Duckhams Yuasa Racing claims dominant victory to open Porsche Carrera Cup GB season
Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Team Parker enjoyed a strong opening weekend (April 22/23) to its Porsche Carrera Cup GB campaign as Adam Smalley claimed victory and Harry Foster leads the Rookie Championship standings.
Showing strong pace through pre-season testing with Team Parker Racing, both Duckhams Yuasa Racing drivers travelled to Donington Park aiming to carry the form into race conditions.
Adam, the current Porsche GB Junior Driver went quickest in the early running in qualifying before setting an even better time late on to secure his maiden series pole position, while Harry finished up ninth in the Pro class drivers and third of the Rookies.
The opening 24-lap race, held on Sunday morning, featured tricky conditions as rain cleared the circuit, with the track wet but slowly drying. Adam started well, fending off Robert De Haan behind, but was unable to hold the lead after the middle of the race as his tyres overheated and started to fade. Behind, Harry fell down the order before digging deep and putting in a strong recovery drive, gaining ten places overall and finishing sixth in class and seventh overall.
Race two was even more difficult for both drivers as the rain returned with vigour, meaning visibility was at a premium. That didn’t faze Adam however, as he launched from fourth on the partially reversed grid to gain three places on the opening lap and into the lead.
From there he would not look back, driving a mature race as he maintained his lead to record the win, while Harry made similar gains, moving up two overall places to fifth, despite the conditions, where he would finish, emerging atop the Rookie standings after his debut weekend in the series.
The team will quickly switch its focus now to rounds three and four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, which take place in just two weeks’ time on the short and exciting Brands Hatch Indy circuit, over the weekend of May 6/7.
Adam Smalley, #21, Pro
G1 – 1, R1 – 2
G2 – 4, R2 – 1
Pro Championship: 1 (23 points)
“I'm so happy. It was a near perfect weekend with my maiden pole in qualifying and almost two victories. In the first race the issue was that the track was drying, and we were all on wets. I pushed too hard which hurt me in the second half the race, so I was frustrated to finish second but absolutely over the moon to make up for it in the second race.
“I started fourth, overtook three cars on the first lap, and then pulled out a four second lead to win the race. I was just managing the gap, taking in the pit board information, and constantly seeing where we were in comparison to everyone else. It's a long year, so we could have pushed for the fastest lap, but I knew for the sake of extra one point the reward was a hell of a lot to risk.
“I'm delighted with how the weekend went and have to say a huge thank you to Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Team Parker. I’m looking forward to the rest of championship as everyone at Team Parker has done a fantastic job. We knew we had the pace in testing and it was just down to us to prove that we could it do at round one, which is why I was so frustrated with P2 in the first race, but I couldn't have redeemed it in a better way.”
Harry Foster, #16, Pro
G1 – 9, R1 – 6
G2 – 4, R2 – 5
Pro Championship: 7 (7 points)
Rookie Championship: 1 (25 points)
“Being my first race weekend in the Carrera Cup it's good to have a great result. I didn't start brilliantly for race one and dropped down to P17, but I managed to get from there all the way back up to P7 which put us in a good position for race two. I made up two places and stayed out of trouble in that one, so overall, it was a good race.
“Race one was a little bit tricky as it started to dry towards the end, so it was overheating the tyres and we were having to manage those. Race two was really tricky, especially at the start, and I had a good few moments where I wasn't sure if I was going to go off or not. There was a lot of spray as well, but I managed to keep on track and have some good pace.
“The car has been hooked up all weekend, especially on race day in the wet where I noticed it was planted on the corners and I was able to really use it to show some good pace, so a big thank you to Team Parker Racing and to Duckhams Yuasa Racing for that and for the opportunity this season.”
Click here to view the Gallery from the weekend's race!