DVF Racing remains in the hunt for its first-ever Porsche Carrera Cup GB title as Tio Ellinas scored a second place in race one and recovered to an important fourth place later on Sunday afternoon, and is just eight points behind championship leader Dino Zamparelli with 22 on offer at Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time.
Cypriot Ellinas looked to have secured pole position on Saturday after topping the times towards the end of the qualifying session, but a late flyer by Zamparelli snatched the place by a mere 0.039 of a second. Lining up second on the grid, Tio worked hard in the early stages to fend off a rapid Tom Wrigley, before opening up a gap and taking his 11th podium of the season.
Things looked bright for Tio in race two as he ran third and was challenging George Gamble for second, while Zamparelli was down in sixth, when he was given a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits. This put him behind his title rival on the timesheets but Tio dug deep and passed Gamble on the road and pulled away. With Zamparelli then slowing on the final lap with a fluid leak, Tio managed to finish ahead and claw back valuable points in the standings.
It was a mixed weekend for DVF Racing teammates David Fairbrother and Richard Hawken in the Am category. David was given a ten second penalty in race one for a false start, costing him a shot at the podium and followed up with fifth place in race two. Richard was running fourth in race one before being taken out and finishing at the back of the order, hampering his chances in race two, where he finished seventh.
All three drivers will be back for the final two races of the season as the team pushes towards the title at Brands Hatch on its legendary Grand Prix circuit on September 29/30.
Tio Ellinas, driver #11
“It wasn’t a bad weekend to start with. We wanted to be on pole to get those two points, but we didn’t get it, so we started seven points adrift. Dino had a third set of tyres and we didn’t so he had the option of a third run. We were a bit off at the start of race one, Dino checked out, and I couldn’t get any closer, so we lost another two points to him. Race two was good until I got the penalty. Overall, it’s not the weekend we wanted it to be but we’re going to fight at Brands Hatch.”
David Fairbrother, driver #9
“Tio’s result was good. We’ve got to ride the penalty. My races were consistent, and the times were good. I’m getting back into the swing of things after the layoff. Qualifying was average for me but I’m chipping away all weekend. The penalty was disappointing because you work so hard and the differences around here are so minute that ten seconds is tough.”
Richard Hawken, driver #84
“It wasn’t the best weekend. I was punted out of fourth in race one and punted out of fifth in race two! I had high hopes coming here as it’s a circuit I’ve won on a few times, but we live to fight another day. The pace had grown all weekend. I didn’t test on Wednesday, so it was two practice sessions and straight into qualifying: that’s hampered us all year with the lack of budget unfortunately.”
Mark Jenkins, Team Manager Slidesports Engineering
“Tio had impressive pace in qualifying. It was interesting to see that we increased our testing pace. It was a bit cruel to lose pole position by that little, but it is what it is. Race one was pretty good. Tio was busy defending and couldn’t attack and Zamaprelli took off into the distance. In race two everyone was abusing track limits and it seems like we’ve been singled out. But the performance is good, the championship is not over, and we’ll fight to the bitter end.
“Richard reports that his car is in ‘perfect balance’ but he suffers from a lack of testing and has all year but he improves every time he gets in the car. David is still improving and got up to P4, but it was a tricky weekend.”
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