Caine sets Carrera Cup pace

Championship leader Michael Caine set the fastest lap in pre-race testing at Silverstone today (Friday 29 August 2008) ahead of rounds 17 and 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. However, the stage is set for two thrilling races on Sunday as less than a second split the first 10 drivers.

Meanwhile, in the pro-am1 category Nigel Rice narrowly headed the times from Tony Gilham and Steve Rance just pipped Glynn Geddie to be top of the pro-am2 category.

In the slightly faster afternoon session, both Caine (Team Parker Racing) and title rival Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) caused separate red flags after spinning into the gravel at Brooklands. "I thought I was losing time through there and now I know I'm not," said Caine after his spin at the very end of the session. Earlier, Harvey had brought the session to a halt with a similar error. "My fault," said Harvey. "The car's too full of gravel to run it again this afternoon and I hadn't done a new tyre run at that point," said Harvey, who ended the day fifth quickest.

Second fastest overall was a strong result for Phil Quaife (Jota Sport), while PCGB VIP racer Nick Tandy was an excellent third fastest ahead of his Porsche debut. "The car is great," said the British F3 racer. "I just wanted to progress through the day and there is definitely more to come."

Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) was fourth fastest, despite not having the chance to run new tyres in the interrupted afternoon session. "It's all fine and my time was set on old tyres," said Bridgman, who was just ahead of Harvey as Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) completed the top six, only a quarter of a second away from Caine's best time. Seventh fastest, after spending the morning session running in a rebuilt car following his accident at Knockhill was Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing).

The pro-am1 category is set to be a tough battle between Rice (Red Line Racing), Gilham (ReDesign Racing) and series newcomer Sean Paul Breslin (Team Parker Racing), who made a strong debut to be in touch with his more experienced rivals. "I'm one of the few drivers who didn't go off into the gravel," joked Rice, while Gilham was pleased with his pace on tyres that were well past their best.

Splitting Rice and Gilham in overall times was pro-am2 leader Rance (Parr Motorsport), with a fine performance that left him ninth fastest overall. "I'm not used to the circuit," admitted Rance, but he quickly improved his pace to head pro-am2 from Scotsmen Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) and Alasdair McCaig (Apex Motorsport/Qserv). McCaig was making his Carrera Cup debut in the car normally driven by Bob Lyons and showed encouraging pace to head series returnee Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING) and Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance) in the very competitive pro-am2 category.