After a four-week break, Toro Verde GT returned to Porsche Carrera Cup GB action at Silverstone at the weekend (September 24/25) for the penultimate round of the season. Fielding a three-car line-up this time out, the team were joined by returnee Ross Wylie, experienced racer Lee Frost for his season debut, alongside full-season regular Angus Whiteside.
With a positive day of testing on Wednesday, and two free practice sessions around the National circuit under their belts, the cars headed out for qualifying on Saturday, marking Lee’s first qualifying in the series since 2020 and in the updated 992-style Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car. It was a tricky session, with Ross finishing ninth quickest in the Pro class, and Angus sixth in Pro-Am, meaning it would be a battle through the field for both. For Lee in the Am category, it was a more positive outcome, as he would line up second in class, standing him in good stead for the weekend.
It was a quick start for Lee as he gained four places on the opening lap, before choosing his battles wisely, allowing the Pro and Pro-Am cars past whilst he continued to build up confidence in the car. Driving a faultless race to maintain second place, he impressively claimed silverware on his return to the championship.
Angus was up two places overall and into fifth in class before being handed a five second time penalty for track limits which meant he finished the race sixth in Pro-Am where he started. Encountering some issues with the car, it was a similar story for Ross, as after a few close battles with fellow Pro drivers Micah Stanley and Ollie White, he finished tenth in class.
Race two began with trouble, as a spinning car caused Adam Smalley to take evasive action onto the grass. Angus sailed through and into 13th overall, before slipping back into 15th with team-mate Ross just behind in 16th. The pair were wheel to wheel, with the Scotsman eventually taking the lead, crossing the line ninth when White retired from the race early. After battling closely with Karl Leonard, it was another sixth-place finish for Angus, while further down the field, it was a good clean race for Lee, who despite having experienced Am racer Nigel Rice hot on his tail for the majority of the contest, brought home another second-place trophy.
It was a mixed bag of results for the team, with a fantastic haul of silverware for Lee on his debut weekend in the 2022 championship, the definite highlight. It was a tougher outing for Ross and Angus, but with plenty of positives and lessons learned to take into the final round, they hope to return to form at Brands Hatch over the weekend of October 8/9.
Ross Wylie, #59, Pro
G1 – 9, R1 – 10
G2 – 10, R2 – 9
Championship – 12 (7 points)
“We’ve had a bit of an uphill battle this weekend. It was a good test on Wednesday, the team provided me with a great car, and we were making good progress. However, from the second session on Friday, things just didn’t quite go our way. We struggled in qualifying which put us on the backfoot from there. Starting 14th, it’s very hard to make progress.
“Heading into the races, we were just missing a little trick somewhere, but we’ll get back to the drawing board and make sure we get it right going forward. The team do a great job in preparing the car so we’ll get the bottom of it, refocus, hit the reset button, and hopefully have a strong weekend at Brands Hatch next time out.”
Angus Whiteside #52, Pro-Am
G1 – 6, R1 – 6
G2 – 6, R2 – 6
Championship – 6 (55 points)
“I had a bad last practice on Friday because I just can’t nail turn four, so I was finding it difficult to link up all the sectors in qualifying. Race one was okay, but again that corner hindered me. I made up a spot but then I got five second time penalty for track limits, so it felt like a bit of a nothing race.
“Race two was much the same, I was struggling with the same things I had all weekend. We just need to take some time to reflect on everything and come back stronger for the final round at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.”
Lee Frost #98
G1 – 2, R1 – 2
G2 – 2, R2 – 2
“Qualifying was good, trying to nail the tyre windows is the key on these cars, and I think it’s an art to get it all right. There wasn’t much going on in race one, I had a big open space ahead of me. I got past a few cars at the start but then there was a bit of chaos at turn two and I just didn’t have the confidence in the car to battle it, so I just let the cars filter back through. I’m not familiar with the car and the brakes, so I felt like I was in no man’s land for the whole race. Despite that, it was still a second-place finish in class, so I’m happy with that.
“I really enjoyed race two. I had a good battle with Nigel (Rice), so it was good fun. I had a bit more confidence in the car, so I was more in the mix than I was previously. The car has changed a lot since the last time I competed in the Carrera Cup. It has a lot more steering, and it’s a lot more stable on the rear. That takes some time to get used to. It’s nice to be come back and do a round in the championship and come away with two podiums. I couldn’t ask for any more really with Josh Stanton heading the Am class. It would have been fun to battle with some of the Pro-Ams, but we’ll try again next time.”
Jules Westwood, Team Manager
“It was a tough weekend for us. It was nice to get two second places in the Am class and pick up some trophies for Lee. For Angus, I think it’s probably not his favourite place to race, but he’s learned a lot. Every race meeting is a learning opportunity for him because it’s his first time in Porsche. He’s hard on himself, but he did a good job.
“We had a few little niggles with Ross’s car. It’s a new car, so there have been a couple of small issues that meant he struggled with the weekend. If I were to put a percentage on how the weekend went, I’d say 65% positive. We were running three cars again, which is good for the team, and we’re coming away with two podiums, so we can be happy about that.”
Source. Torque/Photo. Porsche
No comments yet.