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Dyer and Botterill take podium finishes for Team Strasse at Croft



Team Strasse delivered a strong performance in its return to the Porsche Club Championship at Croft North Yorkshire on Saturday 19th August. The team was at full strength with a change of car For Ross Morris switching back to the Boxster from the class two Cayman.

Chris Dyer a former championship winner, so far has had a standout season. He scored a podium result at Silverstone and continued his success taking two third place podiums at Croft. These results have seen Dyer move up table challenging Sumpter for second place in the drivers’ championship points.

Defending 2016 championship winner Andy Toon continued his development into class one by putting in a strong performance again finishing in seventh place in both race one and two.
Pete Morris two times champion for the team was back on form but a disappointing qualifying session left it hard for Morris to compete for a podium finish for both races.
David Botterill in class two took a first place win in race one and third place in race two. Unfortunately, that strong performance by the team was thwarted early in race one when Ross Morris was struck from behind forcing him to retire. Hugo Holmes’ race was also cut short, running first in class he was forced to retire with a leaking brake fluid line.

Qualifying

It was a difficult call to make with tyre choices with the track being both damp and dry on some parts of the circuit. The Strasse drivers opting for the choice of wets found themselves pitting for tyre changes two laps into qualifying but despite the fast change by the crew the team could not get up to speed before the end of the session with Chris Dyer setting the best time qualifying in fifth place with Pete Morris in sixth place. In class two Ross Morris placed the Cayman 2.7 third in class, David Botterill placed the 964 C2 in fifth place with guest driver Chris Whittle in the Boxster S taking seventh.



Race One

Drama on the first corner saw Ross Morris spin off  in his Boxster forcing a safety car period, unfortunately they were not able to retrieve his car under yellow and the race was stopped.
 
For the second time the race got under way with Mark McAleer leading the field with Sumpter in second and Dyer in third, who had got the jump on Wilkins at the start. By lap two Dyer was setting the fastest laps and was all over the back of Sumpter.
The class one pack put on a real show for the crowds with bumper to bumper racing. At the chequered flag it was McAleer who held onto first followed by Sumtper then Dyer holding off the challenging Wilkins in fourth. Pete Morris despite putting in fast laps just couldn’t close in on the top four and came home in fifth.
 
Hugo Holmes took the early lead in class two, which was already without Ross Morris who was not able to restart after receiving outside assistance. Botterill was putting Holmes under pressure and took the lead on lap four after Holmes fell down the order eventually having to retire with power-steering failure.

Despite pressure from Jake McAleer and some side-by-side racing McAleer was forced to retire leaving Botterill to take the class two win.




Race Two


The team worked hard to fix both Holmes and Ross Morris’s boxter's for the start of race two. Leading from the front again was McAleer who soon started to put a gap between himself and the battle going on behind with Wlikins and Dyer after Sumpter’s race was cut short after going wide at Clervoux corner burying his car in the gravel trap forcing his retirement. Dyer was having to work hard to fend off Price and team mate Pete Morris who was also there in the mix while also looking for a way past Wilkins in second. The pair were side-by-side each lap on the front straight but it was Wilkins who held on to second with Dyer taking his second podium of the day. Morris got on the inside Price at the Hairpin, both traded paint sending Price into a spin, and ultimately into retirement leaving Morris to take fourth and almost taking third off team mate Dyer.
 
A car off at Clervoux on lap seven saw the safety car out two laps later, closing up the field and losing Mark McAleer the lead of over two seconds he had built up. The field was set free to race again at the start of lap 13 for three more laps, Mark McAleer getting the restart just right and opening a gap once more, Wilkins second but Dyer now with Morris right behind and looking to take third.

It was just as exciting in class two, Ross Morris got off to a good start and was soon challenging Cheetham for the lead with Botterill in third. Morris and Cheetham both battling hard where racing side by side both looking to outsmart each other unfortunately two cars don’t fit into a gap made for one and Morris came off the worse after both had a coming together. Morris ending up in the gravel, forcing a safety car period.
 
Leader Cheetham now with bodywork trailing behind him, and Jake McAleer, who had managed to pass Botterill lined up behind the safety car ready for the restart. Cheetham opened enough of a gap to stay clear after the restart and take the class win, Jake McAleer took second while Botterill claimed third.



Quotes



Pete Morris, number 2: PCM Midlands Porsche 996 C2


It’s been a hard year so far I could not make the new tyres work in qualifying and the first race. The second race it came to me and I set the fastest lap if it was not for the safety car I could have maybe taken second, my son Ross has had a bit of bad luck this weekend but that’s racing.



Chris Dyer, number 4: Professional / Millers Oil Cayman S


Professional / Millers Oil Cayman S: I managed  to move up to third on both race starts, I had to battle hard to keep Wilkins behind me during race one. I managed to keep third during the second race but I had to battle hard to fend off Pete, apart from losing a headlamp I had no issues the car ran fantastic.



Andy Toon, Number 1:EPC Electrolytic Plating Porsche Boxster S


I’m happy today, it’s all about getting seat time with the new car, nice and steady work on the pace and gradually improve on the pace and keep on the back of the others cars. Two seventh places, no damage I’m happy with the outcome.



Ross Morris Number 3 PCM Midlands Porsche Cayman S 2.7


Silverstone is my favourite circuit so I was disappointed not to be able to challenge for a podium, I decided not to take part in the second race there was no point ruining anybody else’s race when I knew the car wasn’t working well.

 

David Botterill No 8 Strasse 964 C2


A decent day, race one I was in second place behind Hugo I managed to take him and take first place. Race two was a bit more difficult the tyres where cream crackered after the safety car they just would not work again I just did not have the front end grip to chase the leading two.

 

 

Hugo Holmes No 24 Freeman Jewellers Boxster S


I got a really good start and moved up into third and there was a coming together at the front that launched me into first place. I managed to keep first place for a number of laps but the car started to feel a bit strange, I hit the brakes turned in and the car just spun. The power steering was not working so I was forced to retire. Race two the team worked brilliantly to get the car fixed but the quick fix was always at the back of my mind and when I saw the fluid flag I thought it may have been my car so I backed off but unfortunately it was debris on the track and not my car.

 

Ross Morris No 3 PCM Midlands Cayman 2.7


The day started off good during qualifying. Race one I got pushed off onto the grass, race two I was fighting for first  with cheetham but I moved up on the inside but him and it looked like he turned into me, not my best weekend of racing.

Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli, Race One, Croft:

1 Mark McAleer (996 C2) 17 Laps;
2 Mark Sumpter (996 C2) +0.178s;
3 Chris Dyer (Cayman S);
4 Craig Wilkins (996 C2);
5 Pete Morris (996 C2);
6 Peter Erceg (Cayman S);
7 Andy Toon (996 C2);
8 Michael Price (996 C2);
9 David Botterill (964 C2);
10 Steve Cheetham (Boxster S). Class Winners: Mark McAleer; Botterill.


Fastest Lap: Sumpter, 1m30.941s (83.15mph).
 
Race Two: 1 Mark McAleer 15 Laps;
2 Wilkins +1.239s;
3 Dyer;
4 Morris;
5 Richard Higgins (996 C2);
6 Erceg;
7 Toon;
8 Cheetham;
9 Jake McAleer;
10 Botterill. Class Winners: McAleer; Cheetham. Fastest Lap: Morris, 1m31.570s (82.58mph).
 
Next Races: Oulton Park, Cheshire, Saturday 2nd September.