Not long to wait now. Carrera Cup GB season starts at Brands Hatch on the weekend of 1st/2nd April. Greg and the Boys at G-Cat Racing will be looking after the number 31 and 30 cars of Shamus and Peter Jennings again this season. I believe Greg again will deputise for Pete at the wheel of the number 30 car when Pete has to attend to other commitments. Carrera Cup GB is also joining forces with Carrera Cup France and the Benelux Countries for the Le-Mans 24hr Support Race which at the moment i believe will take place on the Saturday Morning before the start of the 24hr race and will be a 55 minute race distance. Looks like another great season ahead for Carrera Cup GB.
Here we go. Rounds 1 and 2 took place at Brands Hatch on 1st & 2nd April. Qualifying was a bit chaotic at a very wet Brands Hatch on Saturday 1st April which ended with Shamus in the No31 car 3rd P/AM2 and Greg deputising for Pete in the re-numbered 76 car on Pole P/AM1.
Sunday Race Day was a different story with the track all dried out for race 1 which was a rolling start. The safety car was out in the first couple of laps and when the race started again there was a lot of exciting battles through the whole field. Greg was in 1st place and that's where he finished the race with a brilliant drive all through and his first time on the winners step of the podium in Carrera Cup GB. Shamus was caught up in a very hard fought three way battle and ended the race in 2nd place.
Race 2 was from a standing start and Shamus who has a knack of getting off the line quickly took off like a scalded cat. Greg got bogged down on the start and had plenty of ground to make up which he did very quickly. Again Shamus was in the same three way battle and after some tenacious driving brought the No 31 car home in first place which gave him another Trophy on the top step of the Podium. Greg made up the time superbly and brought the No76 car home in second place which gave him a second Trophy also. The day ended with a First and Second place each which was great, and then Shamus was awarded the accolade of Driver Of The Weekend which gave him his third Trophy of the weekend. Five Trophy's between them this weekend. ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING WEEKEND for Shamus, Greg and everybody from the G-Cat Racing Team who had prepared the cars which ran faultlessly. Well Done All.
Rounds 3 and 4 were held at Donnington Park Race Circuit in Leicestershire. A big welcome back to Pete in the Number 30 car after his absence in rounds 1 and 2. Race 1 got under way and there were some titanic battles going on at this extremely fast circuit. Shamus towards the end of the race was battling hard for 2nd position when he was unceremoniously ushered into the gravel which was to finish his race early. Pete on the other hand was enthralling in his first race of the season finishing in first place and the top step of the podium. WELL DONE PETE.
Race 2 was just as exiting with battles going on all through the classes. Pete was spectacular again in this round and brought the No 30 car home in 2nd this time and another podium for him. Shamus had a great race this time with some epic battles which resulted in a 2nd place finish for him in the 31 car and a trip to the podium for him also.
In all a great weekend for Shamus, Pete and the G-Cat Racing Team. Great Teamwork Boys.
Round 5 and 6 Were at the famous Oulton Park Circuit in Cheshire. Both Shamus and Pete were on duty again this weekend in the No 31 and No 30 cars respectively. Race 1 was to turn out good and bad for the Ducales Liveried cars. There was a mad dash from the line which turned into carnage and unfortunately for Pete in the No 30 car another vehicle totally out of control came back across the track and wiped out the front of his car. This resulted in retirement for the whole weekend and a total re-shell of his car before the 24 hours of Le-Mans support race on 17th of June which will count as round 7 of Carrera Cup GB. Shamus on the other hand fought hard in the race, missed all of the carnage and brought the No 31 car home in second place and another Trophy. Race 2 on Sunday sadly without Pete was a bit calmer at the start and there were some great battles throughout the field including Shamus in another exciting race managing to bring it home second yet again and that gets him yet another Podium and Trophy. That's two for this weekend and another bag of points towards his total.
Next meeting is round 7 at Le-Mans THE BIG ONE as the Le-Mans 24 hour Support Race on Saturday Morning 17th June just before the start of the 24 hour. If you are there give a big shout out for the two Ducales Cars Run By Greg Caton and the boys at G-Cat Racing. Not sure of the numbers they will race with there but Shamus Jennings will be in his usual car and Greg Caton will be taking Pete Jennings place once again as he is unavailable for this meeting.
Now for the Le-mans adventure. I've just spent a fantastic 6 days at the Le-Mans 24hour race with Shamus Jennings and all of the G-cat racing team where they were running the two Ducales liveried Porsche Carrera Cup GB cars in the support race just a few hours before the start of the 24 Race which incidentally was won yet again by the Porsche 919 Hybrid Car.
Shamus was as usual driving his No 31 car now re-numbered 931 for this race and Greg Caton was driving the re-shelled No 30 car usually driven by Pete Jennings re-numbered 976 for this race.
First practice session was on Thursday which was going to be a hectic day with two practice sessions and qualifying all on the same day. Shamus's car ran faultlessly for all three sessions but unfortunately greg had a problem in free practice 1 where he kept loosing the brakes (not healthy in a Carrera Cup car). When Shamus and Greg came in after the first session the team were frantically trying to ready the cars for the second session including bleeding out the brakes on Greg's car. Both cars got out for the second session but the brake problem on Greg's was not sorted so he came back into the pit. The team then found the offside wheel bearing had failed causing the disc to push the pistons back into the caliper causing the braking problem. There was very little time to sort this before qualifying but the team worked extremely hard and fitted a new hub just in time. Qualifying came next and Shamus did very well for his first time at this track. Greg went for it full of the adrenaline caused by the pressure to get his car fixed and ended the session 1st in class class by a good two seconds which gave everybody concerned a good feeling for race day.
Now the race. It started in disaster for Greg as one of the drivers behind him thought he could drive around the outside of everybody at the first corner resulting in a trip into the gravel trap then back across the circuit wiping out the front of Greg's car which resulted in the end of the race for him (not a happy man). On the other hand Shamus was doing extremely well throughout the race finding himself in a fairly comfortable second place with some tough battles which lasted until the very last lap when a spin in the chicane put him back to third spot which is where he finished. Well done Shamus. Another trip to the podium for him and another Trophy. He then proceeded to cover everybody with his bottle of Champagne. A Massive Thanks to Shamus, Greg, Tony, Bert, Fin, Bob and Nick for such a fantastic 6 days. Also a big thanks to Porsche Carrera Cup staff for the Hospitality which was second to none.
Well after the magnificent round 7 at Le-Mans we come to rounds 8 and 9 at the Snetterton Race Circuit in Norfolk held on the weekend of 28th to 30th July. After a couple of testing sessions prior to race weekend Shamus went really well and was quietly confident when it came to race weekend. Unfortunately a little glitch with the car in qualifying only left him in fourth place for both races which didn't help the cause but that's racing. On race day there just wasn't the opportunity to take back any of the lost places in either round and fourth in both races was the final result. Shamus wasn't too distraught as he came away still leading the championship. All the G-Cat team and shamus worked very hard to make it all work at this meeting so very unfortunate. On to the next meeting at Knockhill in Scotland in a few weeks
Well here we are for rounds 10 and 11 at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland. The weather was not at all predictable this weekend. The G-Cat Team had their work cut out to get the set up and tyres right for the conditions before each of the 2 races. The close racing in this class continued as was expected all through round 10 and eventually after hard fought battle for positions Shamus finished in a creditable 3rd place. For round 11 Shamus needed to be better and he was. In a very hard fought 4 car battle places frequently changed and eventually Shamus got through to 2nd place which is where he finished this race. Shamus leaves Knockhill with just a 5 point lead in the championship. Next to Silverstone for rounds 12 and 13.
Here we are at Silverstone Race Circuit for rounds 12 and 13 where Shamus can not afford to lose points this weekend. Out with any do or die thoughts from now on with the Championship to think of. Again conditions were up and down and it was half guess work as to set up and tyres for the weekend. Race 1 didn't quite go to plan but with the changeable conditions it was pretty good and after scrapping all through the race Shamus managed to get a 2nd place. Race 2 was much of the same guesswork and sticking to the safety plan Shamus had hard fought battles but kept out of trouble and again a very good 2nd place finish was achieved. So 2 trips to the podium with more silverware for Shamus resulting in him still leading the Championship by 3 points. The boys at G-Cat racing Team worked extremely hard as always to present Shamus with a faultless car again this weekend. A nailbiting round 14 and 15 await us at Brand Hatch, the venue of the last meeting and championship decider. Three people still in with a shout.
Here we are at Brands Hatch in Kent the home circuit of the G-Cat Racing Team. These last 2 round take place on the famous Grand Prix Circuit. Pride in the team is at stake this weekend where they need a faultless car. They also had to make the right decisions where setup and tyres will again be vital for the Championship decider. Shamus still leading by 3 points from Pete Kyle-Henney and Ian Dockerill, all 3 can take the title today. Shamus needed at least 2nd place finished to clinch the title. The weather again proving a problem. 1st race came down to Wet Tyres and a rolling start. Pete Kyle-Henney was away in first place with Shamus in 2nd where he needed to be and well in front of Ian Dockerill due to a pit stop at the end of the formation lap. On lap 3 there was a bit of chaos coming through Clearways so out came the safety car which allowed Ian to catch up. There was a great battle between Shamus and Ian for most of the race and in the end Shamus came across the finish line just in front giving him the minimum 2nd place required to still lead the Championship into the very final race of this season. This meant Ian could no longer win the title so nothing to lose for him in the last race. Now all beetween Shamus and Pete in the finale. The final race was dry so all on slick tyres for this one. Standing start is the order of the day for race 2. Greg and Tony ("the G-Cat Racing boys") were like a couple of expectant fathers. Shamus had to perform one his amazing standing starts and he didn't let us down. He was behind Pete on the grid and didn't manage to catch him in this race but had to fight really hard with Ian but slowly started to pull further and further away and so stayed in 2nd place to the finish making him the Porsche Carrera Cup PA2 CHAMPION 2017. MASSIVE WELL DONE TO SHAMUS AND ALL THE G-CAT RACING TEAM. What a great season for them all. It made all of their late nights, extra testing, and faultless work so worthwhile. It was a Privilege and Honour for 911box to be part of this amazing team. A BIG THANK YOU TO SHAMUS AND PETER JENNINGS AND ALL OF THE G-CAT RACING TEAM FOR THEIR GENEROSITY HOSPITALITY AND FRIENDSHIP. BRING ON NEXT SEASON.