BGT Media Day 5 - The Porsche Pack
There are less Porsches in the 2006 GTC field than expected - with
Tech 9, Team Parker and ABG absent from the entry list. Despite
this, there are still nine Zuffenhausen representatives, and all
are capable of delivering results. Trackspeed and Hawthorns will
be covered elsewhere, so what news from the others?
After all the
chopping and changing amongst the RPM, Motorbase and Bill Barrett
Porsches last year, it is with some relief that 2006 appears to
promise stability on that front.
On the face
of it, Dave Bartrum’s Motorbase Performance outfit has a quiet
2006 ahead, running just one car under its own banner and one more
for Hawthorns. But appearances can be deceptive. “It’s
actually our busiest ever year and I’m already knackered,”
laughed Bartrum. “We’ve got these two cars in BGT; we’re
running Dave Pinkney in the BTCC in a Honda; and we’ve got
three cars in the Porsche Cup. We’ve also got a third car
for Andy Britnell, which we’ll run at selected rounds of the
BGT. The biggest problem is the date clashes – it looks like
we’ll need three teams some weekends.”
The three Porsche
Cup drivers are well known to British GT followers; Tim Harvey,
Phil Quaife and Michael Caine. “Cainey was the last piece
in the puzzle and I’m delighted we’ve got him as he
always makes me smile. He’s ex-Tuscan and I love working with
Tuscan drivers,” said Bartrum, himself a former driver. In
fact, most of Motorbase’s 2006 driver squad have driven Tuscans
before, so it sounds like they’ll have a good year.
was present at Silverstone, but not driving. It turns out that he
will only be driving at Oulton Park in the BGT before concentrating
on the Porsche Cup. Why the switch? “I learnt a lot last year,”
said the 19 year old, “but I’ve always shared a car
when I raced, never on my own. It’s important for me to prove
that I’ve got the ability, and the Porsche Cup offers that
chance. I’ll then come back to endurance racing.” There
are other attractions too; “Plus I get to drive a shiny new
997. It’s a fantastic car.”
Parker racer, Gary Eastwood, has signed for the full year of BGT
with Motorbase (in #16) and it is still possible that Harvey and
Caine will guest in the series in ’06 if the schedule allows.
RPM starts 2006
where it left off last year, with a brace of Porsche 911 GT3s. Despite
a disjointed 2005 campaign, Alex Mortimer is looking forward greatly
to the coming season; “We’ve got a sequential box for
the first time and the car is really sorted; we’re definitely
going to push for the Championship.”
He set the fastest
Porsche time on Wednesday, but running Dunlop tyres at the time
(as was the Team Tiger Marcos, fastest in GTC).
2005 season started on a high, with pole position at Donington and
ended on a high, with a victory in the Invitation Class at Silverstone.
In between those two races, the parting of the ways of RPM and Quaife
effectively meant that he only ran half a season.
was unfortunate,” said Mortimer, “but the past is the
As well as the
BGT, Mortimer will be racing a Radical in 2006. The second RPM car
will be contested by Phil Glew and John Ingram (below), while the
second seat in Mortimer’s car is still up for grabs.
fuel has changed from Sonoco to Petrochem Carless for the 2006 championship,
and the Motorbase Porsches (amongst others) were clearly unhappy
with last year’s fuel, hence the Invitation Class. The new
fuel appears to be much more to the car’s liking, allowing
RPM to concentrate on the GTC Class. Both RPM Porsches have yet
to run on Avon tyres.
was showing off its Porsche’s impressive colour scheme, courtesy
of Chronoswiss. It turns out that this car has an unusual history;
“This is the car that won the GT2 class of the Bahrain GT
Festival in 2004,” explained Graeme Mundy. “At that
time it was running as a full RSR (for Infineon Team Farnbacher)
before Tech 9 brought it to the UK and turned it back into a GT3
Mundy will be
sharing the car with former Damax and DRM driver, Jamie Smyth. They
will contend the full season, with the exception of Rockingham,
owing to the small matter of Smyth’s wedding.
With no Tech
9 in British GT this year, the Porsche honours (and the title, perhaps)
are up for grabs.