Double pole for Caine

Caine takes double Carrera Cup pole at Thruxton With a superb performance in qualifying, Michael Caine took two pole positions at Thruxton today (Saturday 17 May) for rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend. Caine (Team Parker Racing) shot to the top of the time sheets with a best lap in 1m14.167s, nearly a third of a second faster than anyone else. He also set a second best lap in 1m14.447s to make certain of pole position for round eight. “It’s good to be up there; that’s the quickest time I’ve ever done round here,” said the championship leader, who had spent time on Friday walking the Thruxton track. “It sets us up well for the races,” said Caine. Caine and pro-am1 leader Nigel Rice did the fewest laps of any drivers in the half-hour session, completing just 10 laps to leave themselves in the best possible position ahead of the races on a circuit that is notoriously hard on tyres. That limited running could serve them well as the races develop. Second slot on the grid for round seven went to Sam Hancock (Jota Sport), with his best qualifying performance of the season to date. “We’re getting there,” said Sam. “But the edge was taken off a bit by that ‘uber’ lap by Michael Caine,” he added. “It does feel good to be back on the front row of the grid.” Third fastest went to Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing), who also jumped ahead of Harvey to take second slot for round eight. “That was a good session. I’m a little disappointed not to get pole after being quickest in testing, but fair play to Michael; that was a good lap,” said Harvey. Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing), winner of the last four races, will start from fourth place on both grids, but accepted that he hadn’t got the best out of qualifying. A fifth of a second behind Bridgman to continue a good showing from Jota Sport was Phil Quaife, while Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) moved up to sixth fastest with a late push. Duncan Tappy will start both races from seventh in the PCGB entry as the McLaren/Autosport/BRDC Young Driver of the Year finalist prepares for his first Carrera Cup race. Meanwhile, right on the pace of Bateman and Tappy was pro-am1 category leader Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing) after another impressive performance. He lapped within a tenth of a second of both Bateman and Tappy. Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) was ninth fastest and second in pro-am1, but was having to learn the track after missing most of the April test session after gearbox problems developed. Completing the field was Matt Blyth, making his Carrera Cup debut in the pro-am2 car from PCGB.