Duncan close to Porsche Carrera Cup podium
Sunday, May 18th, 2008
Race 1: Qualified 7th, Finished 6th
Race 2: Qualified 7th, DNF
Duncan came within four laps of a podium finish when he made his appearance in the Porsche Carrera Cup at Thruxton this weekend as a reward for making it as a McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award finalist.
He took part in a test at the Hampshire circuit six weeks ago, the track where he works as a race instructor. Despite his experience he found the car very different to anything else he’d driven and as a guest driver was determined to put in a good performance without damaging the Porsche Cars GB 911 GT3 car he’d been entrusted with.
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB has been running since 2003 using the successful Carrera Cup concept that is well established in other countries throughout the world. The cars are identical 911 GT3 Cup race cars with 420 bhp 3.6 litre flat six engines, sequential gearboxes and rear-wheel drive and have a top speed of around 170 mph.
In Race One Duncan started from seventh, dropped a place at the start but then recovered to seventh after avoiding a spinning Cup leader Michael Caine. After six laps Caine overtook but Duncan managed to regain seventh by overtaking Nigel Rice at the mid-point of the race. An accident by Charles Bateman handed Duncan another place and he crossed the line in sixth.
Looking at his data between the races gave Duncan the chance to work out what he needed to do to improve his pace and in Race Two he was quickly up to speed with the leaders. Over the course of the race Duncan’s time was just two-hundreths of a second from Caine’s time, two tenths from BRDC Superstars Director Tim Harvey and over a tenth of a second faster than front runner Tim Bridgeman.
Duncan managed overtaking maneouvres and avoided incidents and on lap 12 of the 21 lap race managed to overtake Bateman and Caine in his battle-scarred car to sit in third place. He held a comfortable third until his car suffered a puncture while he was travelling at over 140mhp, ending his race just four laps from the end.
Duncan said: “That was good fun! I’d looked at the data and worked out that I was braking too early so I adapted my driving style and picked up the pace. I think I used my head a bit more than some of the others to make up places too. It’s bee a great experience and I’m pleased I got up to speed in the time I had.
“The Porsche is very different but immensely satisfying to get to grips with. It’s a shame about the puncture as a podium would have made it a perfect weekend.”