Championship points leader Tio Ellinas (Slidesports Engineering) secured the second pole position of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB career in qualifying for round nine of the championship at Snetterton. Small margins separated Ellinas from his rivals throughout the session, ultimately the Cypriot driver recorded a time just 0.286s ahead of close title rival Dino Zamparelli (Redline Racing) who will start tomorrow’s race alongside him on the front row. Currently one championship point splits Ellinas and Zamparelli including drop scores.
Throughout the dry and sunny session Ellinas was challenged at the top of the timesheet by several Pro category drivers, including Rookie George Gamble (Amigos Team Parker), 17-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper (JTR), Lewis Plato (JTR) and Zamparelli. Each were in contention for a front row start at Snetterton, the longest UK circuit on the Carrera Cup GB calendar. When the chequered flag fell, just 0.543s separated the entire Pro category grid.
Pro-Am championship points leader Jamie Orton (JTR) claimed a category pole position – he will start round nine from the fourth row of the grid overall one place ahead of Dan Vaughan (Motorbase Performance). If it were not for a technical infringement, debutant Jake Giddings (Welch Motorsport) would have qualified ahead of Vaughan. However, Giddings and Am category team mate Steve Gales (Welch Motorsport) will both start from the back of the grid with a 10s penalty.
Of the front-running Am category drivers Peter Mangion (Team Parker Racing) and Peter Kyle-Henney (IN2 Racing) renewed their season long battle for supremacy, trading tenths of a second throughout the session, Mangion eventually coming out on top. Though Iain Dockerill (Asset Advantage Racing) was also challenging for a top three grid slot, championship newcomer Dan Kirby (GT Marques) starts third in the Am category with a time 0.034 away from that of Kyle-Henney having adapted quickly to driving the 485 hp ‘Type 991’ 911 GT3 Cup car.
Under the revised 2018 Carrera Cup GB race format, Ellinas has already earned two championship points with his pole position, as the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Orton and Mangion – 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 nine will take place tomorrow, Sunday 29 July, at 09:15, while round ten will take place at 15:05