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Porsche Carrera Cup

Monday 22nd April 2013

MEADOWS SEIZES THE PORSCHE CARRERA CUP INITIATIVE AT DONINGTON

  • Reigning Champion Michael Meadows wins rounds three and four of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB in style at the picturesque Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire
  • Karl Leonard takes a double victory in the Pro-Am1 category
  • Will Goff also claims two victories in Pro-Am2

After a mixed weekend in the opening races of the season at Brands Hatch three weeks ago, 2012 Champion Michael Meadows stormed right back into contention for this season’s Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a double victory at Donington Park, Leicestershire (Sunday). Fans enjoyed two great races between the powerful rear-engined, 450 hp 911 GT3 Cup cars at the picturesque track. On a day of double winners, Karl Leonard (Pro-Am1) and Will Goff (Pro-Am2) also each took two victories.

Round three

Meadows scored his first victory of the season in round three of the Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park on Sunday morning. Meadows dived into the lead when Dean Stoneman ran wide at the Old Hairpin bend and dropped to third behind Jonas Gelzinis. In a race full of interest and battles all the way down the field, Karl Leonard worked through to win Pro-Am1 and Will Goff claimed Pro-Am2 victory.

At the start, Stoneman (Southampton) jumped to the front of the pack from Meadows (Reading) and Gelzinis (Lithuania). Initially, Stoneman edged clear but Meadows mounted a dogged pursuit and by lap ten they were nose-to-tail as Meadows built the pressure on Stoneman. However, Gelzinis was also closing in after his car came-on strong as the race developed.

Meadows mounted several major attacks, but Stoneman contained his rival until they plunged into the Craner Curves on lap 18. Stoneman went in just a bit too deep and ran wide onto the grass on the exit. In an instant, Meadows and Gelzinis went past and Stoneman damaged the aerodynamic splitter on the front of his car as he bounced across the grass.

Once ahead, Meadows rattled off the remaining laps for victory with Gelzinis in second-place. “I had run out of ideas,” admitted Meadows. “For a couple of laps I put Dean under pressure, but he dealt with it. But I was close enough to push him into a mistake! This gets me back into the Championship hunt.”

Gelzinis claimed second, but admitted he had struggled early in the race. “We went too low on the tyre pressures at the start: the lower track temperature caught us out. But in the middle of the race the car was strong,” he said. Stoneman, meanwhile, was frustrated with third place and had to defend his position from Rory Butcher (Kirkcaldy) over the final two laps. “It was my own fault,” admitted Stoneman. “I should have braked a metre earlier: I’m frustrated with myself.” Fourth was a good result for Butcher, who started down in 11th place. “I didn’t realise he didn’t have a splitter,” said Butcher ruefully.

Karl Leonard (Dublin) drove a nicely-judged race to win Pro-Am1 but only after some fierce battling with his brother and teammate Michael, and Victor Jimenez (Spain). Karl worked ahead when the fast-starting Michael ran wide at Redgate corner, and when Michael later spun at McLeans, Jimenez got back to second place.

“Michael had some start,” said Karl. “I didn’t make any mistakes.” Jimenez clinched second while George Brewster (Edinburgh) fought through to third after an early trip through the gravel at Redgate. “That was very complicated and very close,” said Jimenez after spending some laps sandwiched between the Leonard brothers. Even a late-race spin didn’t cost Jimenez his position.

Goff (Dereham) always had Pro-Am2 under control as he edged away from Peter Smallwood (Brackley). “I’d forgotten how long these races are,” said Goff. “It’s just good to be back racing again.” Smallwood ran second in Pro-Am2: “He got a bit of a gap between us and pulled away,” admitted Smallwood.

Round three results:

Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows; 2 Jonas Gelzinis; 3 Dean Stoneman.
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Karl Leonard; 2 Victor Jimenez; 3 George Brewster.
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Will Goff; 2 Peter Smallwood.

Round four

Meadows made it a perfect day by winning round four on Sunday afternoon. He led from the start and saw off challenges from Gelzinis and Stoneman to make it a double victory. Once again there was plenty of excellent racing down the field, and it was Karl Leonard who completed a perfect return to racing by winning Pro-Am1 for the second time. There was also a double win for Goff in Pro-Am2. Leonard earned the ‘Driver of the Weekend’ award, while Redline Racing was named the Drift ‘Team of the Weekend.’

Meadows got the start he wanted to lead into Redgate, but Stoneman had too much wheelspin off the start line and found himself back in fifth place by the first corner, with Gelzinis in second ahead of Dan Lloyd (Huddersfield) and Rory Butcher. Stoneman quickly fought back and grabbed places from Butcher and Lloyd with superb passing moves and then went after Gelzinis and Meadows.

The leading trio soon edged clear and Meadows steadily asserted his authority on the race to build his margin. Stoneman harried Gelzinis and got his chance when the Lithuanian racer ran wide at the Old Hairpin on lap 12. “He made exactly the same mistake that I made in the first race,” said Stoneman after easing through to finish second.

But the race belonged to Meadows who charged right back into contention for the Championship lead following a faultless day. “It’s been a fantastic weekend,” he said. “I was very consistent and did what I needed to win.” Stoneman was a secure second from Gelzinis and duly retained the overall Championship lead, despite his slow get-away from the start.

Lloyd battled through to finish fourth from Richard Kent (London) while Butcher dropped to sixth after a spin at the Old Hairpin. In Pro-Am1, Karl Leonard drove a fine race to win again as Dan De Zille (Jersey) led the chase. “I’m delighted,” said Leonard. “Every time I get in the car, I’m going quicker.”

For De Zille, this was his best race so far. “It’s been a scrappy season so far, so it was good to get the race I knew was there,” he said. Jimenez saw off the challenge of Michael Leonard (Dublin) to complete the Pro-Am1 podium.

In Pro-Am2, Smallwood worked ahead of Goff in the rush to the first corner, but Goff settled down to the task ahead of him and was later able to nip ahead when Smallwood ran a little wide at Coppice corner. “I just had to do a bit of racing and pick my moment!” he said.

Round four results:

Pro category: 1 Michael Meadows; 2 Dean Stoneman; 3 Jonas Gelzinis.
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Karl Leonard; 2 Dan De Zille; 3 Victor Jimenez.
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Will Goff; 2 Peter Smallwood.

The next rounds of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship take place at the super-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on 5 May.
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