The eighth and final round of the 2012 Logson Group BRSCC Porsche Championship saw a triple-race visit to the Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire at the weekend.
The Class A Race Spec Boxster honours had boiled down to a two way battle between TF Motorsport teammates Richard Styrin and Gerry Taylor. A single win, or two reasonable finishes, would be enough to seal victory for Styrin, but disaster struck early in qualifying when his throttle pedal broke, meaning he would have to start from the rear of the grid for the first race. But some neat reverse psychology from 2011 Champion Dave Clark worked its magic and Styrin stormed through the pack to win not only the first race, but the next two as well. Three more fastest lap trophies on top of his previous 11 underlined what a seriously quick driver the Leeds-based car dealer has been this year.
Stephen Potts entered the weekend with sufficient points to have already wrapped up the inaugural Class B Production Boxster title and duly took three class wins out of three from Bernie Printy and rookie Julian Brown.
It wasn’t so clear cut in the 924 Class, with only a handful of points separating Alastair Kirkham and Sean Siddall; Simon Hawksley in third spot unfortunately wasn’t able to join us. Rebecca Jackson was looking to finish the year in his place, but a prior media engagement meant she would miss qualifying and Race 1, ending her chance of Championship glory. Alastair’s chances also took a knock after a collision with Marc Mackenzie at the Fogarty Esses put him out of Race 1. Hen Sharpe’s impressive wins in all three of his debut 924 races made Kirkham’s series victory that much more challenging, but a 4th and 2nd eventually sealed the Manchester man’s Championship title, richly deserved after many years of competing in the Championship.
New to the series, although most certainly not new to racing, the Sharpe brothers split their talents across classes. Having debuted at Croft, Will posted an impressive 1:20.343 in the slightly moist conditions on Saturday morning to take pole in Class A with younger brother Hen 2nd in Class in his be-stickered 924.
Expert tuition from Malcolm Edeson had seen Steve Boyles lap times shrink considerably over recent rounds and he grabbed an impressive P2 in Saturday’s qualifying. However, a spectacular under drive pulley failure led to an early exit and red flag to Race 1, leaving the car in a shroud of steam in Parc Ferme. TF Motorsport driver Adam Croft had qualified a season best 3rd, and was running in that position position until he got caught out lapping one of the 924 backmarkers, spinning him down to 8th place in race 1, whilst Championship-sponsor Ian Loggie in Styrin’s former ‘Red Rocket’ 986 took 2nd with newbie Michael McCollum grabbing an impressive 3rd. Former Production man Steve Brown used the Donington meeting as an opportunity to sample the step up to Class A, with the fitting of the Gaz suspension and 18″ Team Dynamics wheels proving their worth to take a couple of impressive 4th places.
Heavy fog on Sunday morning very nearly saw the day’s racing cancelled completely. Some Caterham drivers had even put their cars on trailers ready to head for the gate, so all were quite relieved when the fog finally started to thin. Some skilful time juggling by the BRSCC officials, skipping the lunch break and trimming the race durations, meant the original programme was retained and the track opened around 12:40.
Series newcomer Chris Valentine had his one and only DNF of the season, heading backwards into the Coppice gravel on cold tyres in the first race of the day. Team mate Paul Moraviec, also new to racing this year, had the privilege of starting on pole in the ‘reverse grid’ format for race 3, but had a scary off at Craner Curves, narrowly avoiding Nick Hull who has moved into Richard Sykes’ famous Union Flag-liveried 987.
Some excellent racing saw the curtain fall on another successful season for the BRSCC Porsche Championship. The whole weekend was a fitting tribute to Mike Lovell who sadly lost his life in a Powerboat accident in Weymouth Bay earlier in the year. As part of the Brookspeed team, Mike supported Dave Clark in his winning 2010 & 11 seasons and we all welcomed both Dave and Brookspeed owner Martin Braybook in the pits, who were supporting Luke Elkin in his debut race weekend. The Championship raised nearly £1,000 for the Southampton Hospital Trauma Unit.
Photos: Steve Feakin and Paul Alexander.