Butcher heads Carrera Cup GB testing at Oulton Park‏
Rory Butcher sets the pace in the rainAhmad Al Harthy tops Pro-Am1Tautvydas Barstys sets the mark in Pro-Am2 Rory Butcher headed the time sheets for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park, Friday 8 June, during two very wet test sessions ahead of rounds seven and eight of the championship. The first session started with a heavy shower before the track dried a little, but drivers reported that there was more grip in full wet conditions than when the track became greasy.The very wet afternoon session was severely curtailed after Daniel Lloyd (JD Pierce with Team Parker) slid off at Lodge. Repairs to the barrier left only five minutes of running at the end of an inconclusive session and so arrangements were made for the Carrera Cup cars to run in a further 90-minute free test session later in the afternoon.From the two official sessions, Butcher (Celtic Speed) set the standard with a best morning lap of 1m32.782s. Like many, Butcher did his best lap when the track was fully wet and underlined his wet weather prowess in tricky conditions. “There seemed to be less grip later in the session,” confirmed the young Scot. His best lap was a fifth of a second up on Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) with Lloyd third fastest before his session-halting off in the afternoon. “I didn’t brake really late, but it hit a puddle and there was nothing I could do,” said Lloyd. Damage to his car was cosmetic and the Parker squad had it repaired in time to run again in the additional session at the end of the afternoon.Fourth fastest was championship leader Michael Meadows (Redline Racing), but he ran just nine laps in the two official sessions. In the morning, Meadows did four laps and then parked his car in the pit lane, recognising that there was little to gain and a great deal to lose in the conditions. “That’s enough: the track’s getting slower now,” said Meadows mid-way through the first session.Glynn Geddie (Redline Racing) and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing) completed the top six, while Al Harthy (Redline/Oman Air) was eighth best overall to head the Pro-Am1 category. The Omani racer was four-tenths of a second up on his nearest Pro-Am1 rival as Victor Jimenez (Redline/Oman Air), Oly Mortimer (GT Marques) and Derek Pierce (JD Pierce with Team Parker) packed in closely to suggest some more great racing in the category.With Tania Mann (sibsport performance) absent from this event, Tautvydas Barstys (Juta Racing) and Will Goff (Goff Racing) will contest the Pro-Am2 category and with Barstys ahead by only four-tenths of a second in testing, it should be a tight battle.