Harvey takes Carrera Cup victory at Brands
Tim Harvey moved a step closer to the 2008 title when he won round 19 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Saturday 20 September 2008). His victory over title rival Michael Caine gives Harvey a 10-point championship lead heading into Sunday's final round.
In the pro-am1 category Nigel Rice bagged a fighting sixth place overall to further close the gap to Tony Gilham in the title contest and Michael Leonard topped the pro-am2 category after a hectic race.
There was disaster for poleman Tim Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) as the grid assembled when a broken driveshaft put him out. Instead, Harvey (Red Line Racing) dived into the lead off the line as Caine (Team Parker Racing) grabbed second from Sam Hancock (Jota Sport) on the race to the first corner. Now Harvey faced 33 laps with his title rival filling his mirrors, and the gap ranged from around a second to just a few inches as they reeled off the laps, and started working through the slower traffic.
"I just got my head down and tried to win the race," said Harvey. But mid-race, a problem developed, highlighted by a warning light, and he began to lose engine revs over the closing stages. Meanwhile, Caine started preparing for a last lap attack, recognising that his best chance was under braking for Clearways. "The car had good pace, but Michael would have got past," said Harvey after the race. But, with seven laps to run, the race was red flagged when Ollie Jackson (PCGB) spun into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.
"The red flag helped me a lot," admitted Harvey. "It didn't happen and it's unfortunate," countered Caine. "But we're still here," he said of the title race. Hancock ran third all the way, but could not challenge the leading pair. "We made a massive change to the car, but the gap to the guys in front was the same," he said. Running right behind Hancock to the finish with an excellent drive was Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) after battling ahead of Phil Quaife (Jota Sport) early in the race.
Into a fighting sixth place, despite race-long pressure from Charles Bateman (Team Parker Racing) came Rice (Red Line Racing), with a performance that gives him a real shot of clinching the pro-am1 title in the final race. "We're only one or two points behind now," said Rice as his pro-am1 rival Gilham (ReDesign Racing) fought through to eighth overall and second in pro-am1.
In the pro-am2 category, Leonard (RSS Performance) had to work very hard for victory, having lost a lot of places when edged wide onto the grass at Druids as Gilham overtook. But with Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) and Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING) both spinning after contact at Clearways, Leonard was able to recover lost places to win the category from Geddie, Hogarth and Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance