WITH BRANDS TOP FOUR
British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star Dean Smith continued his fantastic form in the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Brands Hatch in Kent today, Sunday, 5th April, by securing a top four finish in the second round of the campaign.
Added to his fifth place result from Saturday afternoon’s first race of the season, Dean is actually now fourth overall in the championship standings with only the vastly experienced trio of Michael Caine, Tim Harvey and Tim Bridgman ahead of him.
Although the Wolverhampton ace has yet to confirm whether he will continue in the prestigious category for the remainder of the 2009 season, his performances this weekend for title winning squad Redline Racing were nothing short of spectacular – particularly bearing in mind his first outing in the number five Porsche 911 GT3 racer only came during practice on Friday.
Starting today’s race, which was televised live on ITV4, on the second row of the grid after a terrific effort in qualifying yesterday, the 21-year-old made a good getaway from the line and went with the top three as he attempted to pressurise third-placed Caine.
Before Dean could properly get into his stride though, the Safety Car ventured out onto the track at the beginning of lap three to allow the smooth recovery of Tom Bradshaw’s stranded car at McLaren. On lap 10 the re-start finally came but Dean wasn’t as comfortable with his car’s set-up as he was during round one on Saturday and he did come under pressure from Jake Roszenweig.
Dealing with the American’s attentions well, from around lap 13 onward the West Midlands based racer started to extend his advantage over his pursuers but during the closing stages he again had to have his wits about him as Roszenweig and Michael Leonard started to put him under pressure.
In the end, Dean gradually pulled away from his pursuers and he took the chequered flag on lap 32 seven seconds clear of the chasing pack. Lapping just three 10ths of a second shy of the pace displayed by Caine and Harvey, Dean’s fastest lap was a time of 48.134 seconds – an impressive effort by the sportscar racing newcomer.
“It’s been a great weekend for us, to be fourth in the championship on our first proper weekend is really good”, said Dean, “The track actually changed quite a lot between yesterday’s race and today’s round which was probably because of all the rubber put down by the touring cars. This afternoon I had a lot of oversteer in the car, we didn’t quite get the car right but I’m still very happy.
“To get fourth and fifth places after such limited running in the car shows what we’re capable of and with some changes we should definitely be able to challenge for podiums. Today, I was only three 10ths of a second off my team-mate (Tim) Harvey’s best lap time. Considering he’s the reigning champion that’s not a bad effort.”
Rounds three and four of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will be held at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire three weeks from now over the weekend 25th/26th April. At this stage, it is yet to be confirmed if Dean will be present as a Porsche Carrera Cup GB driver.