The grid was strong with 13 924's starting, alongside 9 Boxster's - reportedly the largest grid for years. The pain and trouble of winter preparation was forgotten by most when they got in the driving seat! The sun was shinning and qualifying looked set to be exciting. PDC Racing are running two Porsche's this year, and Diego had a engine rebuild so it was exciting to see how they performed in a race!
QUALIFYING - Pip and Gavin sandwiched 3-time Boxster champion Rick Styrin in qualifying, all three driver's lapping inside the long-standing lap record! Pip's lap was 2.4 seconds faster that the previous best pole position, a great start to the season and validation for all of the hard work over the winter!
RACE ONE - Gavin lost a little time at the start, but some great overtaking moves brought him back up to 3rd place for a podium finish, passing former Skywheels team mate Ryan Lowry at the final corner. He's come one leaps and bounds over the last 12 months and smashed several personal bests en route to a great finish.
Pip's race ended a lap early and is best summed up in his own words...
"The rights and wrongs of whether I should have settled for 2nd can be debated but this was a different race. Cars can be fixed, but results stand forever. 3-time Boxster champion Richard "Stiggy" Styrin was only coming in for 1 round of the Toyo Tires BRSCC Porsche 924 Championship, and between us we took these fabulous old cars to speeds and laptimes nobody thought was possible. Lap records tumbled despite a 20 minute dogfight and every lap saw the cars side by side at some point. We twice rounded Oulton Park Race Circuit's "Druids" bend side by side.. and Cascades, and Shell Oils... We got to the last lap and it was the best run I had, but Rick wasn't about to start leaving a gap on the inside so I threw in all my chips to the outside of Old Hall, and reckon I came up about tire's width short of bagging the inside for Cascades. As it was, I ran out of track and while it would have been a recoverable moment with no other cars around, I clipped the rear quarter of Rick's car and speared myself off into the armco. Rick continued to a well deserved victory, and was gracious enough to pull over after the flag and see that I was ok." PIP HAMMOND
FIXING - Fortunately the angle of Pip's impact was quite shallow, and we were able to patch the car up for the next race.
"Mostly cosmetic damage was sustained though the crash (radiator still worked!) so the bumper brackets were straightened out and the kids around helped to apply duct tape to the front bumper. In debrief Pip mentioned it felt like a rear wheel bearing was going - despite both being replaced recently. We checked and there was a shocking amount of "play". This meant that it was undrivable unless it was fixed! The brake drum was tough to remove so we suspected the hub could be worn out. Tony Mekwinski was generous enough to supply a spare which could get us going for the race. It was apparent there is a deeper problem in the rear housing so it's not fully fixed the problem but we were happy it would complete the race. Pip had also commented that there was something wrong with the gear selection, however when investigating we ran out of time and told him to lump it and drive his best! ESTHER BRUCE
RACE TWO -
Whilst Styrin was largely unchallenged in race 2, it proven exciting for our PDC Racing drivers! Pip had to start at the back due to not finishing in race 1, but had passed four cars by the first corner as the start of a big comeback drive. Gavin lost ground on a congested first lap, getting caught behind a slower Boxster and having to once again fight his way through. Another spirited battle with Stephan Potts and Ryan Lowry was cut short by a red flag, leaving him 5th. More importantly though, lying 3rd in the championship - a great foundation for the year ahead. Pip recovered to 2nd place by the finish, although 9 seconds behind Styrin. Now 10th in the standings, it is a short wait to repair the car and prepare for Silverstone on April 8th/9th!
PDC RACING want to say a massive thankyou - to those behind the scenes; Jason, Tina, Billie, Jake for all of their support. Grib, Gareth, Sheaky for being on hand and taking more responsibilities this season. Kate Hammond and Eric dealing with all of Pip's drama and last minute pleas for assistance. To Richard and Esther for the COUNTLESS hours of preparation and expertise. The support of Guy N Linda Warren with the second car this season so we can get out there and race together. The Porsche Racing Drivers Association (PDA) for the organisation, and Chris Fudge Coates, Tony Tires, and Team Moluto for their generosity with tools and spares.
Also, thankyou to SR Electrical Wholesalers Ltd, Orion Group - Employment Agency - Jobs Worldwide, ANTHONYS TRAVEL, Humberside Tints (Lincolnshire Tints), WGC Landscapes, Styrin Motors and Pin Gin who have partnered with the team this year - without them we cannot race at all!