Classy Knockhill win takes Meadows to the top of the Porsche tablePosted: September 10, 2011
A thrilling Porsche Carrera Cup GB season saw yet another change at the top of the championship table as it was the turn of youngster Michael Meadows to show what he can do by winning round 12 at Knockhill in Scotland.
The SAS Redline driver took his second race win of the season to add to his first at Donington earlier in the year after edging away from Euan Hankey once he held the lead with a great start from pole position on the grid.
His team-mate James Sutton was a lucky man not to end up in the wall at the start after a sluggish start from third-placed starter Ben Barker gave the 2007 champion a chance, but Sutton squeezed across the front of him and almost turned himself around the front of Barker’s car, Sutton taking third place ahead of Ben Hetherington while the delayed Barker squeezed out championship leader Stephen Jelley for fifth before the chicane.
Leader Meadows then almost came to grief with a big lock-up as he braked for the hairpin at the end of the first lap, and Hankey was quickly all over the back of the SAS man, giving him a tap a lap later at the hairpin to keep the leader alert.
But Meadows was silky smooth and when into a rhythm he set a new lap record to open a small gap over Hankey, who kept his pace up before begininng to match the leader for lap times late in the race.
After a brief interruption by the safety car, Meadows extended his lead through traffic and went on to win the race by just over half a second ahead of a tense battle for second as Sutton attacked Hankey in the closing laps, but the Parker with Juta driver defended well to hang on to the runner-up position.
Contrary to his briliant double win at Snetterton last time out, Jelley was struggling for pace. Having started sixth he passed Barker on the opening lap, but after the restart he got into a slide in the middle of the chicane that gave the Parr Motorsport driver the opportunity to dive up the inside into Clark.
Sam Tordoff took advantage of the move and followed Barker through to sixth, which then became fifth at the end of the lap when Barker pitted with a mechanical problem, meaning Jelley had to settle for only sixth place at the flag.
Pro-am1 was equally hectic from the start as Knockhill ace Rory Butcher barged local driver Derek Pierce aside at the hairpin on lap three , but this turned out to be the pass for the lead through a cloud of tyre smoke left by class points leader Jonas Gelzinis spinning just ahead of the pairing before reversing almost straight into the oncoming pack.
Butcher’s race fell to pieces however, starting when Pierce re-passed Butcher a corner later into Leslie’s bend for the class lead, before losing more time when he was muscled off track by Pro class driver Kieron Vernon at the hairpin, dropping behind Ahmad al Harthy and Gelzinis in a messy battle late in the race.
Pierce therefore took a well-deserved victory at his home circuit and his first class win of the year, finishing ninth overall behind Vernon and Richard Plant.
Pro-am2 was turning into a Porsche graveyard, starting with big drama as a very heavy practice shunt took out points leader Keith Webster for the weekend when his car was slammed into by Steve Parish, although Parish raced on Sunday when team-mate Michael Caine generously offered him his own car.
Yucel Ozbek’s race ended in the barriers after an off caused by a damaged rear wing when he was clipped by the reversing Gelzinis. Through the drama, George Brewster went on to win the class despite having a spin after contact with Daniele Perfetti.