category, but the Team Parker Racing pairing of Justin Sherwood and the returning Alex Martin were neck and neck as they chased him down, Sherwood ending up second ahead of Martin in third.
In Pro-Am2, Kyle-Henney took forward his form from the practice sessions to secure double category pole positions, but not before Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing) set the early pace. Closing in fast was the returning Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing), who edged Jennings into third spot as he claimed second.
Also taking an early turn towards the front of the category was newcomer and Rookie David Fairbrother (Slidesports), the Cayman GT4 Clubsport graduate quickly settling into the 911 GT3 Cup.
With times so close, now the all-important starts will be the focus for every driver and all eyes will be on the run into Paddock Hill Bend. Rounds one and two take place on Sunday 2 April at 10.00 (rolling start) and 15.40 (standing start) respectively.