GT Marques driver Dino Zamparelli has set down a marker ahead of the qualifying session for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft. He finished both of the free practice sessions on Friday over half of a second ahead of his closest competitor which was 2016/2017 Scholarship winner Charlie Eastwood aboard his Redline Racing entered car.
During the first free practice session on Friday 17th June there was drizzle in the air with mild temperatures around the circuit, this meant the track temperature was low throughout the session. Dino Zamparelli was only able to manage to get the fifth fastest lap time in. Team Parker Racing’s Bradley Ellis set the fastest time and had a comfortable gap ahead of championship leader Cammish. Bradley Ellis was celebrating his birthday on Friday and what better way to celebrate than to top the times during his debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. He lead the times by just over four tenths of a second. Due to the conditions he was having to battle against his times slowly began steadily slowing down as the rain picked up. Not far behind was IDL Racing’s Tom Sharp in third place, the reigning Rookie Champion was working his tyres well whilst trying to stay on the tarmac.
Mixed in with the Pro runners were the IN2Racing drivers Euan and Dan McKay. The sibling rivalry on track saw the brothers post identical lap times for the second race weekend in a row. Dan set the lap time on lap three whilst Euan posted his on lap twelve. Parr Motorsport’s Sean Hudspeth suffered some light contact with a barrier around the circuit he had not raced on before. This meant he lost out on some valuable mileage around the circuit as the contact ended his session.
In the close fought Pro-Am2 class battle was once again restored when Parr Motorsport’s Peter Kyle-Henney managed to put in a lap time just 0.037 seconds faster than G-Cat Racing’s Shamus Jennings. Class leader Tautvydas Barstys aboard his Juta Racing entered car kept himself close behind in third.
The weather improved ahead of the second free practice session and the track temperature began to rise. All of the twenty-four drivers were seen to be pushing harder than the earlier session with only two drivers not improving on their lap times from the first practice session.
The drivers were able to push harder than earlier in the day, some drivers found the limits around parts of the circuit. The reigning champion Dan Cammish made a rare mistake which saw him head through the gravel trap at Clervaux. Scholarship winner Charlie Eastwood and Dino Zamparelli were the two drivers who posted the biggest improvements throughout the session to head the timing screens. Cammish was knocked down into sixth by Bradley Ellis, Tom Oliphant and Jonas Gelzinis.
Euan McKay lead the Pro-Am1 class by 0.087 seconds over brother Dan. Local driver John McCullagh in his Redline Racing run car was running well to take third in class, he improved massively to be within seven tenths of a second behind the two McKay brothers. Barstys made a massive improvement to improve his time by over a second to go to the top of the Pro-Am2 class times. Peter Kyle-Henney and Intersport Racing’s Mark Radcliffe were closely behind.
When looking back over the days running it shows Zamparelli is fighting back to prove just what he is capable of after suffering a difficult weekend last time the championship was out. He has set his sights on taking pole position and was showing he is capable of it when posting blinding lap times to boost his and the teams confidence. The championship leader and reigning champion Dan Cammish is under a lot of pressure as everyone expects him to keep winning at every circuit. He is definitely one not to underestimate as he is a very quick talented driver. A lot of people will be watching Bradley Ellis during the weekend as they will want to see how well the newcomer can do.
Qualifying takes place at 14:10 and it is anybody’s game.
©Fay Tilley 18th June 2016.