LAWSON TAKES CLASS WIN DOUBLE AT SUN-DRENCHED OULTON PARK JHR Developments driver Robert Lawson shone as brightly as the red-hot sunshine at Oulton Park Island Circuit over the weekend, 30th/31st May, to claim a memorable double victory in the...
LAWSON TAKES CLASS WIN DOUBLE AT SUN-DRENCHED OULTON PARK
JHR Developments driver Robert Lawson shone as brightly as the red-hot sunshine at Oulton Park Island Circuit over the weekend, 30th/31st May, to claim a memorable double victory in the Pro-Am 1 class during rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship.
Opening up an 11 point lead in the Pro-Am 1 class standings, the North Yorkshire-based racer is also a clear fifth in the overall championship battle behind the experienced top four of reigning champion Tim Harvey, race winners Tim Bridgman and Michael Caine and 2007 champion James Sutton.
"Two class wins and two fifth places overall is a good weekend for us, it shows JHR are doing a good job and I'm pleased we're moving forward with everything", said Robert, "I made my weekend more difficult than it needed to be by not qualifying as strongly as we should have but that's all part of the big learning curve we're on."
Although disappointed not to have extracted more performance out of the car in qualifying on Saturday, 30th May, Robert produced an outstanding performance in round seven where he surged through from ninth on the grid to take a richly deserved top five finish and the class win in Pro-Am 1.
Gaining two places on lap one, the Bardon Aggregates and Bardon Concrete-backed racer looked quick and was intent on getting by his JHR team-mate Derek Pierce as quickly as possible in order to stay on terms with the top five.
During the first half of the race Pierce provided stern and robust defence and with Oulton Park not the easiest of circuits on which to overtake, the delay did cost Robert a lot of time. On lap nine, the breakthrough came as he managed to get ahead of Pierce into sixth place at Knickerbrook Chicane with a determined pass.
On lap 12, Robert then gained another position to move into the top five when front-runner Michael Caine crashed out at Cascades following contact from a backmarker. Remaining in the position all the way to the chequered flag on lap 18, the category rookie was very happy to net another class victory but disappointed he didn't have the opportunity get past Pierce's Porsche sooner.
"It slowed us up being behind Derek for so long and by the time I got through, the rest had managed to pull too far ahead", explained Robert, "I'm sure we would have had the pace to maybe even run in the top four but fifth place from ninth on the grid is a good result for us."
At the beginning of round eight on Sunday, 31st May, Robert moved into the top six as everyone negotiated their way through Old Hall Corner and as the cars headed down The Avenue and into Cascades, the JHR racer was tucked up close behind Porsche Carrera Cup veteran Harvey.
On lap three, Harvey got by Karl Leonard when the former ran wide at Cascades so now the Irishman was Robert's target and on lap five, also at Cascades, he made his way past Leonard with a very well timed move. After a short Safety Car period, the race re-started on lap nine and after slipping behind Tom Bradshaw at Island Bend, Robert grabbed the place back at Druids to finish in fifth position.
Robert added: "We've still got a lot of room for improvement but I'm very pleased with what we've achieved so far, especially for my sponsors Bardon Aggregates and Bardon Concrete who have made all of this possible. It's nice to reward Bardon with some good results. Next up is our home circuit, Croft, so we'll have plenty of support there -- I'm very much looking forward to it."
For rounds nine and 10 of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship a fortnight from now, 13th/14th June, Robert will return to his home track, Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, which is situated just around the corner from his home in the village of Barton.
2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship Standings (after Rd8): 1st Tim Harvey, 139pts; 2nd Tim Bridgman, 137pts; 5th Robert Lawson, 74pts
2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB 'Pro-Am1' Class Standings (after Rd8): 1st Robert Lawson, 78pts; 2nd Tony Gilham, 67pts