Fairbrother upsets form and jumps into title lead at Donington Park

The 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup moved to Leicestershire for rounds three and four of the championship as the Slidesports team took on Donington Park.

See race photo gallery, here.

The team, and pro driver Ross Wylie in particular, had previous testing experience at the 1.9-mile circuit, having taken part in the official test session before the start of the season. The track time helped and was topped up with both drivers completing a good number of laps in Friday’s two free practice sessions.

As Saturday came around the team were well prepared for the official qualifying session and made the most of it. Ross improved on his pace in the opening weekend of the championship and easily qualified in the top ten, taking a brace of eighth place grid spots. David Fairbrother meanwhile had even stronger form, lining up in second on the ProAm2 grid for both races.

The stunning Fuel Card Services/Pall-Ex branded Porsches assembled on the grid for race one and the team were in optimistic mood for a good result. Ross got a great start and was mixing it with the established drivers for the opening laps before his speed dropped off and it was clear he had an issue. Meanwhile David was making progress, holding his own in second place in ProAm2 behind 2016 class runner up Peter Kyle-Henney.

After thirty minutes of close racing David crossed the line to finish second and claim his, and the team’s, first Carrera Cup class podium finish. Ross was able to finish the race in 11th place, a problem with his suspension identified as the cause of his slowing pace.

The second race of the weekend was to be a longer 40-minute event however a paper work problem saw the two cars forced to start from the pit lane. For this race only the rules dictated that all cars must start on new Michelin tyres but the team did not have any available so the cars had to wait for the grid to clear the line before joining the race. It was a hard lesson for the team to learn but Ross was able to enjoy racing through the pack to finish 14th overall from dead last, with David finishing fourth in ProAm2.

“Race one was a nightmare,” said Ross. “We had a good start but the rear wishbone came slack after the first couple of laps which really hampered the performance. It was a shame as qualifying went much better than at Brands Hatch and we had shown a decent improvement. Unfortunately I just wasn’t able to progress in the race but we managed to bring the car home.”

“We started race two from the pit lane so all things considered it wasn’t bad. Everyone was on new tyres but because of what happened we were on cold, used tyres. We treated it as a bit of a test session to learn the car. It was good fun coming through the pack though and we can take some positives from it.”

See race photo gallery, here

To get a podium place in only our third race in the championship is a really superb effort,” said David. “We are still learning as a team because everything is new to us – the car, the championship and so many detailed parts. Race two was unfortunate in that we did not have any new slick tyres to start the race on but we are still going away in the lead of the ProAm2 championship and that can’t be bad.”

Fuel Card Services are now proud official sponsors of two cars in the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Fuel Card Services confirms sponsorship for Porsche Carrera Cup drivers

 

Fuel Card Services are now proud official sponsors of two cars in the Porsche Carrera Cup.

The company’s logo appears on racing suits for drivers Ross Wylie and Dave Fairbrother, as well as on the bodywork for their respective 453bhp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars as they pursue podium spots in the Porsche Carrera Cup, which recently restarted for the 2017 season.

Fleeces of the drivers’ engineers will also bear the Fuel Card Services logo.

Fairbrother is driving in the competitive Pro-am 2 class, which is typically reserved for drivers experienced in endurance racing. After the first two rounds, he ranked fourth out of seven.

Meanwhile, Wylie’s car is in the higher Pro class, the premier group in Europe’s most competitive single-make series.

At time of writing, he had no points due to a crash that wasn’t his fault and subsequently ruled him out of the second round. However, Ross is determined to put that right and make up for lost time next time he gets out onto the track.

The sponsorship deal means that Fuel Card Services will appear on nationwide TV, with race days being broadcast live on ITV4, as part of the channel’s coverage of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Despite the BTCC’s rising popularity, the Porsche Carrera Cup is considered to be the fastest race of the day, with Porsches setting lap times between five and nine seconds quicker than a British touring car.

About the drivers

David Fairbrother has been car racing since 2012 after many years racing superbikes. He finished eighth in the VW cup in both 2013 and 2014, and placed fourth in the VAG trophy in 2014 too.

2016 saw him enter several endurance races around the world, including the Gulf 12 Hours where he finished fifth, and the Dubai 24 Hour, where he placed 16th after suffering major damage in an incident which forced him to rebuild the car to continue. Find out more here.

Dumfries-born Ross Wylie was named the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s Rising Star in 2014, after three wins as well as three other podium places from eight races in his first British GT4 Championship.

In 2015, Wylie entered his first British GT Championship Silver Cup, securing six top ten placings from nine races, before being named McLaren GT’s Young Driver, and the BRDC’s SuperStar.


Natalie Brinkley, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: “Having our logo emblazoned on two of the most capable racers’ suits in the Porsche Carrera Cup is very exciting. We wish both David and Ross all the best for the season ahead.”

Dramatic Brands Hatch debut sees Slidesports make their mark on Porsche Carrera Cup

The 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season got off to an auspicious start for Sildesports driver Ross Wylie when contact in the first corner ruled him out of the rest of the weekend’s racing. Until that point, the first race weekend in the championship for the team had shown promise.

See race photo gallery here.

Scotsman Ross tested the car for the first time at the championship’s media day held at Silverstone just over two weeks before the start of the season. Team-mate David Fairbrother had even less time in the car, although he has previous experience racing Porsche Cup cars having won the 2015 GT Cup championship in a 997 model.

Both drivers showed steady progress throughout the weekend, from the first free practice onwards. In qualifying Ross was able to set a time quick enough to secure a mid-grid position for the first race, with David going fifth fastest in the ProAm2 group.

Disaster would strike at the first corner of the first race however when Ross was tipped into a spin. His car ricocheted off two other cars with extensive damaged being cause. The result was instant retirement, forcing the team to withdraw his car from race two. In contrast, David was able to put in two good performances to take a brace of fifth place class finishes to open his championship account.

“Brands was about finding our feet,” said 26-year old Wylie. “We just had to get on with it and learn as much as we could about racing in a new championship. Every time we go out on track there is something new that we pick up and add to the knowledge base. Given that, our qualifying performance was what we expected, but we were hoping to get a little further than turn one in the races.”

“It was probably one of the worst starts you can have to a new season. It happens in motorsport though and it’s all about how you pick yourself up. We’ll come back stronger at Donington Park.”

It was a good start to the season for me,” added David. “You don’t win the championship in the first race so points are very important. Two fifth places in the ProAm2 class is a good base from which we can build. You just have to look at what happened to Ross getting hit out in race one to see how unpredictable motorsport can be.”

See race photo gallery here.

“We are learning and I’ll be honest I was hoping to have a quiet weekend so we can get to know the car and the championship. I was aiming to just finish the races and see where we are. We accomplished that and we’ve had two points finishes and a fastest lap in race two, so from that point of view I’m happy.”