TIGHT BOXSTER TITLE BATTLE LIES AHEAD IN THE TOYO TIRES PORSCHE CHAMPIONSHIP
Newcomer Richard Avery holds a slender lead in the Boxster 'Race Spec' class. Photo: www.ajbphotographic.co.uk
With the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship now half-way through the 2014 season, the top of the ‘Race Spec’ Boxster class points table could not be closer with just two points separating the top three drivers.
With a number of drivers leaving the Championship at the end of 2013 – including double-winner Rick Styrin – and a mix of new drivers joining, it was inevitable that we would see new blood challenging for the title and the likes of Leighton Buzzard pair Richard Avery and Garry Lawrence – both veterans of MR2s – haven't disappointed, and they lie third and fourth respectively.
Jonathan Greensmith, who came to us after successful seasons in Mazda MX5s, missed our Zolder round but has been a podium regular at every other race and tops the table. Yorkshireman Ed Hayes, graduating from a few seasons of Caterhams, is currently second with only a single DNF to date. Nick Hull saw his first third place at Zolder and Adam Croft made a return visit to the Rockingham podium.
The Production Boxster class has seen the return of two popular ex-924 drivers from the series in business partners Jayson Flegg and Mark Marshall, whose black 986s have seen varying fortunes but some good results so far this year. Its obvious Flegg hasn't lost his touch as he's often mixing it up with the Class A cars and he now leads the category by 8 points over young newcomer Phil Grayson, with Marshall third. Warrington karter Michael Goodacre and West Country pilot Bernie Printy both returned to us following début seasons last year.
The two 924 drivers who took the title battle to the final round last season, Simon Hawksley and Alastair Kirkham have become separated in this year's table with Kirkham unable to make two of the rounds. Hawksley is being chased by two of the drivers who joined last season, Karl Rossin and David Jones, with newbie Nizar El-Chamaa currently fourth. Joining us again from 2013, Hugh Peart, Peter Smith and Philip Waters occupy mid-table with only a 1.5 point spread.
The Championship allows three dropped scores for each driver, so that unavoidable missed rounds or DNFs don't overly burden the results, but it is obvious that consistency pays off. The introduction of success ballast for the ‘Race Spec’ Boxsters was made to prevent the runaway wins the series witnessed in the last two seasons and that seems to be paying off, with one internet radio station describing our Rockingham race as "more action than BTCC"!
The second half of the season gets underway at Anglesey on the 9/10thAugust with plenty of points up for grabs in a triple-header.