2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB – Brands Hatch report
Ben Barker, Total 911’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup columnist, came away from the opening round of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB with two victories. However, it was 2013 champion, Michael Meadows who comes away from Brands Hatch leading the standings.
With the series switching to the new 991 GT3 Cup racer, Barker – who will once again compete in the Supercup in 2014 – was a last minute addition to the entry list, after being invited to compete in Porsche GB’s guest 911 for the opening weekend of the season.
Despite the 22-year-old’s experience with the latest 911 GT3 Cup car, it was defending champion, Michael Meadows who took pole position for both races around the 1.21-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit, with a best lap of 46.022s, compared to Barker’s 46.209s.
Porsche GB Scholar, and Total 911’s Carrera Cup columnist, Josh Webster would line up third for both encounters after qualifying just a tenth behind Barker (a relative sports car veteran compared to the 20-year-old).
As the lights went out for the opening race of the season, Barker’s experience with the Type-991 car showed as he made the best getaway, leaping ahead of Meadows as the 13-strong pack streamed into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
Barker immediately set to work building a cushion over Meadows’ Samsung UHD TV Racing car. By lap 14, Meadows was 2.6s adrift, with the gap reducing by a few tenths as the race passed the halfway point. However, Barker kept the deficit at a constant 2.2s until backmarkers came into play with just a few laps left.
The Supercup racer eventually took the win by 1.7s, as Meadows could never quite get on terms with Barker. Webster came home in third after drifting away from the leading duo as the race wore on. Despite this, a podium on his Carrera Cup debut underline’s the youngster’s undeniable talent.
Pro-Am1 winner, Karl Leonard was fourth on the road, however a five-second penalty for a track limits offence demoted him to sixth behind a battling Jake Hill and Victor Jimenez who raced through from the rear of the field after a poor start.
Race two followed a similar pattern however, in a first for the Carrera Cup GB, the encounter got underway via a rolling start (a new feature for all second race’s this season).
Barker once again got the leap on Meadows, braving it out on the outside of Paddock Hill Bend to take the lead. This time though, Meadows was more savvy in the opening few laps, limiting Barker’s lead to just 0.8s.
Through the mid-part of the 33-lap race, Meadows pressured Barker, looking for a mistake and a way through. However, as a guest driver, Barker was ineligible for championship points, something Meadows was aware of.
Therefore, the Redline Racing driver sat back in the closing stages, securing his second maximum points haul of the weekend, 1.9s behind Barker, and with it a ten-point advantage in the championship battle.
Webster’s race was less lonely than the first encounter as the Nine Group-supported driver was engaged in a race-long dice with fellow rookie, Jake Hill, and 2013 Pro-Am1 champion, Victor Jimenez.
The Total 911 columnist initially occupied fifth after a lacklustre opening lap. But, on lap 18 Jimenez was dispatched and Webster set about closing down the 1.9s gap to Hill.
Despite the 20-year-old’s best efforts though, Hill could not be pressured into a mistake, with Webster having to settle for fourth (the third eligible points scorer).
|1||Michael Meadows||Samsung UHD TV Racing||44|
|2=||Josh Webster||Redline Racing||34|
|2=||Jake Hill||In2 Racing||34|
|4||Victor Jimenez||Redline Racing||28|
|5||Paul Rees||In2 Racing||22|
|6||Justin Sherwood||Team Parker Racing||19|
Jimenez finished fifth, as Justin Sherwood securing Pro-Am1 victory after Karl Leonard was forced to retire on lap 12. In Pro-Am2, Will Goff saw off race one winner, Steve Liquorish.
The next round takes place at Donington Park on 19-20 April. Once again, Total 911 will bring you all the latest news, and reports of all the action. Also, make sure you check out Josh Webster’s column each month in the magazine.