911 in Motosport: Porsche Carrera Cup GB Silverstone report
After a torrid time at Rockingham, Michael Meadows took another step closer to a successful defence of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB title. On the Silverstone National circuit, an eighth win of the season increased Meadows’ advantage over Jonas Gelzinis to 17 points.
Practice & Qualifying
The weekend started well for Meadows as he posted the fastest time of the day in free practice on the Friday. However, the Samsung Smart Motorsport driver was just a few hundredths faster than the second-placed Gelzinis.
In qualifying, Meadows continued to assert his dominance over his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup rivals. His biggest challenge during the timed session would come from series-returnee, Dean Stoneman.
Total 911’s ‘one to watch’, Stoneman had served a two-race ban during the Rockingham meeting and was now back on the Carrera Cup GB grid, albeit with a five-place penalty to apply to his starting slot in the first race of the meeting.
Stoneman’s pace was such that Meadows was forced to use up his second set of new tyres (rather than save them for the race) in order to grab pole position.
As well as first place for the initial encounter, Meadow’s second-fastest lap was also good enough for pole position for race two, in which Stoneman would start alongside on the front row.
For race one though, it was Daniel Lloyd who would occupy the second grid slot, with a disappointed Gelzinis in third.
When the lights went out to start round 17 of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB, there was only one thing on Meadows’s mind. Escape from the pack behind and let them squabble amongst themselves.
However, KX Akademy driver, Lloyd had other ideas, slipping through into the lead at the start. The pair did manage to stretch away from the chasers though and, by the time Meadows found a way through on lap seven, third-placed Stoneman was 2.3 seconds behind.
Meadows duly edged away from Lloyd over the remaining 20 laps to take win number eight of his 2013 campaign.
Behind, Lloyd was just about managing to avoid be completely dragged into the monumental battle for the final place on the podium. However, things were about to change for the Porsche Scholarship driver.
Having led the battle early on, Stoneman was struggling come the final third of the race. Double Rockingham winner, Rory Butcher (who had been all over the tail of Stoneman’s Porsche) now sensed his chance.
The Scot found a way through on lap 24 and set about closing in on Lloyd, which he duly did. Very nearly taking the fastest lap on the penultimate tour, Butcher was right with Lloyd on the final lap.
Into the last corner of Luffield, Butcher found a slight gap on the inside. Lloyd had other ideas though, duking it out on the outside through the fast sweep at Woodcote.
As they raced towards the flag, Lloyd was just able to keep his nose ahead by the merest of margins. Butcher had to settle for third, two-hundredths of a second back.
Stoneman faded back from this battle but was still able to stay ahead of Meadows’ main rival, Gelzinis.
In Pro-Am1, Victor Jimenez’s victory march was halted by a gearbox issue, allowing Dan de Zille to take the win. Jimenez would not have to wait long though, taking victory and the title in the second encounter, despite de Zille starting from class pole.
While the second race of the weekend was slightly less fraught, it was not lacking in tension.
Once again, Meadows could not get his Porsche 911 off the grid as fast as his front row companion. This time though it was Stoneman, not Lloyd, who had leapt into the lead.
Initially, the ex-FIA Formula Two champion was able to open up a one-second advantage but, by the mid point in the race, Meadows had closed back up to the rear wing of Stoneman’s GT3 Cup car.
With the championship in mind, Meadows played it safe, choosing to sit behind Stoneman instead of risk a collision while trying to take the lead.
The decision worked as third-placed Gelzinis was too busy keeping Butcher at bay to trouble the championship leader.
At the flag, Stoneman had edged away to win by just under 1.5 seconds, with Meadows narrowly ahead of Gelzinis and Butcher. The second-place allowed Meadows to leave the weekend with an extended 17-point advantage over Gelzinis.
In the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, the dominant force in this year’s championship, James Smallwood took a comprehensive victory in race one but was denied a follow-up win after an opening lap collision in race two.
This allowed Emmerdale star, Kelvin Fletcher to take his maiden win in the championship.