despite testing Rockingham weekend
Phil Quaife held onto his third place in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB drivers’ championship, despite a frustrating weekend in rounds 3 and 4 of the 2008 season at Rockingham.
A gearbox failure left the 22-year-old Jota Sport driver stranded on the grid in race 1 and, while a strong drive in race 2 secured fifth place and some crucial points, the trip to Rockingham was tinged with disappointment.
Things looked to have started on a positive note for the former Pro-Am champion when he showed superb pace in Friday testing, topping the timesheets in the wet, but sadly that proved to be the highpoint of the weekend.
Qualifying seventh for both races, Phil’s race 1 woes were tempered by a fine drive in Sunday’s afternoon encounter. He nailed both Dean Smith and Charles Bateman on the first lap to take fifth and began to close rapidly on the podium fight between teammate Sam Hancock and championship leader Michael Caine. Despite suffering from high speed oversteer after the mid race point, Phil maintained his position to finish behind Hancock at the chequered flag.
Quaife was philosophical afterwards and explained why he thought both he and Hancock had been unable to match their impressive Friday pace on Saturday and Sunday. “The weather was strange all weekend,” he said. “Sam and I were really quick in both the wet and the dry on Friday, but it rained heavily overnight, washed all the rubber off the track and meant the conditions were completely different on Saturday. The set up we thought we’d perfected the day before wasn’t as effective as the track was so green and that hampered us in qualifying.
“Race 1 was obviously very disappointing, but sometimes these things happen and the boys in the team worked really hard to get my car ready for race 2 where I was able to score some good points. It wasn’t our best weekend, but there’s a long way to go this season and we’ll be keeping our chins up, working hard and looking forward to Donington in two weeks time.”
Quaife returns to action today with a group test at Thruxton with rounds 5 and 6 coming at Donington Park on 3-4 May.