Marcus had a brillant start into this quallifying session. He was able to find space as he was at the front along with the 968's. Keeping up the pace well he was P2 the first time the lap board came out. By this point Marcus' tyres were getting quite worn out so he was sliding about a bit but he managed to average similar times across the whole session. He finished with good times putting him in 6th place on the first grid and 4th on the second. Ben also managed a great qualifying session putting him 4th on the first grid and 5th on the second.
Saturday, 29 September 2012
It was a kick start to this meeting with team Hartech sending both the cars straight out for an hour testing session as soon as they arrived on Thursday afternoon. The weather was great providing excellent conditions to test in. By the second lap or so Marcus was going as quick as anyone had gone last year (the first time this layout was used), which was really pleasing for him as he thought his car felt really down on grip, particularly at the rear, which was put down to the tyres being "past their best". However, we then learned how much faster other cars had been going so we knew we had our work cut out come Qualifying on Friday morning. The test session confirmed to us that the cars were set up right for the track but it was going to take a detailed stratagy to contend with the 996's and 993's.
Monday, 17 September 2012
The final race meeting will take place at Silverstone race track from the 21st to the 22nd September with the contenders battling it out to be named Porsche club champion 2012 on the full GP circuit. Nothing is certain for this meeting, with Mark Sumpter (current reigning champion) unable to attend this meeting who knows just what might happen., the door has been left wide open for others to leap-frog his lead on the points table.
Hartech have great hopes for Marcus and Ben with Ben already having one win under his belt from brands and Marcus holding his place quite consistently always getting excellent qualifying and lap times. Ben is currently 4th in class (212 pts net) and Marcus is 6th in class (179 pts net) but with Sumpter not attending both drivers should better his points if they finish all 3 races. Hopefully Ben will make it on to the 2012 championship podium and Marcus will achieve his aims to be at least 5th as well as to get a podium finish in at least one of the races.
The racing is spread over the two days. Qualifying is at 11.20 on Friday morning and the first of the three races is at 15.25 that afternoon. Saturday’s two races are at 09.35 and 13.20.
Currently it looks like we will be in luck with the weather the forecast being dry and cloudy which would make the racing just that little bit easier for everyone drivers, mechanics, reporters and spectators alike.
Along with our two days of racing will be the Britcar 24hr race. Marcus actually has experience in the Britcar races after having previously driven a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the 2009 Britcar 500 event and he may (depending on available places) enter next weekend’s race.
Paul Jurds pre-meeting report can be found here
Paul Jurds pre-meeting report can be found here
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Well the impossible happened and the weather actually got worse, this was going to be a fully wet race and for Marcus it was going to be on worn dry tyres. This was most certainly a challenge! The set of wet tyres went onto Bens car due to him having a higher position on the
starting grid however there was a problem with his cars clutch, struggling to even make it of the line, he managed to limp round ½ a lap before being forced to retire. Marcus’ car was really struggling in the conditions, it never quite seemed to be able to manage a straight line, there was aqua-planing one minute and power sliding the next. Hartech had done a fantastic job of balancing
the car with it even being able to cope through folly at 90mph but a few twitchy slides certainly kept Marcus on his toes! Throughout the race Marcus had been fighting for a place off John McCullagh (who was on proper wet tyres) but wanting to bring the car back in one piece Marcus decided it was better to concede the place in the last 2 laps and followed McCullaghs tyre tracks as he’d moved some of the standing water out of the way giving Marcus some track to grip on and not just surface water. Marcus managed to keep his car on track and bring it home in one piece finishing in 5th place. Marcus was relived when the race was finally over but was very pleased with how he had managed to get the car round in these challenging circumstances.
In car videos of both the Castle combe races are available to watch on you tube, to view Click here. The video may look a little jerky but this is mainly due to the track conditions causing the car to slide around ( a lot!)
As predicted the heavens had opened and the Hartech marquee was proved not to be to waterproof and seemed to enjoy playing a game of Russian roulette to soak the team members one by one while we were pepping the cars for the race. The great qualifying times had given us excellent places on the first and second rows of the starting grid. Unfortunately when the lights went out Marcus displayed a most spectacular wheel spin so didn’t achieve the start into the race he wanted but rose to the challenge of catching up the competition. Marcus was fighting hard to regain his grid place and the constantly changing weather conditions alternating between sun and rain didn’t help as he initially struggled to find grip on the wet track. The bad start had pushed Marcus back 6 places but despite Mark Proctor getting close
Marcus managed to hold him off. Going into quarry Marcus caught up and passed Richard Ellis on the outside but this unfortunately was lost again ,this also left a gap for Proctor to pass. Marcus went for a similar move at quarry on the next lap and strolled back past Proctor again relying on the boxster’s superior brakes.Although proctor was never too far behind Marcus was still able to concentrate on gaining a place of Ellis. The two pulled up side by side going into Avon rise and Marcus just had the advantage and passed him on the outside.
On the same lap Marcus passed Richard Bennett on camp corner. Further back on track Proctor had been making similar moves to Marcus and by lap 7 had caught up. Proctor was soon joined by his team mate Mark McAleer as Marcus passed him on quarry corner. Now in 4th position Marcus was closing in on Ben and constantly managed to hold his place for 7 laps over Proctor who was pushing him from behind. This battle ended when Proctor eventually passed Marcus coming out of the pit straight and into folly meaning Marcus crossed the line in a respectable 5th place while Ben managed a podium finish in 3rd.
With our qualifying session being first of many in the day it was a nice early start for the Hartech team. With a rather large grey cloud lingering over head we knew the previous days good weather was not going to continue so some strategic planning was needed. It was decided to push the cars as hard as they could go during the first half of qualifying in order to get some good times down while the track was still dry. Strategy paid off and we finished qualifying 2nd and 3rd with some fantastic times, Marcus even managed to go faster than he had ever done in his previous 911’s. There was a minuscule gap of 6/100th of a second between the two Hartech divers which was a great result for Marcus who felt, after Wednesdays testing, that Bens was the better car.