Two races at Oulton Park saw Jonathan Greensmith stretch his lead in the Class A Boxsters with two wins from pole.
Intermittent showers during Friday’s testing did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the Toyo Tires Porsche drivers in preparation for their 6th round of the year. Adam Croft’s unlucky season continued though when a coolant leak appeared from his 987 Boxster which the Taylors Foundary team were unable to fix – fortunately they had brought a spare car otherwise it would have been game over for the Harrogate driver. Similarly troubled was Ed Hayes who span and collided with a barrier to cause suspension damage to the right rear of his Boxster, but the on-track rivalry quickly gave way to paddock support as both Jayson Flegg and Philip Grayson piled in to help fix the car with parts brought by series sponsor Jasmine Porshalink. Philip Waters failed the noise test and was forced to make a hasty modification in order to be allowed to race – even then the car sounded rather agricultural.
After heavy overnight rain, the drivers took their qualifying session late morning after the Fiestas, Formula Fords and Jedis had created a decent dry line. Adam Croft showed he’d recovered a little from the previous day’s disappointment to take P3 in the Race-spec Boxsters. Returning for another guest round, Steve Warburton quickly showed his pace and experience to front the Production Boxsters ahead of Jayson Flegg and youngster Philip Grayson. Meanwhile, old 924 hands Alastair Kirkham and Simon Hawksley fronted the Class C grid.
Race 1 saw some extremely close action up front as Richard Avery beat Jonny Greensmith off the line to lead but missed gears from both drivers let Greensmith through to take the Class A win, although Avery was never far from his back bumper. A collision under braking for the Knickerbook chicane saw Nick Hull hit the back of Adam Croft and the resulting 3 second penalty meant Croft taking 4th when the results were re-released later in the day. Jayson Flegg managed to beat the flying Steve Warburton in the Production Boxsters with Philip Grayson taking third.
Alastair Kirkham might be out of the race for the 924 class title but showed himself a force to be reckoned with, beating Simon Kirkham in Class C. David Jones suffered a dent in his drive for the Class trophy with a DNF but John Broadley, who had only entered a few of our earlier rounds, showed great form to take the first of his pair of 3rds. Double winner of the Rockingham races, Karl Rossin, was disqualified when his car was found to have insufficient ground clearance on inspection in parc ferme. This was not the most dramatic event to happen there, however: in what was a first in the long history of the championship, Alastair Kirkham proposed to his long-standing girlfriend Suzanne, having carried the ring with him during the race. “I didn’t want anything to happen to it” he said afterwards. Suzanne accepted and Alastair being too emotional to race in the afternoon, graciously lent his car to the slightly disgraced Rossin.
After a delay as the BRSCC marshals recovered a number of stranded Jedis, Oulton’s curfew ensured the second and final race of the round was to be shortened to 16 minutes. Karl Rossin lined up 7th out of 8 cars in Kirkham’s red #72 924 and quickly showed what a well-spannered car it was, carving through the field to take 4th and a useful fastest lap point. Simon Hawksley’s rather less-than-pretty 924, with its front bumper scraping the ground, landed the class win with Nizar El-Chamaa in second.
Steve Warburton desperately wanted to beat Jayson Flegg in the production Boxsters – especially after the Flegg Racing boys had tried to fool everyone that they were not able to attend the fixture – but mechanical failure saw to his retirement after just four laps, leaving Flegg to take the Class B win ahead of Phil Grayson and Mark Marshall in third.
Jonny Greensmith showed Rick Styrin-like pace in Class A pulling into a significant lead, but didn’t finish the race unscathed when part of his exhaust broke loose and ripped away his entire rear bumper. Richard Avery held off the re-invigorated Ed Hayes to take 2nd.
With only two rounds to go, no driver yet has a big enough lead in their class to be able to comfortably claim the title. Missed rounds mean that dropped scores don’t affect Jonathan Greensmith’s lead over Richard Avery and Ed Hayes who are now on equal points in Class A. Team mates Jayson Flegg and Mark Marshall lead the Production Boxsters table but even Simon Hawksley can’t afford to count his chickens just yet in the 924s, even though he’s ahead of Karl Rossin by 44 points. Joining the PCGB Porsche Festival on Sunday 30th August sees two more races from us on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, with a season-closing triple header at Donington in October. Both rounds will see a number of new drivers joining us for the first time.