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British Pounds

Pitstops Trialled as Southgate Extends Championship Lead

 

 
Class A Boxsters line up on Rockingham's banked grid in the June sunshine
Photo copyright © Copyright Andrew Pritchard 2018.
Toyo BRSCC Porsche Championship
Race Report - Round 4 Rockingham - 23-24 June 2018

Pitstops Trialled as Southgate Extends Championship Lead

Championship contender James Coleman missed this round with unresolvable overheating problems that surfaced in Friday's test session, while Andrew Porter continues to re-shell his car after his massive crash at Cadwell Park. Work commitments meant Karl Rossin was unable to join us on Saturday but Richard Matthews is back in Class C. Jamie Callender missed the Saturday qualifying session in the Class A Boxster borrowed from Jayson Flegg due to damaged sustained in Friday's test session, but his luck went further downhill when his bonnet flipped up, destroying the windscreen in a later qualifying session. Garry Goodwin joined the PDA grid for the first time this season and qualified an impressive 4th in Class A, although the session ended early with a red flag after Hugh Peart's car cuts out with a fuel pump problem.

Race 1
As the lights went out we witnessed a cracking start from Kevin Molyneaux who took the lead; Garry Lawrence jumped up to third. Adam Southgate's Boxster was loose and wayward on cold tyres running wide, but just a few corners later he took the lead. Hugh Peart beat Johnson off the line to take P1 in Class C.

By lap three Southgate had extended his lead from Molyneaux already and was posting fastest laps. Callender dropped back in his screen-less and roofless 986 although he had already shown good pace in class. Goodwin was sixth now but then Lawrence and Chamberlain both went off at Dean Hairpin allowing Nick Hull to grab third. Lawrence's car spitting gravel as it recovered. Johnson was side by side with Hugh Peart for the 924 lead, a very close battle there. Meanwhile Chamberlain was back up to P4 in the Boxsters.

Johnson grabbed the 924 lead at Chapman. Class A drivers Ludford, Churchill and Callender were all close through banked turn one and the run down to the Dean Hairpin where Callender went round the outside to pass both in the closest battle on track at that moment. Churchill went wide, Ludford watched for an opportunity to re-take Callender. Hull was keeping Molyneaux in his sites as Southgate extended his lead to 9 seconds while Johnson was pulling a gap ahead of Peart's 924.

Chamberlain grabbed third from Hull, who tried to take the position straight back but Chamberlain successfully defended. Callender increased his pace in P7 as his confidence built. Chamberlain, in only his second PDA meeting - now less than six seconds behind Molyneaux's yellow 986 in second - posted a quicker fastest lap than Southgate out front. Churchill passed Callender for 7th, with the pair having changed places three times through three successive corners. Johnson was looking comfortable leading the 924s.

Southgate was then slowed through PifPaff by Hugh Peart, apparently caught unawares. Meanwhile Callender had pitted with sudden overheating, and oil flags were being shown at the banked Turn 1 - site of a serious crash here last season. Ludford and Churchill continued their battle to the end, as did Hull and Lawrence, as the chequered flag was waved.

Another comfortable win then - 8 from 9 starts now - for Southgate but Molyneaux was extatic with his first 2nd place finish and Jesse Chamberlain again showed his new found Porsche racing talent in third. Callender was subsequently disqualified for being under weight as a consequence of running without a roof, itself no longer permitted under our regulations.

#36 Hugh Peart finished the weekend with three second place finishes
Photo copyright © Copyright Andrew Pritchard 2018

Race 2
Jamie Callender appeared this time with a roof in place and a screen fitted - courtesy of Kevin Molyneaux - to his borrowed Boxster; Karl Rossin was unable to attend on Saturday so sneaked into another qualifying session in order to join Sunday's races. Peart joins the grid just in time after mechanic 'Fudge' hastily fixes a gear selector issue.

Its another good start from both Molyneaux and Ludford but Southgate lead, although he ran wide at the hairpin. Johnson was up front in the 924s ahead of Peart and Rossin.

Hull braked late to go up the inside of Ludford at Tarzan, while Callender was battling with Goodwin and Churchill through PifPaff. Lawrence looking good in third while Hull was after Chamberlain's place.

Rossin grabbed 2nd in the 924s past Hugh Peart and soon pulled ahead - perhaps the latter gear issue was persisting? Meanwhile Lawrence, Chamberlain and Hull continued to fight for third in Class A.

Brief yellow flag was shown at Tarzan as Rossin span, thus loosing second. Chamberlain lunged at Tarzan but went wide to let Lawrence through, Hull fancying to go through as well. Suddenly there was a big cloud of smoke but with no apparent culprit. Hull went round the outside of Chamberlain while Ludford had a big moment at the exit of Tarzan allowing Callender through, only to then bring the Boxster straight into the pits as his appalling luck continues with overheating.

Hull went up the inside of Chamberlain to take fourth, now approaching Lawrence in third. Goodwin was sixth while Southgate retained his considerable lead. In competition for the third podium spot, Hull tried an outside route around Lawrence at Tarzan but the latter defended while Ludford defended from Churchill, narrowly avoiding contact.

As the clock ticked down, Hull was beside Lawrence, still challenging for third as the race entered its last lap, Chamberlain had dropped back. In the 924s Johnson had lapped solidly although Peart posted a quicker fastest lap. Johnson took the 924 win; Rossin behind Peart for third briefly holding up Hull's last charge for third. Southgate took another Class A win and Molyneax again celebrated like he'd won the Championship with another 2nd. Callender is the sole DNF although it looked like Chamberlain might have started to experience mechanical issues as he crossed the line.

Garry Goodwin pits during Race 3 to have Velcro tags removed from front and rear screens
Photo copyright © Copyright Andrew Pritchard 2018

Race 3
For the first time ever, the PDA's third race of the weekend was to include a mandatory pitstop - on top of the traditional reverse grid meaning our Class B graduate Matt Baker was on pole. As the red lights went out, into the first lap it was Nick Hull taking the lead, but then Jesse Chamberlain grabbed it from him with Southgate now 2nd.

Rossin kept hold of the 924 lead ahead of Johnson, Matthews and Peart; Baker had started to slow and Gavin Johnson hit bad luck again, some issue forcing him to pit.

Jesse Chamberlain went off at Gracelands but re-joined in 4th with some damage apparent on his left-rear. Hull was now second behind the charging Southgate, with Lawrence third. Johnson a retirement with what turns out to be a broken fan belt.

The pitstop window opened just as Southgate passed it so he had to complete another entire lap before he could come in as he wouldn't see the board until he next passed the finish line.

The front 924s were three wide when in Class A Nick Hull was the very first to take his stop, Matthews the first 924 to do so. Hugh Peart continued the race with only 3rd and 4th gears to choose from. Southgate still had not pitted but needed to do so on lap 8 - same with Lawrence and Peart.

Hull went into 2nd while Lawrence was doing his pitstop; he then emerged just behind Chamberlain. Southgate was still safely in the lead though.

Chamberlain, Lawrence and Molyneaux were three wide into the turn 2 hairpin, all after third place. Chamberlain and Molyneaux banged doors while squabbling with Lawrence for third, fourth and fifth in Class A.

Southgate was reaching the 924s again, passing Matthews and Rossin, the latter still leading ahead of Peart. Molyneaux went for a lunge to take both Chamberlain and Lawrence but went too deep.

At the flag, Southgate won again but it was a first ever 2nd place for Nick Hull, while Lawrence just held on to third ahead of Chamberlain and Molyneaux. Karl Rossin won Class C with Peart limping to 2nd and Matthews third. There was a big off right at the end for Ludford who lost a bumper as a result; Callender and Johnson were both DNFs.

Later the pit stops were judged great success, adding another dimension to the championship and letting the back up teams have more involvement in race performance.

Photos courtesy Andrew Pritchard, text by Chris Valentine with the assistance of John Broadley and Downforce Radio.

Kevin Luford's distinctive Class A Boxster negotiates Tarzan in Race 1. Jamie Callender (rear) shown here both screen and roof-less and later disqualified.
Photo copyright © Copyright Andrew Pritchard 2018

Current championship standings after four events - points are after dropped score rule taken into account.

Class A Race-spec Boxsters
1st    Adam Southgate 208.0
2nd    Kevin Molyneaux 166.0
3rd    Nick Hull 155.0
4th    Garry Lawrence 143.0
5th    James Coleman 138.0
6th    Kevin Ludford 127.0

Class B Production Boxsters
1st Leigh Bowden 81.0

Class C 924s
1st    Hugh Peart    113.0
2nd    Gavin Johnson    104.5
3rd    Karl Rossin    55.5
4th    Rick Styrin    52.0
5th    David Jones    46.0
6th    Philip Waters    39.5

Posted by Chris Valentine on 03 August 2018 11:53

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