2014 SEASON REVIEW: TOYO TIRES PORSCHE CHAMPIONSHIP


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Jonathan Greensmith celebrates his title win. Photo: Chris Valentine

After the dominance of Class A by ex-karter Rick Stryin for two seasons, the Toyo Tires BRSCC Porsche Championship took the decision to add success ballast to the front four race-spec cars but as the season has shown, all it needed was new blood to make our races as thrilling as they've ever been.

Coming to us from four seasons of successful Mazda MX5 racing was Jonathan Greensmith so we fully expected him to stamp his mark on the table, but he was joined on the podium from the beginning by experienced Caterham racer Ed Hayes together with two guys from Leighton Buzzard, Richard Avery and Garry Lawrence. Coming into the class for their first season at the top were past-924 champions Graham Heard and Gary Duckman, and another ex-Class C racer Adam Southgate jumped into a Boxster to take podiums in our last round at Donington. Nick Hull, Adam Croft and Garry Goodwin were in regular attendance, while Steve Brown left part-way through the season to see success in 750MC Roadsports.

The Production Boxster class grid grew to its largest this season, with six drivers registered. Bernie Printy was the only returnee from 2013 but he was joined by a trio of successful drivers from the championship's history in the shape of Jayson Flegg, Mark Marshall and Steve Warburton. Ex-karter Michael Goodacre signed up for a full season after dipping his toe in Class B water at the end of last year and the group was rounded out by newcomer Phil Grayson.

The championship continues to field a sizeable grid of the 2-litre front-engine 924s and this year Alastair Kirkham was knocked from the top spot by the young Simon Hawksley, who makes a very long trek from his work in Aberdeen to take part. This wasn't the longest journey taken by a driver to compete though as we again welcomed Andrew Hannington, who flew in from the Philippines to do three rounds across the season.

Karl Rossin's consistent finishes across his second year of racing saw him take second place overall while novice Nizar El-Chamaa was narrowly pipped to third by David Jones. Philip Waters and our tyre man Tony Mekwinski raced at most rounds with Paul Bravo, John Broadley, Hugh Peart, Richard Matthews and Peter Smith joining us when they could.

Kicking off the year for our first time on the Southern 'International' configuration of Silverstone, and skipping Snetterton, our eight rounds of mixed 2 and 3 race weekends included a trip to Zolder for three races in high temperatures that took their toll on the drivers. A visit to Croft in May saw Rick Styrin persuaded out of retirement where he immediately showed he hadn't lost his form with two straight wins. Similarly Gerry Taylor guested at our Brands Hatch double-header (coinciding with the Porsche Club Festival) to take two wins before taking part in an invitation endurance race at the end of the day.

Only the Class B table (Jayson Flegg) had been decided before we headed to our final round at Donington in October, but in theory either Jonathan Greensmith or Simon Hawksley could have been toppled from their class leading positions. Greensmith had "used" his three dropped scored by missing the Zolder round and took things perhaps a little too easily with 5th place finishes at Brands, and thus both Ed Hayes and Richard Avery were in with a chance of snatching the Class A title. Two 2nds from Greensmith and DNF for Richard Avery thanks to an oil leak meant Greensmith only needed a finish in Race 3 to secure his win. Simon Hawksley had more of a lead in the 924s and really only DNFs would have taken the title from him.

2015 is already looking good for this long-running championship with the majority of drivers indicating their intention to continue, some considering moving up a class. Our grateful thanks go to our sponsors Toyo Tires, Jasmine Porshalink and Fuchs Lubricants who will no doubt been pleased that our TV coverage is now appreciated by a much wider audience now Motors TV have secured terrestrial transmission. If you're interested in joining us next year, why not visit the BRSCC Stand at the Autosport Show, NEC, 8-11 January or go to http://www.porscheracingdrivers.co.uk

Chris Valentine