Wrigley And Harper Win At Oulton
Maiden Carrera Cup GB wins for Tom Wrigley and 17-year-old Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper means that the championship has now seen six different winners from the first eight races – a far cry from the dominant Dan Cammish years. In taking victory at round eight, Harper became the youngest winner in the history of the championship. Part of the unpredictable nature of the 2018 season is due to rule changes – cheifly the introduction of a reverse grid race two – designed to make the racing more exciting and to ensure that no single driver is able to steamroller the championship – which is largely what we saw Cammish (now a British Touring Car driver with the works Honda team) do during his highly successful years in the series.
Tom Wrigley took an exceptionally impressive maiden pole position in qualifying for round seven of the championship, putting his GT3 Cup car on pole by a staggering four-tenths of second from championship points leader (and GT Porsche contributor) Dino Zamparelli. Wrigley made a good getaway off the line to lead the pack into Old Hall followed by Zamparelli, however Zamparelli’s car struck debris on lap one and lost speed as a result, he would eventually be forced to retire his car. Wrigley took victory from team mate Lewis Plato and Cypriot Tio Ellinas, the former GP2 driver and F1 test driver assuming the lead of the championship in the process.
Pro-Am runners Seb Perez, Dan Vaughan and Jamie Orton were embroiled in a close battle for victory in their category – Rookie Perez has impressed so far this season and his battle with Orton was fascinating. In an attempt to pass Orton, Perez went off however the category fight ended with Perez leading Vaughan from Rory Collingbourne in third after a change of position in the closing stages of the race. The Am category remains arguably the closest of all, in particular, Peter Kyle-Henney and Peter Mangion regularly enjoy dicing in close proximity and both races at Oulton were testiment to that, Kyle-Henney triumphing ahead of Mangion in the first race – having looked quick all weekend Iain Dockerill took third spot.
As part of the 2018 podium procedure, overall winner Wrigley selected at random the number 4 ball, which reverses the grid positions of the top four overall race finishers from round seven. This formed the starting grid for round eight; Harper, Ellinas, Plato, and Wrigley. Junior Harper got away cleanly, but it was Plato who made the best start from the second row of the grid getting ahead of Ellinas into the first corner, and that’s how they stayed. In the Pro-Am category Vaughan ultimately took category honours, Mangion, Kyle-Henney and Dockerill formed the Am podium in that order.
With Zamparelli suffering a disappointing weekend, retiring from race one and starting from the back in race two, Ellinas emerges with the championship lead at this, the halfway point in the season. Ellinas now leads Zamparelli at the top of the table by six points. The next meeting takes place at the end of July at Snetterton.