Give this was to be the first time the BRSCC Toyo Tires Porsche Championship was to be racing on the southern “International” circuit, a good number of drivers opted in to the pre-race test session. Steve Brown was frustrated by an engine failure in Friday’s free practice and he left in search of a replacement for the next round. Philip Waters very unlucky with mechanical issues with a front wheel hub requiring careful attention.
Qualifying brought the first surprise of the weekend with Ed Hayes putting the ex-Nick Hull 986 Boxster on pole for Class A but Jonathan Greensmith was only a hair’s breadth behind.
Adam Croft, on target for a podium in the first race of the season with a 3rd in qual, fell foul of the “known issue” at Club Corner where going wide has a tendency to result in collision with the concrete pitwall. The new 987, that had appeared on the BRSCC stand at the Autosport show in January, was severely damaged and was to take no further part in the weekend – driver fortunately unscathed.
Nick Hull, already having a sniff of his first podium from an healthy 6th in qualifying, was frustrated by the two newcomers Garry Lawrence and Richard Avery, whose race-long battle saw Garry eventually take 3rd over Richard – a great performance for their first Boxster races.
In the Class B Production cars, the return of the popular ex-924 drivers Jayson Flegg and Mark Marshall saw a “no team orders” battle, with Mark and Michael Goodacre swapping 2nd a few times. Ultimately it was a Flegg Racing 1-2 – another great performance for two guys new to Boxsters.
Simon Hawksley was quickly back to the form everyone has come to expect from him, developing a 15 second lead over Karl Rossin who ultimately took second. Hawksley took advantage of the absence of his Class rival Alastair Kirkham landing himself maximum points from the weekend. Newbie Niz Al-Chamaa was third in the bright purple car – a podium from his first ever race. Neither Philip Waters nor Peter Smith’s 924s made the finish.
After overnight rain, in race 2 Mark Marshall lost control at Stowe and his collision with the barrier put him out after just 4 laps leaving team-mate Flegg to take a second Class 2 win over Michael Goodacre.
Team Taylors Foundary had delivered Adam Croft’s 986 Boxster over night so he was able to grid up for race 2 and secure 15 important Class A Championship points for himself. Mark Marshall wasn’t so lucky, spinning his Production Boxster at Stowe and finding Armco in lap 4 that put him out.
Ed Hayes beat Jonny Greensmith off the line and lead the Class A race for a few laps before Greensmith got the better of him. Graham Heard, returning to the series after a long absence, took third.
In the 924s, David Jones returned to the podium with a second place behind Hawksley with Niz taking third.
Newcomer Richard Avery said after the weekend that he and Garry Lawrence “had a fantastic weekend racing – I had a great battle with Nick and Lorenzo [Lawrence] which got quite close at some times, and we kept our own paint”.
The weekend of 10/11th May sees the Championship head North to Croft under the auspices of BARC for the second round of 2014.