- British Touring Car Championship online

Big guns line up for Carrera Cup opener

Porsche Carrera Cup GB News | Fri 21st March 2008

With a new fleet of 420bhp 911GT3 Cup cars and at least six drivers chasing early season race wins, the 2008 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will burst into life at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March.

Topping the entry is Tim Harvey, the driver who has come so close to the title in recent seasons, and his return to Red Line Racing will surely make him one of the title favourites.

"I'm delighted to be returning to the Carrera Cup with Nationwide and Red Line Racing," said Harvey. "We had a great season together in 2007 and came very close to the title. There are some strong young racers coming into the Carrera Cup, so itís never going to be easy."

Harvey, the former BTCC champion, has an unrivalled record in the Carrera Cup. He has raced in the championship for the last four full seasons and raced the VIP car to victory during the inaugural Carrera Cup season of 2003. He has now contested 82 races and finished on the podium 56 times, scored 17 wins and set fastest lap 18 times. He has finished second, fourth, second and second in the championship over the last four seasons.

However, lining up to battle with Harvey is the all-new Team Jota squad, with cars for Sam Hancock and Phil Quaife. Hancock was a race winner in 2007 and is now ready to win again, while Quaife returns to the Carrera Cup after a season in the Porsche Supercup in 2007. Although the team is new to the Carrera Cup, it has an impressive pedigree in international sports car racing and in Hancock and Quaife it has two serious title contenders. Brands is very much home ground for the whole team, so this is the ideal event to get the team's campaign off to a flying start.

Over at Team Parker Racing, former single-seater champion Tim Bridgman is a real contender, while Charles Bateman will build on his 2007 experience to challenge for race wins. Bridgman is likely to be another major force in the championship, and is aiming to follow the success of drivers like Damien Faulkner and James Sutton in making the transition from single-seaters.

Bateman, meanwhile, could be a real dark horse after showing impressive pace in 2007. He is now stepping up to the pro category for his second season in Carrera Cup, while a third major contender for Team Parker Racing is due to be confirmed in the run up to the opening event.

Sure to be the pro-am1 benchmark is Nigel Rice (Red Line Racing), and he will go up against series newcomer Tony Gilham (ReDesign Racing), while pro-am1 race winner Andy Britnell will handle a Porsche Motorsport entry at his home track.

Meanwhile, in the new pro-am2 category, Steve Rance makes his Carrera Cup debut in the Porsche Motorsport entry, with several other pro-am2 racers due to be confirmed ahead of Brands.

After qualifying early on Saturday afternoon, the opening race will be towards the end of Saturday afternoon, with the second race at 3pm on Sunday.

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