The two practice sessions ahead of rounds three and four at Donington Park set the scene for what promises to be a closely contested qualifying session. Dino Zamparelli (Redline Racing) and Tom Wrigley (JTR) both posted times underneath the lap record – just two-tenths of a second covered the top three cars in both sessions.
In the Pro category, 17-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR) traded times with his team mate Wrigley. The pair were separated by less than a tenth of a second in both practice sessions leaving Harper third behind Wrigley. Amongst the fastest in both sessions was round one podium finisher Lewis Plato (JTR) who ended the day fourth in the combined classification.
Jamie Orton (JTR) was the pacesetting driver in the Pro-Am category, putting his car amongst the Pro category runners in both sessions. Orton was chased by Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance) and Seb Perez in FP1, Rory Collingbourne (Welch Motorsport) and Esmee Hawkey (GT Marques) in FP2, establishing a close category battle.
Of the Am drivers Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) set the benchmark time in both practice sessions, but in newcomer Dave Shaw (G-Cat Racing) he has found a fresh rival. In his first Carrera Cup GB outing Shaw was just four-tenths of a second adrift of Kyle-Henney, with Peter Mangion (Team Parker Racing) finishing a close third in the combined times.
Shaw was not the only Rookie newcomer at Donington Park. In addition Pro category driver Will Bratt (IN2 Racing) joins the series alongside Steve Gales (Welch Motorsport), both made efficient progress ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.
Track temperature: 13.3 degrees
· Tom Wrigley (JTR) is the first Pro runner on track, Rookie Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance) the first Pro-Am driver, Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing) first in Am
· Lewis Plato (JTR) sets the early pace in Pro, Jamie Orton (JTR) in Pro-Am, Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) in Am
· At 10:54 the red flag is shown while the spinning car of Rookie Steve Gales (Welch Motorsport) recovers
· After a 5 minute stoppage the green flag is flown with 27 minutes of FP1 remaining
· Pro newcomer Will Bratt (IN2 Racing) is improving with every lap – he moves into the top 10
· With 20 minutes remaining Zamparelli and Dan Harper (JTR) trade positions at the top of the timesheet with Plato setting a personal best in P3
· In Am Peter Mangion (Team Parker Racing) improves and sits just +0.075 behind Kyle-Henney before Dave Shaw (G-Cat Racing) splits them
· Plato moves to P1 with a lap of 1:07.182, 0.268 behind is Harper who is immediately displaced by Wrigley – 0.175 slower than Plato’s benchmark
· Rory Collingbourne (Welch) improves to P3 in Pro-Am behind Perez (P2)
· Harper sets a personal best to jump back into P2 +0.095 behind Plato, Ellinas leaps into P5 overall
· Vaughan closes on pacesetting Orton who ends the session fastest in Pro-Am – Vaughan is just 0.088 behind
· Pro: Plato, Harper (+0.095), Wrigley (+0.277)
· Pro-Am: Orton, Vaughan (+0.088), Perez (+0.100)
· Am: Kyle-Henney, Shaw (+0.409), Magion (+0.417)
Track temperature: 18.3 degrees
· George Gamble (Amigos Team Parker) was the first Pro driver out, Perez (Pro-Am) and Mangion (Am)
· Zamparelli, Wrigley and Gamble set the early pace in Pro category
· Vaughan goes P4 overall, fastest Pro-Am driver
· Plato is the first man to set a lap time in 1.07, followed closely by Harper (+0.093) and Zamparelli (+0.125)
· Ellinas moves to P2, splitting Plato and Harper
· Hawkey leads Pro-Am, Kyle-Henney again sets the pace in Am
· Half way through the session the red flag comes out due to the stricken car of Richard Hawken (Slidesports) off the track between Redgate and Hollywood
· With just over 15 minutes of FP2 remaining, the green flag is shown, all cars except Hawken and Ellinas return to the track
· Wrigley, Harper and Zamparelli trade fastest times in the low 1.07s
· Orton posts his best time to lead Pro-Am – good enough for P4 overall
· Wrigley is the first to break under 1.06, but his 1.06.985 is immediately bettered by Zamparelli with a 1.06.821
· Ian Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) moves to P3 in Am behind Rookie Shaw (P2) but Kyle-Henney still leads
· Collingbourne sets his best time for P2 in Pro-Am behind Orton who ends the session as the fastest Pro-Am runner
· Pro: Zamparelli, Wrigley (+0.164), Harper (+0.211)
· Pro-Am: Orton, Collingbourne (+0.508), Hawkey (+0.645)
· Am: Kyle-Henney, Shaw (+0.347), Mangion (+1.477)
Qualifying for round three will take place on Saturday between 11.55 and 12.25, with drivers fighting for the two points awarded in 2018 for the fastest time posted in each category over the course of the session. Follow the battle on Twitter via @CarreraCupGB.