With less than a month to the first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch, we take a look ahead to what the new season has in store in the popular one make championship.
Last year’s champion Charlie Eastwood, now a BRDC Superstar, has moved to the World Endurance Championship and Blancpain Endurance series with TF Sport. Also making a move into Blancpain Endurance with TF Sport is Euan McKay, while Dan McKay makes the move into British GT on board the Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S. Also making a move into British GT is Scott Malvern who joins Team Parker racing. Meanwhile Dan Cammish disembarks for the British Touring Car Championship, taking the seat at Team Dynamics Honda Yuasa vacated by Gordon Shedden. Tom Oliphant also makes the move to BTCC with Ciceley Racing.
With a number of prominent drivers moving on to other series, it makes for an exciting 2018 season with a number of new faces joining those back to contest for the title.
Second in the standings last year Dino Zamparelli will continue to battle for the top spot with returning Pro’s Lewis Plato, Tio Ellinas, Tom Wrigley and Ross Wyle.
The highly popular scholarship initiative resumes under the new name the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior programme, which sees the three finalists on the grid, winner Dan Harper, George Gamble and Esmee Hawkey. The programme has a generous prize of £85,000 towards 2018/19 PCCGB running costs plus development and support from Porsche Motorsport, a package that has seen a record number of applicants for this season.
Dan Harper was the 2016 Rookie Cup winner in the Ginetta Juniors and finished third in the overall standings in 2017. The 17 year old from Northern Ireland joins Nick Tandy’s racing team JTR alongside Tom Wrigley, Lewis Plato and Jamie Orton.
21 yr old George Gamble has risen through the ranks of the Ginetta championships, but has also tried his hand at single seaters having competed in the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Winter Series.
20 year old Esmee Hawkey has contested in Porsche’s since 2016 in the GT Cup, last year also competing in the Brighton Speed Trials where she came fourth. The rapid youngster is also the Brand Ambassador for Porsche Centre South London.
Also joining the Championship in 2018 is seasoned driver Gary Eastwood who has a long background in GT racing including competing in British GT 2012 to 2016 and last year competed in the GT Cup Championship. The 58 year old runs in PCCGB with G-Cat Racing.
Seb Perez graduates from the Ginetta Supercup to join Team Parker Racing alongside PCCGB Junior programme entrant George Gamble, with whom Perez has previously driven in Ginetta Championships. A previous BTCC entrant who joins the Championship is Richard Hawken. The 46 year old previously raced with Support Our Paras Infiniti in 2015.
While in the Am class Fraser Robertson, Peter Mangion and Michael Igoe also join the grid.
On the media day at Silverstone it was Tom Wrigley who dominated in the first test session swiftly followed by Dino Zamparelli and Lewis Plato, with Plato clocking the sessions best speed.
The second session found Josh Webster topping the lap times while Dan Harper put in the miles completing thirty eight laps. Webster again led lap times in the third session with the wet weather improving lap times dropped.
The first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB takes place on the BTCC support package at Brands Hatch on 7th/8th April.
Images ©Allison Remzi