Westbrook takes Carrera Cup double at Croft

18.July, 2005 @23:07     Coupe News
Richard Westbrook claimed a fine double victory in rounds nine and ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft, North Yorkshire, on Sunday (17 July). His performance put the Ipswich racer nine points clear in the title race as teams rapidly prepare for rounds 11 and 12 at Mondello Park (Ireland) this weekend (23/24 July).

Porsche cup1
Race one

In a race re-started after an accident, Westbrook (Ipswich) headed Tim Harvey (Witney, Oxfordshire) into the first corner of race one and was able to win by three seconds as Harvey contended with the challenge of Damien Faulkner (Co Donegal). "It was pretty simple; the car felt good and I edged away," said Westbrook.

The first start was red-flagged after two laps when Jason Young (Oakham, Leicestershire) bounced across the gravel and hit the tyre wall at Clervaux corner. With his car moved, the race was re-started over a reduced six-lap duration and Westbrook again had to beat Harvey in the all-important sprint to the first corner. As the car’s stormed into the corner, Harvey hit the apex kerb hard and that unsettled his car’s handling for the rest of the race.

Meanwhile, Westbrook set about building his lead and as Harvey started to come under pressure from Faulkner, Harvey had his hands full defending second place. "It wasn’t about challenging Richard, it was about defending from Damien," said Harvey of his race.

Faulkner ran right on Harvey’s tail and was pleased to have made a step forward after a disappointing qualifying session. "At least it was a competitive third," said Faulkner after finishing a fifth of a second behind Harvey. Not far back, Jason Templeman (Nottingham) took fourth and was closing in on the Harvey/Faulkner battle in the second half of the race.

The battle for fifth was a three-way contest as Red Line Racing team mates Nigel Rice (Beverley, East Yorkshire) and Stephen Shanly (Clapham, London) had Steve Clark (Stourbridge, West Midlands) right behind them for the duration. In the first start, Rice had blasted up into fourth place ahead of Faulkner, but was held back into the first corner at the second start. Clark, meanwhile, had his best race so far to run right on their tail as less than two seconds covered them at the finish. "We’ve made a step forward and I felt good in the car," said Clark.

Race one results (6 laps):

1 Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing)

2 Tim Harvey (Team RPM)

3 Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing)

4 Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing)

5 Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing)

6 Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing)

7 Steve Clark (Team RPM)

8 Richard Lambert (Porsche Cars Team Autosport)

9 Michael Corridan (Team Parker Racing)

Race two

Westbrook had to fend off a race-long challenge from championship rival Faulkner to win the second race by just over a second and extend his championship lead to nine points. Behind Faulkner, Harvey completed the podium finishers.

As in the first race, the start was critical and it was extremely crowded as the pack funneled into the first corner. But Westbrook got the start he wanted to dive ahead of Harvey and before the end of the lap Harvey had been edged back to third when Faulkner dived through at the hairpin. "I had to overtake Tim as early as I could," said Faulkner. With his car handling in a manner not to his liking, Harvey chased, but was unable to re-challenge Faulkner as the race developed.

Up front, Westbrook started to build his lead and went as far as two seconds clear before Faulkner started to close the gap down again. Little by little, the margin reduced, but Westbrook always stayed in control and his rival was just too far away on the final lap to launch an attack. "There’ll be a good celebration tonight," reckoned Westbrook of his eighth win of the season.

Faulkner acknowledged that taking the fight to Westbrook is a big task. "He’s driving well; there was nothing I could do today." Harvey, meanwhile, had to keep one eye on his mirrors for Templeman, but the former Touring Car Champion had the final podium place secure.

As many as four cars ran in the contest for fifth, but it was always Shanly who controlled the position. However, he had to fend off Richard Lambert (Hazlemere, Surrey) in the car entered by Porsche Cars GB in association with Autosport, Clark and Rice to secure the place. In fact, off the line, a brush with Shanly sent Rice spinning onto the grass and he dropped to last before he rejoined. He then battled back to seventh, but could not close in on Lambert. "I just had a lot more confidence in the car that time," said Lambert of his sixth place finish, while Clark earned the ‘driver of the day’ award for his performances across the pair of races.

Race two results (12 laps):

1 Richard Westbrook (Red Line Racing)

2 Damien Faulkner (Team Parker Racing)

3 Tim Harvey (Team RPM)

4 Jason Templeman (Team Parker Racing)

5 Stephen Shanly (Red Line Racing)

6 Richard Lambert (Porsche Cars Team Autosport)

7 Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing)

8 Steve Clark (Team RPM)

9 Michael Corridan (Team Parker Racing)
11 laps