With Castle Combe circuit being a long journey for both drivers and the rest of the Hartech team it was decided to test the cars at Oulton Park on Wednesday 22nd August. Improvements were made to the set up of both cars to allow them to perform there best even on Castle Combes bumpy surface.
Marcus has a history of success on the Castle Combe circuit, when he last raced there in 2010 he got 2 poles and won both his races and to top those two achievements off he was also awarded the circuit's "Driver of the day" trophy. The 911's remain to have a speed advantage over the Boxsters so such achievements may be challenging on this fast track but Marcus will be trying his hardest to get the same victories.
It looks as though we will be losing our dry spell of races and be back into grey overcast and drizzle (the exact conditions won outright pole in previously) but hopefully we will get some big local crowds to spur us on during the bank holiday weekend. We have another early start to the day with qualifying at 8:30am, Race one at 12:40pm and race two at 16:05pm. Along side our racing on the 27th there are a multitude of other races going on including ; the TriMarque Challenge, Morgan Championship and Pirelli Ferrari Open.
Saturday, 25 August 2012
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Monday, 13 August 2012
Race two was shortened to 20 minutes due to an incident in an earlier race which caused a delay in the programme (and gave us plenty of time to give the cars a winning polish !). Following race 1 it was clear that the car set-up could be improved but following a consultation with Hartech Race Director Rob Carnson it was decided it was better to leave the car as it was, the potential improvement out-weighed by the risk of trying out an un-tested change making it worse in race 2. Marcus got a good start but had to fight with Mark Proctor around the first bend, Old Hall and along The Avenue - a slightly nervous moment for him given that he’d had a very big accident at that part of the track exactly a year earlier - and managed to stay ahead into Cascades, leaving Proctor to deal with Mark McAleer who was close behind, allowing Marcus to concentrate on Ben ahead, chasing Mark Sumpter and Pete Morris.
While Marcus was holding off Proctor and McAleer Ben was able to secure podium 3rd. Ben remained directly behind Pete Morris and Mark Sumpter, who were disputing over 1st place, the entire race. During the next couple of laps Marcus was chased down by the more powerful cars behind that had caught up, however a defensive move at Lodge at the end of lap 3 compromised his speed down the start/finish straight which Proctor capaitalised on, McAleer following suit on the next straight after Cascades. The rest of the field were well down (5 seconds back to the next car). For a while Marcus was able to keep on terms with McAleer, getting very close into Lodge at the end of lap 5 (his fastest lap), only to lose pace exiting Druids on lap 6 due to gearing difficulties which also caused problems going into old hall resulting in a black marker in just the wrong place at Knickerbrook, this unfortunately put him further back.
|The Hartech team celebrating after Ben's podium finish!|
After the excellent qualifying results we had good placements on the 2nd and 3rd rows of the grid however, Marcus was hassled by Mark Mcaleers 911 directly behind that was bound to get a better start into the race than the Boxster S. Mark then past leaving the two hartech team mates yet again in close pursuit. Marcus had to back off a little in order to avoid hitting Ben going into both shell and the first chicane. Although Marcus
was averaging the same lap times as Ben he was slightly less consistent due to having to defend his position against John Mccullagh. Marcus fought well and managed to pull away but there was no possibility of him catching up the cars in front in the time left. Race one ended with Ben and Marcus in 5th and 6th place not bad with the surrounding competition.
Well the forecast was right, we were lucky enough to have yet another race in the sun! Both test days done with the cars had shown some promising times and all hopes were pinned on a podium finish. The good weather brought out the crowds for the race and there were lots of friends, supporters, Hartech staff and families present to cheer us on. As well as the table full of hob-nobs the team were treated to a fantastic feast of cream cake, fancy ginger biscuits even strawberries by an Autoperform customer. The competition atmosphere was introduced early on in the day with The Olympics on a TV hooked up in the garage. It was a good qualifying session for both drivers with Ben coming 4th and Marcus coming 5th with only 2 hundredths of a second gap between them.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
The Porsche Club races are making there second visit to Oulton Park this season for rounds 9 and 10 of the championship. We will be doing two test days with the cars, one on Tuesday 7th August and one on Friday 10th August. So far the weather forecast looks to be good so fingers crossed we will get our second dry race as well.
MotorsTV have done a series of programs called 'Last Lap' following the Porsche club championship races. With a full hour of footage from Oulton Park our race cars our now famous! There are 2 more programs left in the series, one on 6th August at 11.35am and one on the 9th August at 16.10pm. Motors TV can be found on channel 413 on sky and is also available on virgin.