The Porsche Club runners combined with the Porsche Open field for two races on Silverstone’s full Grand Prix circuit, Ian White winning Friday afternoon’s race with Gary Duckman victorious on Saturday. Scott Kavanagh took both wins in Class Two – but of more import was Jeremy Clark taking a Class Three double and giving his overall title hopes a huge boost with just two races left.
Ian White set the pace in qualifying, just a tenth quicker than Duckman at the end of the 30-minute session. Mark McAleer was third quickest, heading team-mate Demetriou as a clutch of 968s chased White’s 964.
“The first couple of laps were slippery,” said White, “then the track felt great and the cool air suits my car. The grip was good and I was enjoying it, I was expecting to be on pole by more. I am hoping it will not be too hot later and my tyres will be ok for a 30-minute race. Cool air and a cool track temperature suits this car perfectly.”
“I found the circuit very slippery,” said Duckman. “I couldn’t get Stowe right today and can normally carry speed into the corner. I wasn’t sure what my times were and was surprised to be second. I know I can improve – we’ll see what the race holds.”
Scott Kavanagh was quickest in Class Two, clear of Chris Dyer, Alan Newbold and Tim Bates. Jeremy Clark once more headed Class Three, despite not being happy with the handling of his 944.
White once more used the traction of his rear-engined 964 to head the field away, Duckman slotting into second ahead of McAleer and Demetriou. A moment at Vale saw Duckman fall down the order on the first lap, crossing the start-finish line fifth, McAleer in second with Demetriou in close attendance.
White had a two second lead in the early laps, McAleer unable to close on the flying leader until they encountered traffic and the 968 was able to close. Duckman’s recovery drive saw him pass Demetriou for third on lap ten, and set off after McAleer.
With a lap to go McAleer was right with White but couldn’t find a way past, White winning as they ran with slower Porsche Open runners. Duckman was third, less than a second ahead of Demetriou, with a strong drive from Peter Erceg seeing him take fifth in Class One.
“That was hot work,” said White. ”I started to lose the tyres a bit halfway thought the race, it was so warm out there you cold feel the grip on the green flag lap, there was no need to warm up the tyres. It should be a bit cooler for tomorrow’s race!”
“I was close at the end but not close enough to have a proper lunge at him,” said McAleer. “I didn’t want to hit him and was maybe just one or two metres too far back.”
“That was a good race,” said Duckman, “other than the fact I went straight on at Vale on the opening lap. I got back to third so I can’t be too disappointed, but the car is right on the money – it’s just me making mistakes today.”
Kavanagh dominated Class Two and took seventh overall of the Club runners, while Clark battled an ill-handling car and the rapid Dave Roberts to claim Class Three, finally moving past Roberts on lap five and just staying clear to the flag.
“That was good fun,” said Kavanagh, “I had a good race with Richard Higgins, very clean. I made a mess of the start as usual and it took me a lap to get back, but the car is good through the corners.”
“The car just isn’t right, said Clark. “There is a vibration that starts at about 90mph and just gets worse and worse, the whole car was shaking and I thought I could not finish. Dave got past and I thought I would save the tyres, but then with the vibration I decided if it was going to fail I might as well battle with him.”
Once more White made a good start, McAleer slotting into second ahead of Duckman who had Demetriou right with him, Duckman again promptly losing places on the opening lap. White opened a gap in the first laps, but McAleer closed back in with Demetriou third ahead of Erceg and Duckman.
Duckman moved into third on lap six, passing Erceg and Demetriou on the same lap, McAleer going past White a lap later to take the lead. Another lap later Duckman was into second, White staying with the 986 CS before falling away.
Lap 13 saw Duckman ahead of the similar 968 of McAleer, and staying clear to take the win with McAleer second and White rounding off the overall and Class One podium. Kavanagh made it a Class Two double for the weekend – his sixth consecutive class win – and took eighth of the Club runners.
“I’m good into Stowe,” said Duckman, “but I don’t seem to be able to stop for Vale, I’ve been off three times there this weekend. This race has to be one of the best I have ever had, everyone made me work for it and it was a good won.”
“That was a good race, I enjoyed it, said McAleer. “Gary was so quick into Stowe, he was really good on the brakes into there and got me twice there We swapped places a couple of times and that was a proper race.”
“I got another cracking start and the car was good early in the race,” said White. “Mark and Gary got past, the car was OK but it was a shame as I was hoping for a good scrap for the top three right at the end, I was watching the two in front and hoping I could sneak through.”
“I had a good battle again,” said Kavanagh, “we had a four-way battle early on. It’s been a good weekend, that’s six in a row now and we have to try to keep that up at Spa.”
A highlight of the race was the battle for Class Three honours. In his final outing of the season Dave Roberts was determined to take the battle to Clark and led the class point leader for much of the race, their dice drawing much attention. Clark finally got past and stayed clear to continue his run of class wins.
“That was great racing,” said Clark, “it’s nice to be able to go side-by-side through corners with someone. It was a good battle, we had changed the gear box overnight, but found the vibration was a wheel-spacer. The handling still wasn’t great, but it has been a fantastic weekend.”
“I think I led the first ten laps or so,” said Roberts, “then got back in front after we were side-by-side out the back, and then into Vale I tried to brake a little late and the car went round. Then we had a car in between us and I pulled a couple of places back on the last lap but that was a brilliant race.”
PMC Midlands Trophy – Porsche Club Championship Race One: 1 Ian White (964 C2) 14 laps in 36m50.499s (72.81mph); 2 Mark McAleer (968 CS) +0.244s; 3 Gary Duckman (968 CS); 4 Ben Demetriou (968 CS); 5 Peter Erceg (968 CS); 6 Ed Hayes (968 CS); 7 Scott Kavanagh (944 S2); 8 Richard Higgins (968 CS); 9 David Botterill (964 C2); 10 Chris Stannard (968 CS). Class Winners: White; Kavanagh; Jeremy Clark (944). Pole Position: White 2m12.065s. Fastest Lap: McAleer 2m12.647s (86.68mph).
Race Two: 1 Duckman 14 laps in 31m51.943s (84.19mph); 2 McAleer +0.858s; 3 White; 4 Demetriou; 5 Erceg; 6 Hayes; 7 Higgins; 8 Kavanagh; 9 Stannard; 10 Chris Dyer (944 S2). Class Winners: Duckman; Kavanagh; Clark. Pole Position: White. Fastest Lap: Duckman 2m12.452s (86.80mph).
Next Races: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, October 4th/ 5th