Richardson Racing secured more silverware with a double podium finish from the latest rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain at Oulton Park.
The Northamptonshire-based team was racing for the third successive weekend as part of a busy schedule this season, with drivers Robert De Haan and Micah Stanley running double programmes that also see them competing on the continent in Carrera Cup Benelux.
The weekend started well in Friday practice as De Haan topped the times ahead of title rival Adam Smalley, with Stanley ending the day on the top eight to leave confidence high going into qualifying.
An impressive run from both drivers saw De Haan storm to pole position, with Stanley lining up in a career-best fourth, with only a small error in the session preventing him from making it a front-row lockout.
Although he lost the lead off the line, De Haan would battle hard in the early stages to find a way back ahead of Smalley, making a move stick at Hislops on the third lap to move into second spot.
Shadowing leader James Kellett for much of the race, De Haan would cross the line in second place but unfortunate time penalties for moving slightly at the start, and for a track limits infringement due to the new regulations introduced this season, saw the Dutch teenager dropped down to a hugely unrepresentative ninth in class and 17th overall.
Stanley would retain his fourth place at the start and held the position throughout before Matty Graham moved ahead three laps from the end – albeit whilst carrying a time penalty for a false start that the team knew wouldn’t impact on Stanley’s final result.
Taking the flag in fourth place to match his best result in the series, Stanley would then be promoted onto the podium as a result of De Haan’s penalty for a maiden top-three finish.
The reverse grid second race started with Stanley on the front row of the grid, and although he was beaten into turn one by Smalley, a strong run down through Cascades allowed him to end the opening lap in P3 with the safety car being deployed to allow a car to be recovered from the barriers at turn one.
Racing would only resume on lap six with less than ten minutes remaining with Stanley retaining third place until James Kellett launched a move down the outside at the final corner on lap nine.
Stanley immediately dived back down the inside on the exit of the corner to reclaim the position, with Charles Rainford following him through. A forceful move from Rainford three laps from the end at Cascades saw him run Stanley wide, and Stanley then suffered contact from Kellett at the same place a lap later before regaining fourth place at the hairpin.
Crossing the line in fourth, Stanley would be promoted into third once again when Rainford was penalised for the earlier contact.
De Haan’s race one dramas left him to start back in 17th on the grid, and he made up three places on lap one to sit 14th during the early caution period.
Once the action got underway in earnest, De Haan was on a charge and within three laps of the restart, had moved into the top ten overall. Continuing to make up places, De Haan moved into sixth at the start of the final lap and then overhauled Kellett at the hairpin for fifth, although the positions would be reversed post-race to leave De Haan classified in sixth place.
The pair now head from Oulton Park to Zandvoort next weekend for the latest rounds of the Carrera Cup Benelux season.
Micah Stanley, #5 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“It’s been a much stronger weekend for me, and it’s good to have been fighting at the sharp end throughout. A small mistake from me cost us a potential front row in qualifying but the opening race was going well and I think we could have scored P3 on the road without a bit of a lock-up that cost us time.
“We got the result in the end but only because of the penalties elsewhere, and going into race two, I really wanted to try and score what I’d say was a ‘proper’ podium finish. We didn’t quite have the pace we needed to fight for the win as I think others were running newer tyres and more than once I found myself being forced off track.
“It was a good race apart from that, and to come away from it with a second podium finish of the weekend is really pleasing.”
Robert De Haan, #46 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
“Race one was really frustrating because the car felt great and I had a really good battle to finish on the podium, so to then lose the result and get dropped so far down the grid for race two was difficult to take.
“The second race was really unbelievable and I didn’t expect to be able to make up so many places when overtaking is so tough and we lost half the race behind the safety car. There were some really good moves to come through into the top six and I’m really happy with what we did there, even if the results from the weekend didn’t end up being what I was hoping for.”