Team Strasse Back on Top at Donington Park
Team Strasse was back to full strength for rounds nine and 10 of the Porsche Club GB Championship at Donington Park. Both David Botterill, in his 964 C2 and Hugo Holmes, in the Boxster S, returned to race after other duties ruled them out of the previous meeting at Brands Hatch.
The weekend started very well, with Pete Morris in the PCM Midlands Porcshe 996 was back on form taking both pole positions in qualifying on the Saturday morning in class one. Andy Toon in the EPC Electrolytic Plating Boxster S followed Morris’s lead by claiming both poles in class two.
Morris’s starts have been his Achilles heel so far this season, but in round nine he nailed it. He led the field heading into the first corner with McAleer in second and Johnson in third. A mistake by Johnson and McAleer on lap two saw Team Strasse’s Chris Dyer in the Cayman S move up into third ahead of Ellis, with McAleer now residing in fifth.
Morris was looking strong but Harrison, in second, was looking for a way past and forcing Morris to drive defensively. By now McAleer had fought his way to the front of the chasing group with Dyer dropping back down to sixth. Meanwhile in Class two Andy Toon was leading, but like team mate Morris, he too was having to defend from Speed who was breathing down his neck.
With only four laps to go Morris eased his pace and the top three where all bumper-to-bumper. Morris held on to first place taking the first win of the day. Chris Dyer finished seventh with Andy Toon taking the class two win. Class two team mates David Botterill crossed the line fourth in class with Hugo Holmes taking fifth.
Holmes commented, “It’s good to be back racing. The car is much improved after changing out the springs but next year we know we have to change out the full suspension all round. For the rest of this year we’ll stick with what we have on, the engine is fabulous it’s just the suspension that letting the car down.”
Once again Morris made a good getaway and was able to put a small gap between himself and Harrison. By the end of lap one the top three were a second clear of the pack. By lap three it was a six car battle but Morris was still holding onto the lead. On lap fourteen the race came to an end for Winter after he collided with Johnson, forcing him to retire. At the front, Morris was still under a lot pressure from McAleer but he kept his head and drove a text book defence to claim his second victory of the day. Chris Dyer, who had been hoping for a podium finish this weekend, had to Settle for sixth place.
In class two Andy Toon was looking strong, leading the field with a good three seconded lead. However, by lap fourteen Jake McAleer had closed the gap and was looking very strong. Despite his best efforts Toon was not able to hold on and dropped into second place, but he wasn’t giving up; a desperate lunge into the final corner didn’t pay off and resultd in the Boxster running wide onto the grass. This allowed Speed in his 968 CS to close, but thankfully after a drag race to the line, Toon was able to maintain his second place. David Botterill brought home the 964 fifth place in class with Hugo Holmes crossing the line in seventh place.
Pete Morris said of his successful day at Donington; “Two poles and two wins – a great day It was hard work though. I made two cracking starts, but keeping the cars behind me was difficult and I was pleased to see the chequered flag at the end of both races. The car was great – the Lads back at the Strasse shop have done a fantastic job.”
Andy Toon said, “A really good day! We came here looking for two good results to keep the team championship title alive and the championship title as well. We have achieved both goals today, two solid results and the car run brilliantly, it was just a shame about the tyres going off in the second race.
The next meeting for Team Strasse in the Porsche Club GB Championship takes place at Croft, North Yorkshire, on August 27th.
Story and photography credit: Paul Holroyd