Rick Styrin marked his return to the Toyo BRSCC Porsche Championship grid with a pole from the Saturday morning qualifying session, ahead of Ed Hayes and Adam Southgate. The double-championship winner has signed up to do three rounds this season but was concerned that his time away from the Boxster grid would have made him rusty but it soon appeared the used car dealer from Leeds hadn’t lost his touch with a 0.7 second lead over Hayes.
Alfred Piesinger had already posted a 1:48.8 in his 924 before loosing control on a corner to skip across the grass and head-on into the Armco. The Austrian driver extricated himself from the wreck – testament to the HANS device he was wearing and the strength of the car’s roll cage – but the blue Victoria Garage car wasn’t to be seeing a race track again. Adam Croft took the Class C pole with Philip Waters in third.
The sun continued to shine on the hilly Lincolnshire circuit as 11 cars lined up on the grid for the first of three races. Alfred Piesinger chose to retired with the aches beginning to worsen after his accident in qualifying. His retirement triggered the half-points rule for the class where 6 cars or more are required for finishers to accrue full Championship points.
Adam Southgate had a highly unusual bad start when the move from 1st to 2nd gear proved difficult, dropping him to the back of the Boxster grid. Later a cooling issue lead to his engine temperature gauge sky-rocketing and Southgate chose to retire rather than risk engine damage.
Nick Hull was pushing hard in his 987 when his entry to the Hall Bends led to a harmless spin on the grass. Meanwhile Ed Hayes was reeling in Rick Styrin out front. Garry Lawrence kept Richard Avery at bay having been pursued by the narrowest of gaps – barely a fag paper between them – for most of the race.
Philip Waters got the better of Alastair Kirkham but in his haste to catch Adam Croft, he went wayward just after The Mountain, hitting the tyre wall and loosening his exhaust – and as it turned out after the flag, a wheel too – his car returned to the paddock sounding distinctly agricultural. Kirkham was closing on Croft’s 924 when the chequered flag appeared, leaving Croft to take his increasingly familiar class win again.
After the gap between the leaders had been stretched out in lapping the rear of the 924s, Ed Hayes closed up to Rick Styrin and the returnee took the win by a mere 0.054 seconds over Hayes. Styin will therefore be going from zero to 50kg success ballast for the first of tomorrow’s races.
Race 2 was delayed by a 5-car crash in the previous MX5 race and the drivers looked on as a big black cloud arrived, dumped some rain on the twisty Tarmac and moved on. Rick Styrin’s experience showed as a lower-revs start launched him from the slightly slippery grid to an unassailable lead – apparently unaffected by the 50kg of success ballast he had collected having won Race 1. Ed Hayes gave chase but was unable to challenge Styrin’s lead but he in turn stayed ahead of the pursuing pack including Gary Lawrence – who again took third – ahead of Richard Avery and Adam Southgate, whose cooling issue that led to yesterday’s DNF turned out to be a fault fan relay.
Philip Waters struggled to replace the rear wheel bearing that nearly lead to a DNF in his race yesterday but just made it to the assembly area in time. In similar form to Styrin, Adam Croft led the 924s from the start with Alastair Kirkham and Philip Waters battling for second, until contact by Waters on Kirkham caused the latter to spin and only rejoin after sole female drive Linda Warren went through and briefly into third.
As usual, the last of our three races featured a reverse grid and with Adam Southgate on the front row, and the car now operating well, it was pretty likely he would show his normal pace and surge ahead from the lights. Rick Styrin, still carrying 50kg of ballast had his work cut out to catch him, having four other Boxsters to pass just to stand a chance of contention. Ed Hayes, fearing of engine damage, retired after an oil cloud erupted from his exhaust leaving Styrin to battle hard with both Richard Avery and Garry Lawrence for a third podium finish, but he over-cooked track limits to land a 5 second penalty leaving Avery to take 2nd with Lawrence third.
Linda Warren continued her best-ever Championship weekend to finish 4th again, having lead the class for two laps. Philip Waters held on to take the win over Adam Croft by a mere 0.164 seconds at the line.
So even with both Southgate and Hayes suffering DNFs, the pair have once again swapped places at the head of the Class A Championship table. Adam Croft continues to lead the 924s but Alastair Kirkham’s consistency means he’s not far behind. Karl Rossin – absent this round – is a mere 1.5 points behind Philip Waters in 3rd. After three rounds in a mere five weeks, the Championship has a short break now until 22nd / 23rd August, with a pair of races on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
Text and photos: Chris Valentine