Lawrence Grabs Two from Three at Croft

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Lawrence Grabs Two from Three at Croft

Sharing their grid for the first time in the Championship's history, the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship headed for sunny North Yorkshire for the three races that formed their fourth round of the 2019 season.

Qualifying
Four Boxsters and three 924s. Nick's 986 soon started to exhibit problems, the diagnostic computer later showing the errors that had resulted in the engine ECU putting the car into limp mode - although he had completed sufficient laps to qualify. Meanwhile Garry Lawrence stormed the entire field to post a qualifying time of 1:34.852, one and a half seconds quicker than Rick Styin had managed in 2017 - although the track hadn't been entirely dry back then. Pete Smith was quickest in the 924s beating Class D leader Hugh Peart to pole by 1.8 seconds.

Race 1
Despite the team's best efforts to track down the cause of Nick Hull's crank sensor issues, the car stubbornly refused to run properly for more than a few laps, so he missed the first race of the weekend. Anthony Hutchins became an early retirement with an electrical problem while Andrew Porter in contact with a lapping Alfa suffered a lower suspension arm failure after 9 laps, leaving only Gary Lawrence to finish and take the pot for Class A.

Hugh Peart and Pete Smith battled race-long until an Alfa collected and span Pete on the closing lap. He had already landed the extra point for fastest lap, so Peart took the flag with Smith third - sharing the same points - with Chris Valentine third, shaving 2.8 seconds off his best qualifying lap time.

Race 2
Nick Hull was able to race on Sunday thanks to the generosity of Garry Lawrence, who offered his spare 987, driven overnight on a trailer behind part-time PDA racer Richard Avery's company van. The car arrived at the circuit in time for Nick to qualify it and take part in the second race.

Garry Lawrence took an early lead from the start from a determined Andy Porter with Nick Hull in close attendance. By lap 2 Hull fell back towards the pacy looking Hutchins, while up the front Andy Porter was side by side with Garry for the lead on lap 4. However his enthusiasm got the better of him on the next lap and he spun down to 4th.

Porter gained a place to P3 on the next lap and was soon closing on Nick Hull in P2, getting by into Tower bend, but in the process allowing Hutchins to close with the pair of them, and soon all 3 were circulating nose to tail. This train was broken up as they lapped some slower Alfas, finishing in the order Porter, Hull and Hutchins behind the cruising Lawrence who duly took a comfortable win.

In the 924 class it was a relatively straightforward win for Pete Smith from pole, chased throughout by first race winner Hugh Peart and Chris Valentine who was showing much greater pace in this race and putting Peart under some pressure until settling for a comfortable third.

Race3
Final race of the weekend, and we reverted to a Porsche only grid. All 7 cars present for a really entertaining race.

Off the line we had 4 Boxsters side by side into the first corner, but everyone got round safely with Lawrence leading from a fast starting Hull, Porter and Hutchins.

By the end of lap one Porter was past Hull and bearing down on Lawrence for the lead, reducing the gap to less than a car length as they completed 7 laps, but on the next lap Porter came through alone in the lead with Lawrence heading for the pitlane and retirement with a gear linkage problem. After that, Porter cruised to victory followed by Nick Hull in P2 and Anthony Hutchins completing the podium in third.

Most of the action was in class D with the 2 924s of Pete Smith and Hugh Peart engaged in a spectacular race-long dice which saw both drivers leading and both suffering major offs - fortunately without hitting anything - at different times as they gave 100%. Hugh led off the start followed by Chris Valentine who kept Pete Smith behind, allowing Peart to open up a large gap as he sprinted away.

Smith fought his way past Valentine, and rapidly closed the gap, finally getting past Peart into Tower after 4 laps. His slender lead didn't last long as he went off defending from a determined Peart, rejoining and beginning a chase for the lead again. By lap 11 he had caught the leader and attempted a pass round the outside at Tower, not quite making it, but had taken a narrow lead next time around as they started the last lap. Both drivers gave it their all on the final lap which ended with Pete taking the win from a distant Hugh who had his own off in a last ditch effort to take the lead. All this was witnessed by third placed finisher Chris valentine who was closing in on Peart by the chequered flag.

Our next races are on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on 27/28th July.

Text: John Broadley & Chris Valentine; photo kindly provided by Jon Elsey.

Results - Croft Circuit

July 6th 2019

Class A Supersport Boxster 3.2

  Driver Grid Position
1 Garry Lawrence 1

Class B Sport Boxster 2.7

  Driver Grid Position

Class C Production Boxster 3.2

  Driver Grid Position

Class D Classic 924

  Driver Grid Position
1 Hugh Peart 2
2 Peter Smith 1
3 Chris Valentine 3

July 6th 2019

Class A Supersport Boxster 3.2

  Driver Grid Position
1 Garry Lawrence 1
2 Andrew Porter 2
3 Nick Hull 4

Class B Sport Boxster 2.7

  Driver Grid Position

Class C Production Boxster 3.2

  Driver Grid Position

Class D Classic 924

  Driver Grid Position
1 Peter Smith 2
2 Hugh Peart 1
3 Chris Valentine 3

July 6th 2019

Class A Supersport Boxster 3.2

  Driver Grid Position
1 Andrew Porter 3
2 Nick Hull 2
3 Anthony Hutchins 1

Class B Sport Boxster 2.7

  Driver Grid Position

Class C Production Boxster 3.2

  Driver Grid Position

Class D Classic 924

  Driver Grid Position
1 Peter Smith 3
2 Hugh Peart 2
3 Chris Valentine 1

Championship Standings

  Driver Points
1 Garry Lawrence 124.0
2 Andrew Porter 111.0
3 Nick Hull 107.0
  Driver Points
  Driver Points
  Driver Points
1 Hugh Peart 104.0
2 John Jones 84.0
3 Peter Smith 79.0

Next race

Brands Hatch (Indy) - 27th / 28th July 2019

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