The Porsche GT Cup Challenge GB is a supporting race to the BTCC this weekend and we saw the series winners announced as the last two races of the series were held at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, Northamptonshire, UK. The series only visits six race tracks throughout the 2012 season with twelve races held in total. It is a one-make series displaying the Porsche Cars GB for identical 911 GT3 Cup from 2009 and earlier.
All the 911’s are purpose-built race cars with 420bhp 3.6 liter flat-six engines and rear wheel drive. The series is in it’s third year and is doubled up with the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Which we have covered here. The GT3 Cup is split into two classes which are; class one- later 997-type (up to 2009), class two – earlier 996 models.
The first race of the weekend was held on Saturday and the finale held on Sunday. The championship winner was decided after the first race. James Birch won the championship after 19 laps finishing in second place. Behind Justin Sherwood who finished the race in first place with a winning time of 20:01:870. James Birch started the race a full 22 points ahead of No.66 Steven Liquorish who only managed to finish the race in sixth place. This sixth place secured his fate an resulted in him handing the championship to James Birch.
The winner of the race No.7 Justin Sherwood who was third in the championship won the race with a staggering advantage of over five seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Out of the twelve cars which took to the track only No.11 Guy Riall was unable to cross the checkered flag.
The second race held on Sunday was equally as exciting as the first.By Lap eight Birch held the lead by three seconds lap ahead of Justin Sherwood who looked like his pace was slightly fading. Birch was obviously on a high from his championship result win being decided. A five second penalty was given to No.5 John Ferguson who was running in seventh at that time because he was exceeding track limits.
The last two places in the championship would be decided by the end of the race and it was clear for all to see that Sherwood wanted to go out with a bang. Even though it was not possible for him to gain second in the championship but to earn a respectable third ahead of Cowne who was closely behind in fourth. After a moment on lap thirteen Sherwood spun and lost several places slipping back into fifth position behind No 29 Harry Wale and third place runner No 66. Steven Liquorish.
No.77 and No.11 had contact on the track during lap fifteen which resulted in a problem for the two cars. With only three minutes left of the race James Birch had a lead of over six seconds. The real fight was between second and third. No.77 who had previously had contact with another car was obstructing the pair of riders and not moving across when the blue flag was waved. He held his line instead of letting Whale through, this could have been quite disastrous for him but Liquorish started to drop back slightly. Liquorish was soon under threat by Pete Smallwood as he started to hunt down his prey and could smell blood. Liquorish had some sort of problem with his car as it didn’t seem to drive as he wanted it to. He tried to hold onto his third place but with only one corner left Smallwood made his move and took third from him with a gap of 0.274 and complete the podium finishers.
The race started with eleven cars out on track and only nine completing it. James birch took the win and finished off his weekend superbly. Second was No.29 Whale and Pete Smallwood in third.