QUAIFE HAPPY WITH SOLID POINTS HAUL FROM TOUGH THRUXTON VISIT Phil Quaife left the high-speed Thruxton with a strong tally of points following rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, despite a weekend besmirched by misfortune. A...
QUAIFE HAPPY WITH SOLID POINTS HAUL FROM TOUGH THRUXTON VISIT
Phil Quaife left the high-speed Thruxton with a strong tally of points following rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, despite a weekend besmirched by misfortune.
A slow puncture during qualifying, which was only diagnosed after the session, left the Kent-based driver fifth on the grid for the two races and then contact in race 2 cost him a shot at a podium. Nevertheless, fourth and fifth places gave Phil a haul of 26 points from the weekend and still firmly in the title hunt ahead of the next round at Croft on 1 June.
In race 1, Phil made a strong start from the inside of the third row and inherited fourth place at the end of lap 1 when race leader Michael Caine went off at the chicane and dropped down the field. Quaife defended superbly in the opening stages from Charles Bateman behind, the two drivers battling nose to tail at speeds well in excess of 120mph. The fight came to an end as Bateman made a late lunge at the chicane, outbraked himself and ended his race in the tyre wall.
With the pressure from behind having eased, Quaife quickly closed the gap to the top three and was just 0.6 seconds from a podium finish at the chequered flag as he just failed to make his way past Tim Harvey.
Phil said: "It was a very good battle with Charles because his car was slightly quicker in the faster corners and I had to defend very hard. He made his move late on and I gave him enough room, but he ended up in the tyres. Fourth was a decent result and we were just behind the front three which was pleasing."
Phil started from fifth again in race 2, but this time suffered off the line as he got boxed in and was passed by Bateman, Duncan Tappy and Nigel Rice. On lap 3 he pulled off a fine manoeuvre around the outside of Rice to recover seventh, but was hit in the side and into a spin by the Red Line Racing driver.
Having rejoined in tenth, Quaife immediately picked off Matt Blyth for ninth and was eighth as Rice retired with accident damage. Tony Gilham was passed for seventh and retirements for Harvey and Tappy saw the charging Jota Sport driver up to fifth. In the dying stages he cut the gap to fourth placed Caine from more than 20 seconds to nothing, but couldn't force his way past the championship leader despite concerted pressure in the final two laps.
"I made a really bad start," Phil admitted, "but things got worse when Rice hit me. I'd got the move done and he just hit me in the side and spun me round. For the rest of the race my tracking was way out, which made it very interesting driving down the straight!
"We've not had much luck this weekend. The slow puncture in qualifying meant we were further down the grid than we should have been and then the incident in race 2 stopped us being right up there with my team mate Sam Hancock who won the race.
"Having said that though, I've never had much fortune at Thruxton in the past. I was taken out in a big accident in the Porsche Carrera Cup in 2006 and also had an engine failure in the Radical Enduro Championship the same year, so it's safe to say his isn't one of my favourite circuits! To take good points from both races is a huge positive though and I can't wait to get to Croft, a circuit I love, in two weeks time."