Phil Quaife left Oulton Park with valuable points following rounds 13 and 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, despite two challenging races.
After a good test on Friday where he set the fourth fastest time, Phil was disappointed with his qualifying session as he could do no better than sixth. Nonetheless, the Kent-based driver’s finishes netted him a valuable 15 points from the weekend to solidify his fifth place in the Championship standings.
Phil had a difficult start in race 1. He was overtaken by two cars but soon regained his position and ran with the front five, before gear selection problems half way through the race resulted in him going off the track at the chicane. The group behind him caught up and Paul O’Neill passed but a cautious drive for the rest of the race saw him finish in sixth. With O’Neill unable to score as a guest driver, Phil took points for fifth.
Phil said: “We didn’t have the best of starts but by the end of lap 2 we were back in the position we started. Half way through the race gear selection problems set in and I could not select the gears that I wanted. Going into the chicane, which is a second gear corner, I ended up in first which locked the rear wheels and put me off the circuit. After O’Neill overtook me, I could no longer fight for position and was as kind as possible with the gearbox to bring the car home and score points.”
Phil added: “During testing on Friday, we struggled with turn-in oversteer which we still seemed to have after qualifying and race 1. The team checked the dampers and three were defective.”
Phil started from sixth again in race 2. With new dampers and a clutch fitted after race 1’s gearbox problems, four cars overtook him on the grid but he regained his position by the end of the first lap. High track temperatures combined with a set-up that was not perfect played havoc with his rear tyres and a puncture forced him into the pits on lap 9, eventually seeing him finish 13th overall.
“It’s not ideal starting with a new clutch as the bite at the end of the pedal is hard to control and it cost me ground off the line,” explained Phil. “Even though I lost out to four cars on the grid, I overtook them again and I was back in sixth where I started the race from.
“I was closing in, like in race 1, to the guys in front but three or four laps later the car was working the tyres too hard. Something wasn’t right with the set-up combined with these track conditions, at 32 degrees ambient, and we had a blow out. I brought the car back to the pits, the boys changed the wheel, and I rejoined the race to save some Championship points. We finished 13th overall but 7th in the pro class which is very good in the circumstances.
Quaife concluded: “We have a lot to do to improve the car’s set-up for Knockhill. We are testing this Friday at Silverstone and the team will continue to work hard to make sure we arrive in good form.”