Bridgman takes Carrera Cup thriller

Tim Bridgman scored his fourth victory in a row in a thrilling sixth round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park yesterday (Sunday 4 May).

In tricky weather conditions, six cars put on a fabulous contest in front of a big crowd and live TV cameras and it was Phil Quaife who battled through to take the flag first from Tim Bridgman and Michael Caine, while Nigel Rice completed a double victory in pro-am1. However, Quaife was later penalised for passing under a yellow flag and dropped to third in the amended results. With rain threatening, tyre choice was an issue before the race but all except John Quartermaine (PCGB) went to the grid on slicks. There was an early safety car period after a first corner brush sent Nick Whale (Team RPM) into the gravel at Redgate. As the cars completed the opening lap, just before reaching the safety car, the top four were incredibly close after Bridgman ran wide at the chicane and delayed Caine as Quaife and Charles Bateman dived up alongside. The clerk of the course later ruled that Quaife had passed under a yellow flag, and the resulting penalty would change the results. As the cars toured behind the safety car, more rain fell and conditions were incredibly difficult over the opening laps of the restart. From the green flag, Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) led, but the track was very slippery and drivers were struggling for grip at every corner. It made for a fantastic spectacle as the top six cars ran nose-to-tail for lap after lap, rapidly increasing their pace as the track started to dry once more. It was Quaife (Jota Sport) who took the fight to Bridgman, but right behind were Caine (Team Parker Racing) and Sam Hancock (Jota Sport), while Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) and Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) completed the tightly packed top six. The critical moment came under braking for the chicane on lap 12 when Quaife pulled off an audacious passing move on Bridgman. “I did a pretty crazy move on Bridgman into the chicane and I only just made the corner,” said Quaife. “I thought there was no way he would make the corner,” said Bridgman. However, Quaife found enough grip to get his car slowed down and through the corner, now ahead as Bridgman, Caine, Bateman, Harvey and Hancock chased. The six cars still ran nose-to-tail and produced a superb spectacle, but up front Quaife held on with a fine performance to take the flag ahead of Bridgman and Caine. “Phil drove a great race and was prepared to take the risks; I was pushing all the time,” said Bridgman, who later discovered that he had taken over as race winner. Caine chased them home. “I’d got the championship to think about,” said Caine, who moved to second ahead of Quaife in the amended result. Bateman drove a superb race to claim fourth from Hancock and Harvey, as less than three seconds covered six cars at the end of half an hour of flat out racing. Rice had a straightforward run to pro-am1 victory and seventh overall after Callum MacLeod (PCGB) retired after making a change to wet tyres when the track was at it’s worst. Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) headed the chase of Rice in pro-am1. Bateman clinched the ‘driver of the weekend’ award for his outstanding pace, while Jota Sport was confirmed as ‘team of the weekend’.