Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK – arrived in Kent for the second weekend of the season with three drivers tied on points at the top of the table. Will Martin (Richardson Racing) drove to victory in the weekend’s dramatic first race while local driver Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing) stood on the top step of the podium following round four – both races were held in tricky wet conditions.
The weekend also included a visit from Porsche Brand Ambassador Emma Raducanu MBE, Brands Hatch being the tennis star’s local circuit which holds fond memories from former family visits. The US Open champion was treated to a lap of the 1.2-mile Indy circuit in a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, driven by Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2020 champion Harry King. Later, Raducanu was provided with a tour of the Porsche paddock, introduced to Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2022 / 2023 Junior Adam Smalley (Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline) and sat in the driving seat of Smalley’s 911 GT3 Cup.
In qualifying on Saturday, Martin took the second pole position of his Porsche racing career by the smallest of margins. Just 0.023 seconds separated the top three drivers with only 0.893 seconds covering the top 23 cars in the closely contested session. The first of Sunday’s two races began in dry conditions but was brought to a dramatic halt when rain began to fall, resulting in a number of cars sliding off the track. Martin was master of the conditions, taking the fourth win of his Porsche racing career and joined on the overall podium by Jewiss – who gained six places to take second – and Matthew Graham (Redline Racing). Will Aspin (Team Parker) recorded his maiden Pro-Am category win with Josh Stanton (JTR) crossing the line just ahead of Justin Sherwood (Team Parker) in Am.
The weekend’s second race took place in fully wet conditions and was interrupted by the appearance of the Safety Car. Jewiss made his second electric start of the day to be in a position to snatch the lead on the opening lap, managing the restart effectively and the slippery track surface to take his first win of the season – assuming the lead of the championship in the process. Charles Rainford (CCK Motorsport) came out on top in Pro-Am following an exciting duel with reigning category champion Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker), while Stanton maintained his unbroken run of victories in Am.
Both practice sessions on the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit took place on Friday in dry conditions. Gus Burton (Rosland Gold Racing by Century Motorsport) was the initial pacesetter in the overcast morning session with Jewiss and Smalley also setting fast times. However, following two red flag periods caused by drivers finding the gravel trap, Smalley emerged ahead with a time of 45.922. Rainford was an impressive fifth overall, the fastest Pro-Am, with Stanton ahead in Am.
The timesheet in the afternoon session was topped by a number of different drivers, once again a red flag period interrupted running. Burton was fastest for most of the 45-minute session with Jewiss, Seb Morris (Team Parker Racing) and Smalley all challenging his time – ultimately, Smalley’s time of 45.675 would stand as the quickest of the day. Ratcliffe impressed, but a late charge from Rookie Hugo Ellis (JTR) saw him end up ahead in Pro-Am, while Stanton was the fastest Am throughout the session.
Saturday afternoon’s 30-minute qualifying session took place in dry and hot conditions with a track temperature of 40 degrees celsius – more than ten degrees warmer than during Friday’s second practice. Burton was the initial pacesetter, the first driver to lap the short Indy circuit in under 46 seconds. However, Smalley soon took over at the top of the timesheet with Martin, Graham and Jewiss exchanging equally fast lap times. In Pro-Am, Ellis was again in top form, at one point setting the fastest overall time. Meanwhile, Stanton looked to have the measure of his Am category rivals.
The second half of qualifying initially saw few improvements, but with five minutes remaining on the clock a flurry of activity on the track saw Jewiss, Smalley, Martin, and Burton all fighting for the top spot with only tiny margins separating them. Martin set a time of 45.154, just 0.020 seconds quicker than Smalley to deny the Junior his maiden pole position. Burton was only 0.003 seconds further back in third. Ellis stayed ahead in Pro-Am while Stanton leapt Peter Mangion (Toro Verde GT) and Peter Kyle-Henney (Toro Verde GT) in the final minute of the session to top Am.
Following the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup GB weekend format, Martin earned two championship points with his pole position, as did the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Ellis (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am).
The first of the weekend’s two races took place on Sunday morning and began in dry conditions with the threat of rain in the air. When the lights went out Burton was slow away from third on the grid, while Martin maintained his lead into the first corner. Graham moved up to second having overtaken Smalley, but Jewiss was the biggest gainer taking four places on the opening lap to sit just behind in fourth. In Pro-Am, the early order was Ellis from Aspin and Ratcliffe with Stanton maintaining his lead in Am, Sherwood and Mangion giving chase.
By lap four Martin had built-up a 1.2-second lead over Graham in second. Smalley soon mounted a challenge on Graham moving to the inside at Druids but he then ran wide, Jewiss snatching the opportunity to challenge the Junior for third with the pair making contact on the exit of the corner, Smalley staying ahead. On lap eight light rain began to fall providing slippery track conditions. Theo Edgerton (JTR) and Oliver White (Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline) became locked in a close fight for P12 while a three-car scrap for sixth between Jake Giddings (Toro Verde GT), Jack Bartholomew (Richardson Racing) and Burton also developed. On lap 20 Smalley left the circuit at Graham Hill rejoining in P16, allowing Jewiss by to assume third position overall.
With 10 laps of the race remaining the rain increased in its intensity leading to a number of drivers sliding off the circuit in dramatic style before rejoining, the conditions soon causing the race to be red flagged. Following a stoppage to allow drivers to switch to grooved wet weather Michelin tyres in the pit lane, the grid was reformed counting back one lap from when the red flag fell. A rolling start was conducted behind the Porsche Safety Car with five minutes of the now timed race remaining on the clock.
At the restart Jewiss immediately attacked Graham for second at the first corner, Graham running wide at Druids to allow his rival through. Jewiss then set after his next target – Martin – for the race lead but could not find a way by. Aspin was ahead of Ratcliffe and Harrison in the Pro-Am category battle, while Stanton stayed in front of Sherwood and Kyle-Henney in Am. As the drivers struggled for grip Nigel Rice (Redline Racing) found the gravel trap at Druids and Burton went off soon afterwards at Surtees. On the final lap Rainford overtook Ratcliffe for second in Pro-Am while Stanton and Sherwood raced to the line for Am glory – Stanton nosing ahead to take category victory by just 0.067 seconds.
For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Smalley (Pro) Aspin (Pro-Am) and Stanton (Am) each received one additional championship point. As part of the 2022 podium procedure, winner Martin selected at random the number six ball, which reversed the grid positions of the top six overall race finishers from the opening race. Following the race, Graham was deemed to have made an out of position start and was handed a 10-second time penalty applied to his final race time from round three. This promoted Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB graduate Bartholomew to the final podium position and making the front row for the second race Edgerton from Aspin with Burton and Bartholomew forming the second row, Jewiss and Martin the third.
The second race of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon in wet conditions from the off. Burton was slow away when the lights changed while Jewiss made his second good start of the day, moving up from fifth to run through Paddock Hill in second place challenging Edgerton for the race lead. When the leader reached Surtees he slid onto the grass before rejoining the race, allowing Jewiss to assume the lead. Meanwhile, Aspin showed his pace once more to lead the Pro-Am category battle from Ratcliffe and Rainford. Stanton was ahead in Am from Sherwood and Radcliffe.
On the second lap Smalley moved up a spot when he overtook Bartholomew for fifth, while on lap three Ratcliffe found a way past Rainford at Graham Hill to take second in the Pro-Am category fight. Shortly afterwards Graham was the driver on the move when he mounted a successful challenge on Bartholomew, moving him up to sixth overall. The leading quartet of Jewiss, Edgerton, Burton and Martin was then joined by Smalley to make it a five-way dice for the lead. When Sherwood spun at Surtees that allowed Radcliffe to inherit second in Am and Rice to move up to third. Continuing his advance, Smalley overtook Martin for fourth on lap 12. However, attentions soon turned to a four-car fight which saw Bartholomew attacking Aspin and Rainford challenging Ratcliffe just behind – Rainford would soon get by his category rival.
A charging Smalley passed Burton for third on lap 15 and soon afterwards Martin followed him through – Burton now relegated to fifth. A lap later Smalley was on the back of Edgerton, the Junior managing to pass in the run up to Druids but then faced a gap of nearly seven seconds to leader Jewiss. Continuing his charge, Rainford snatched the lead of Pro-Am with Aspin second and Ratcliffe third, but Aspin would find the gravel trap at Clark Curve shortly afterwards, promoting Ellis to third in category. Attentions then turned to Martin who pounced on Edgerton when the latter was delayed in traffic, shortly before the Safety Car was deployed on lap 22 to allow for the recovery of Aspin’s stricken car.
The restart took place on lap 27 with just 5 minutes remaining on the clock. Smalley was the first to blink, running wide at Paddock Hill which allowed Martin to pass him for second. On the same lap Graham took Burton with a confident late braking move down into Graham Hill, Burton now sixth. In the closing stages of the race Sherwood overtook Rice for the final podium position in Am. However, Jewiss was the first across the line to record his first win of the season. Martin completed his impressive weekend with a second-place finish while Smalley also made it onto the podium. Despite his best efforts, Ratcliffe could not deny Rainford victory in Pro-Am while Stanton drove to his fourth win in as many races – maintaining his unbroken Am category record in 2022.
For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Jewiss (Pro), Rainford (Pro-Am) and Sherwood (Am) each received one additional championship point.
The next stop for the championship is Oulton Park on the weekend of 11 and 12 June, the scenic but tight and twisty Cheshire circuit providing one of the biggest challenges of the season. Following the Brands Hatch weekend Jewiss has assumed the overall lead of the championship by a single point from Edgerton with Smalley just one point further behind in third. Martin and Graham both sit within four points of Jewiss, making the emerging fight for overall honours one of the closest in championship history. The Pro-Am category standings are equally close at this stage of the season with Harrison remaining ahead while the excellent start to his season means Stanton is on top in Am.
Kiern Jewiss – Team Parker Racing – 28
Theo Edgerton – JTR – 27
Adam Smalley – Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Redline – 26
Nathan Harrison – Redline Racing – 33
Will Aspin – Team Parker – 26
Ryan Ratcliffe – Team Parker – 24
Josh Stanton – JTR – 47
Justin Sherwood – Team Parker Racing – 31
Mark Radcliffe – Valluga – 25
*results remain provisional