Greensmith Takes It To The Wire

Greensmith Takes It To The Wire in Season Finale

Although Jayson Flegg had already taken the Class B title, both Class A and the 924s were still under contention as the Toyo Tires BRSCC Porsche Championship entered its final weekend of 2014. Sadly neither Flegg nor his team mate Mark Marshall - whose car was severely damaged at Brands - were able to attend.

Karl Rossin was 40 points adrift of Simon Hawksley in the 924s with no dropped points (his lowest scores this season were zeros) so only failures to finish put Hawksley's title in doubt.

But in the Class A Boxsters, Ed Hayes, Richard Avery and Garry Lawrence were all in a position to snatch the championship. Only two points separated Ed and Richard. Leader Jonathan Greensmith was in the same position as Rossin with only zeros as his dropped scores having missed the Zolder round - but Ed Hayes was only 17 points adrift.

It didn't take long for the drama to start as the cars streamed out from the Melbourne loop onto Donington's National circuit for Saturday morning's qualifying. Nick Hull experienced the same strange brake lock-up that had troubled Adam Croft this season and his 987 took a straight line in the Redgate gravel. The TF team relocated one of the car's ECUs in the hope a stability sensor was causing the issue, which did not recur in the race.

Gary Duckman was disqualified from the session for being under the minimum weight - somewhat confusing for both driver and team when the car was shown to be 20kg over weight at Brands Hatch. This meant he was to start from the very back for the first race.

Both Nizar El-Chamaa and Tony Mekwinski's 924s missed qualifying - Niz with a failed alternator - but both drivers were allowed to join the back of their class grid having completed a couple of laps behind the safety car later in the morning.

Race 1 started with a clean charge into turn 1 but later in the lap two 924s collided at the Roberts Chicane resulting in serious front-end damage to Paul Bravo's car at he went into the side of Hugh Peart. The safety car was deployed but its withdrawal caught out a couple of drivers, who overtook slightly too early and both were penalised - Adam Croft for being just 2 thousands of a second too fast. Marc Mackenzie was very disappointed - "I made a great start and got the jump on three or four cars by turn one but lost momentum when the safety car came out and never got back into the groove". Ben Van Den Bos suffered an auxiliary belt failure, causing him to be the third DNF.

Ed Hayes took the win and fastest lap, thus closing the gap with Class A leader Jonathan Greensmith who was 2nd. Adam Croft was cruelly robbed of the final podium slot by the aforementioned infraction leaving series returnee Adam Southgate to land 3rd place finish in his very first race in his newly-aquired 986 - he's obviously not lost his touch from his years of racing 924s.

Steve Warburton ran away with the Class B win (taking a number of Class A scalps in the process) over Michael Goodacre, who suffered a coolant leak, with Bernie Printy third.

In the 924s, Simon Hawksley stretched his class lead to secure his Championship win - only a stream of DNFs would have been enough to allow Karl Rossin (who finished 3rd behind Alastair Kirkham) to catch him - a situation that Karl said he certainly wouldn't have wished on the quiet lad from Aberdeen. David Jones' non-finish meant the Class C third place suddenly became open to contention.

Guesting with us again, Andrew Hannington's 924 encountered a stuck throttle and on de-clutching the runaway engine suffered a broken valve stem, requiring a rebuild using scavenged parts lead by the famous "Fudge" of the Victoria Garage team.

Sunday saw clearer skies and not a drop of rain bothered the assembled racers. A late start to the proceedings allowed the drivers a little extra time to recover from a very successful curry night on Saturday.

Paul Bravo had gathered the troops, including Philip Waters (not racing), Karl Rossin and Michael Goodacre, who all chipped in to get his badly battered 924 ready for Race 2. Hugh Peart's car was ruled too severely damaged to continue while John Broadley, who was a non-starter for Race 1, joined Bravo at the back of the grid.

This time it was Richard Avery who took the Class A pole ahead of Greensmith with Ed Hayes in third - meaning the Race Boxster Championship was almost certainly going to go to the yellow 986 of the Hillsborough driver.

The Class B finishers were the same with Warburton taking the win over Goodacre and Printy.

Andrew Hannington again suffered from the frightening stuck throttle and his only course of action was to cut the power as the car careered towards the Redgate gravel - an action that unsurprisingly caught Gary Duckman unawares. He then unavoidably ran into the back of Andy's car; this damaged one of Gary's radiators and a few other cars span as a result of the spilt coolant.

With the 924 title now firmly in Hawksley's bag, some might have expected him to ease off but his friendly rivalry with Alastair Kirkham saw him chase Kirkham to the line and take the fastest lap bonus point. Nizar El-Chamaa joined them on the podium for third.

Race 3 was timetabled as the second-to-last of the weekend and the light was already fading as a somewhat withered set of Porsches lined up on the Donington grid. Hasty calculations suggested that it would only take a finish for Jonathan Greensmith to be certain of his Class A win but the reverse grid meant almost anything was possible. Rookie driver Alan Purbrick took a copy of the grid sheet for prosperity as he was to lead the Boxsters into Redgate, with John Cleland (no, the other one) to his right on the front row.

Richard Avery lost his last chance of challenging Ed Hayes for 2nd in the Class A table when an oil leak ended his race. Series returnee Adam Southgate again excelled to take the Race Boxster win over an enthusiastic drive from Gary Duckman starting 14th on the grid, with Ed Hayes taking the last podium slot. Garry Goodwin was an unexpected DNF while Greensmith romped home as champion in 7th.

The Class B Boxsters again repeated their positions and Michael Goodacre's three finishes gave him enough points to overtake Mark Marshall in the Production Boxster Championship to be 2nd behind the absent Jayson Flegg.

In the 924s a race-long battle evolved as Niz El-Chamaa tried his best to beat Alastair Kirkham to the 924 win but had to settle for 2nd having overtaken Simon Hawksley. This meant the young rookie driver from Teddington had gathered enough points to snatch the class second prize from David Jones' grasp. Only later did it emerge that Niz had been penalized for an on-track incident in Race 1 and the resulting deduction meant Jones finished just ahead on points. Karl Rossin finished 6th but was now comfortable in his overall Class C table 2nd position.

And so another successful season of Porsche racing draws to a close. The Championship express their gratitude for the continuing support from our sponsors and partners Toyo Tires UK, Jasmine Porshalink UK, Fuchs Lubricants, Questmead and Custom Cages. We also take this opportunity to thank the organisers, clerks, officials and marshals of the BRSCC who make our racing possible. And lastly to the teams - and families - who support our drivers throughout the year.

The drivers and teams take a breather now until January when they will gather in style at The Links Country Park Hotel in Cromer to celebrate the achievements of Jonathan Greensmith, Jayson Flegg and Simon Hawksley.

Next race

Snetterton 300 - 20th / 21st April 2019


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