Brave tyre decision just fails to pay off for Karl Leonard!
April 20, 2014 by Leo Nulty
Josh Webster scored an inspired victory in round four of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park this afternoon (Sunday 20 April). In a race that started on a dry track but turned increasingly wet, Webster bravely pitted to change tyres and then swept back to win by a massive margin.
Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) led the race after Webster pitted but lost a lot of time as he gambled by staying on slicks and slithered home fourth to win Pro-Am1 as Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing) and Paul Rees (In2 Racing) battled with incredibly tough conditions over the closing laps to finish second and third. Steven Liquorish (Team Parker Racing) coped superbly with the conditions to win Pro-Am2.
The drama started soon after the rolling start as poleman Michael Meadows (Samsung UHD TV Racing) touched the Naas Court Hotel car of Leonard going into Redgate. Meadows spun into the gravel and rejoined right at the back after a delay of 40 seconds. Up front, Webster (Redline Racing) took control and was ahead when the rain started mid-race. On lap 16, with seven laps to go, Webster made the bold call to pit for wet tyres. But it proved to be the smart decision as the rain increased. Once back on track, Webster lapped up to 10s a lap faster than his rivals and stormed back to re-take the lead from Jimenez with two laps to go.
Jimenez slithered home second and Rees drove a strong race to third and his best Carrera Cup result to date, while erstwhile leader Leonard lost time with a late race spin and fell to fourth. Behind Max Coates (Parr Motorsport), Meadows battled back to sixth.
Behind Leonard in Pro-Am1, Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) was mighty in the rain until a big spin at the top of the Craner Curves and then two more spins dropped him to third behind Rob Smith (Redline Racing).
The action was just as good in Pro-Am2 as Liquorish drove a fine race to keep ahead, initially under pressure from Will Goff (In2 Racing). Goff then had a couple of spins and it was Peter Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport) who moved through to second in some of the toughest track conditions in Carrera Cup history.
Josh Webster (Redline Racing) first overall:
“When I was in the pits getting the wets put on I really thought I’d messed it up. I could see cars flying past and we had a problem with the wheel gun on the rear right. But after the first lap on wets I could see how fast I was closing them down. I was hoping they’d not red flag the race and it worked out. I think I called it perfectly, but it was more luck than anything. I’m so happy for me and the team.”
Karl Leonard (Team Parker Racing) fourth overall and first in Pro-Am1:
“I was seeing P1 on the pit board and thinking ‘where has Josh gone?’ There was just no grip when the rain came and we were going so slowly. That was the hardest race I’ve ever done and we all made mistakes.”
Steven Liquorish (Team Parker Racing) first in Pro-Am2:
“It was tough, but I harked back to my Mini days when they used to chuck me out on slicks when the track was damp. It was very, very slippery and I reined it back a bit little bit when Will came up to me. I had to just keep doing what I was doing because one spin would cost you the win.”
Results round 4:
Pro category: 1 Josh Webster; 2 Victor Jimenez; 3 Paul Rees.
Pro-Am1 category: 1 Karl Leonard; 2 Rob Smith; 3 Justin Sherwood.
Pro-Am2 category: 1 Steven Liquorish; 2 Peter Kyle-Henney; 3 Will Goff.