Tim Bridgman headed the times at the end of testing at Brands Hatch today (Friday 19 September 2008) ahead of the final two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. However, with title contenders Tim Harvey and Michael Caine second and third fastest, as less than a second covered the first 10 drivers, the weekend's races promise to be a thrilling end to the season.
Meanwhile, in the pro-am1 category Nigel Rice set a sensational pace to be fourth fastest overall and VIP racer Ollie Jackson pipped Glynn Geddie to be top of the pro-am2 category.
While Harvey (Red Line Racing) set the best time in the morning session, it was Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) who edged ahead in the closing moments of the second session. When the session was halted a few minutes early due to a red flag, Bridgman was ahead by only 45-hundredths of a second. "We've been in the top two times all day and there was definitely another tenth and a half to come," said Harvey.
"I didn't get the best out of the new tyres," said Caine (Team Parker Racing) after posting third fastest time of the day, just over a quarter of a second slower than his title rival Harvey. With only seven points between them and an additional point for pole position for round 19, both Harvey and Caine will be pushing to the limit in Saturday's qualifying session.
The performance of the day came from Rice (Red Line Racing), who headed pro-am1 with fourth fastest time overall, only a tenth of a second behind Caine. Rice goes into the penultimate race of the season only five points behind pro-am1 leader Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing) and knows that he must beat Gilham to have a chance of grabbing the title by the end of the round 20 on Sunday afternoon.
The Jota Sport pair of Sam Hancock and Phil Quaife didn't quite have the pace of the front-running cars and posted fifth and seventh best times, split by series returnee Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing). Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) was right behind Quaife in eighth place.
Another highly impressive performance came from Jackson (PCGB), who headed the pro-am2 times in ninth overall ahead of his Carrera Cup debut. Lapping within a second of the fastest time was an excellent showing as Gilham completed the top 10, despite ending the day in the Paddock Hill Bend gravel trap after being put off line by car leaving the pits. Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) and Michael Leonard (RSS Performance) completed the top three times in pro-am2 and were split on overall times by Pippa Mann (Team Eurotech).