Redline Racing faced a challenging second Porsche Carrera Cup GB outing of the season in the scorching summer heatwave at Brands Hatch this past weekend (08/09 August), with the highlight being Matty Graham securing a first Pro class podium finish.
One week on from a successful season opener, the Teeside squad made the long trip south to Kent for the second Carrera Cup GB outing of the year. Their driver line-up remained unchanged, with Pro runners Scott McKenna, Matty Graham and Dorian Mansilla plus Am contender John Ferguson.
A strong start to the meeting saw Graham and McKenna finish Friday’s free practice sessions one-two at the top of the timesheets in their Eighty One Powerdrink backed machines, and it was the former that led the charge in qualifying the next day.
The Northumberand based racer stormed to third on the timesheets, missing out on a front row start by just three hundredths of a second. McKenna had to settle for sixth overall, while Mansilla finished ninth in the Pro class and Ferguson was fifth quickest of the Am contenders.
Graham put in an impressive performance in the opening race and was unfortunate to slip out of the final podium finish on the final lap. McKenna meanwhile had moved up to a strong fifth place before contact from behind pushed him off track to 10th in class at the finish.
The reverse grid for race two placed Graham on pole position and a great start saw him maintain the lead through an early safety car period. While he slipped down to second shortly after the action resumed, he held the position as the race progressed.
Unfortunately an incident down the order had led to fluid being dropped on circuit and he was one of a few drivers to be caught out by it, sliding wide to fifth. He ran there to the chequered flag, while not far behind was McKenna with seventh in class.
Post-race however, the driver who finished third on the road was disqualified due to a technical infringement. This promoted Graham to fourth overall and third in the Pro class for his maiden Carrera Cup GB podium finish; in the process putting him at the top of the Rookie Championship.
Mansilla was tackling the world-famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for the first time and made some great progression across the weekend. The Argentinian ace suffered setbacks in both races, but fought back well to a pair of top eight class finishes.
Ferguson meanwhile made some great early progress in race one and was challenging for second place in class before an unfortunate incident led to retirement. After fighting from the back to second in race two, it ended in double disappointment as he failed to finish again.
Simon Leonard – Team Boss: “This was one of those weekends that promised a lot but didn’t deliver unfortunately. Matty [Graham] deserved to get a first class podium finish under his belt, but after such a promising run in free practice both he and Scott [McKenna] had the potential for much more.
“It’s the same story for John [Ferguson]. He was up in the podium positions in both races and deserved to come away from the weekend with silverware. Dorian [Mansilla] made good progress through the weekend and is on the cusp of a big result.”
Redline Racing’s busy start to the season continues with the second outing for the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB at Donington Park next weekend (15/16 August), before back-to-back Porsche Carrera Cup GB meetings to end the month; Oulton Park (22/23 August) and Knockhill (29/30 August).
Image from Dan Bathie/Porsche GB