Derbyshire driver continues to impress during rookie Porsche campaign
21-year-old racing driver Richard Plant produced the best performance of his short Porsche Carrera Cup GB career so far by scoring a sensational maiden podium at Snetterton last weekend.
The young Derbyshire talent made a great getaway and even made slight contact with the rear of Michael Meadows car ahead of him on the run down to Riches for the first time. He quickly settled into third as Meadows and Stephen Jelley fought for the lead, whilst Plant had to deal with constant attention from championship challenger James Sutton.
Just had Plant looked to have plugged the gap back to Sutton the Safety Car was deployed after a crash further down the field. This meant that Sutton was back on the rear bumper of Plant at the restart, which began a relentless period of pressure that also included fifth place Ben Barker.
Plant was undeterred however, belying his relative inexperience in the series with a drive of great skill and maturity. His mirrors were full of Sutton’s car for much of the final eight laps but the Sheffield racer was always able to keep any real challenge at bay.
As the final lap approached the Team Parker Racing team gathered on the pit wall in expectation, along with a number of Plant’s family, friends and guests. The McDonald’s-backed racer exited the final corner at Murray’s and he was met with wild jubilation as he crossed the line just 0.211s ahead of Sutton, claiming his stunning maiden podium in the process.
The result capped off a magnificent weekend for Plant who started both races at the Norfolk venue from third on the grid and scored an eye catching fourth place in the opening race. Such has been Richard’s impressive progress in his first season of Carrera Cup racing that he was left a little disappointed to only take fourth in that first contest of the weekend, as he proved to be the quickest car on the track in the final five laps. With overtaking opportunities at a premium however, he narrowly missed out on a podium on his debut at the Snetterton 300 circuit layout.
He didn’t have to wait long however, as he went on to produce one of the best drives in his career with that third placed finish later on Sunday. Plant has now moved into fifth overall in the ultra competitive series and further extends his advantage as the top rookie in 2011.
“I am absolutely delighted,” said Plant. “I have obviously won races and championships before but this feels like a victory, such is the competitiveness of this series. It is testament to the progress I have made as the season has gone on but also great thanks must go to the hard work of everyone at Team Parker Racing and all of my sponsors. Hopefully a win will come later in the year but I have never raced at the next two circuits we’re racing at so we’ll just have to take each race as it comes and enjoy today!”
Rounds 12 and 13 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB take place on the 3rd/4th September at Knockhill in Scotland.