Bridgman takes Carrera Cup win

Tim Bridgman continued his fight back up the championship standings by winning round nine of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft yesterday (Saturday 31 May). While Nigel Rice (pro-am1) and Glynn Geddie (pro-am2) took category victories, Bridgman’s fifth win of the season took him to within 10 points of championship leader Michael Caine. The order at the front of the pack was shuffled right from the start as poleman Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) made a poor start and dropped to third behind Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) and Stefan Hodgetts (PCGB). “The start; it didn’t go,” said Harvey, who slotted into third as the pack rushed into the first corner. Up front, Bridgman knew that he had been gifted a big opportunity. “Once I got ahead at the start, I knew that 90% of my plan was done,” he said. With Hodgetts between him and championship rival Harvey, Bridgman was able to control the pace as Harvey set about challenging Hodgetts. With the cars so evenly matched, Hodgetts was able to defend his place, although Harvey mounted several attacks. “I had a couple of looks and I knew the move had to be something fairly committed,” said Harvey, whose biggest move came at the Hairpin on lap six. As Hodgetts closed the door, the cars touched and Harvey suffered bent steering as a result. “After that, I couldn’t risk another attempt to pass,” admitted Harvey who ran home third. “It’s really hard to pass round Croft and I was just trying to hang on to Tim Bridgman,” said Hodgetts. “I enjoyed the race.” As the race developed, Bridgman built his lead to nearly two seconds, although lapping backmarkers later on reduced his lead and he was just under a second ahead at the flag. Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) ran fourth throughout and was close to Harvey over the opening laps as the top four cars running nose-to-tail made an impressive spectacle. But as the race developed Hancock wasn’t able to challenge Harvey and settled into a secure fourth as Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing) ran fifth. “We just struggled like we did in qualifying; we’re getting way too much heat in the tyres,” said Caine. Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) and Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) took sixth and seventh before pro-am1 winner Rice (Red Line Racing) finished eighth. However, Rice had to work hard for his victory after bogging down at the start and dropping behind Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing). Gilham stayed ahead until a quick spin at the Hairpin on lap three cost him the lead and delayed Rice enough to allow Geddie to get ahead. Rice then battled back to pass Geddie, but the 17-year old from Aberdeen still made an impressive Carrera Cup debut as he took ninth overall and pro-am2 victory in the PCGB entry. “It’s a lot different at this level,” he said after a major learning experience. Bob Lyons (Apex Tubulars) and Tommy Dreelan (Qserv) completed the pro-am2 podium.