Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Donington Park race report
Josh Webster, one of Total 911’s racing columnist trio, closed the gap to Michael Meadows in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB title race after securing a podium and a maiden win in the second round of the 2014 season at Donington Park.
After securing two pole positions, Meadows romped away in race one, taking an eventually comfortable victory. The championship leader entering third race of the year, Meadows took the chequered flag 5.76 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
The Samsung UHD TV Racing driver’s closest challenger would turn out to be Pro-Am1 runner, Karl Leonard. However, the Irishman did not have an easy run on the way to his first overall podium in the Carrera Cup GB.
After qualifying second, Leonard was challenged by the hard-charging Webster as the field streamed into Redgate on lap two only to see the Porsche scholar run wide on the exit and drop to fifth.
That left Victor Jimenez to take up third place however, Redline Racing teammate Webster hadn’t given up, charging his way back through the pack. Within 12 laps, the Suffolk racer was back up to third and pressurising Leonard.
The Irishman held firm though, taking his best Carrera Cup GB finish to date as Webster had to settle for third. “I was down to P5 and then had a good come back,” explained the 20-year-old driver. “But Karl dealt with the pressure I put on him.”
The second 23-lap encounter of the weekend was about as far removed from race one as possible. The race started in dry conditions but the track quickly turned wet as rain set in at the race’s halfway point.
From the moment of the rolling start, drama began to unfold as Meadows touched the 991 GT3 Cup of Leonard at the first corner, sending the former spinning into the gravel. He would eventually rejoin at the tail-end of the field and recover to sixth place.
This left Webster in control (ahead of Leonard and Jimenez) building up a lead of 6.7 seconds by the end of the fifteenth lap. However, on lap 16, the Porsche scholar dived for the pits to take on a set of wet tyres, a brave choice even with the rain falling harder.
Leonard’s lead would only last two laps after the Irishman spun on lap 19, dropping him down to an eventual fourth place (although he still secured Pro-Am1 victory).
Jimenez was now leading from In2 Racing’s Paul Rees but the man on a charge was Webster, lapping over ten seconds faster than anyone else thanks to the increased grip offered by his wet weather tyres.
The Nine Group-supported driver was back in the lead by the end of lap 21, eventually taking a dominant win by a fraction more than 50 seconds, one of the biggest winning margins in Carrera Cup GB history.
Samsung UHD TV Racing
Team Parker Racing
Team Parker Racing
With another consistent weekend of points scoring, and the earliest ever victory for a Carrera Cup GB scholar, Webster has closed to within 8 points of early points leader, Meadows.
“I really thought I’d messed it up,” Webster said afterwards. “I could see cars flying past and we had a problem with the wheel gun on the rear right. But after the first lap on wets I could see how fast I was closing them down.”
Round three of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB takes place in two weeks time from the ultra-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire. As ever, Total 911 will keep you up to date with all the action.