Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK – entered its 19th season at Snetterton with the promise of a thrilling title fight between returning drivers and exciting newcomers. Former double champion 2015 / 2016 Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) and reigning champion – Porsche GB 2020 / 2021 Junior – Harry King (Team Parker Racing) – arrived in Norfolk as title favourites. Confirming their form from pre-season testing the pair topped the combined times in Practice ending Friday separated by just 0.224secs, though close behind was championship returnee Lorcan Hanafin (JTR).
Pole position and a lights to flag win for Hanafin on Sunday morning was followed by drama when a post-race time penalty for the winner promoted returnee Cammish and Porsche GB Junior King ahead of him in the amended results. The day’s second race was an equally dramatic affair. A hard charging Junior King muscled his way to the front to take victory on the road, but he also gained a time penalty which meant a maiden win went the way of Rookie Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing).
The weekend was also notable for the emergence of several exciting new talents. Reigning Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB champion James Dorlin (Redline Racing) stepped up the Porsche Pyramid making an immediate impression in the Pro category, while fellow Rookie newcomers Micah Stanley (Team Redline Racing) and Nathan Harrison (Team HARD) tasted the podium champagne in Pro-Am establishing an interesting tussle with category returnee Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker).
Saturday’s 30-minute qualifying session took place in scorching weather conditions. Hanafin was the early pacesetter from the outset with Cammish and Porsche GB Junior King close behind – just 0.046secs covered the trio. Category newcomer Stanley took the early advantage in Pro-Am with Harrison and Ratcliffe keeping him company. The Am benchmark was set by category stalwart Justin Sherwood (Team Parker).
The second half of the session saw lap times tumble. Returnee Lewis Plato (Valluga Racing) popped into second spot but soon Cammish was the driver on the move, lapping fastest before being immediately usurped by an improving Hanafin – the first driver to dip under a 1:50s lap with a time of 1:49.947. Joining the scrap at the top of the timesheet was Will Martin (Richardson Racing) and Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing), but drama came when Junior King pulled off the track in the final sector with an issue bringing out the yellow flags.
At the end of the session Hanafin secured the maiden pole position of his Porsche racing career, Cammish completed the front row with Jewiss and Plato on row two. In Pro-Am Stanley maintained his advantage to qualify ahead of Harrison and Archie Hamilton (Brookspeed). Sherwood topped the Am drivers and would start the first of the weekend’s two races ahead of Justin Armstrong (Team Parker) and David Shaw (G-Cat Racing).
Following the 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB weekend format, Hanafin earned two championship points with his pole position, the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Stanley and Sherwood – also received two points each. Following the qualifying session the following drivers were have deemed to have completed their fastest laps under yellow flag conditions and subsequently had those times deleted; Josh Caygill (Team Redline Racing), Hamilton, James Dorlin (Redline Racing), Ryan Ratcliffe (Parker Racing), Jamie Orton (JTR) and Josh Stanton (Team HARD) – this resulted in a revised grid being issued.
In scorching temperatures at the start of the weekend’s first race Hanafin made a fast start to rocket away from the line by several car lengths, Cammish fell in behind after successfully defending from Jewiss into the first corner. Porsche GB Junior King immediately set about recovering from his disappointing qualifying session to advance on those ahead, Dorlin did much the same. As positions switched around during the opening lap King emerged in fourth place chasing Jewiss for third. In Pro-Am Rookie Stanley maintained his category advantage with Jake Rattenbury (Team Parker Racing), Harrison, Archie Hamilton (Brookspeed), Ratcliffe and Charles Rainford (CCK Motorsport) in pursuit.
On the third lap of the race Junior King overtook Jewiss with a move down the inside at Wilson, he then began setting fastest sector times in a bid to catch Cammish and Hanafin ahead. Cammish responded quickly but Hanafin was the first driver to enter the 1:51s – setting a new lap record then immediately bettering it. He would improve further still in the coming laps setting a 1:51.797 to cement his advantage. A close battle for top Pro-Am honours emerged between category leader Stanley and Rattenbury, the Am fight was led by reigning champion Sherwood with Armstrong behind, Shaw passed Josh Stanton (Team HARD) for third in category.
As the race progressed Dorlin came under increasing pressure from Pro category rival Will Martin (Richardson Racing) for fifth overall. The pair kicked up dust at the side of the track as they used every inch of room to find an advantage, on lap nine Martin finally mounted a successful challenge at the Brundle and Nelson complex to net the position. In Pro-Am Stanley maintained his category lead but an off for Rattenbury at Riches saw Harrison move to second ahead of Ratcliffe – Harrison absorbed the pressure from behind. In the closing stages of the race a scrap between Will Bratt (Comline Richardson Racing) and Pro-Am leader Stanley intensified, Stanley was ultimately able to hold Bratt at bay.
On the final lap of the race returnee Lewis Plato (Valluga Racing) navigated a route around Dorlin for sixth, but further up the road it was Hanafin who took the chequered flag to win, Cammish came home second with Junior King in third. In Pro-Am it was a maiden win for Rookie Stanley following his impressive drive, he was joined on the category podium by Harrison and Ratcliffe. The Am podium order was Sherwood, Armstrong and Knight.
For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Hanafin – Pro, Ratcliffe – Pro-Am and Sherwood – Am each received one additional championship point. As part of the 2021 podium procedure, winner Hanafin selected at random the number six ball, which reversed the grid positions of the top six overall race finishers from Round 1. Following the race a five-second penalty was handed to Josh Caygill (Team Redline Racing) for track limits infringements. A 10-second penalty was issued to Hanafin for being out of position at the start of the race, this altered the race result handing victory to Cammish and second place to Junior King, Hanafin was relegated to third.
Sunday’s second race was undertaken in hot conditions. Porsche GB Junior King and Cammish got away cleanly at the start but Martin made the best start to pass Plato around the outside and snatch the race lead at the first corner. As the cars tackled the Montreal hairpin Junior King got ahead of Jewiss to take third, Cammish got alongside Hanafin but couldn’t quite make the move stick. In Pro-Am Stanley led Ratcliffe from Hamilton while in Am Sherwood ran ahead of Armstrong and Shaw.
On the second lap a determined Junior King produced a confident move around the outside of Plato for the race lead, shortly afterwards Jewiss followed him through to take second and just behind Cammish passed Hanafin for fifth before setting after Martin. As Cammish looked to pass Martin he had to watch his mirrors for a challenge from Hanafin, Dorlin was in the mix too as he began to crawl all over the rear wing of Hanafin. While the order in Pro-Am remained the same for a time, in Am newcomer Stanton found himself ahead of Shaw – occupying third in category.
On lap five Cammish moved to the inside of Martin at Agostini to grab fourth, with that battle resolved attentions turned to a close fight in Pro-Am. Stanley came under attack from Ratcliffe for the category race lead, Ratcliffe pulled the move off at Williams and following that action the order ended up as Ratcliffe, Harrison then Stanley. Back at the front of the race Cammish finally got by Plato for third when the latter ran wide, Cammish soon began to close on Jewiss ahead. Drama came on lap 12 when Junior King was given a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits, this meant that despite leading on the road he was actually running third on adjusted time.
Junior King crossed the finish line first but on corrected time the victory went to Rookie Jewiss with Cammish second and King third. Ratcliffe took Pro-Am category honours joined on the podium by Harrison and Stanley. Sherwood, Armstrong and Stanton made up the Am category podium. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Cammish – Pro, Rattenbury – Pro-Am and Sherwood – Am each received one additional championship point. Following the race Martin was excluded from the results for a technical infringement.
With a thrilling fight for supremacy already established between former champions, race winners and exciting new talents, Porsche Carrera Cup GB travels to Brands Hatch for Rounds 3&4 of the championship where the battle will resume.
Dan Cammish Redline Racing 12
Lorcan Hanafin JTR 11
Harry King Team Parker Racing 10
Micah Stanley Team Redline Racing 12
Nathan Harrison Team HARD 8
Ryan Ratcliffe Team Parker 7
Justin Sherwood Team Parker Racing 13
Justin Armstrong Team Parker Racing 8
Adam Knight Valluga Racing 6
*results remain provisional