For round 6 we entered Cadwell Park circuit having never used it for a race before, earlier in the morning we ran an F1 Marussia around to gather an understanding of the tyre wear and complexity of the sectors and we were shocked. The track is by far the hardest that we have come across; especially in a Porsche as the weight transfer is so vast and most corners resemble Stealth at Thorpe park.
Monday the 14th of October
Entering into qualifying there were mixed thoughts regarding the best way to approach the new circuit; was it best to be conservative and pick up each little camber change or was it best to shoot through the corners without any second thoughts and jump for that championship pole…well just ask Jamie Snelling. Jamie grabbed yet another pole position making this his 6ththis year, much to his shock as I can presume from his reaction. The qualifying order follows…
1st - Jamie Snelling 1:19.475
2nd - Michael Arwas 1:21.084
3rd - Rory Quinn 1:22.653
4th - Barry Westphal 1:23.295
5th - Michael Martin 1:24.107
6th - David Smith 1:25.394
7th - Chris Stevens 1:27.141
8th - Geoffrey Price 1:51.879
With Michael Arwas leading the way in terms of his pure guts to enter turn 1 flat out all driver's eyes were on proving themselves through the corner, however before this they must navigate the tightening turn exit on the first lap.
With our hearts in our mouths all drivers managed to get a fantastic start as they built up speed into turn 1, shockingly everyone made it through without big contact, a small amount of door handle brushing occurred but in Porsches that goes. Michael Arwas managed to pip Jamie through the initial turn and with both drivers heading up to turn 3 neck and neck Jamie made a leap up the inside, Michael managed to get the undercut as Jamie flew past just managing to keep within the track proximities and trailed close behind into the downhill section. As the race progressed through the initial lap Jamie timed perfectly a swift and smooth overtake that put him in front for the remainder of the race in a Vetted like fashion.
Behind the two of them the field was fairly calm with the odd scrap occurring but some nice clean racing overall. With a small venture onto the grass Michael Arwas was thrown right into the pathway of Rory Quinn who overtook clean and fairly ready to fight to maintain his place, this then prompted another venture off for Michael and Jamie in perfect synchronization allowing Rory to pull from 3rd and gain on 1st in his dream scenario from 3rd place on the grid.
With Jamie showing signs of humanity he struggled occasionally to navigate the final sector, this by no means was a lack of driver ability however as it was more to do with the fact that sector is like trying to ride a pony on an ice rink, trust me that isn't easy. In a totally separate world Geoffrey Price managed to launch his Porsche into the crowd and commit multiple offences under the legal terms of manslaughter, this however was not severe enough to even provide him with a warning as no other drivers were hindered; the same cannot be said for the supporters.
As the pit stop window opened Chris Stevens jumped into the pits first to grab a new set of fresh tyres, following this Michael lost his rear again forcing him to pit for a new set nearly on the same lap as Jamie. Following Rory's stop he was thrown right into the close proximity, this prompted a pass perfectly by Michael and allowed him to begin the chase up to Jamie Snelling. Nearly out of the blue we saw David Smith suddenly begin gaining on Rory for 3rdplace and gradually closed the gap to a near 2.0 seconds, then David managed to get the pass done after Rory span in sector 2 forcing him to pit for new rubber; the pit stops all seemed hugely difficult as most drivers over shot their boxes having to reverse into their dedicated areas costing them valuable time.
Just as a throw in as I re-read my notes I have come across my favorite comment so far which simply reads:
' Not Geoffrey's Day'
However his race was by far the best to watch!
As we reached just over half way we had time to reflect on the grid as a whole with an unexpected rise of David Smith holding 3rdwell and a fantastic debut for Barry Westphal maintaining 5thwell and Michael Martin also held his place well on a hugely unfamiliar circuit. Just as we thought the race would follow the current positions to the end we were shocked by a tyre blow out for Michael Arwas, his rears completely shredded half way around the lap. Of course he had to nurse his car to the pits, which he did well coping with a near uncontrollable car, this pushed him down to 4th.
A huge highlight into the final 10 minutes was by far the battle between race leader Jamie and a lapped Michael Arwas; this prompted some huge risky moves and intense battling between the pair in a Schumacher/Alonso style battle. After Jamie spun Michael was let loose in an absolutely amazing fight back to track down 2ndplace Rory Quinn; he gained bit by bit and with 5 minutes remaining the pair were in a dead heat race. Defending, pressurizing and mental leaps everywhere it was a race between two future Champions for sure; both drivers gave each other space and the battle lasted all the way until the final lap. With Jamie crossing the line with 5 seconds to go another lap must be completed by all drivers and I'm sure this was not Rory's ideal scenario, another lap defending Michael, however as the pair entered turn 1 on their final lap Michael's rear end rotated dramatically and threw him in a violent crash into the barriers, this prompted the end of his race opening the door for Rory to calm his heart rate down and for David Smith to cruise onto the podium.
As the winner crossed the line his fists flew frantically as he and we all thought he became the Lets Race Champion, however we must announce that Rory still has the potential to snatch the overall title if Jamie has the final race from hell. All shall be seen at the final race at Brands Hatch GP circuit.
The final results follow:
1st Jamie Snelling - Fastest Lap: 1:19.763 +28 points
2nd Rory Quinn - Fastest Lap: 1:22.070 +20 points
3rd David Smith - Fastest Lap: 1:25.470 +17 points
4th Barry Westphal - Fastest Lap: 1:21.401 +16 points
5th Michael Arwas - Fastest Lap: 1:21.066 +12 points
6th Michael Martin - Fastest Lap: 1:22.952 +11 points
7th Chris Stevens - Fastest Lap: 1:24.352 +10 points
8th Geoffrey Price - Fastest Lap: 1:51.879 Did Not Race
We cannot wait for the final round as this has been the most competitive championship yet, make sure to book your slot or even get the day off to come down and watch all the action unfold through our live race onboard feeds on the 28th October.
Thank you all for coming and we await your return, please find below, the current standings of the championship before heading in to the final round.
1st. J.Snelling - 139
2nd. M.Arwas - 114
3rd. R.Quinn - 89
4th. D.Smith - 83
5th. M.Martin - 72
6th. C.Stevens - 61
7th. P.Vemply Burwood - 56
8th. R.Kenning - 50
9th. J.Gannon - 36
10th. G.Brown - 31
11th. C.Siddal - 23
12th. B.Westphal - 16
13th. B.Kerr - 12
14th. J.Skinner - 11
15th. M.Robson - 10
16th. P.Selsby - 9
17th. G.Price - 8