BRSCC Porsches Race Report – Rockingham – 23-24 June 2018
19th July 2018
Toyo BRSCC Porsche Championship
Race Report – Round 5 Castle Combe – 14-15 July 2018
High Drama as Hull Exits Club Inverted
Ten cars were out for qualifying, Class A Boxsters plus two 924s. Just a few laps in and James Coleman was already quickest, but chose to pit early. Gavin Johnson was the quicker 924 ahead of Hugh Peart by over 4 seconds. With less than two minutes left of the session, Southgate snatched the Class A pole by a mere 0.02 seconds while Johnson remained quickest of the 924s.
Race start and a good getaway by the frontrunners: Garry Lawrence stormed ahead having started from row 2 and into the lead. But there were incidents galore: James Coleman took the lead on the second lap, but dropped to P4 after contact with Southgate. It was later investigated by race officials, but deemed a racing incident.
Elsewhere, a coming together between Kevin Molyneaux and Nick Hull caused Hull to spin into the infield. The drivers this time weren’t so luck with Molyneaux disqualified from the race and Hull issued with a grid penalty.
Recovering, Hull carved his way up from the back, but retired with overheating caused by a damaged radiator. Matt Harris retired to the pit lane with his car covered in grass and smoking after running wide and losing his splitter. Then James Coleman retired with broken suspension, possibly a result of the earlier contact with Southgate.
Kevin Molyneaux was going well in P3, but was being caught by a very racy Garry Goodwin, who finally got past towards the end of the race. Molyneaux pursued closely, but went off into the Armco near the end of the race, leaving Goodwin to his first PDA podium behind Southgate and Lawrence. A steady Andy Baker finished fourth after keeping out of trouble.
Johnson won in Class C after Peart took an early lead with Johnson passing after 2 laps. Peart showed more pace than practice and lapped less than a second slower than Johnson. Fastest lap went to a rapid Garry Lawrence.
All cars were OK for racing on the Sunday with a bit off work, except for Molyneaux, who’s crew were in for an all-nighter to get it’s extensive damage repaired.
Southgate was on Class A pole with Molyneaux back in 8th having had his car worked on overnight with the second of our three races having been slightly delayed. Garry Goodwin started third having landed his first podium spot yesterday.
Southgate kept the lead from pole with Lawrence 2nd and Coleman third from fifth. Coleman challenged Lawrence at Tower and continued to do so through the second lap. Hull was chasing Coleman while Molyneax had got past Goodwin in his yellow 986; Johnson kept ahead of Peart in the 924 race.
Southgate was now nearly three seconds ahead of the chasing pack into lap 4 and posted another fastest lap as he put in a Styrin-like performance.
Into lap 6 and there’s no let-up from Coleman in his persuit of Lawrence but there’s a massive crash at Camp Corner with Nick’s Boxster going straight on after a brake failure to hit the barrier hard and land inverted, resulting in an immediate full course yellow, which quickly became a red flag to stop the race. The cars were initially re-gridded for a restart but the decision was then taken to cancel the restart to give time for the Castle Combe staff to make barrier repairs, leaving Southgate with another win. Gavin Johnson took the Class C top step.
Southgate said later “When the safety car boards came out I was cursing. The car was feeling great. I’m having a lot of luck but after four seasons in the championship I think its time [to win].” Garry Lawrence added “It was a bit of relief when the safety car boards came out.” while James Coleman said “A good start – as planned. Lawrence’s car was all over the place. Its really hot out there!”
Traditional reverse grid for our final race of the weekend but unlike Rockingham, there was to be no pit stop as the Castle Combe pit lane doesn’t suit them.
Coleman made a superb start and went from fifth to the lead before the first turn. Lawrence went very wide, letting both Monlyneaux and Goodwin through. Peart lead Johnson in the 924s.
Southgate set a new fastest lap in his persuit of Coleman while Molyneaux hung on to third. Peart was still holding off Johnson in Class C. Lawrence had got past both Goodwin and Molyneaux for third in the Boxsters.
Southgate stuffed a nose down the inside of Coleman at Quarry and there was minor contact, but then Southgate went wide and Coleman re-took the lead. Coleman then appeared to slow slightly on the exit – a missed gear change perhaps – so Southgate was again alongside. Whilst attacking again, Southgate lost control at the chicane and span harmlessly off the circuit, waving Lawrence past to rejoin in third.
Coleman used the opportunity to pull away to leave Lawrence and Southgate to battle each other for Class A second. Meanwhile at the half-way point, Johnson finally got past Peart for the 924s lead.
Molyneaux must have been having problems as he dropped way back, although he did continue to complete laps; Coleman had also dropped his pace as he started to catch the 924s, plus giving a big wave as he passed Molyneaux’s ailing 986.
At the flag it was a comfortable win in Class A for Coleman over Lawrence, and Southgate a tenth behind across the line, while Johnson made it three wins from three in Class C with Hugh Peart 2nd.
Photos kindly supplied byJon Elsey, text by Chris Valentine and John Broadley