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May 08, 2014 - 04:36 PM
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Early Promise Ends In Disappointment At Rockingham - Trackspeed - British GT
Posted by: newsla on May 08, 2014 - 04:32 PM
Sports Cars
Early Promise Ends In Disappointment At Rockingham - Trackspeed - British GT


Qualifying: P11 Race: P15

The weekend kicked off on Sunday with the first of two practice sessions. It was a strong showing from both Porsches as they dominated the time sheets for most of the hour-long session. The #12 car held onto 3rd spot until around two minutes before the end of the session when the other cars began setting their fastest laps. However, even with the rest of the field pushing hard, they concluded the session 4th quickest with a time of 1:24.839 Later, they were unable to improve upon their time set in the first session, and they ended Free Practice 2, 12th quickest with a time of 1:25.078.

 

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Qualifying was next up, in which the car was unable to match its earlier pace in the practice sessions. A penalty awarded to Firth for exceeding track limits meant the #12 car dropped out of the top ten, and was set to start the race in 11th position.

RACE

Monday was a frustrating day with the results of the race being dictated by factors outside the control of the team.

During the first lap of the race, Firth attempted to stay out of harms way as the cars made their way around the track. His attempts would be in vain, as a competitor behind him braked too late into the first hairpin, causing damage to the rear of the car and leaving him in last place. Firth was able to continue initially but with the body work of the #12 Porsche leaning on the exhaust, a small fire erupted, giving him no other choice but to pit. A brilliant team effort ensured he was able to return to the race, but it was too late. The #12 car was now 5 laps down and any hope of scoring points were dashed.

Hughes took over from Firth, and was able to show some real pace in the car, giving a glimpse of what could have been had the damage not been inflicted on the Porsche.

After the disappointing weekend at Oulton Park for round one, in which the car was unable to complete either of the races, getting some solid time out on the track under race conditions provided valuable information to the team on the performance of the #12 car.

When the tide of disappointment had passed, the team was left feeling frustrated, in particular, about the balance of performance. "It’s clear that the Porsche is out of line, and doesn’t have the correct balance of performance…we have nothing to fight with. It makes it very frustrating. Obviously we have the additional penalty of 75kg. That is a regulation, and we accept that. That alone is going to blunt the pace of what we’ve got but a few other cars have the same restriction and are still able to get podium positions. With the BoP (Balance of Performance) we’ve got now, we are dead in the water and something needs to change" said Hughes.

Firth added "This track is typically considered a 'Porsche track'… Trackspeed qualified one, two, three here last year. Jon and Phil do not have to carry the 75kg balast that myself and Warren do, so their performance gives a true reflection of the Porsche's BoP. In qualifying, it was way off pole again, so to me it’s obvious the Porsche needs a break. I sincerely hope the organisers address that for the Silverstone race".

Car 33 - J.Minshaw & P.Keen

Qualifying: P9 Race: DNF

It was a similar showing in the first practice session for car #33. Second place was held onto for the majority of the session, before ending 5th quickest with a time of 1:24.981. The second session was an occasion for Phil Keen to show his true skill behind the wheel of his Porsche. Keen had been sat in 15th position for the first half of the session but this was quick to change; in a single lap Keen improved on his previous time by over a second, bringing up #33 to 5th quickest. Keen was later able to improve on this, showing his blistering pace and putting the car once again near the top of the time sheet with a 3rd fastest time of 1:23.984.

As with the #12 car, qualifying didn’t reap the results that were hoped for and car #33 was set to start the race in 9th place. Qualifying in the middle of the pack would ultimately have devastating consequences for both cars during the race.

RACE

The #33 car, with Jon Minshaw behind the wheel, had even less luck during the race. Minshaw made a fantastic start making his way past several cars into the first corner, only for his intial progress to be undone after #33 received contact from another car, putting it into a spin.

After waiting for a safe gap to rejoin the circuit, Minshaw would find himself at the tail of the field, however, Minshaw, knowing a 2 hour race meant there was plenty of time and opportunities to make his way up the field, showed real promise as he picked his way back through the pack, gaining position by position. Unfortunately, contact whilst overtaking a slower GT3 car led to radiator damage and an untimely end to the race.

2014 SEASON SO FAR

#12 - Firth / Hughes

Round 1 | Oulton Park Race 1: DNF Race 2: DNF

Round 2 | Rockingham Race 1: P15

#33 - Minshaw / Keen

Round 1 | Oulton Park Race 1: P10 Race 2: P2

Round 2 | Rockingham Race 1: DNF

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

9. Jon Minshaw - 19pts 9. Phil Keen - 19pts

18. Firth - 0pts 18. Hughes - 0pts

NEXT ROUND

Round 3 | Silverstone 31/05/2014 - 01/06/2014



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