Sumpter and Morris Take Titles at Action-Packed Festival of Porsche
It was a busy race day at Brands Hatch on Sunday September 2nd where the Festival of Porsche featured not only the final races of the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli and the Porsche Classic Restoracing Competition series, but also a race for four-cylinder Porsches and a round of the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Speed Championship with Pirelli.
In the Porsche Club Championship two second places were enough to give Mark Sumpter his second overall title (provisionally, his car being taken for power testing this week), while consistent finishing from Josh Morris saw him top the Restoracing points table. David Botterill took both four-cylinder races while David Dyson was quickest of the Speed runners.
Worthy of note was Simon Cark’s win in the final Porsche Club Championship race of 2018 – not only was it his first in the series but also the very first outright race win for the Cayman S model!
The 20-minute qualifying session was the first track action at the Festival of Porsche and the pace was hot, Mark McAleer taking pole less than a tenth of a second clear of Sumpter. That Sumpter was competing at all was thanks to the hard work of his team, the car having been damaged in testing at Brands Hatch on Saturday when Sumpter was caught up in an incident with another car.
Series returnee Kevin Harrison was third quickest ahead of Craig Wilkins, Michael Price next up in his 997, first non-996 C2 on the grid.
Jonathan Evans continued his domination of class two, tenth overall with Andrew Muggeridge second in class, while Stuart Ings headed class four.
It was a ragged start after some confusion with the starting lights sequence, but McAleer led Sumpter and Harrison away and that was the order at the end of lap one. Harrison was into second on lap two, and held off a bid by Sumpter to retake the place at Druids a lap later.
A brace of quickest race laps showed Sumpter’s intent on regaining second, and valuable championship points, and he regained the place when Harrison slowed with a puncture on lap eight. Behind, Price was fourth but being pushed hard by the Clark and Wilkins.
With the lead pair in the backmarkers the gap between them fluctuated, Sumpter easing off in the final laps as McAleer took his fourth win of the year. Price lost out to both Clark and Wilkins on lap 16, the battle for third then becoming a highlight of the race.
“It was a strange start, we had the green lights come on rather than the red lights just go off,” said McAleer. “It was tight early on and then I managed to get a little bit of a gap, over the mood to take a win in front of all these people!”
Wilkins pressured Clark for much of the final third of the race, but it was only with two laps to go he seized his chance. Clark went slightly wide exiting Graham Hill Bend and Wilkins claimed the inside line into Surtees in the move of the race to take third at the end.
Evans eased away from his class two rivals as the race progressed to take ninth overall and a maximum points haul, inching ahead of Sumpter in the championship points but with a bigger tally of points to drop once dropped scored came fully into play.
The final race of the 2018 Petro-Canada Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli proved a dramatic one, with the race red-flagged on the first lap of the original start. A multi-car incident as the field streamed through the dip at the bottom of Paddock Hill bend was followed up by another further up the hill towards Druids, and with cars stranded on the track the race was stopped.
The reformed grid had an odd look, Sumpter sat alone at the front, the cars of McAleer, Harrison, Price and Wilkins all sidelined leaving Clark on row three as the next car. After a long delay the race was restarted, over a ten-minute duration, and Sumpter was tentative away, Clark already with him at the first corner.
Clark pushed the leader hard and found a way past on lap four at Druids, Sumpter knowing second was good enough to give him the overall title. They finished in that order, Clark’s win in his County Classics Cayman S the first for that model in the series, with Dyer taking third in his Cayman.
“I left it late in the season but got there in the end!” said Clark. “I couldn’t have wished for a better outcome, it would have just been nice to have beaten all the guys who couldn’t make the restart. I pushed hard all the way and the car was good, and I was able to open just enough of a gap when I got in front.”
As Sumpter claimed the title, Evans did all he could to keep the pressure on, winning class two, taking class fastest lap and running with class one cars for much of the race, but had to settled for the class crown and second overall after a fine season in his Boxster.
“I didn’t get the car off the line very well,” said Sumpter, “and it was a good job I had a gap to the rest of the grid! The car was good and I made one mistake when Simon Clark got past, but having to drive defensively is not good for you!
“It is fantastic to take the title for the second time. I’m really happy, we have worked hard all season, won seven of the fourteen races, and it is a great way to end the year.”
“I had a good battle with the class one car and thought I was going to get him,” said Evans. “I did everything I could today to score points, but it has been a great season and good to take the class two title.”
Stuart Ings claimed class four for the second time of the day.
Porsche Classic Restoracing Competition
Having run with the Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli field at two meetings earlier in the season, at Brands Hatch the Restoracing field of identical Boxster S cars had their own two races. With the field mostly comprised of beginners, they had the boost of racing against 1970 Le Mans 24-Hour winner Richard Attwood, who guested in the Porsche Centre Leicester car.
The experienced Ben McLaughlin was quickest in qualifying and took both race wins, but was ineligible for points so the battle behind was for the category title.
In race one that was a superb race that saw a four-car battle for maximum championship points. Alistair Nelson ran in second for much of the race, with championship points leader John Morris right with him along with Will Heslop and Ollie Coles.
Heslop moved past Morris on lap 13 with a clinical move at the Druids hairpin and pulled the same move on Nelson a lap later to take second. Coles was also working his way up the order and was with Heslop when the former looked to go a little wide at Clearways, Coles moving into the maximum points scoring position.
“I didn’t make the best of starts,” said Coles, “the clutch seemed to stick down and I had to flick it up with my foot! I let the race settled down and I found I had the pace to move up from about halfway. Fantastic race – really enjoyed that!”
Morris was within a second of Heslop at the end to take the points for third, enough to carry his championship lead into the final race.
Race two was shortened after the delays early in the programme to be a 20-minute event, and from second on the grid Morris held that position off the start. but was soon under pressure from Coles. They were side-by-side down the pit straight on lap three, Coles keeping the pressure on to take the place before the end of the next lap.
With McLaughlin clear at the front, Coles managed to open a small gap over Morris and Heslop and they finished in that order, Coles taking his second maximum score of the day while Morris had done enough to give Porsche Centre Bolton the category championship.
“I’m so pleased take two wins,” said Coles, “the car has been on rails and has been perfect. It was a busy race with cars right with me, a brilliant day.”
“I’m delighted for everyone at Porsche Centre Bolton that we took the title,” said Morris. “It is my first year of racing and we got to grip with the circuits and have been on the podium in every race.”
Porsche 4-Cylinder Challenge
Porsche Club Motorsport put on two races for Porches with four-cylinder engines over the day, long-time marque enthusiast David Botterill wining both in his 944 Turbo, although he was pushed hard by the rapid 944 S2 of Anthony McEvoy in race two.
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Speed Championship with Pirelli
The Speed championship competitors had an outing at Brands Hatch in front of the large Festival of Porsche crowd, competing over a lap and a half of the circuit with two timed rounds. Reigning champion David Dyson set the quickest time with his second run in his Boxster, just over a second quicker than the Cayman of Peter Taylor.
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli, Round 13: 1 Mark McAleer (996 C2) 29 Laps; 2 Mark Sumpter (996 C2) +2.697s; 3 Craig Wilkins (996 C2); 4 Simon Clark (Cayman S); 5 Chris Dyer (Cayman S); 6 Michael Price (997 C2S); 7 Peter Morris (997 C2S); 8 Andy Toon (996 C2); 9 Jonathan Evans (Boxster S); 10 Andrew Muggeridge (Boxster S). Class Winners:McAleer; Evans; Stuart Ings (944 S2). Fastest Lap:Sumpter: 51.641s (84.20mph).
Round 14: 1 Clark 12 Laps; 2 Sumpter +1.345s; 3 Dyer; 4 Morris; 5 Toon; 6 Evans; 7 Muggeridge; 8 Steve Freeman (Boxster S); 9 Angus Archer (Boxster S); 10 Ed Grimshaw (Boxster S). Class Winners:Clark; Evans; Ings. Fastest Lap: Morris 52.307s (83.13mph).
Porsche Classic Restoracing Competition, Round Five: 1 Ben McLoughlin 27 Laps; 2 Ollie Coles +32.689s; 3 Will Heslop; 4 Josh Morris; 5 Jamie Woods; 6 Alistair Nelson; 7 Richard Attwood; 8 Wayne Minogue; 9 Stephen Brown; 10 Derek Stewart. Fastest Lap: McLoughlin 55.373s (78.53mph).
Round Six: 1 McLoughlin 21 Laps; 2 Coles +17.356s; 3 Josh Morris; 4 Heslop; 5 Robert Dorling; 6 Nelson; 7 Attwood; 8 Minogue; 9 Brown; 10 Julian Morris. Fastest Lap: McLoughlin 55.608s (78.20mph).
Porsche 4-Cylinder Challenge, Race One: 1 David Botterill (944 Turbo) 22 Laps; 2 Paul Tilleard (968) +2.559s; 3 Anthony McEvoy (944 S2); 4 Stuart Ings (944 S2); 5 Paul Simpson (944 S2); 6 Nick Whittaker (944 S2). Class Winners: Botterill; Karl Rossin (924). Fastest Lap: Tilleard 54.567s (79.69mph).
Race Two: 1 Botterill 22 Laps; 2 McEvoy +0.702s; 3 Tilleard; 4 Ings; 5 Whittaker; 6 Simpson. Class Winners: Botterill; Jayson Flegg (924). Fastest Lap:McEvoy 54.677s (79.53mph).
Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Speed Championship with Pirelli, Combined Runs Result: 1 David Dyson (Boxster 817) 1m30.238s; 2 Peter Taylor (Cayman S) +1.107s; 3 Justin Mather (924 S); 4 Darren Slater (Cayman S); 5 Graham Rose (924 S S/C); 6 Tom Fisher (Boxster S).