The 22-car grid of the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, once again produced a close qualifying session with fractions between the top places in each of the three categories. Just 0.081 seconds separated the top three overall, Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) accounting for much of that time after producing another stand-out qualifying performance that earned him pole positions for rounds twelve and thirteen. So confident was the double champion that he ended the session in the pit lane with two minutes left to run.
Second fastest was championship contender Dino Zamparelli (JTR), a front row start for round twelve slightly offset by starting round thirteen from fourth, behind both championship rivals. Charlie Eastwood (Redline Racing) posted third fastest time overall but, taking into account his ten-place grid penalty, the Porsche GB 2016 / 2017 Scholar will have to make up as much ground from 13th on the grid as he can to hold on to his championship lead. Helping him on his way will be a front row start for the second race, alongside arch rival Cammish.
In his best qualifying session of the season to date, Tio Ellinas (JTR) underlined his pace with a brace of third places after running consistently at or near the top of the time sheets. Euan McKay (Redline Racing) lines up fourth and seventh having run as high as third with five minutes of the session remaining, brother Dan (Redline Racing) qualifying seventh and fifth. The only two competitors remaining with a mathematical chance of winning the championship – Tom Oliphant (Redline Racing) and Lewis Plato (JTR) – left themselves with ground to make up, both starting sixth and eighth in alternate races.
Marking his return for a tenth consecutive season was Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing), the veteran storming straight to the top of the Pro-Am1 category for both races in his first appearance of 2017. Leading the chase was title contender Alex Martin (Team Parker Racing) with two second place starts, keeping ahead of category leader Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) in third by 0.003 seconds. Graeme Mundy (Team Parker Racing) and John McCullagh (Redline Racing) line up fourth and fifth respectively, only 0.712 seconds covering all five.
Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) maintained his qualifying form in Pro-Am2 with two pole positions, shadowed by rookie David Fairbrother (Slidesports) who, despite closing to within a quarter of a second of the fastest time, could make no further progress. Category leader Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing) took third and fourth, while Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) mirrored that with fourth and third.
Changeable weather will play a key part in both races on Sunday. The focus for round twelve will be Eastwood’s progress as championship rivals Cammish and Zamparelli share the front row, while round thirteen will see Eastwood and Cammish once again side by side into the first corner.
Round twelve gets underway with a rolling start at 09.40 tomorrow over a distance of 27 laps with two green flag laps. Round thirteen takes place over the same distance at 15.15.