2018 SEASON REVIEW: TOYO TIRES PORSCHE CHAMPIONSHIP
Visitors to the BRSCC stand were amused to see the graphic “2018 Champion” on the rear screen of James Coleman’s 986, proudly displayed at the Autosport show in January, but in the end it was Adam Southgate who dominated the Race Boxster Class to take the title.
Both drivers were rarely away from the podium all year but by our closing round at Donington, Southgate was able to confidently sit out the final race and actually gain points – through our “dropped score” rule – to finish a massive 115 points ahead of his rival, amassing 16 wins, two 2nds and two 3rds across the year – just one win short of the record set by double-championship winner Rick Styrin. We’ll have to wait and see if Southgate returns in 2019 to make PDA history.
“For me, this has been a journey that started in 2005, building a 924 racing car in an old barn with some uni mates. Through ‘Black Camel Racing’ I met my now wife Sarah, and together we tried and failed to race a 924 on a shoestring,” he said. “I have to thank everyone that has been involved in the Porsche Championship from 2005 to 2018 for making it the best series in the UK.”
Another great rivalry that lasted all year was that between Garry Lawrence and Kevin Molyneux, the pair finishing a mere 10 points apart. Lawrence had moved to Devon with his new wife thus making the trips to our race meetings even more of a hike, but it didn’t dull his competitiveness one iota, and he was proud of his third in class at the end of the year.
PDA chairman Nick Hull would have been in the mix with these two if it wasn’t for two crashes, one of which – at Castle Combe – saw the Harrowgate-based company man almost exit the circuit over the top of the Club Corner Armco. Part-timer Richard Avery was happy to provide the repair services to get Hull back on track via his successful body repair business.
The two Class B graduates from last season – Andy Baker and Matthew Harris – having upgraded their cars, finished 6th and 8th respectively in Class A. Meanwhile Leigh Bowden, being the only Class B entry for 2018, sewed up the title early enough in the year to start work converting his 986 from Production to full Race spec in time for our closing round. Within weeks of the last race, we’d already heard of two more Class B cars in build and to provide more options for lower-cost Boxster racing next year, the committee have decided to introduce a class for 2.7-engined cars for the first time.
Low grid numbers for the 924s meant half points were scored for all but two rounds of the season, meaning those fortunate enough to race at both Oulton Park and Donington were able to finish higher in the championship than expected – including PDA media manager Chris Valentine, who landed a career best 4th as a result, not quite good enough to catch David Jones who finished 4th behind full–season driver Hugh Peart. The Class C title actual went down to the final race of the year, with Gavin Johnson having to finish to be assured of the championship crown ahead of Peart. “I’m very lucky and grateful to have the support I have had and am overwhelmed to have won the Championship” said the media-savvy Johson in one of his many interviews. “I never saw myself racing Porsches in the late 80s / early 90s when I used to go to Oulton Park to watch racing with my Dad”.
At the end of a year which saw new lap records set at every circuit – thanks at least in part to the new R888R version of our Toyo control tyre – the BRSCC Porsche Championship continues to provide close, competitive racing with a great paddock atmosphere. Our provisional calendar for 2019 is already released and with three races at all eight meetings – four of which back up BRSCC’s live-streamed TCR series – we will continue to provide the cost-effective single-marque Porsche racing we’re famous for.
Final Championship Standings (adjusted points)
Class A Race Boxter
1 Adam Southgate 503.0
2 James Coleman 388.0
3 Garry Lawrence 377.0
Class B Production Boxster
1 Leigh Bowden 121.5
Class C 924
1 Gavin Johnson 297.0
2 Hugh Peart 276.5
3 David Jones 143.0