- Dan Mason
Silverstone Sprint Challenge GB Success For Team Redline Racing
Team Redline Racing added a second overall win of their 2021 Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB season last weekend at Silverstone GP circuit (26/27 June), with Jack Bartholomew's victory being joined by two Am class podium finishes.
Fresh from a fabulous victory at Brands Hatch GP circuit in the most recent meeting for the championship, the Teesside squad brought a quartet of Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport machines to the home of British Motor Racing riding a wave of enthusiasm.
Focus was shifted to Bartholomew once more to see if the 22-year-old could add to his tally following a maiden win in difficult conditions last month in Kent - a feat he gave himself the best possible chance of achieving after qualifying.
The Saturday afternoon timed session was a tight affair throughout, with Bartholomew switching the top spot with several of his rivals. In the closing stages, a blistering lap from the YESSS Electrical and Ecosphere-backed youngster was enough the seal his fate, clinching pole position by just 0.008s over Brands Hatch rival, Theo Edgerton.
That battle continued into Sunday's double-header, Edgerton initially leading the way but with Bartholomew chasing hard having dropped to third, finding his way back into second spot on lap one. He chased Edgerton all the way, but the latter abused track limits enough to receive a time penalty, giving the close-running Bartholomew Redline Racing's second overall win of the season. In race two, Bartholomew again battled it out with his title rival, but had to settle for second place on this occasion.
New recruit Alex Malykhin was Redline's lead gunner after Saturday in terms of the Am classification, sitting in third place following a strong qualifying effort. Nigel Rice qualified just a spot adrift, and it was he who proved Redline's main charge in race one as he fought his way into third place for a fourth podium finish of his campaign.
That became five with another solid drive from the highly experienced Porsche racer in race two later that Sunday afternoon, finishing third once again to keep himself in contention for the Am title at the early stages of the season.
Malykhin briefly charged up into the Am class lead with a blistering opening lap in foggy conditions in race one, but would soon find himself jostling for position for the final podium spots before slipping to fifth in class by the flag. In race two, he clawed back some early lost ground to climb into the top five, taking the flag fifth.
Peter Chambers lined up seventh on grid after qualifying in his Cayman, but - as always - he kept himself right in the fight with a calm display on Sunday. Following on from sixth place in the opening race after a clean drive, he added a seventh place in the Am class later on in the second outing of the weekend.
The results from the weekend mean that Redline Racing's Bartholomew closes the gap at the top of the Pro championship standings to just 19 points, while Rice remains second in the Am classification thanks to his double podium finish.
Simon Leonard – Managing Director: “The boys once again did a great job this weekend for Team Redline Racing. Jack was coming in as the form man following on from a great performance at Brands Hatch, and he showed he is a real title contender with those drives today.
"A great performance and a controlled one won him race one, and similarly it was a solid showing that kept Nigel in the hunt for two podiums. It was great to welcome Alex to the team and he showed us what he could do, and Pete put in another strong weekend, so onwards and upwards to the Oulton Park."
There's less than a week to wait for the next round of the Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB, with a one day event at Oulton Park on Saturday.
Image from Porsche GB