New Cars and New Faces as 2012 Porsche Club Championship Kicks Off

2012 looks to be a bumper year for the Porsche Club Championship, with new cars and new faces at the opening rounds at Brands Hatch on Saturday May 5th. The Porsche 996 C2 is now eligible for the series and three of the powerful models are expected on the grid, while the addition of drivers such as ex-BTCC racer Mark Proctor and former-Radical champion Lee Atkins continues the high-standards of racing seen in recent seasons.The Brands Hatch Indy circuit will host two 25-minute races, and 2011 champion Mark Sumpter is back, having retired his 911 and now out in a 964 C2, along with rapid Paragon team-mate Andy Purdie. He faces the trio of 996s in Class One, in the hands of former class winner Pete Morris, 2007 champion Mark McAleer, and Porsche Open class winner Paul Winter. The new cars will be the most powerful on the grid, but also the heaviest as the varying models in the field are matched by power to weight ratio.There is stiff opposition throughout the class, with at least 16-entries expected at Brands. The Hartech Boxters of former class champions Marcus Carniel and Ben Demetriou are new for 2012, though Carniel will now miss Brands due to injuries from a motorcycle accident, with the duo joined by debutant Atkins in another Boxster. Others to watch for include the always quick-starting 964 of Kevin Harrison and the 993s of Richard Ellis and Richard Bennett.Heading the front-engined Class One runners should be 2010 champion Chris Dyer, now in a 968 CS after several seasons in a 944, and 2011 rookie Mark Koeberle who gained pace all through last season.Class Two is also packed with potential race winners, with Richard Higgins and Paul Follett now with their 968s in Class Two trim taking advantage of the rule changes made over the winter, Though heavier than the Class One 968s, they could be amongst the front-runners given the opportunity in the races, and Ninex- boss Andy Duncan is also a welcome returnee to the series in a 968.

The 944 S2 has been the Class Two car to beat in recent seasons and the experienced Fraser Robertson and Paul Seagrave should set the 944 pace, while Stuart Ings provides variety with his 2.5 Boxster.Qualifying is on Saturday morning at 9.00, with the two races at 13.10 and 16.45.