Carrera Cup GB: Silverstone Establishes Title Showdown
Following two action-packed races at Silverstone the 2018 Carrera Cup GB championship will go down to the wire at its final meeting at Brands Hatch. Silverstone’s short and fast National circuit ensured close racing throughout the weekend with GT Porsche contributor Dino Zamparelli and Tom Wrigley taking victories apiece. Zamparelli now leads former F1 test driver Tio Ellinas by eight points in the championship standings with Wrigley a further eleven points adrift as the series heads to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for its finale.
Zamparelli and Ellinas squared-up on the front row of the grid for the first race at Silverstone, but it was Wrigley from fifth position who made the best launch – moving up to challenge Ellinas for second position through the first corner. Ellinas, Wrigley, George Gamble, Porsche Junior Dan Harper and Lewis Plato ran down towards Maggots corner dicing for position – Ellinas ultimately retaining second spot with Wrigley slotting into third. From second place Ellinas soon led a train of cars back to Harper in sixth, the Cypriot fending off the constant advances of Wrigley. Harper looked for a way past Plato for fifth, moving alongside him on more than one occasion before finally making a move stick on lap 22. Plato and Harper swapped positions twice more before the battle was resolved in favour of the Junior driver.
After 28 laps Zamparelli crossed the finish line with a 3.8s lead back to Ellinas with Wrigley in third. As part of the 2018 reverse grid procedure, overall winner Zamparelli selected the number 4, which reversed the grid positions of the top four overall race finishers from race one to form the grid for race two. This was Gamble on pole then Wrigley, Ellinas, and Zamparelli. From the front row, Wrigley made a good start to take the lead of race two with a tough but fair move on Gamble through the first corner. Ellinas occupied third with championship leader Zamparelli losing two places at the start to sit sixth behind Junior Harper and Plato.
On lap 17 Ellinas was handed a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits to be applied post-race, this spurred the Cypriot on to make a move on Gamble for P2, however on corrected time with his penalty applied Ellinas actually ranked sixth. Crucially this put Ellinas behind championship rival Zamparelli in the corrected order. On lap 25 Harper and Gamble battled, swapping positions several times before the Junior finally made his move stick to assume P2 – Gamble soon developed a puncture forcing him to park his car at the side of track promoting Plato to the final podium position. Wrigley took the chequered flag to take his third victory of 2018.
The final round of the season takes place at Brands Hatch on 30th September.