Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK – arrived at Brands Hatch with the promise of fireworks between double champion 2015 / 2016 Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) and reigning champion – Porsche GB 2020 / 2021 Junior – Harry King (Team Parker Racing). There was little to separate the pair throughout the weekend, Junior King emerged from Friday Practice ahead but Cammish had plenty of speed in hand, as did several other Pro category hopefuls including Lorcan Hanafin (JTR), Will Martin (Richardson Racing) and Rookie Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing).
Cammish was on top after an exceptionally close qualifying session where he took the 32nd pole position of his Porsche Carrera Cup GB career, Junior King recorded a time just 0.027sec slower to join him on the front row – the top 16 drivers were covered by less than a second. Drama in Sunday’s first race came when Cammish and Junior King made contact early on to further fuel their rivalry, Hanafin came through to win. The second race of the weekend was equally action-packed, Martin took victory as Cammish and Junior King fought their way to the podium having started P10 and P12 respectively.
An equally close Pro-Am category fight produced several battles on track. Rookie Charles Rainford (CCK Motorsport) put in an impressive qualifying session and turned that into a maiden category win in Race 1, Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker) and Rookie Jake Rattenbury (Team Redline Racing) engaged in a nail-biting fight in Sunday’s second race. Justin Sherwood (Team Parker) continued his good form to lead the Am category championship while his rivals gave chase.
Conditions were warm and dry for Saturday afternoon’s 30-minute qualifying session. Cammish played a tactical game, heading out on track later than most of his rivals. In the first half of the session Junior King was the pacesetter, chased by Will Martin (Richardson Racing), Kiern Jewiss (Team Parker Racing) and Lorcan Hanafin (JTR). In Pro-Am Ryan Ratcliffe (Team Parker) was the driver to beat, Josh Caygill (Team Redline Racing) and Jake Rattenbury (Team Redline Racing) were not far behind, Justin Sherwood (Team Parker) headed Am.
The second half of the session was dominated by a tense battle for pole position between Cammish and Junior King. With five minutes of the session remaining Junior King was ahead with a time of 46.141, Cammish initially sat just 0.061secs behind, but both would improve before the flag fell. Following a trading of fast lap times, it was Cammish who ended the session ahead by the narrowest of margins – just 0.027secs – with Hanafin behind. Rookie Charles Rainford (CCK Motorsport) topped Pro-Am with an impressive grid position of sixth overall, Sherwood continued his run of form to secure Am category pole position.
Following the 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB weekend format, Cammish earned two championship points with his pole position, the top qualifiers in their respective categories – Rainford and Sherwood – also received two points each.
Changeable weather conditions just before Sunday’s first race resulted in a damp track with drizzle in the air. Pro-Am driver Archie Hamilton (Brookspeed) was the only runner to opt for grooved wet weather tyres – he would start from the back of the grid as a result of making that switch, the rest of the cars started the race on slick Michelin tyres. When the lights went out Cammish made the best start to lead into the first corner while Junior King was forced to defend second place from those behind. As they approached Paddock Hill Bend at the start of the second lap Junior King got alongside Cammish, the pair made contact resulting in a spin for Cammish who would rejoin the race at the back of the pack.
Having benefited from the incident ahead, Jewiss now led the race from Junior King and Hanafin. Pro-Am pole sitter Rainford held onto his advantage to head the category from Rattenbury and Ratcliffe. In Am Sherwood led Justin Armstrong (Team Parker) and Adam Knight (Valluga Racing). A change of leader came when Jewiss lost ground through Graham Hill handing the advantage to Junior King – King and Hanafin swept by with Rookie Jewiss relegated to third. His gamble on tyre choice having not paid off, Hamilton pitted to make the change from wets to slicks.
On lap 9 Cammish and Josh Caygill (Team Redline Racing) made contact at Druids as the former attempted to fight his way back up the order, this put Cammish into his second spin of the race before he rejoined the action once more. A thrilling Pro-Am battle was still led by Rainford, just behind Ratcliffe closed on Rattenbury but the pair had to contend with Pro category driver Jamie Orton (JTR) who was attempting to pass them. On lap 15 Orton found a way by Ratcliffe at Clearways to take P9 overall.
On lap 19 Junior King locked up into Druids and ran slightly wide, Hanafin jumped on the opportunity to pass, moving to the inside, but the pair made contact which put King into a spin, he left the track and struck the barriers forcing him to retire to the pits. Hanafin now led the race from Jewiss and Will Martin (Richardson Racing). In Pro-Am Ratcliffe made a successful pass on Rattenbury to secure second in category. On lap 23 a scrap between Rookies Nathan Harrison (Team HARD) and Micah Stanley (Team Redline Racing) was finalised when Stanley found himself spinning off after Graham Hill before rejoining the race.
In the closing stages of the race a close battle between Rainford, Will Bratt (Comline Richardson Racing), Ratcliffe and Rattenbury developed – there was little to choose between the four car train. On lap 31 Bratt made contact with the rear of Rainford’s car at Druids and ended his race in the gravel trap as a result, Rainford continued his race. Further up the road Jewiss resisted increasing pressure from Martin and Lewis Plato (Valluga Racing) to maintain second overall.
Hanafin took the chequered flag to claim his second win of the season – and the JTR team’s 100th win in British motorsport. Hanafin was joined on the Pro category podium by Jewiss and Martin. Rainford took his maiden Pro-Am category win, he was followed home by Ratcliffe and Rattenbury, Sherwood continued his dominance to claim Am category honours, Armstrong and Stanton completed the category podium.
For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Cammish – Pro, Rattenbury – Pro-Am and Sherwood – Am each received one additional championship point. As part of the 2021 podium procedure, winner Hanafin selected at random the number six ball, which reversed the grid positions of the top six overall race finishers from Round 3. Following the race two championship points were deducted from King for his incident with Cammish on lap 2.
The second of Sunday’s two races took place in dry, overcast, conditions. From the second row of the grid Plato got off to a flying start to pass Josh Malin (Richardson Racing), he then fell into line in second position behind Orton. Rookie Rainford was also quick off the mark from the fourth row – he emerged from the first lap as the Pro-Am category leader in fifth. However, Junior King was one of the biggest gainers on the opening lap, moving up from P12 to P6. In Am Sherwood led Armstrong from Rookie Stanton.
On lap 3 Junior King found a route by Rainford for fourth, on the following lap he overtook Malin for P4 bringing Hanafin and Cammish along with him. As Plato looked for a way to pass Orton for the race lead, Martin overtook him for second. An equally fierce battle developed for the Pro-Am lead, as Rainford fell back down the order Ratcliffe found himself ahead with category rival Rattenbury right on his tail. Stanley and Harrison would soon dice for the final Pro-Am category podium spot, Stanley was ahead for most of the race.
On lap 10 Junior King got by Plato for third, Plato left the circuit before rejoining in P10. Three laps later Martin finally got by Orton at Druids for the lead of the race, in tandem Cammish mounted a challenge on Junior King getting alongside him in the run down to Graham Hill though the order stayed the same. Over the course of several laps Cammish put Junior King under immense pressure, meanwhile an equally exciting battle for Pro-Am honours raged as Rattenbury tried everything in his armoury to overtake Ratcliffe for the category lead.
In the closing stages of the race Hanafin and Bratt each received 5 second penalties for infringing track limits, Malin took a trip through the gravel before recovering but this gifted Plato a position. On lap 27 Junior King finally passed Orton at Paddock Hill. Cammish immediately crowded Orton as he also looked to pass, at Surtees the pair were virtually inseparable, contact resulted in Orton spinning off the circuit before rejoining and pitting. That left the order at the front Martin, Junior King and Cammish with Hanafin relegated down the order on corrected time. That left the order at the front Martin, Junior King and Cammish with Hanafin relegated down the order on corrected time.
Martin crossed the line to take the second victory of his Porsche racing career, Junior King completed a masterful recovery drive to finish second with Cammish an equally impressive third. Following their intense race-long battle, Ratcliffe clinched category victory in Pro-Am from Rattenbury with Stanley coming home third. Am victory went the way of Sherwood, he was joined on the category podium by Armstrong and Stanton. For recording the fastest lap in each of their respective categories, Cammish – Pro, Ratcliffe – Pro-Am and Armstrong – Am each received one additional championship point. Contact during the race between Cammish and Junior King will be investigated after the weekend.
With an intense battle developing for overall honours between Cammish, Junior King and talented rivals Hanafin, Jewiss and Martin, and an equally exciting fight in prospect for Pro-Am supremacy between established names and promising newcomers, Porsche Carrera Cup GB heads to Oulton Park at the end of July for Rounds 5&6 of the championship where the story will continue.
Dan Cammish Redline Racing 33
Kiern Jewiss Team Parker Racing 31
Lorcan Hanafin JTR 29
Ryan Ratcliffe Team Parker 36
Micah Stanley Team Redline Racing 27
Nathan Harrison Team HARD 26
Justin Sherwood Team Parker Racing 47
Justin Armstrong Team Parker Racing 33
Josh Stanton Team HARD 23
*results remain provisional