2011 Carrera Cup Kicks of – Harbour Cars
Euan Hankey scored his first Porsche Carrera Cup GB victory at Brands Hatch in the opening round of the 2011 championship after Stephen Jelley slid wide. James Sutton also dived ahead of Jelley to take second, while Jelley’s reward for leading 19 laps was the final overall podium position.
Jelley (Parker with Juta) got the jump from pole position to head the fabulous 25-car field into Paddock Hill Bend, with team mate Hankey slotting in behind. Sutton (SAS/Redline) took third from Tim Harvey (Nationwide/Motorbase) but even on the opening lap Jelley and Hankey had the pace to start edging clear of their pursuers. That was how it ran over the opening half of the race, with Hankey probing the defences of Jelley as Sutton consolidated third.
But the complexion of the race changed just after mid-distance. Jelley ran wide over the kerbs at Druids and that led to a soft brake pedal into Graham Hill Bend. As he ran wide onto the grass Hankey dived ahead and Sutton was also able to demote the recovering Jelley on the run to Surtees. Two laps later, Harvey was in trouble with a rear puncture and the ensuing pit stop put him right out of contention.
Fourth overall was a strong opener for Michael Meadows (SAS/Redline) as Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), Michael Caine (Nationwide/Motorbase) and Richard Plant (Team Parker Racing) packed out the top seven. For Tordoff and Plant it represented an excellent start to their Carrera Cup campaigns, but Harbour Cars driver Caine was a disappointed sixth. “That was the best I was going to get given the handling issues I faced” he said.