Team Redline Racing Secure Maiden Porsche Sprint Challenge GB Victory
Team Redline Racing tasted race victory in the second round of the 2021 Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB season thanks to a fighting display from Jack Bartholomew, while the team also grabbed a brace of Am class podiums at Brands Hatch.
The Teesside squad entered the second meeting of the season buoyed by a triple podium from the season opener at Thruxton two weeks prior, as their trio of Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport machines took the long journey down to Kent hoping to continue that form.
Fresh from a debut Sprint Challenge podium finish, former Lamborghini champion Bartholomew was rapid out of the blocks on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit as he briefly jumped to the head of the times in Saturday's qualifying sessions. Having been knocked off his perch, one final run came agonisingly close to sealing pole position, the YESSS Electrical and Ecosphere backed Cayman just 0.050s shy.
Bartholomew still took a front row start for the first of Sunday's two races. Conditions would lead to a highly unpredictable contest however, as a sudden downpour caught out several drivers on lap five. Among those was Bartholomew, who lost the back end of his Cayman heading through Hawthorns and became beached in the gravel trap.
In the second race of the day later that afternoon, the 22-year-old had to fight from fifth place on the grid, and by the end of the opening lap he was up into third place after dispatching two cars by Hawthorn Bend. His charge continued and soon he was up to second at Paddock Hill Bend on lap two, before twice trading the lead with Theo Edgerton to grab a superb victory - the team's first in the Sprint Challenge GB.
Coming off the back of a double Am class podium celebration from Thruxton, the vastly experienced Nigel Rice had to fight hard for another visit after qualifying fifth on the grid on Saturday. Through the drama of race one, Rice proceeded to climb the order and improve to third place after a spin right ahead of him, ensuring another strong finish and more class silverware as he took the flag third of the Am drivers.
He looked set to improve that result in the second race after running second for much of the race, but an accident with Alex Malykhin put an end to his race prematurely.
Peter Chambers was just three spots adrift of Am class team-mate Rice in his Chambers Recycling Solutions machine after qualifying and he also went on to produce a battling display across the two races.
Firstly moving up into the top five with a mature drive in the opening race, he kept tabs on his rivals in the second encounter and stayed out of trouble to benefit from incidents around him and storm to a first Am podium of the season in second place.
Simon Leonard – Team Boss: “A great end to proceedings for us as a team, and you have to say Jack drove brilliantly all weekend. It was a shame to see him in the gravel in the first race as he would have been on for a double podium, but that charge in the second race was brilliant, as were some of the overtakes he made to get himself there.
"Likewise, Nigel and Pete both kept calm in the opening race which was a very tough one for drivers in changeable conditions as sudden as that. Nigel made his way through the order and used his experience well to bring home another trophy.
"It's fantastic to see all three drivers come away with some silverware to show off. Pete again drove a great race in the second, and they all deserved their podiums. A solid weekend for us, and we can be very happy with that."
The 2021 Porsche Sprint Challenge GB continues in a month's time (26/27 June) as it stays with the British GT Championship package at Silverstone, but first the team will be tackling the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season opener at Snetterton (12/13 June).
Image from Dan Bathie / Porsche GB.