Adam Southgate surged ahead to lead the Boxster table after three wins at Donington

7th July 2015

Very heavy overnight rain left us with a damp paddock but two earlier

qualifying sessions, plus a fairly constant breeze, meant a dry track

for the 24 cars entered for our fourth round of the 2015 season. Adam

Southgate was very quickly posting the fastest laps in his 986 Boxster

and Adam Croft again showed his return to 924s is paying off with him

landing top spot for the grid of the first of three races this weekend.

Nizar El-Chamaa reported being down on power having posted a lowly (for

him) P7 and later examination showed the bottom end of his 2-litre

engine had failed – game over. James Coleman posted his best place of

his new season in the rented Taylors Foundary 986 with P3 and in 5th on

the Class A grid, Garry Goodwin also impressed with a best-of-career

position on his 40th birthday. The Flegg Racing pairing of Jayson Flegg

and Mark Marshall were lucky to make the round having spent considerable

time and effort repairing both of their Boxsters after incidents at both

Rockingham and Zandvoort.

Race 1 proved to be one of the closest of the season. Tony Mekwinski’s

newly-purchased 924 was an early DNF with an electrical issue leaving

his car stranded on the Melbourne straight; Richard Matthews ran into

the exact same issue on lap 2, his car cruising to a halt just after Old

Hairpin. Richard Avery span into the gravel requiring a hasty recovery

under a single lap of the safety car. Nick Hull’s finish appeared far

off the podium pace he showed at Zandvoort having been forced to pit

when a item of instrumentation came adrift to skitter around the floor

under his pedals. But the timekeepers missed his pitstop and a post-race

correction moved him back up from 17th overall to P5 in class.

On the last but one lap, Ed Hayes finally got close enough to challenge

Adam Southgate’s lead on the exit of the Fogarty Esses, powering down

the Melbourne straight forcing Adam to drive defensively – with due

attention paid to the regulations on weaving – to guard his line.

Southgate crossed the line with Hayes less than three tenths of a second

behind. Mark Marshall’s 986 sounded ropey in the opening laps and he

soon dropped back with exhaust problems – but did finish. Jayson Flegg’s

car ran well considering the rear suspension was set way too high, so he

was happy with P6.

In the 924s it was three cars abreast into the hairpin with Adam Croft

fighting to defend his lead from the attacking Kirkham and Waters and

the top five cars finished with barely six seconds between them.

Newcomer Jamie Callendar completed his first race in the white

JMG-sponsored 924 and Alfred Piesinger again proved he’s not lost his

pace after seasons away from racing, taking P4 in class.

After getting a roasting in the cars yesterday with interior

temperatures exceeding 50 deg.C Sunday morning’s conditions were a lot

cooler with cloud cover to start soon giving way to intermittent sunshine.

Ed Hayes’ extra success ballast seemed to have an effect on his pace,

having carried none in Race 1, because he was unable to challenge Adam

Southgate’s lead off the line. Mark Marshall’s extreme bad luck

continued when he lost control at Old Hairpin and neither grass nor

gravel were able to slow him enough to avoid damage to the front and

wing as the car collided with the tyre barrier. Garry Goodwin landed P5

after a suspension tweak returned the pace he’d seen in yesterday’s


The 924 race proved almost as close as yesterday’s with Alfred Piesinger

getting a great start to lead for most of the 20 minutes but a tank

slapper with just a handful of laps remaining let Adam Croft, Alastair

Kirkham and Philip Waters through to take the class podium in that

order, with Alfred himself being a non-finisher. David Jones suffered

the same bottom end failure of his 924 engine as Niz and retired after 8


Both Jayson Yates and John Cleland were missing from the Boxster grid

for the final race of the weekend, with its traditional reverse grid.

Nick Hull found himself on pole for the Boxsters with Richard Matthews

leading the 924s away alongside newcomer Jamie Callendar. Showers began

in the 1/2 hour before the cars were called to the assembly area, but

these were fairly light and the track had dried again by the time they

headed out onto the grid.

Alfred Piesinger seemed to have written the book on 924 standing starts

this weekend as once again he launched himself off the line from the

very back and by lap 3 he was 13th overall and leading his class. Once

the other 924 front-runners had caught up, a five-way battle for the

lead ensued with Philip Waters eventually taking the win over Piesinger

second and Adam Croft having to settle (for a change) for third.

Nick Hull also got a good start and impressed by holding on to the lead

for five laps until Adam Southgate managed to squeeze past. Andrew Hack

was on a charge and he grabbed second two laps later leaving Hull to

take another third-spot on the podium as he had done at Zandvoort twice

in the previous round.

Fastest laps for all three races went to Adam Southgate (Boxsters) and

Adam Croft (924s), each receiving a bottle from Fine Drinks Cooperative,

who had run a wine-tasting event for us on the Saturday evening.

Meanwhile donations to our chosen charity CMT UK have already reached

£300 with many drivers now sporting the logo on their race cars.

With the top three of the Boxster class so close on points, and with

Southgate showing such impressive form, it was inevitable that we would

see changes to the Championship tables and he now leads Class A with

ex-leader Ed Hayes six points behind. Adam Croft already had a ten point

lead over Alastair Kirkham and two wins from him stretches that further

but even here, the championship is still open for contention with four

founds – and 11 races remaining.

Our next outing is already less than two weeks away as we head for the

Lincolnshire circuit known as the Nurburgring of the North, Cadwell

Park, on 18-19th July.

Track Days / Test Days /