The Comline Richardson Racing team enjoyed another fine weekend on track at Knockhill with a third victory of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.
The Corby-based team made the long trip to Scotland with a revised driver line-up after regular racer Jack Bartholomew was seriously injured in an accident whilst cycling, with the team drafting in Josh Malin to partner title hopeful Will Martin.
Josh – part of the team’s Carrera Cup line-up last season – was quickly up to speed in pre-event testing having never previously sampled the 992-spec Porsche GT3 Cup car, and was able to all but match the pace shown by Will as the pair ended up third and fourth fastest.
A shortened and disrupted qualifying session however would see Will forced to settle for fifth place on the grid for the opening race having had his fastest time – which would have put him on the second row – deleted for a yellow flag infringement. Josh meanwhile would end up with the ninth best time.
Both drivers were able to avoid a dramatic incident at the start of race one caused by Matthew Graham stalling when the lights went out, with the resultant accident leading to the race being halted and then restarted over a shorter 20 lap distance.
Up into fourth place due to Graham’s retirement, Will would pressure Adam Smalley for a place on the podium and grabbed third when his rival ran wide on lap ten.
Will held the place to the finish to secure silverware, with Josh putting in a mature drive to stay out of trouble and work his way through to fifth place – ending the race right on Smalley’s tail.
Josh was drawn on pole for race two but bogged down off the line, which allowed Smalley to get ahead on the run to turn one, with Will holding onto P3 off the line.
Heading into the hairpin, Will nipped ahead of Josh to move into second spot and he set off in pursuit of the leader – keeping the pressure on before Smalley was hit with a time penalty for exceeding track limits multiple times.
That time penalty meant Will was able to follow Smalley home second on the road, safe in the knowledge that with the additional five seconds applied, he would secure the race win.
Josh’s defensive battle with points leader Kiern Jewiss saw him drop away from the leading pair, although he would edge clear of Jewiss as the race wore on to celebrate his return to the series with a podium finish.
Will now sits just one point away from the championship lead ahead of the next round of the season at Snetterton, whilst Comline Richardson Racing has opened up a 33 point lead in the Teams’ Championship.
Will Martin, #10 Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“Every weekend for us is about scoring as many championship points as we can, and that is what we have done here. Qualifying was difficult with losing our fastest lap but after that, we kept on gaining places and hopefully that is what we can do as the season goes on.
“We are at that stage now where the pressure is starting to rise in terms of the championship and people are starting to make mistakes and drop points. We have to focus on making sure that we don’t do that so we can remain in contention to the finish.”
Josh Malin, #90 Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“Coming in at such late notice and having only driven the car for the first time on Wednesday, I felt instantly at home. The 992 feels much better for me than the car did last year and I’m chuffed to have been able to get a podium as I genuinely didn’t think I’d even get the chance to race this season. To be on the podium on merit is great for me as it shows I’ve still got it!
“The focus this weekend was about scoring points for the Teams’ Championship and that is what we have done in both races. Whilst it’s been a good weekend for me on a personal level, it’s been great for the team and to have extended the advantage at the front is fantastic.”