Bridgman storms to victory at Rockingham

Tim Bridgman claimed a superb victory in round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Rockingham on Sunday 13   On his way to his first victory in the championship, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) saw off the early challenge of Tim Harvey to take a stylish win.The start was all-important and the leading drivers were evenly matched as they raced through Turn One and down the Deane hairpin. “I managed to get a good start and pull out a gap in the early laps,” said Bridgman after a faultless performance. Harvey (Red Line Racing) chased hard for many laps, but over the closing stages the gap grew as arvey found his car struggling for pace. “Tim drove a really tidy race,” said Harvey of his rival. “My car was consistent all the way through,” said Bridgman.Conversely, Harvey found his car’s handling going away as the race developed. “We haven’t done as much dry testing as the others and we just need to make a couple of changes to make it last better in the race,” said Harvey.In fact, Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) was catching Harvey over the closing stages, with Caine having run much of the race with Dean Smith (PCGB) in close attendance. However, Harvey had things under control and that was how they finished, with Smith impressing with a mature drive to fourth. “Tim was struggling a bit later in the race, but I had understeer all the time,” said Caine. “That was definitely good experience,” said Smith after chasing the leaders. “I briefly got up to third at the first corner. The set-up changes we made after qualifying worked really well.”A tremendous battle raged over fifth place for much of the race as Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) fought tooth and nail. Bateman briefly got ahead, but Hancock re-challenged at Deane and they both ran wide after slight contact. Eventually, Bateman had a quick spin at Brooke and so Hancock was finally safe in fifth. Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) was out before the start with a gearbox problem.There was drama in the pro-am1 category as well as Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) fought back from a drive-through penalty. Rice spun on the parade lap and was penalised for recovering to his grid position. After the penalty, he was third in pro-am1, but tigered back to pass team mate Fergus Campbell for second and set about closing the gap to leader Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing). On the final lap they were nose to tail, but Gilham held on very well to claim victory. “I saw that he had a drive-through and so mid-race I backed off a bit to save my tyres,” said Gilham. But in the last two laps, Rice came storming up into contention and Gilham had to defend hard to make sure of his win. “I just managed to hold him off,” said Gilham.