Rockingham next for Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Michael Meadows holds points’ lead after 14 racesJonas Gelzinis heads the chase of MeadowsVictor Jimenez tops Pro-Am1 packRockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire is the spectacular setting for rounds 15 and 16 of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB (14/15 September) and it is defending champion Michael Meadows who has re-taken the points’ lead as the season heads into the closing stages.By his own admission, it has been an up and down season for Meadows (Samsung Smart Motorsport) in the 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars, but after a perfect weekend last time out at Knockhill, he is back in the driving seat.“At one stage in the championship I had a 23-point lead, then it went down to zero and now I’ve got it back,” said Meadows at the end of the Scottish weekend. His pace has never been in doubt, for Meadows has taken 12 pole positions for 14 races to date and won seven times, more than he did on his way to the 2012 title.Yet a range of dramas and misfortunes, sometimes at the hands of others, had pushed him back into the reach of his main rival, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing). After Gelzinis took three wins on the trot, including a double victory at Snetterton, they went to Scotland level on points. But at Knockhill, Gelzinis had a tough weekend and was unable to match Meadows for pace. Two poles, two wins and two fastest laps was just the result that Meadows wanted.Now comes the Rockingham race weekend and Meadows knows he has to keep scoring big points. “I need to keep pushing,” he said. “We’ve still got six races to go and Rockingham is going to be another big weekend. It’s about keeping calm when you are having those stressful weekends and I’ve had a couple recently. I was glad to come out of Knockhill with a couple of wins.”Equally, talented Lithuanian racer Gelzinis knows that he needs to come back strongly at Rockingham and close the gap once more. But this is not just about the championship top two. Dan Lloyd (Team Parker Racing) and Rory Butcher (Celtic Speed) both claimed podium finishes in Scotland and have Carrera Cup race wins in their racing record. Meanwhile relative championship newcomer James Birch, the reigning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge champion, is showing increasingly strong form since joining Meadows in the Samsung squad mid-season.Of course, the battle for overall victory in the Pro category is only part of the story. In Pro-Am1, the sporting rivalry between Redline Racing team mates Spaniard Victor Jimenez and Milton Keynes-based Dan De Zille is a real developing story of the season.Across the first half of the year, Jimenez had the advantage as he drew on his experience from his 2012 Carrera Cup campaign. However, De Zille has tigered away and got quicker and quicker to win the second race at Snetterton and both races at Knockhill to complete a hat-trick. Jimenez still has a handsome points’ lead, but the battle for Pro-Am1 in Sunday’s pair of races will be another highlight. After qualifying at 12.00 on Saturday (14 September), round 15 of the Carrera Cup GB will start at 10.00 on Sunday (15 September) with round 16 at 13.10, which will be broadcast live on ITV4.