The penultimate round of the BRSCC Porsche Championship was organised as part of the 2014 Porsche Festival and for the second time this season they joined the Porsche Club GB Championship, this time on the short but challenging Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
The PDA mustered a season-best 26 drivers for the morning qualifying session – sadly engine problems immediately ruled out the 924 of Hugh Peart; Nizar El-Chamaa was similarly troubled but managed to get his Class C car going for Race 2.
Going into the weekend, a few drivers were looking to strengthen their championship leads but both new and guest drivers were to make that task difficult. Coming to us from Britcar, Gary Duckman carries a wealth of experience, some in Porsches, and he was quick to demonstrate his abilities with a podium from each of the two races. Also new to the PDA grid was David Skellington, a rookie from Nottingham, and for his second appearance of the season, all the way from Indonesia was 924 old-hand Andrew Hannington. John Clelland (not the famous British Touring Car driver) was another new face in the Class A Boxsters but he retired from the first race having under-fueled his car.
Taylors Foundry chief Garry Taylor made a welcome return to our paddock as a guest driver and immediately stamped his name on the day by taking pole in qualifying. Jayson Flegg led the Class B Boxsters and Simon Hawksley was to be at the front of the 924s.
Phil Grayson managed to post P2 in Class B but mechanical issues ruled him out from racing after just 10 minutes. The unlucky Adam Croft was dogged by ABS issues on his 987 all day and didn’t show the promise he showed at Rockingham.
Various timing issues led to a delay of the release of qualifying times – including confusion over Garry Lawrence’s transponder number which had to be clarified before they could place him P2 for the first race – so they cars were called to the assembly area before the drivers knew where they would start from. Unrestricted by success ballast, it was no surprise that Gerry Taylor was quickly in control at the front of the pack but Lawrence was in fine form, reversing the table on and four places in front, of his Leighton Buzzard rival Richard Avery.
On the third lap, Nick Hull spun spectacularly into the Paddock Hill gravel but the car was able to enter Race 2. In his ex-Arjo Ghosh 987, reverted to PDA spec after its part-season in Britcar and impressively re-liveried, Gary Duckman beat Ed Hayes to the final Class A podium spot.
Jayson Flegg, on the other hand, displayed his usual pace, quickly taking the Class B lead and wasn’t seriously challenged; Mark Marshall and Michael Goodacre battled for 2nd with Mark posting a fastest lap.
In the 924s a three-way race-long battle between Simon Hawksley, Karl Rossin and Andrew Hannington made certain the focus wasn’t entirely on the Boxsters. Whilst being lapped by one of the Class A cars, however, Hannington lost his front bumper and his podium place to David Jones and Karl Rossin made it past Simon to take the first of his two Class C wins (again) from the weekend.
After the race, Jonathan Greensmith explained his apparent lack of pace: two of the drivers who were quicker in qualifying were guests and would not have affected his table position and it was therefore safer for him to let them battle it out up front.
Under threatening skies, Race 2 started with an incident on Turn 1 when Michael Goodacre lost control on Paddock Hill bend, collecting fellow Class B driver Mark Marshall in the process causing significant damage to the Flegg Racing driver’s recently repaired car. The safety car was deployed while the two Boxsters were recovered, leaving Jayson Flegg to take the Class B win unchallenged.
Although Gary Lawrence beat Gerry Taylor off the line, once racing resumed his lead was never much more than half a second and the TF boss grabbed the lead on lap 14 to take another overall win. Being a guest driver meant Lawrence’s 2nd actually gave him 1st place points; new guy Garry Duckman (also a guest) took 3rd but Richard Avery in 4th took what would have been 2nd place points. Sounds confusing, perhaps, but it means that our Championship-registered drivers are not disadvantaged by guest drivers racing with us for the odd round. By the final laps, the Class A battle was closer than Race 1 with the first six cars finishing less than 5 seconds apart and only 29 thousands of a second separating Richard Avery from the podium slot that Garry Duckman again received.
With just a couple of laps to go an incident between Graham Heard and Nick Hull led to more damage and a retirement for Nick, and Graham being disqualified from both races.
Gerry Taylor later took his car into the special 40-minute AFF Trophy race where he finished 6th overall and 3rd in class against very mixed opposition ranging from a 997 Cup to 993 RSR.
Karl Rossin again beat Simon Hawksley to the Class C win with Andrew Hannington in third. Simon still leads the 924 Championship but the wins meant Karl is still in with a chance to beat him in our final round – a triple-header – at Donington on 18/19th October. It was double victories too for Jayson Flegg who now has enough points to claim the Production Boxster title. Class A, however, is still wide open and in theory any of the top four drivers could still take it.
Text: James Boult; Photos: Chris Valentine