Quaife returns with double podium at Brands Hatch Phil Quaife marked his return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a pair of podium finishes at the season-opening double header at his home circuit Brands Hatch, to leave him third in the drivers'...
Quaife returns with double podium at Brands Hatch
Phil Quaife marked his return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a pair of podium finishes at the season-opening double header at his home circuit Brands Hatch, to leave him third in the drivers' championship.
The Jota Sport driver survived slippery race 1 conditions to take fourth overall and third in the Pro category, and drove a strong race 2 on Sunday, despite suffering with understeer, to take third and his second podium of the weekend.
Quaife started 4th for both races after a solid qualifying performance on Saturday afternoon and lined up the weekend's first race on dry tyres on a damp, but drying track. In a Safety Car-interrupted race, Phil enjoyed a sterling battle with those on wet tyres, eventually overhauling Steve Rance for fourth overall and third in the Pro category.
"It was a difficult, but thoroughly enjoyable race," said Quaife. "It was seriously slippery out there, but I think we made the correct decision to go with dry tyres, despite the Safety Car periods causing us a lot of problems. Every time it came out, we slowed right down and lost all the temperature in the tyres. When it pulled in it was a matter of defending furiously from the guys on wets until we could get the tyres back up to temperature and pull clear again."
Race 2 saw Quaife plagued with high speed, mid-corner understeer as he battled to keep pace with leading trio Michael Caine, Tim Harvey and Tim Bridgman. The leaders pulled out a small gap in the opening stages, but a determined drive saw Quaife closing rapidly on Bridgman in the second half of the race, before the Formula Palmer Audi champion had a huge off at Paddock Hill Bend to hand Phil third place.
"Michael and the two Tims were very strong at the beginning of the race and with the understeer I was suffering I had to drop back," Phil revealed. "However, what pleased me most was that my lap times were very consistent throughout the race. When I looked at the data at the end there was only about four tenths difference between my quickest and slowest laps. That consistency meant I was able to catch the front three towards the end and I was only a couple of car lengths behind when Tim Bridgman went off."
32 points leave Quaife third in the drivers' championship, behind Caine and Harvey, and Jota Sport second in the teams' championship on what was a very satisfying weekend for all concerned.
"I really enjoyed the whole weekend," Phil said. "I can't complain about two podium finishes and whilst there is still some more time for us to find, the team have done a phenomenal job in a very short space of time. We'll knuckle down before the next round at Rockingham to perfect our set up, and I'm very confident we can go there and be challenging for race wins."