PORSCHE STAR LAWSON TAKES MAIDEN OUTRIGHT PODIUM AT KNOCKHILL North Yorkshire's Robert Lawson produced by far the best performance of his debut season in the ultra-competitive Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Knockhill in Scotland today,...
PORSCHE STAR LAWSON TAKES MAIDEN OUTRIGHT PODIUM AT KNOCKHILL
North Yorkshire's Robert Lawson produced by far the best performance of his debut season in the ultra-competitive Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Knockhill in Scotland today, Sunday, 16th August, with a stunning top three finish in round 13 -- his first outright podium in the category.
Absolutely delighted to secure a place on the overall rostrum, the result saw the Richmond-based racer also finish second in Pro-Am1. He went on to achieve his 10th class podium of the year in round 14 to consolidate fifth place in the main championship and the class lead in the Pro-Am1 standings.
"It's been a very good weekend, we're very pleased", commented Robert, " We started the weekend off well by doing a great job in qualifying and to then go on to take my best finish of the season with an outright podium was fantastic. Overall we bagged a lot of points and came back with a car pretty much in one piece. All in all it's been a great event for us."
The first of the weekend's races at the Fife track, widely regarded as possibly the best Porsche encounter of the season, was all about tyre choice due to earlier rain and opinions were divided with half of the runners electing to use wet weather rubber and the other half taking slick tyres.
Robert and his JHR Developments team decided to run on slicks after taking the view the track would dry sufficiently part way through the race and the choice proved to be the perfect one, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB rookie finishing just nine seconds shy of race winner Michael Caine.
Lining up an excellent fifth on the grid for round 13 after qualifying with a time of 56.687 seconds (80.73mph) during Saturday's session, Robert sensibly allowed a few of the drivers on wet-weather tyres to pass him early on in the race but as soon as his slicks were up to temperature he started to scythe his way through the upper order in his Bardon Concrete and Bardon Aggregates-backed car.
By lap nine he was up into the top seven and at the mid-point of the race he moved into the top six as lap times tumbled further and further. As the front-running cars on treaded tyres struggled more and more for pace, Robert climbed into the top four and then looked set to take third from Pro-Am1 rival Glynn Geddie into lap 17.
As the pair crossed the start/finish line side by side, Robert was forced to put two wheels off the track on the inside following contact which meant he had to drop back into fourth position. Literally a few hundred yards later, second placed Tim Harvey fell into their clutches and with both cars getting ahead of the reigning champion it meant Robert was now in third place overall.
Remaining in third all the way to the chequered flag on lap 30, Robert produced superb pace to clinch his best ever Porsche Carrera Cup GB result and in doing so he also posted the third quickest lap of the race with a time of 52.694 seconds -- two 10ths of a second faster than the best managed by winner Caine.
Speaking after the race, Robert said: "The Porsche races are very long and if you make the wrong call on tyres it really will punish you. We always thought we would go on slicks. Our plan was to just keep the car on the track early on and allow a few of the drivers on wet-weather tyres to pass if they tried. Then, when our tyres were up to temperature and the track dried, we could attack."
Round 14 took place on a completely dry track, although conditions were still very windy, with Robert lining up on the second row of the grid in fourth place thanks to a terrific second fastest lap in qualifying of 56.695 seconds, less than two 10ths of a second shy of a maiden pole position.
Robert ended the race in ninth position overall after struggling with a damaged car, the result of contact from Geddie again, but he did enough to finish third in the Pro-Am1 battle to secure his 10th class podium of what is turning out to be a truly outstanding debut season in the championship.
Rounds 15 and 16 of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship will take place a fortnight from now over the weekend 29th/30th August at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire.