Gracing our grid as guests for the fifth weekend of our season, Adam Croft and Steve Potts proved that neither driver had lost their touch in the 924. Richard Avery grabbed pole for the Boxsters ahead of Garry Lawrence and Rick Styrin an uncharacteristic third - but only by a mere 1/1000th of a second behind Lawrence.
John Broadley's paced continued to improve as he took pole in the 924s while Linda Warren was second fastest but suffered a 5-place grid penalty from contact at Castle Combe, so was to start from the back row of the Class C grid. Gavin Johnson has suffered a head gasket failure while Niz El-Chamaa was place 2nd in Darren House' borrowed car while his own undergoes chassis damage repair after his crash in the last round. The two ex-championship drivers Adam Croft and Stephen Potts were side-by-side on the second row and local man and another ex-champion, currently retired from the PDA, Alastair Kirkham was 6th.
A crash two laps into the first race of the weekend brings out the red flag. Alastair Kirkham has run wide onto the grass but spins trying to get back onto the circuit. El-Chamaa collides with the recovering 924 - both cars are badly damaged and with the tracked blocked, the Clerk has no choice but to stop the race. Although it was later put down as a "racing incident" its no consolation to Karl Rossin, whose red and white car, on loan to Kirkham, he later describes as "scrap".
Missing from the restart are El-Chamaa and Kirkham, and the race is shortened to a mere 10 minutes - half our normal running time.
The lights go out for the second time and Lawrence finds himself at the back of the Boxsters; Molyneaux is up to third with Avery around half a second ahead of the chasing Styrin. Croft leads the 924s with Broadley 2nd.
Four laps in an Avery is holding on to the lead but Styrin posts a better fastest lap by a small margin. Potts is keeping pace with Croft in the 924s but Broadley is into the pits with a problem. Linda Warren looks to be settling in to a safe finish, perhaps having already written this race off as one of her dropped scores.
The gap between Styrin and Avery has dropped to 2 tenths now and Hull is past Lawrence to take 4th. Potts is similarly closing on Croft for the 924 lead. Broadley returns to the circuit.
Six laps complete and Lawrence now pits with a problem of his own - a popped hose, easily fixed later between races.
At the flag its a win for Avery, less than 0.2 seconds ahead of Rick Styrin and Kevin Molyneaux an impressive third - his first podium of the season. Adam Croft, 924 winner last season, takes the Class C win ahead of Steve Potts and Hugh Peart third. Garry Lawrence is a DNF, unable to fix the car in time.
Before the race, Gavin Johnson - in the Turn8 car while alternating driver Pip Hammond is competing in Stock Hatches at Cadwell Parl - said "the grid still contains 2 ex-champions and the current championship leader. I love a challenge".
Both Nick Hull and Garry Lawrence are penalised 10 seconds for starting grid issues. Hull is a DNF.
Steve Potts wins it the 924s ahead of John Bradley and Hugh Peart. Rick Styrin is back on the top of the Boxsters podium with Richard Avery only 1/2 second behind across the line and Kevin Molyneaux landing his second pot of the weekend.
Linda Warran is a DNF. Gavin Johnson added after the race "there was no power [in the car] to do anything more - we're hoping to sort it for race 2".
It's our traditional reverse grid for the final race of the weekend - Warren on pole for the 924s but is soon at the back. Hull is absent, leaving only 4 Boxsters at the lights. Styrin however reaches the front by lap 2 with Lawrence in tail and Avery close to read the small print his bumper.
Croft leads the 924s with Hugh Peart a safe margin behind but Potts is looking to grab 2nd. Broadley pits and Warren is past Johnson for 4th.
On lap 5 Styin sets a new best lap over a second quicker than Lawrence, showing he's really getting into his stride. Molyneaux is hanging on to Avery's tail in persuit of a third third.
Into lap six and there's no letup between Avery and Lawrence; meanwhile Potts has made it past Peart to take second in the 924s. John Broadley is still in the pits.
Lap 7 and something's happened in the Boxsters: Molyneaux is now 2nd, Lawrence now ahead of Avery and into a podium position.
Avery is past Lawrence now with Potts closing on Croft in Class C, posting a 1/2 second quicker lap time.
Molyneaux, Avery and Lawrence are in a gaggle, all fighting for a podium finish behind the now distant Styrin; Avery makes it past Molyneaux into lap 10.
In a surprise move later discovered to be tactical sandbagging, Styrin suddenly drops back and Avery, Lawrence and Molyneaux are all past him. The 924s are too spread out now for anyone to challenge with less than three minutes left.
Avery takes his second win of the weekend ahead of Lawrence with Molyneaux getting more familar with the third step. Adam Croft is back to 924 winning ways followed by Steve Potts 2nd and Hugh Peart third. Styrin gets a consolation fastest lap point; Potts fastest in the 924s.
Gavin Johnson's Turn Eight Racing won the Fine Drinks Cooperative team award: stand-in coordinator Karl Rossin said "the head gasket went on Gavs [Johnson] car as he pulled into the assembly area. We pulled him out and set to the car. Me and Fudge helped out were we could but showed Gav's Dad and his mate what to do. They had it done in a couple of hours, never ever having done anything like it before. Well deserved bottle of vino." Steve Potts won 924 driver of the weekend and Kevin Molyneaux took the same for the Boxsters.
The Toyo Porsche Championship return to the track for three more races at Donington on 27th and 28th August.
Photo courtesy James Boult of Jasmine Porshalink.