The Porsche Carrera Cup GB continued its position as the longest standing support series for the British Touring Car Championship, with the one-make championship beginning at Brands Hatch in Kent last weekend, entertaining the crowds with plenty of thrilling racing.
The first race (number 200 in the Carrera Cup GB’s history) delivered some great action, with snow beginning to fall as the cars lined up on the grid.
Despite tricky conditions the cars started on slick tyres meaning action was almost guaranteed.
After a season recovering from cancer, Dean Stoneman qualified on pole for the first race, hooking his Porsche 911 GT3 up off the line well to lead into the first corner. He was followed by 2012 Porsche scholarship winner Daniel Lloyd and Rory Butcher, while last year’s Champion Michael Meadows followed.
Contact between Butcher and Lloyd put them both in the gravel, deploying the safety car and promoting Meadows to second place.
After the restart Stoneman and Meadows battled it out in tricky conditions, with the latter closed the gap to around half a second but couldn’t overhaul Stoneman – there was only one dry line and moving off it to overtake could have spelled disaster – who achieved a strong victory returning after his serious illness. Jonas Gelzinis took third.
Race two was equally packed full of action. The grid got away cleanly, but on lap seven 2012 champion Meadows was forced off the track by Rory Butcher. This forced Meadows to pit for check to his car’s suspension and rear wing, leaving him two laps down.
Meadows rallied, clawing back over 10 seconds on the race leader and lapping close to half a second faster than him on average, setting the fastest lap and finishing in the points in the process.
Ahead, race one winner Stoneman battled with third place finisher Gelzinis, eventually beating the Lithuanian driver into second, while Butcher couldn’t hold off Lloyd for third and was eventually penalised for his contact with Meadows.
This leaves the championship wide open after the first round, with Stoneman heading the standings on 41 points, Gelzinins in second on 34 and Meadows making the best of an incident where he was the innocent party to take third on 28 points.
Were you at Brands Hatch to watch the opening round of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship? Did you see any of the mid-race incidents live or on TV? Why not share your thoughts below?