DVF Racing ready to challenge for championship as Carrera Cup season opens at Brands Hatch

All eyes will be on the front of the grid as DVF Racing begins its championship push as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season begins at Brands Hatch on April 6-8. Joining David Fairbrother at the Pall-Ex / Fuel Card Services backed team will be rapid Cypriot Tio Ellinas, who won the Rookie Championship in 2017, and experienced Super Touring and BTCC racer Richard Hawken.

Ellinas will be racing in the ‘Pro’ class and has his eyes on the overall prize at the end of the season. “My plan is to battle for the championship and try to win it,” said Ellinas. “The baseline in the car is very good and we are in a good starting point. We can still improve, we’ve seen things that we can do better both in the car and in my driving, so it has been a good start.”

Fellow newcomer Hawken will compete in ‘Pro-Am’ and will need to quickly adapt to a new style of driving from the touring cars he has been used to. “I love Brands Indy, I always seem to have done well there, it’s the track I’ve won most at, it’s my local circuit,” said Hawken. “I’m really looking forward to the first round. I want to go in from day one fighting for class and overall podiums, but I have to be realistic, it’s a different beast and behaves differently. I will work my way in slowly and get used to the car and be hassling for podiums and even challenge for the Rookie championship.”

“Richard’s a really good driver,” added Fairbrother. “He’s raced to a high level with the BTCC, but he’s got a steep learning curve because the Porsche is a completely different beast. We’re looking forward to 2018, we have some new personnel driving wise and we’re looking to build on last year. We had a good base year, we’ve got one driver in each class, and it’s about developing the team as it progresses on its journey.

“We started in 2015 with no aspirations in a VW Golf and now we’re running three cars in Carrera Cup. We’ve raced all over the world, in FIA-accredited endurance races and we’ve had podium finishes. If somebody had told me that six years ago I’d have said ‘you want your head looking at!’”

Another challenge for the season is the brand-new second-generation Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car, but that could equalise the field. “Everything is level with the new car,” said Ellinas. “It steps up my game and the team’s game because we have high expectations for this season, and with a new car why not give it a go?

“I enjoy Brands Hatch though I like the GP circuit more than the Indy, but it is going to be interesting as the Indy circuit only has five corners and the lap times are so close. I think it will be Dino and Lewis Plato fighting for the title, but Tom Wrigley can go quickly as well.

“I want to thank the sponsors, Pall-Ex, Fuel Card Services, and Hot Forex for their support this year, and David Fairbrother for giving me this opportunity.”

The DVF Racing cars will be on track at Brands Hatch for two 45-minute test sessions on Friday April 6, before qualifying at 11:00 on Saturday April 7. Both 34-lap races will take place on Sunday April 8 at 10:00 and 15:40 respectively, with the latter being broadcast live on ITV4 and ITV Hub.

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Driver profile – Tio Ellinas

 

With experience belying his 26 years of age, Tio Ellinas has race wins in GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5 and took part in Formula 1 testing. He began racing at the age of seven, quickly having success in his home country of Cyprus. In six years of karting he took 101 wins from the 131 races he participated in, a stunning success rate of 77%.

Winning the Grand Prix Shootout competition in 2009, he carried the momentum into MSA Formula Ford, becoming 2010 Rookie of the Year, before finishing third in Formula Renault the following season.

Continuing his rise up the ladder he moved to GP3, taking a race win in his first season and following up with two more in 2013, en route to fourth in the championship. His performance with Marussia in GP3 earned him two tests in the team’s Formula 1 car, one a straight-line run at an airfield, and one at Silverstone that July, setting the second fastest time of the drivers in the car.

After scoring points in a part-season in GP2 he moved to Formula Renault 3.5 with Strakka Racing, taking two wins in 2015. After a year off he returned to racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, ending the season with an impressive four-straight podium finishes and claiming another Rookie title.

STATS:
Born: Larnaca
Nationality: Cypriot
DOB: 27/01/1992
Height: 6’0” (183 cm)

CAREER:
2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB – 6th (5 podiums)
2015 Formula Renault 3.5 – 4th (2 wins)
2014 GP2 Series – 22nd (took part in only 8 races)
2013/14 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 – 2nd (3 wins)
2013 Formula 1 – Marussia test driver
2013 GP3 Series – 4th (2 wins)
2012 GP3 Series – 8th (1 win)
2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK – 3rd (2 wins)
2010 Formula Ford Fesitval – 3rd
2010 MSA Formula Ford – 4th (3 wins)

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Tio Ellinas joins David Fairbrother in Carrera Cup return with Pall-Ex/Fuel Card Services Slidesports team

Former GP3 race winner and GT convert Tio Ellinas will partner with David Fairbrother as they both return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB (PCCGB) in 2018. David will compete in the newly-designated ‘Am’ category. The Pall-Ex/Fuel Card Services driver will be joined by talented Cypriot Tio Ellinas who will race in the Pro class in the brand-new second generation 991 GT3 Cup car.

Fairbrother made his Carrera Cup GB debut in 2017 running with Slidesports, finishing fifth in the Pro-Am 2 standings and taking his first race win at Snetterton in July. He has also competed in GT and endurance events, with a third-place finish in class in the 2017 24H of COTA and winning the GT Cup Group GTB title in 2015.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB,” said David. “I enjoyed the challenge last year and want to build on my performance and hopefully climb back on the top step of the podium a few more times. I am happy to be back with Slidesports, there was no thought of going anywhere else.

“The endurance races at COTA and Yas Marina have been fun over the winter, but there’s nothing better than being back on track regularly and racing the same guys week in-week out. I can’t wait to get to grips with the new 991 GT3 Cup car, especially with the trip to Monza this year.”

Ellinas enjoyed a single-seater career which included stints in GP3, GP2, and Formula Renault V8 3.5, as well as completing a days’ running in the 2013 Formula 1 Young Driver Test with Marussia. He moved to Carrera Cup GB in 2017, taking five podium finishes on his way to finishing sixth in the overall standings and winning the Rookie class by 64 points.

“After doing so well from mid-season onwards, scoring five podiums last year and winning the Rookie title puts us in a good position,” said Tio. “I’m really optimistic for this season and now is the time to go for the overall title. With the new car it is a reset for all the drivers. There will not be as much testing available, so it will be like starting from zero for everyone. I’m looking forward to working with David and the Slidesports team, I think we can really start the season on the front foot and go for the championship.”

The two drivers will form an integral part of an expanded motorsport push by partners Pall-Ex. The distinctive branding of the organisation founded by former Dragons Den judge Hilary Devey will also appear on the Ciceley Motorsport run Mercedes Benz touring cars of Adam Morgan and Tom Oliphant.

Provisional 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB schedule

Rounds 1 & 2: Brands Hatch Indy – 6-8 April
Rounds 3 & 4: Donington Park – 26-29 April
Rounds 5 & 6: Monza – 11-13 May
Rounds 7 & 8: Oulton Park Island – 8-10 June
Rounds 9 & 10: Snetterton 300 – 27-29 July
Rounds 11 & 12: Knockhill – 24-26 August
Rounds 13 & 14: Silverstone National – 14-16 September
Rounds 15 & 16: Brands Hatch Grand Prix – 28-30 September

Fairbrother and co in 24 hours American dash

David Fairbrother will end his 2017 racing season with the first of two endurance events as he heads to the Circuit of The Americas for the Creventic 24H COTA, on November 10, 11, 12.

The Pall-Ex/Fuel Card Services branded 991 GT3 Cup car has been making its way to Austin and has safely arrived in the United States en route to the circuit. “We’ve planned to do this race from the start of the year,” said David. “The entry has been in since we heard about it. One of my ambitions has been to race in the United States so I am delighted to be able to compete.”

Sharing the car with David will be Carrera Cup racer Graeme Mundy, and GT Cup drivers Nigel Armstrong and Colin Paton. “I met Nigel and Colin in GT Cup in 2015 and we’ve stayed friends,” said David. “Graeme I know through Carrera Cup, and he, Colin and I took part in the Gulf 12H last year, while Nigel and I raced in the Dubai 24H.

“I really enjoy taking part in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB throughout the year, and I love endurance racing, so this is the perfect way to round off the season.”

David and his team-mates will be competing thanks to Fuel Card Services, Pall-Ex, Linden Hire, JCB, Lockton Insurance, and RW Armstrong, with special thanks to Jim Smith of Steadplan Group.

Porsche Carrera Cup Gallery – Brands Hatch GP – 2nd October 2017

David Fairbrother and Ross Wylie bounced back from early disappointment to come away with good results at Brands Hatch to end the Porsche Carrera Cup season.

Read the full race report here.