The Fosters variant of Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit was new to all but two of the drivers as the Toyo BRSCC Porsche Championship kicked off their 2015 season this Saturday. Just under a third of the grid had signed up for the Friday test session and it was looking good for a dry and sunny day of racing.
Having worked into the wee hours for the best part of a month preparing the car, Newcomer Jamie Callender brought is new-build 924 all the way from Bournemouth but was dogged by electrical issues and failed to qualify. He was given the opportunity of doing three laps behind the safety car but unfortunately the car proved too stubborn even for that and with fluctuating oil pressure, he missed both races.
Angus Archer suffered both front and rear damage in a spin at Old Hall in qualifying but a replacement rear bumper from series sponsor Jasmine Porshalink saw him grid up (although not finish) in the first race.
Ed Hayes was caught by a poor start (perhaps because the start lights had to be replaced by use of the Union flag), dropping him from pole to fourth by turn 1. But two distinct groupings of Boxsters soon developed with Duckman, Lawrence, Hayes, Hull and Flegg battling for the lead and Clelland, Southgate, Marshall and Archer sweeping up the spoils.
Having been impressive in his guest appearance at the end of last season, and qualify third on the Saturday morning, Adam Southgate retired from Race 1 fearing engine damage from low oil levels and didn’t appear for Race 2 – but went home with a fastest lap point from Race 1 showing he’s not lost his pace. Niz El-Chamaa finally called it quits after three visits to the pit lane in his 924 due to an alternator failure. Linda Warren suffered brake failure on the final lap and was lucky to avoid damage, leaving husband Guy and team a couple of hours to fix the newly-painted car for the afternoon race.
Class winner from 2014, Simon Hawksley grabbed a significant lead early on and was never challenged. Returning to 924s after four seasons in Boxsters, Champagne Warehouse-sponsored Adam Croft looked on for a podium but had to settle with fourth following Alastair Kirkham and Karl Rossin.
Its was Gary on Garry again for race two with Garry Lawrence leading the Class A Boxsters for the first half until Gary Duckman got the better of him and forged home to his second win of the weekend. Ed Hayes kept Nick Hull’s Union flag liveried 987 at bay to take third with Nick’s brakes causing issues at Fosters turn.
The second race was a much closer affair for the 924s with a number of drivers challenging Hawksley for his second win of the day. Niz El-Chamaa started from the back of the 924s but put on a charge to take him all the way up to second until Adam Croft, who took fastest lap points from both races, came through to overtake. But he was robbed of the final podium spot after a triple track limits infringement incurred a 5-second penalty, gifting Karl Rossin with another 3rd place award from the weekend.
Our next outing is at Rockingham for three races over the weekend of 16/17th May – join us then to see if Gary Duckman and Simon Hawksley can stretch their championship leads.
Words and photos: Chris Valentine