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Round 1: Donington Park - 1st April 2024

Updated: May 5







Safety Car the Winner

After a seemingly endless Winter break, Easter Monday saw Donington Park welcome the CALM All Porsche Trophy (CAP) for the first race of the 2024 season.



32 cars took to a wet and slippery Donington National circuit for Qualifying, the majority Boxsters,  supplemented by variants of the Cayman, 968, 944, 924 and 911 families. There were many familiar faces plus a welcome sprinkling of newcomers to this rapidly expanding series.


Not only were there more entries than at any previous CAP round, but the standards of car presentation continue to rise, the many splendidly prepared cars making judging the best turned out car an almost impossible task.


Warren Allen in his SP1 Cayman took a comfortable pole 2.6 seconds ahead of Andrew Duce’s beautifully liveried Boxster quickest in SP2, and William Curtler in his similar car. Newcomers Gary Stanford and Grant Jackson completed the second row in their Cayman and claiming 2nd in SP1, fractionally clear of James Gunn Carter in his bewinged Boxster and another newcomer, Rob Hollyman in his spectacular yellow 2 litre 911.


Quickest SP3 car was Dan Crego’s 968 despite losing 2 lap times due to track limits, with the Clayton/Ed Sampson snapping at his heels just 2 hundredths of a second behind. Andy Whiting claimed SP4 pole, his 924S revelling in the wet conditions and ending up a tremendous 5 seconds clear of the next SP4 car.

 

The circuit was drying and the sun shining (well almost) as the cars lined up for the rolling start. two cars didn’t make it; Mike Curtler’s Boxster being withdrawn after being down on power in Qualifying and Richard Neall’s Boxster had to be withdrawn following an unfortunate fire extinguisher incident after Qualifying.




The race itself was spoiled by a series of Safety Cars, with just 10 laps unaffected.

The first SC was as early as lap 1 after Rob Hollyman’s 911 went off at Redgate. Warren Allen had taken an immediate race lead and was never headed except during the pit stops and also claiming fastest lap and the SP1 class win. This was despite the close attentions of Boxsters piloted by Andrew Duce, James Gunn Carter, Ed Harvey/Ross Morris and Brian Richardson during the first half of the race. Mark Callahan pitted briefly on the second lap to investigate a potential problem, rejoined and then ground to a halt before Coppice Corner with only 3 wheels on the car causing further intervention of the Safety Car. Once that cleared there was a yet another Safety Car on lap 14 which lasted through to the end of the race after Andy Whiting beached his 924S in the mud at the bottom of Craner Curves, compounded by the recovery vehicle itself getting stuck in the glutinous mud.


After the pit stops Andrew Duce remained second overall, only to be penalised for a fractionally short pit stop that dropped him to 12th. This promoted the Harvey/Morris Boxster to a well deserved class win and second overall having been highly competitive all afternoon. James Gunn Carter took second in SP1 in his Boxster ahead of Stephen Cunniffe third in SP1 having quietly progressed through the field from 12th on the grid. It was the same story in SP2 for James Harvey who converted 17th on the grid to 5th overall and class P2 in his Boxster. Brian Richardson completed the SP2 podium with a very competitive 9th overall having lost time in a slightly extended pitstop.



One of the highlights of the race was the performance of the SP3 runners who took full advantage of the suitability of their front-engined cars to the tricky conditions. The Clayton/Ed Sampson 968 made rapid progress from 14th on the grid to a spectacular 3rd overall and setting class fastest lap over a second clear of the next SP3 car, Dan Crego’s 968. The Sampson father and son team also deservedly won Driver (s) of the Day.


In SP4 there was a lively battle during the early part of the race with the 924 posse initially chasing Andy Whiting’s 924S. First to blink was Hugh Peart who retired midway through with a seized engine. James Charalambides came through for a well driven class win after Andy Whiting’s muddy adventure, with Darren Constant in P2 and the Steve/Ted Potts combination third in class.


Words: John Broadley, photos: Sean Mulcahy





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