Collingbourne secures double podium
Rory Collingbourne made an impressive start to life in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the last weekend, 7th/8th April, with a fantastic double PRO-AM class podium during the opening two rounds of the 2018 season. Championship debutant Collingbourne, who is managed by Veloce Sports, starred on his maiden weekend in the prestigious category and along with the PRO-AM successes he was a very competitive eighth overall in both encounters at the 1.2-mile Kent track. He concluded the event second in the class Championship and also second in the Rookie standings.
Returning to race in the UK this year after a season in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, where he was a multiple podium finisher, Collingbourne is elated with the results achieved on his Porsche debut and believes there is much more to come from him and the Welch Motorsport team.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have taken two podiums on the first weekend”, said the Welshman, “I haven’t had much testing in the Porsche at all, especially compared to the rest of the drivers, so it really has been a case of in at the deep end with a late deal to join the championship. I’m also working on my own at the moment without a team-mate, so everything we’re doing is down to us. Race one was only my second time in the wet in the car, so I’m really happy with how that went, and in the first race the lap times were only a couple of tenths off the fastest guys. The Porsche is completely different to the Lamborghini I raced last year, there’s a great skill to driving the Porsche and especially with things like braking – you need to have great feel to get it right.”
Notably too, Collingbourne is racing this season in aid of the Dreams & Wishes charity which provides seriously ill youngsters and their families with vital support and experiences. Throughout 2018, groups of children who have a variety of illnesses and life-threatening conditions will be visiting the races as VIP guests.
“As we haven’t got a main sponsor this year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to promote our charity Dreams & Wishes“, Collingbourne added, “I am an ambassador for the charity, the message is #SMILESONFACES, so every weekend we’re bringing seriously ill children to the track to hopefully give them a really fantastic time and something to look forward to and enjoy. Our aim is to broadcast the work nationally, and then hopefully help even more people.”
In his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup GB qualifying session on Saturday, Collingbourne started out very well indeed with the fourth fastest time in PRO-AM to also secure 10th on the overall grid – lapping within just 0.4 seconds of the front row, despite having a lap removed for a ‘track limits’ indiscretion. Constant rain throughout the morning on Sunday at Brands Hatch resulted in a very wet track surface for the opening Porsche race of the season, throwing another variable into the mix for the Welch Motorsport racer on his category bow. Making a terrific start, Collingbourne climbed into the outright top eight but was then edged back to 10th place on lap six. Moving back up into ninth on lap 15, the Porsche racer remained there for almost the entire 34 lap duration but with four laps to go he grabbed eighth place and went on to celebrate a fantastic podium with third in PRO-AM.
In round two later in the day, which took place on a dry track, Collingbourne lined-up eighth on the grid and held station for the first couple of laps before being edged back a spot by Dan Harper. Maintaining the position to the halfway point of the race, on lap 16 he moved back into eighth prior to the appearance of the Safety Car. Racing resumed on lap 23 but no sooner had the action got back underway, a second Safety Car period was required after another incident and the encounter ended that way on lap 25 with Collingbourne in eighth overall and a weekend-best second in PRO-AM.
“As soon as I came into Porsche I wanted to try and win in Pro-Am so that’s the target”, added Collingbourne, “All I can do is try my best to win some Pro-Am races but, after such a strong start at Brands, I’m definitely going to be pushing for wins at the next round.”
Donington Park circuit is next on the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship schedule over the weekend 28th/29th April.