A welcome return to Donington Park for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB was ushered in by another set of close times across both practice sessions. Just over three quarters of a second covered the eleven Pro category drivers over the 2-mile lap, all of whom had completed at least a full day of testing beforehand at the Leicestershire circuit.
Double champion Dan Cammish elected to sit out the second session, confident in his setup and justifiably so. Despite not turning a wheel in the faster second session, Cammish still ended the day fastest overall and comfortably inside the lap record.
Higher track temperatures in the afternoon saw every driver improve on their times as they set after Cammish’s morning benchmark, a further six drivers bettering the Type 991 benchmark of 1:07.641, set when the championship last visited Donington Park in 2014.
Leading the charge was Porsche GB 2016 / 2017 Scholar Charlie Eastwood (Redline Racing). Despite running for a conservative number of laps, Eastwood put together a series of runs at the end of the second session that saw him climb to the top of the time sheets and end up just behind Cammish for the day.
An impressive third overall was the rapidly learning Rookie Tom Wrigley (IN2 Racing), his fastest lap just 0.032s away from that set by Eastwood. Also making his presence felt was Euan McKay (Redline Racing) in fourth, the reigning Pro-Am1 champion handling the transition into his new category comfortably.
In Pro-Am1, less than two tenths separated the top three of Alex Martin (Team Parker Racing), joint category leader, Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) and the returning Peter Jennings (G-Cat Racing).
Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) was once again the benchmark in Pro-Am2, hoping for better luck than at Brands Hatch and with his freshly rebuilt car sporting a new livery. Category leader Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing) was next up, followed by the rapidly improving Rookie, David Fairbrother (Slidesports).
Heading into the all-important qualifying session, Cammish undoubtedly has the advantage. However, with times so close and a shorter 20 minute duration, several drivers could spring a surprise as they aim for a front row slot.
Session 1 – 09.00 to 09.45
Track temperature: 9.4 degrees
· Dan Cammish sets early pace as tyres heat up, first to lap under 1:08s, heads into pits
· Reds come out with a car off in sector one
· Lewis Plato (JTR) closes to within 0.040s of Cammish, then goes fastest
· Charlie Eastwood moves into third, Euan McKay (Redline Racing) close behind in fourth
· Tio Ellinas (JTR) closes to within 0.054s of Plato for a JTR 1-2, Cammish and Eastwood leave pit lane
· Reds come out with a car off in sector two
· Cammish reasserts his authority, posting three successive fastest laps to end the session fastest
· Plato ends second, Ellinas third
Session 2 – 13.25 to 14.05
Track temperature: 23.3 degrees
· Faster session, with higher track temperature and a less green track
· Dino Zamparelli (JTR) sets pace for early part of the session, Wrigley and Tom Oliphant (Redline Racing) close behind
· Plato closes in, but a trip into the gravel at McLeans brings out the reds
· Ellinas displaces Zamparelli for a JTR 1-2
· Euan McKay puts Redline Racing into third
· Wrigley goes second by 0.009s, then next lap goes fastest
· Ross Wylie (Slidesports) is steadily working his way up the time sheets, goes sixth
· Euan McKay takes second by 0.054s as the times steadily close up in the last 10 minutes of running, to 11 covered by less than a second
· Cloud cover drops track temperature to 15 degrees
· Eastwood out and steadily improving, goes sixth, then fourth, then fastest
· Tom Oliphant (Redline Racing) puts in a strong final lap to go fourth behind Euan McKay and Wrigley with Eastwood fastest
Qualifying for rounds three and four will take place on Saturday 15 April between 11.25 and 11.45, a shorter 20 minute duration allowing for the longer 33 lap feature race on Sunday.