The Comline Richardson Racing team endured a challenging start to the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season as the series embarked on a new era at Donington Park.
The opening meeting of the campaign saw the new Type 992 version of the hugely successful Porsche GT3 Cup car make its debut in the series, with Comline Richardson Racing running two cars for rising star Will Martin and Porsche Sprint Challenge graduate Jack Bartholomew.
Following a hectic pre-season testing programme with the new car, the team made the trip to the East Midlands circuit looking to fight at the sharp end of a packed field, and both drivers lapped inside the top ten after two practice sessions that saw the leading 15 drivers covered by less than a second.
A tricky qualifying session saw Will post the eighth quickest time, with Jack lining up in eleventh spot for his series debut, and both drivers went into race day eager to try and make up ground.
The early stages of the opening race appeared to be going to plan for Will as he quickly made up ground to run in fifth spot but contact with the tyre stack at the final chicane whilst dicing for position resulted in damage to the front of the #10 Porsche that saw him slip back down the order to eleventh; a result that didn’t reflect the pace in his car.
Although he lost a spot early on, Jack knuckled down on his first race in the series to fight his way into the top ten by the half way stage, and would ultimately take the finish in eighth spot having spent the majority of the race as part of a heated battle for position.
The results of race one determined the grid for race two, which left Will with work to do from the sixth row. Up into the top eight by the end of lap three, Will then found himself caught up behind Nathan Harrison for a large chunk of the race and would end up having to settle for seventh place at the chequered flag.
Jack meanwhile looked set to end the weekend with a second top ten finish to his name as he spent the majority of the race running in tenth spot before being overhauled on the final lap by Jake Giddings.
At the end of the opening weekend, Will sits eighth in the championship standings with Jack in tenth, with the latter third in the Rookie Championship. Comline Richardson Racing meanwhile lies fifth in the Entrants’ Championship.
Will Martin, #10 Comline Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3, said:
“We’ve been on the back foot since we arrived at Donington Park for some reason and didn’t quite manage to get the car in the sweet spot. Qualifying was difficult but we were hopeful of fighting forwards in the races and unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the kind of results were were hoping for.
“The new car is very different to drive compared to the old one, and we know that we have work to do, but I’m confident that when we get to Brands Hatch, we’ll be back where we should be towards the front of the field and fighting to put some big points on the board.”
Jack Bartholomew, #89 Comline Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3, said:
“It’s been a challenging weekend but the big positive is that I’ve finished both races and haven’t picked up any damage, which is always a big score in a series like this with close racing. We’ve got work to do, and we need to get our heads down and look to push on at Brands Hatch.
“It’s also good to have got some seat time under my belt in a racing environment because it is very different to testing, and I’ll take everything I have learned here and try to use it to my advantage going forwards.”