Bridgman sets early pace

in Porsche Carrera Cup GB Tim Bridgman threw down the gauntlet to his rivals by setting a scorching pace in the major pre-season test day for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone today (Monday, 16 March 2009).Bridgman (Team Parker Racing) burst to the top of the time sheets towards the end of the day with a mighty lap in 56.478s, a lap that is believed to represent the fastest ever Carrera Cup lap of the Silverstone National circuit.In a tremendous start to the new Carrera Cup GB season, a record total of 23 cars and 26 drivers took to the track on a day of glorious spring weather.For much of the day, Austrian ace Martin Ragginger set the benchmark at the wheel of the VIP car from Porsche Motorsport, but Bridgman charged ahead with his stunning lap. "I just got it absolutely nailed; it was one of those near perfect laps," said Bridgman. "I thought a 56.6s lap would be it, so I'm really chuffed with that lap."Tim Harvey (Red Line Racing) was next fastest after a strong day, which began with Harvey running in his 2009 car during the morning session. "It was consistently quick and we're confident that we are now where we were at the end of last season," said the defending champion. However, the massed ranks of Team Parker Racing were giving Harvey plenty of opposition. Apart from Bridgman at the head of the times, the team's Tom Bradshaw and Glynn Geddie were fourth and fifth fastest to give the Parker squad three of the top five times.Into an excellent sixth by the end of the afternoon came Carrera Cup newcomer Robert Lawson (JHR), despite losing much of the morning session. "I've not done too many laps today," said Lawson. "I just need a little bit of time in the car; it’s a big change for me," he said before a late burst that showed he will be a major contender this season.Lawson headed the pro-am1 times from Ollie Jackson (Motorbase Performance) and Michael Leonard (Team Parker Racing), while an impressive eighth fastest was pro-am2 pacesetter John Gaw (Team Kinfaun). On his first run in Carrera Cup, Gaw was immediately quick as he headed pro-am2 rivals George Richardson (Motorbase Performance) and Bob Lyons (Celtic Speed).The test and media day also marked confirmation of the 2009 line-up for the Carrera Cup GB, with a fabulous tally of 25 registrations ahead of the opening races at Brands Hatch (4/5 April).

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