Tom Wrigley (JTR) snatched the maiden pole position of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB career in qualifying for round seven of the championship at Oulton Park. The local driver pulled 0.412s clear of the chasing pack in the closing stages of the session, as a result Wrigley will start today’s race on the front row of the grid alongside championship points leader Dino Zamparelli (Redline Racing). Less than three-tenths of a second separated the rest of the Pro category grid in a closely contested session.
Qualifying took place in dry conditions in a session of two distinct halves. During the first part Wrigley traded times with team mates Lewis Plato (JTR) and 17-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR). Championship protagonists Zamparelli and Tio Ellinas (Slidesports Engineering) mounted serious challenges in the second half of the session, Ellinas will start race one in P3 having narrowly missed out on a front row grid slot. Alongside the Cypriot on the second row of the grid will be Lewis Plato (JTR) – Zamparelli, Ellinas and Plato were ultimately separated by just 0.121 seconds.
Replicating the close lap times seen in Friday’s practice sessions, the qualifying battle in the Pro-Am category was fiercely contested. Rory Collingbourne (Welch Motorsport), Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance), Jamie Orton (JTR) and Seb Perez (Amigos Team Parker) each topped the category times at certain stages of the session, often just one-tenth of a second separated the four closely matched drivers. In the dying moments of qualifying Collingbourne snatched P1 in the Pro-Am category, he starts the first of the weekend’s races ahead of Vaughan and Orton.
The top spot in the Am category could also have gone one of four different ways. Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing), Peter Mangion (Team Parker Racing), Shamus Jennings (G-Cat Racing) and Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) were all very closely matched throughout the session. Just two-tenths of a second covered all four for much of qualifying as they repeatedly shaved just thousands of a second from their individual lap times. Kyle-Henney made a late charge to improve his time and secure category pole position ahead of close rival Mangion, Jennings will start third of the trio having shown good speed all weekend.
Under the revised 2018 Carrera Cup GB race format, Wrigley’s pole position for today’s race has already earned him two championship points, as the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Collingbourne and Kyle-Henney – also receive two points each. The grid for tomorrow’s 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 seven will take place later today at 17:10, round eight will take place on Sunday 10 June at 15:30.