Tim Harvey was crowned champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 21 September 2008) after finishing second to Tim Bridgman in final race of the season. In the pro-am1 category, Nigel Rice clinched the title at the expense of Tony Gilham as the season wrapped up in style in front of a huge crowd and live on ITV4.
"I've been very close to this title before," said Harvey (Red Line Racing). "I haven't enjoyed my racing as much in years; the cars are great and the competition is brilliant," said Harvey after seeing off the title challenge of Michael Caine (Team Parker Racing). Having finished championship runner-up three times in the previous four seasons, it was an emotional result for Harvey at the end of a tough season of racing.
Rice (Red Line Racing), meanwhile, retained the pro-am1 title in the final race after a fighting drive to seventh overall to finally overtake Gilham (ReDesign Racing) in the title contest. While Rice earned the 'driver of the weekend' award, Red Line Racing was announced as the 'team of the weekend'.
Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) was the dominant race winner, converting pole position into a lead that he held for every lap of the race. With Harvey running second, and content to drive a measured race knowing that title rival Caine was behind, Bridgman was untroubled, even when his five-second lead was lost as the safety car came out.
The safety car was needed after Michael Leonard (RSS Performance) spun at Clearways and the closely following Glynn Geddie (Parr Motorsport/Apex) and Pippa Mann (Team Eurotech) could not avoid the spinning car. Gilham was very lucky to avoid Leonard and escaped the incident with a damaged door. But with three cars damaged, the safety car came out while the track was cleared.
From the restart, Bridgman swept clear once more and rebuilt his lead to over three seconds at the flag. "I wanted to dominate this race; I feel that I deserve more than I've had this season and I really wanted to prove it," said Bridgman after an emphatic victory.
Second place was more than enough for Harvey to be confirmed as champion, while Caine was third and an ever-present shadow for Harvey. "The pace of the car has been good and the support I've had from my sponsors has been tremendous," said Caine after a superb season.
Jota Sport drivers Sam Hancock and Phil Quaife were fourth and fifth, but Quaife had to battle back in front of Jake Rosenzweig (Team Parker Racing) later in the race after a long tussle.
Rice raced hard to take the pro-am1 after a dogged chase of Gilham in the points' table and finally went narrowly ahead in the concluding race of the season. "I suppose I should concentrate a bit harder at the start of the season," joked Rice after having to claw back a major points' deficit. Gilham took second in pro-am1, while Ray MacDowell (Red Line Racing) joined them on the podium.
The incident that eliminated Leonard and Geddie left the pro-am2 category to Ollie Jackson (PCGB) after an excellent drive to fend off Paul Hogarth (IN2RACING) and Graeme Mundy (RSS Performance).