For the final round of the Porsche Classic Restoracing Championship 2019, Porsche Centre Swindon made their way to Oulton Park. The team had carried out more work on the Boxster to ensure it was race ready in time for the final day, including re-attaching the bumper which had come lose at Snetterton.
The practice day on Friday saw two cars out of the qualifying round - Glasgow had a crash which finished their racing for the season and Hatfield suffered an engine failure which they hoped to fix in time for the first race.
Ollie Coles, driving for Porsche Centre Swindon, enjoyed the practice sessions, settling into the long straights and tight chicanes of the new track.
Thirteen Restoracing Boxsters lined up for final qualifying. It was a cold and windy morning but the rain held off, so the drivers stayed on slick tyres. Swindon was in sixth position for most of the qualifying round, until Nottingham and Chester snuck in front leaving him in eight place to start the first race.
Just before the start of Race 1, a torrential rainstorm hit, throwing up questions of whether to change to wet tyres for the first race. The majority of the teams decided to stick with slick tyres and hope for the rain to stop. Swindon decided to change to wet tyres in case the downpour continued, but it was a race against time as they returned to the pit lane and their rivals entered the track.
Gold Technician Jon Rapson directed Swindon’s pit crew as they changed the tyres as quickly as possible. The Technicians enjoyed the thrill of the challenge as they raced to get Ollie back on track, hopeful he could climb up the grid with wet tyres.
The race saw a lot of wobbles on the wet track and the grid was still two cars down as Hatfield had not managed to fix their gear box yet. Ollie gained a position when Joshua Morris in the Wally’s Jeans Boxster slipped off the track and then one further place when Karl Hazleton for Porsche Chester had to make a speedy escape to the pit lane, Ollie moved into 11th.
As the rain stopped, Ollie, still in 11th place, tried to keep his wet tyres cool on the quickly drying track - this cost him speed and time. The gamble of wet tyres had not paid off. The Coca Cola Boxster finished in 11th place.
Race 2 started warm and sunny and the rain from the first race was a distant memory. In the holding pen, Hatfield tried to jumpstart their car down the slope, helped by the other race teams. This was true Restoracing spirit. None of the teams would want a Boxster to miss a race, and the competition this year has shown how all of the teams carry a sense of ‘Team Porsche’ unity above all else.
In the previous race, oil was spilled on the track, so the teams waited patiently to begin. Even though the teams tried to avoid the oil left behind, the Shorade and Nottingham Boxsters hit the slick and spun off the track, and Swindon managed to slip through.
Ben McLoughlin for Porsche Bournemouth was at the front of the grid and had enough points from the first race of the day to claim victory in the 2019 Championship.
Ollie was battling with Cambridge for eighth place and tried to overtake on the uphill straight but couldn’t make it past in time. The Elite Body Motorshop Boxster with Gulf livery was catching Swindon up and when they entered the chicane side by side, Ollie had to take the escape road to avoid any contact. This cost him a five second penalty for exceeding the track limits, but it kept the Coca Cola Boxster safe.
Not long after, the brakes on the Coca Cola Boxster locked up and Ollie took a bumpy trip over the grass. When he re-entered the track, Hatfield was hot on his tail. Ollie couldn’t push ahead as the brakes became untrustworthy and he slipped back to 13th place as the chequered flag waved.
Porsche Centre Swindon have finished in 12th place overall in the Porsche Classic Restoracing Championship 2019.
The race series has been an exciting experience for the team from start to finish. The resilience and determination from both drivers and our pit crew has been amazing, especially when faced with new tracks, tricky conditions, long drives and car troubles.
We thank every member of the team for making this race series a success and we look forward to what 2020 will bring for the Porsche Classic Restoracing Championship. Please call 01793 398533 or email for more information on our events.
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