Pole and podium for Richardson Racing at Knockhill
The Richardson Racing team secured a fifth podium finish of the season at Knockhill to maintain its front-running form in the 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.
The Corby-based team headed for Scotland on the back of a double podium finish at Oulton Park two weeks earlier, with Will Martin having scored a pair of top three finishes to maintain his championship challenge.
Saturday would be a late start for the team with qualifying only taking place in the middle of the afternoon, but the session would be worth the wait as a storming lap from Martin saw him secure pole position in the series for the first time as he edged Lorcan Hanafin at the head of the times.
Series rookie Josh Malin would set a best time just half a second away from pole and lined up in seventh spot for race one, with the experienced figure of Will Bratt directly behind him in ninth in his Comline-backed machine.
Chasing a second win of the year from pole, Martin lost out to Lorcan Hanafin off the line and then dropped to third when a forceful move from Harry King at Clark saw him move ahead into second. Contact on the way through would damage a steering arm on Martin’s car and left him battling to keep the car on track, leaving him to wrestle his way to the finish in fifth place on the road.
Unfortunate time penalties for exceeding track limits – not helped by the ill-handling nature of the car – would then demote him down to ninth place.
Malin was one of the drivers who would ultimately benefit from Martin’s penalty having run in seventh place throughout, with his end result of sixth being rewarded with reverse grid pole for race two. Bratt meanwhile would end the race in tenth spot, having fought back from losing places at the start.
From pole position, Malin held the lead at the start of race two and was keeping Kiern Jewiss at bay before a lengthy safety car period to recover a stricken car from the circuit.
After the restart, Malin would lose the lead to defending champion King before a further caution period and was then forced to push hard to keep Lewis Plato and former champion Dan Cammish at bay during the closing laps. However, a mature drive would be rewarded with second place, and first podium finish in the series.
The safety car periods, and oil dropped on the circuit by one of the cars, would hamper Martin in his bid to try and recover from his race one penalty as he came from ninth on the grid to take sixth spot – lapping quicker than a number of cars ahead but not being able able to take full advantage of his pace.
Bratt meanwhile would face a similar issue to Martin, but also managed to make up places from his starting position to end the weekend with eighth place.
The trio will be out in action next at Croft in September.
Will Martin, #10 Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“Things started really well for me in qualifying, but things just didn’t go to plan from that point on. We were right up there in practice and qualifying but the races didn’t go our way and it’s a shame that we couldn’t fight for the front running results that I thought we’d be fighting for.
“In the first race, the contact with Harry damaged the steering arm and it meant the front right wheel was pointing left so it was tough to keep the car on track and then in race two, with the safety cars and the fluid that was on the track, we just couldn’t get any higher. You’ll always have tough weekends and we just have to put this one behind us.”
Josh Malin, #90 Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“In race one, I didn’t quite get the result I was looking for on track, but the penalty for Will meant I finished up in sixth place and that got me pole with the reverse grid, so I had luck on my side a bit to get pole for race two.
“It was a nail-biting race to be involved in and I had to defend like hell most of the time to keep some really quick drivers behind me. King managed to slip through but I am so happy with P2 and I hope that this is the start of something.
“I’m so proud to have scored this result and I feel I can hold my head up high to have been able to take the fight to drivers like King and Cammish, which is no mean feat when you consider their pace and the success they have enjoyed. Massive thanks to the team and to all my sponsors as I wouldn’t have done this without them.”
Will Bratt, #91 Comline Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“Things looked promising in testing ahead of the weekend as the pace in the car was really good, but some reason, we struggled a bit when it came to qualifying and the races. We didn’t have the speed that we needed when it really mattered which is a shame, and something that we need to go away and look at before the next round.
“It’s been a tricky season for me so far having been out of a car for quite a while, particularly when the field is as strong as it is this year. However, I’ll keep pushing hard and hopefully we can fight for some stronger results when we hit the track at Croft next month.”