With four of eight race weekends completed, the second half of the season begins with rounds eight and nine at Snetterton on 29 / 30 July. An enforced absence for Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) due to a clash of weekends with his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign creates a pivotal opportunity for the chasing pack to make up ground.
Deputising for points leader Cammish in his distinctive car will be Scott Malvern, the 2011 Formula Ford champion eligible to score points in both rounds as a full entry. Malvern currently races a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in the British GT Championship and in 2011 was a finalist in the prestigious McLaren Autosport Young Driver Award. That same year he dominated the Formula Ford championship with a then record 17 wins – only beaten by Cammish in 2013. It will be a tough learning curve for Malvern, who will have only one opportunity to test in the 911 GT3 Cup ahead of free practice on the Friday.
Through a characteristically consistent season, double Carrera Cup GB champion Cammish has already earned a 23-point cushion in his quest for a record third title, and can drop 20 of the potential 40 points on offer. This means the pressure will be on for second-placed Charlie Eastwood (Redline Racing) and third-placed Dino Zamparelli (JTR) to maximise their points haul.
Of the duo, Porsche GB 2016 / 2017 Scholar Eastwood is arguably in the strongest position to gain ground. In his first season he comfortably took the lap record around the Norfolk circuit and is the only other driver to have led the championship besides Cammish, taking two wins already in 2017.
However, Zamparelli and the JTR team have had a strong run of form of late and were only just beaten to the flag at the prestigious Carrera Cup Le Mans in June. Zamparelli has enjoyed a run of four consecutive podium finishes in the last four rounds versus two for Eastwood, and is looking for his first win of 2017.
The first half of the season has proven how close the competition is, and fellow JTR drivers Lewis Plato and Tio Ellinas are well placed to make their own impression. Plato has shown pace and determination to fight back to three podium finishes, and only needs a small change in luck to make a serious bid for the top step of the podium. Likewise Ellinas, who still maintains a small margin of five points at the head of the Rookie championship.
Another driver well versed in charging through the field is Tom Oliphant (Redline Racing), fourth place in the overall standings his reward for an impressive podium in round seven at Carrera Cup Le Mans. Also impressing on his Le Mans debut was 2016 Pro-Am1 champion Euan McKay (Redline Racing). With university finals now out of the way, the 21-year-old scored his best result yet in one of the most demanding races, and both drivers will add another dimension to the podium battle.
Meanwhile, brother Dan McKay (Redline Racing) has produced a consistent set of results as he similarly adapts to the demands of the Pro category, keeping himself ahead of rapid Rookies Tom Wrigley (IN2 Racing) and Ross Wylie (Slidesports). Wrigley has already visited the podium once in his first season, and is looking to once again convert his pace into a solid race result. Wylie took the opportunity to do just that last time out, with his best finish to date leaving the top three Rookies just six points apart and all well-placed for the coming rounds.
The situation in Pro-Am1 is similarly close. Alex Martin (Team Parker Racing) has the advantage in wins, three from seven rounds, but three points clear of Martin at the top of the table is team mate Justin Sherwood. The 2014 Pro-Am1 champion has shown remarkable consistency to ease out an advantage, but Graeme Mundy (Team Parker Racing) is just 11 points away in third.
An exciting factor in the Pro-Am1 battle for the remainder of the season is the returning John McCullagh (Redline Racing). McCullagh took the Pro-Am2 title in 2015 before stepping up to Pro-Am1 for 2016 and winning twice. With every competitor a race winner, and never one to shy away from a challenge, McCullagh is pitching himself into the closest-fought category.
Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) enters the second part of the Pro-Am2 season on a charge, a string of five consecutive category wins testament to his determination to make up for the misfortunes of his season opener Brands Hatch. Despite this apparent domination, Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing) has shown his own turn of speed to run Kyle-Henney close, his consistency rewarded with a four-point lead at the top of the category.
Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) has scored four podium finishes to slot into third, just eight points behind Kyle-Henney, while Rupert Martin (Team Parker Racing) continues his best season to date in fourth with two podium finishes. Rookies Matt Telling (Welch Motorsport) and David Fairbrother (Slidesports) are making their mark, Fairbrother already a visitor to the category podium and laying claim to one fastest lap, while Telling matched his season-best result at the demanding Le Mans round.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship positions
Dan Cammish – Redline Racing – 132
Charlie Eastwood – Redline Racing – 109
Dino Zamparelli – JTR – 96
Justin Sherwood – Team Parker Racing – 51
Alex Martin – Team Parker Racing – 48
Graeme Mundy – Team Parker Racing – 40
Shamus Jennings – G-Cat Racing – 54
Peter Kyle-Henney – IN2 Racing – 50
Iain Dockerill – Asset Advantage Racing – 42