Motorbase Performance closed in on the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship lead at Donington Park last weekend, moving up into 2nd place in the standings after securing its 3rd podium of the season on the Leicestershire circuit (April 27/28).
Tricky weather produced difficult driving conditions once again for Saturday’s 30-minute qualifying session. After topping the timing screens early on, Lewis Plato was the fastest Motorbase-man on-track, securing a second-row grid spot in P3 – just two hundredths off pole position with team-mate Dan Vaughan in P6.
Race one was action-packed from the get-go for the Wrotham-based outfit. After being overtaken by Harper on the opening lap, Plato quickly reclaimed 3rd on the second tour of the circuit. Mounting a challenge for P2 on lap 7, he, unfortunately, hit a damp patch, pitching him onto the grass and dropping the #11 car back down the order. Plato managed to re-join the race, eventually crossing the line a nose ahead of team-mate Vaughan, and the duo finished in P4 and P5 respectively.
Starting from second by virtue of the race two reversed grid, Vaughan made a superb start off the line to take the race lead at Redgate. Unfortunately, the 22-year-old was unable to maintain the lead for the full duration of the race. With the safety car called into action early on, Vaughan came under increasing pressure from the charging pack and dropped back in the closing laps, bringing the #55 car home in P5.
Plato meanwhile had managed to work his way through the pack to take 3rd place by the second tour of the circuit. Finding a way past Vaughan on lap 15, the Essex-racer slotted his BML-backed #11 Porsche into P2 to claim his third podium of the season as the flag dropped.
The strong weekend points haul sees Motorbase Performance move up into 2nd in the Teams’ Championship standings, now just 5 points off the current leaders. Plato also lies 2nd in the Pro Drivers’ Category, only seven points off the lead. The Porsche Carrera Cup GB now enters its mid-season break, before reconvening at North Yorkshire’s Croft circuit on June 15/16.
#11 Lewis Plato:
“That’s three podiums from four races so we can’t complain!
“Race one was going to plan until we got pitched off the track. I lost my front splitter when we hit the grass, and that really hampered our pace to come back. I had a good start in race two before we dropped back. But, we managed to work our way back up to 2nd and whilst it would have been nice to get the race win, I’m happy with the podium.
“We tried a few set-up changes going into the weekend, which really worked well. The car was definitely quicker. It was annoying to have missed pole by only two hundredths, but we have a lot of positives to take into Croft. The car is feeling better than it did at Brands. We keep working hard and keep improving with each round, so it’s all looking strong for the championship.”
#55 Dan Vaughan:
“It was a good weekend. I don’t think we quite had the pace, but I think we did well with what we had. Race two I thought I drove as well as I had done in Porsches. We were unlucky with the safety car; we’d built up quite a nice lead at that point, so that was frustrating.
“There were a few things that didn’t quite go our way but we showed a lot more potential. We’ve got a couple of days testing before Croft, so I’m sure we’ll be back in the mix when the championship picks up again.”
#11 Lewis Plato:
Round 3: P4
Round 4: P2
#55 Dan Vaughan:
Round 1: P5
Round 2: P5
1 Dan Harper JTR 40 points
2 Lewis Plato Motorbase Performance 33 points
6 Dan Vaughan Motorbase Performance 12 points
1 Amigos Redline Racing 106 points
2 Motorbase Performance 101 points
3 JTR 98 points