Redline Racing have continued their podium run in the Porsche Sprint Challenge at Brands Hatch on Sunday (6 September), with Ethan Hawkey recording his maiden top three finish in the championship.
The Teeside squad completed a run of six consecutive weekends of racing across the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Sprint Challenge GB with a fast-paced event at Brands Hatch, with all four sessions taking place across the same day.
Archie Hamilton headed into the weekend with a 100% Pro class podium record, but his chances of continuing that streak were ended in the opening session. An engine failure and subsequent car fire in practice meant his day was over on the spot.
Am class contender Nigel Rice had replicated Hamilton in securing four podium finishes from the first four races. He started off strongly around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit to qualify second in class, though a slow start to the opening race meant he dropped to sixth.
After fighting back well to fourth in that one, a brilliant run in race two saw him storm through the field to the class lead. It was short lived however, as an ambitious move from another driver led to heavy contact and both drivers finishing their race in the gravel trap.
For Hawkey, great progress across the opening events was finally rewarded by a first piece of Porsche silverware. The London racer qualified a strong fourth on the grid and made a fantastic launch off the line in race one to grab third straight away.
The former Ginetta Junior front-runner then stormed clear of championship leader James Dorlin to hold position to the finish for a maiden top three result. In race two, he was in a close fought battle for the final podium place, emerging in fifth at the finish.
Redline Racing welcomed a new driver to the team for his series debut meanwhile. Paraplegic racer Gustav Engljähringer joined them as part of the team’s partnership with Eighty-One Racing Heroes, driving a Cayman with adapted hand controls.
Engljähringer made steady progress over the course of the day. From eighth in the Am class in qualifying, he climbed two places to sixth in the opening race, before making similar progress in the second encounter to cap off his day with a great fourth in class.
Simon Leonard – Team Boss: “What a rollercoaster day, with our fair share of highs and lows across the team! We’re gutted for Archie, he was so impressive in the opening two events and we’re confident he’d have taken more podiums today, but it wasn’t to be.
“It’s fantastic to see Ethan pick up his first piece of silverware. He’s been knocking on the door all season with good raw speed, and it finally all came together for him. He put in a fantastic drive and this is sure to be the first of many.
“Nigel has been very quick all day, qualifying second in class and posting the fastest lap in race one. To therefore come away without a podium finish is a real shame. His charge through to the class lead in race two was very impressive, but sadly another driver had other ideas.
“It was brilliant to welcome Gustav to the team. He was a fantastic addition to the garage and we all enjoyed working with him. He made good progress through the day and deserved to come away with a strong pair of top six finishes.”
Next up for Redline Racing is a double header over the weekend of 19/20 September, with the Porsche Carrera Cup GB racing at Thruxton and the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB at Donington Park.
Image from Dan Bathie / Porsche GB.