Duckhams Yuasa Racing wins again to bring Porsche Carrera Cup GB title within grasp
Duckhams Yuasa Racing with Team Parker enjoyed another victorious weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, as Adam Smalley took pole position, a race win, and a further podium to close in on the series title.
Adam – Porsche GB Junior Driver and a BRDC SuperStar – produced a superb lap in qualifying to finish fastest of anyone on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit, while Harry Foster, chasing the Rookie championship, was frustrated to line up eighth overall for the opening contest on Sunday morning.
After overnight rain, the track was damp enough to require wet tyres, but the surface would begin to dry, making it a challenge to keep the rubber cool enough to work well while maintaining strong pace.
Both drivers started well, with Adam holding the lead despite contact from Robert De Haan into turn one, before an early Safety Car period. When racing resumed, Harry was locked into a battle for fourth with Matty Graham and Will Martin, clearly faster than the former, but unable to find a clean way past throughout the 19-lap contest.
As the rain returned, and with many drivers struggling with overheating tyres, Adam came under increasing pressure from James Kellett for the lead. Running wide at the final turn in the closing stages, he would cross the line third, while Harry finished sixth.
In race two, Adam capitalised when pole sitter Josh Malin ran wide, taking the lead and opening up a gap which he would not relinquish, crossing the line to take his third victory of the season. It was a frustrating afternoon for Harry, as he was held up by De Haan for much of the race, also sustaining damage in the process.
Losing his front splitter and suffering a radiator leak, he did well to manage the loss of downforce and rising temperatures to finish seventh of the Pro drivers while leaving the circuit just two points behind the Rookie championship lead.
Both drivers will be back on track over September 23/24, as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB races on the short and exciting Silverstone National circuit, where Adam could secure the 2023 championship title.
G1 – 1, R1 – 3
G2 – 2, R2 – 1
Championship: 1 (112 points)
“It was a very good weekend. I extended the championship lead, came away with a win and a pole in qualifying, so I can't complain. There was a little hiccup on my side in race one where I had the lead with two laps to go, locked up, and threw it all away, but still finished third, so I messed up a little bit, but I hope I redeemed myself with the win in the second race.
“A massive thank you to everyone at Team Parker Racing, all my sponsors, it's been a mega weekend. Pace-wise we have been really fast, and the dry pace was amazing. It was a little bit tough in race two as there was coolant down on the second lap. Josh Malin locked up, I locked up, and I had a massive flat spot for the whole race, so I didn't know if I was going to make it to the end.”
G1 – 7, R1 – 6
G2 – 6, R2 – 7
Championship: 9 (25 points)
Rookie Championship: 2 (78 points)
“In qualifying the pace was definitely there but we ended up getting eighth, so it wasn't quite what I wanted. In race one we got a few people due to their mistakes and I was attacking Matty Graham for quite a lot the race. I had quite a lot more pace, but he defended really well to be fair to him and I just couldn't get by, so we ended that in P6, which is a good result, gaining an advantage in the Rookie championship which is really the focus at the moment as we're only two points off the lead.
“Race two was tough. [Robert] De Haan hit his radiator and was leaking coolant, so I locked up on that, flat spotted my tyres massively, and then either lost my splitter through contact or through the tyre stack. I also damaged my radiator, so I spent half the race without a splitter and trying to manage my temperatures by coasting into corners and managing a flat spot. Considering I finished P9 that was probably the best I was going to get. I'm pretty happy with that, but it's a shame because I think we would have had a lot more pace. All things considered; I think there are a lot of positives take away from the weekend and in terms of the Rookie championship, we have done very well.”