Tio Ellinas (Slidesports) claimed the maiden pole position of his Carrera Cup GB career after dominating a wet qualifying session at Donington Park. Ellinas made the best of difficult conditions to post a time 0.767 clear of Lewis Plato (JTR) who starts today’s race alongside him on the front row. Overall championship points leader Dino Zamparelli (Redline Racing) put on a late charge and will start from third place on the grid.
After a cautious start to the session as drivers assessed the level of grip available to them, the cars gradually cleared a proportion of the track’s surface water through their grooved wet weather tyres. When the rain briefly abated, the lap times in each category tumbled accordingly with drivers frantically trading provisional grid positions. The session was interrupted twice, once to recover the stranded car of former BTCC star James Kaye (GT Marques) at Coppice, bringing out the red flag for a period of almost 10 minutes. Later, Am category newcomer Steve Gales (Welch Motorsport) ended his session in the gravel trap at Redgate, his car recovered under waved yellow flags.
Pro-Am points leader Jamie Orton (JTR) swapped positions at the top of timesheet with Seb Perez (Amigos Team Parker) early on, but it was Rookie Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance) who ultimately clinched the fastest time in the category. Vaughan’s lap was good enough for P5 overall on the starting grid. Perez will start from the fifth row alongside category rival Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) – Perez and Sherwood ended the session separated by just 0.020.
Of the Am drivers, round one victor Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) mounted a late charge to climb six positions on the grid, but it was not enough to match round two winner Peter Mangion (Team Parker Racing) who set the category benchmark time. The two rivals from the opening weekend at Brands Hatch were split by newcomer David Shaw (G-Cat Racing) who acquitted himself well during his first qualifying session in Carrera Cup GB, his best time was just 0.076 quicker than that of Kyle-Henney.
In taking his first ever Carrera Cup GB pole position, Ellinas has already earned two championship points to add to his existing tally of 18, which puts him on level terms with overall leader Zamparelli going into round three. Vaughan and Mangion also receive two points each for setting the quickest lap times in their respective categories.
The grid for the second race will be decided immediately following race one. The overall winner will draw a number between four and six at random, deciding whether the first four, five or six competitors will have their grid positions reversed. The remaining drivers will form the grid for race two according to their finishing positions in race one.
Round three takes place today (Saturday) at 17:05, round four takes place on Sunday 29 April at 13:35,