Cadwell Park - Race Report - 13th May 2012

Cadwell Park Race Report - 13th May 2012

In a season where five different F1 drivers have won the first five races, the Logson Group Porsche Championship  boys and girls are threatening to follow suit over the first five meetings. At Oulton Park, Gerry Taylor eclipsed the field twice, whilst at Snetterton it was Richard Sykes who dominated proceedings. However, things would be very different at Cadwell Park.

QUALIFYING

Rick Styrin had been threatening supremacy at the front of the grid in all of the first five races, but pole position at Cadwell Park was the turning point as he managed to beat Taylor and Sykes to the front of the grid. Adam Croft was back at the sharp end of the grid in 5th , just behind an ever consistent David Bearman, whilst Arjo Ghosh took advantage of the absence of a handful of drivers such as Tom Andrew and Syd Coombes, to grab a good slot on the grid and set up a potentially great weekend. Stephen Potts was the only representative in the Production class, whilst in the 924s two drivers were making their first appearance of the season and neither Philip Waters nor Lynda Warren looked out of their depth showing good pace and capable speed. Whilst Alistair Kirkham hit the front, a troubled season for Rebecca Jackson continued as she was only able to set one timed lap which would see her start from the back. But the racing would be even more thrilling….

RACE 1

At the start, Styrin was able to establish his advantage and lead the first lap, whilst Sykes made an electric start from 3rd on the grid to 2nd ahead of Taylor. David Bearman and Croft maintained grid position right behind the leading trio. But poor John Bearman wouldn’t be amongst them as he failed to make the start and would be out for the remainder of the weekend. Things wouldn’t go well for Arjo Ghosh either as he dramatically fell to the back with a spin on the opening lap, which hampered the progress of Ian Loggie and Mike Sellar. But at the front, Taylor made a great move on Sykes for second place and pretty soon race one became plain sailing for the two leaders who matched each other for pace in the early stages, ahead of a titanic 3 way battle between Sykes, Bearman and Croft.  Great starts from Steven Boyles and Guillaume Gruchet catapulted them up to 6th and 7th where they would resume their battle throughout the race, but a wild moment for Mike Sellar toppled his car down the order. The race’s only other retirement, Philip  Waters would end his first race of 2012 after just three laps. The remaining six laps were purely about determination and concentration at the front, whilst Ghosh and Sellar carved their way through the 924 runners to desperately salvage decent results. But for once #99 stayed away from drama and Styrin clinched his first win of the season from Taylor and Sykes, whilst finishing was all that Potts needed to do to win the Production Class race.

In the 924s however, Kirkham would have to get back past the fast starting Sean Siddall to grab a victory, with Simon Hawksley behind them in third. Jackson was able to recover to fifth place whilst Lynda Warren drove solidly on her season debut bringing the car home comfortably for her fist signature on her licence.

 

RACE 2

For race 2, refer to race 1. That is if your name is Rick Styrin. Another good start translated into another strong lead ahead of Taylor, Sykes and David Bearman, whilst Ian Loggie’s race abruptly halted on the first lap. A tardy getaway for Adam Croft coupled with another brilliant start from Boyles and a spectacular breakaway from Ghosh meant that the pair of them would start a race-long scrap with Croft that went all the way to the chequered flag. Behind them, problems developed for Antony Mekwinski which took his 924 out of the race after just 5 laps. The battle for victory once again became about serene concentration and faultless driving, particularly with Gerry Taylor, Richard Sykes and Bearman hot on Styrin’s heels. But for once, bad luck would not creep in to spoil Styrin’s afternoon as 12 more laps of ‘the mini Nurburgring’ ended his day in style. The epic fight for fifth place ended in Croft’s favour as he was able to successfully pass Ghosh at the half way point and Boyles with 2 laps to go.

With Potts securing two out of two in the Production class, the 924 race was far from settled early on. Hawksley had outfoxed Siddall off the start just behind Kirkham and the race became a titanic grudge match to see who could outsmart the other. When Siddall finally repassed Hawksley, he set off in pursuit of the leader in a determined mood. But it was always going to be tough for him, and Alistair Kirkham was not about to make it easy for his opponent, and clinched another win ahead of Siddall and Hawksley. Jackson ended a frustrated weekend behind Marc Mackenzie and the struggling Sellar in the Boxster, whilst Warren’s progress saw her beat fellow newcomer Philip Waters to the chequered flag after a competent effort.

So three winners from three weekends means that the Logson Group Porsche Championship is about to enter an exciting peak. Only Sykes’ three wins to his fellow winners’ two puts him marginally ahead in the Championship, but with all three covered by just 6 points after dropped scores nobody is quite sure who will have the upperhand as the season moves on. The next round is at the legendary Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, a venue that is sure to sort out the men from the boys at the top of the table. But David Bearman’s pace suggests that he too could produce a win soon: perhaps a fourth different winner at Brands? Only the run down to Paddock Hill Bend will tell us the answers…..

 

Race report written by Jake Sanson.

Photography courtesy of James Roberts Photography www.jamesroberts.uk.com

 

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