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With just four points separating the top three drivers in the title battle, the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB moves to the fabulous Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch (1/2 October) for rounds 16 and 17 of the 19-race season.
A fabulous field of 25 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup cars will line up at the Kent track and while Stephen Jelley, Michael Meadows and James Sutton battle for the overall title, the contests in Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2 will be every bit as competitive. Adding further spice at the head of the field is the entry for Porsche Supercup ace Nick Tandy, who takes over the Nationwide/Motorbase car previously raced by Michael Caine.
By any measure, it has been a fabulous season for the Carrera Cup GB with the strongest field in the history of the championship. With the kudos of a Carrera Cup title and over £60,000 in end of season prize money awaiting the top drivers and teams, there is going to some dramatic action at Brands Hatch.
Four drivers are in the hunt for the overall title although Rockingham double winner Euan Hankey (Parker with Juta) remains the outsider after a couple of non-finishes earlier in the season. Michael Meadows and James Sutton (SAS/Redline) and Stephen Jelley (Parker with Juta) are incredibly closely matched and they now face the stunning challenge of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. With dropped scores factored in, there are just four points between the top three drivers. Meanwhile, Hankey has no scores to drop, but really needs the top three to hit trouble for him to move into contention. Hankey is going all out for more race wins, while the other three must try and race for championship points.
However, this is certainly not just about four drivers as a gaggle of young chargers are all chasing their first Carrera Cup victory. Richard Plant and Sam Tordoff (Team Parker Racing), Ben Hetherington (Oman Air/Redline) and Kieran Vernon (Nationwide/Motorbase) are all pitching for a place on the overall podium and they do not have the issues of championship points to consider.
With a seventy-one point lead, Jonas Gelzinis (Juta Racing) is looking very strong to win the Pro-Am1 title and should be crowned at Brands Hatch. The Lithuanian racer could settle the title in the opening race on Saturday if he finishes within four points of Rory Butcher. However, the battle for second in Pro-Am1 is far less clear as Butcher (Celtic Speed), Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman Air/Redline) and Derek Pierce (Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker) are all well in contention.
In Pro-Am2, where drivers count their best seven weekends, it is almost as close as for the overall title and George Brewster (Celtic Speed) and Keith Webster (Redline Racing) are the key title contenders. With dropped scores factored in, they are as close as a single point. Meanwhile Steve Parish (Motorbase Performance), Richard Denny (Parr Motorsport) and Tommy Dreelan (Celtic Speed) are all chasing and double Rockingham winner Yucel Ozbek (Redline Racing) is currently on great form.
After qualifying at 13.50 on Saturday, round 16 will start at 17.40 on Saturday, with round 17 at 13.10 on Sunday. Round 17 will be broadcast live on ITV4 during the extensive BTCC programme, which starts at 11.00 on Sunday.
Tags:911 GT3 Cup|Ahmad Al Harthy|Ben Hetherington|Brands Hatch|Carrera Cup|Carrera Cup GB|Celtic Speed|Derek Pierce|Dextra/JD Pierce by Parker|Euan Hankey|George Brewster|James Sutton|Jonas Gelzinis|Juta Racing|Keith Webster|Kieran Vernon|Michael Meadows|Motorbase Performance|Nationwide/Motorbase|Nick Tandy|Oman Air/Redline|Parker Racing|Parker with Juta|Parr Motorsport Team|Redline Racing|Richard Denny|Richard Plant|Rory Butcher|Sam Tordoff|SAS/Redline|Stephen Jelley|Steve Parish|Tommy Dreelan|Yucel Ozbek
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