Porsche Centre Chester is delighted to welcome back the Porsche Club Championship for 2021.
Carl Hazelton, Centre Principal is once again behind the wheel of our race car, a 2005 Boxster S.
You may remember our Martini Racing(R) inspired car from 2018 and 2019 which donned the blue and red stripes; this year, we have a new car with a brand new livery. Carl is competing in Class 2 which sees him alongside models including the Boxster 3.2, 968 CS, 944 S2 and 3/6 Carrera (964).
Whilst we were saddened not to be able to take part in the Championship last year due to the suspension of races and events, Carl kept up his practice by way of 'sim-racing'. He has certainly put the hours in over the last year and we hope that this experience will serve him well when he gets behind the wheel of our latest race car.
Although restrictions (for the time being) mean that we are unable to invite customers along to experience the racing with us, we look forward to later in the year when government guidelines permit spectators at events. We have fond memories of hosting drive outs and hospitality days at some of the race meetings in previous years at Oulton Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch, and we look forward to hopefully doing something similar at a couple of these race meetings this Summer.
Saturday 10 April welcomed the start of the season for us and after over 18 months of 'no racing', and having never driven this car before, it was a daunting prospect. Fortunately, Carl did get one local track day in before the big day at Donington Park, which alleviated most concerns as he was now confident that the car ran well.
Test day on the Friday was a success, and we were fortunate to be testing in dry conditions all day.
There are a total of seven rounds in the Porsche Club Championship. Each round consists of a 20 minute qualifying session following by two 25 minute races. Carl qualified in eighth position, and then finished both races in seventh place.
Carl and the team at Porsche Centre Chester are really proud of this result. We now know that we have a competitive car, and look forward to what the rest of the season brings.
Our next race is Brands Hatch on the 1 May. We will keep you updated.
Test day did not go 'as planned' at Brands Hatch. The driveshaft on the car broke which meant that Carl was only able to manage one session in the morning before being towed off track!
Trying to locate a new part on a test day is not an ideal scenario. With race day looming the following day, and being over 250 miles away from our Centre, it was 'all systems go' with our race team phoning anyone and everyone trying to locate this particular part. With it technically being a Classic car, the parts aren't always as straightforward to purchase as with the newer models.
The following day we still had no replacement driveshaft however after some fiddling around with the existing part and then hammering it in to keep it in place, the car ran and so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best!
Carl and the team were pleased to be able to qualify, and did so in ninth place.
Race one - Carl Hazelton, "I was following a car that was sending out oil all over my car. It started to rain and I put my wipers on and then could hardly see the track. I managed to hang on and finished in eighth place."
Race Two – Carl Hazelton, "It was complete carnage, so many accidents! We had a safety car and then there was a complete restart - we were sat on the grid for what seemed a lifetime, the car temperature was so high it triggered a temperature warning signal with a dreaded red light. At that moment we were released on another green flag lap and the light went off. After another big accident the race was stopped, it was a matter of survival and I finished in sixth! I was thankful to actually finish the race with the issues on the car."
Congratulations to Carl and the team for defying the odds and finishing both races unscathed. Carl is now running in fifth place overall in the Porsche Club Championship.
On the 5 June we look forward to the next two races which will be held at Snetterton.
On Thursday 3 June, our race team travelled 229 miles down to Norfolk where they spent a couple of days for rounds 5 and 6 of the Porsche Club Championship.
The car was tested out on track on the Friday, and Saturday was race day.
Saturday was an extremely tough and competitive day however Carl was able to finish both races without any car troubles. After qualifying in 9th place, Carl finished his two races that day in 10th position.
Next month Carl and the team will be at Oulton Park, our home circuit for the following two rounds which we are very excited about. We are expecting in excess of 100 customers to support us at this round; we are looking forward to it!
Now half way through the Porsche Club Championship season, our midpoint races were at our home circuit of Oulton Park.
Our previous races at Snetterton secured an overall third place running in the Championship for our driver and Centre Principal, Carl Hazelton. The pressure was on at Oulton Park to try and maintain this position – with the added pressure of performing well in front of a mixture of 170 customers and members of staff who attended on race day to show their support!
We were anticipating a full day of rain – the forecast didn’t look good and it even predicted thunderstorms for the afternoon race. Carl qualified in 10th place on the slippery track, and it was ‘déjà vu’ as he had a steamed up windscreen to contend with throughout his qualifying session!
After the qualifying round, the track started to brighten up and unbelievably, after everything the weather apps had told us, the sun came out and we didn’t see a drop of rain until that evening.
We had around 170 customers and members of staff at Oulton Park supporting us. Unfortunately due to government guidelines it meant that we were unable to put on hospitality for our customers this year, and the paddock areas where for the ‘race team only’. However, ultimately it is about the racing, and we were just so grateful for the support!
Carl clawed his way up from 10th position and managed to finish his first race in 7th place, and then 8th in his second race. We were really pleased with this performance and look forward to our next round at Silverstone on the 14 August.
Our two rounds at Silverstone GP circuit were hosted on the 14 August, and unfortunately it was not the successful weekend that we had envisaged.
The car was not handling well at all and Carl qualified in 12th place. The car needed to retire part way through the first race, and upon its return to the paddock, our race team discovered the lower drop link had moved. The team worked at getting the car back on track for the second race that afternoon.
The power steerng pump stopped working during race two, however we were fortunate that Carl was able to finish the race, and did so in ninth place.
Sunday 5 September was a particularly exciting day for Porsche fans, as Brands Hatch hosted the famous 'Festival of Porsche'. The festival is the largest celebration of Porsche and with it comes a day packed full of Porsche-racing, as well as impressive displays and demonstrations throughout the day.
At this event there are Porsches as far as the eye can see, with hundreds of cars in the lineup from Porsche Classics to the very latest models.
Carl Hazelton and the team at Porsche Centre Chester looked forward to Carl's next two races in the Porsche Club Championship which took place at the festival on the Indy circuit.
Carl qualified in 10th, and completed the first race in seventh place.
Carl was pleased to finish the second race in sixth place, however another car in the Championship side-swiped Carl's car during the race. Foruntately neither driver was hurt but the car is now undergoing some vital repairs ahead of the next and final races at Snetterton in October.
Carl is now running in fourth place overall in the Championship. We have our gfingers crossed for a good couple of races at Snetterton!
Our last two races of the season sadly did not live up to expectations.
There were an array of issues on the test day which meant that unfortunately Carl was not able to practice for long in the car.
Carl was not able to qualify on the race day due to a faulty fire extinguisher which meant that he was unable to drive the car. This meant that he started at the back of the grid, and not long into the first race the car developed a coolant leak which meant that he had to retire.
Carl’s race team worked hard to get the car out in the first place, and as always he would like to say a big thank you to them all for their hard work.
The season has once again been an amazing experience for Carl and the team at Porsche Centre Chester. Carl has finished sixth overall in 'class two' of the Championship.
*Data determined in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) as required by law. You can find more information on WLTP at www.porsche.com/wltp . For Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) range and Equivalent All Electric Range (EAER) figures are determined with the battery fully charged, using a combination of both battery power and fuel.
Values are provided for comparison only. To the extent that fuel and energy consumption or CO₂ values are given as ranges, these do not relate to a single, individual car and do not constitute part of the offer. Optional features and accessories can change relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics which may result in a change in fuel or energy consumption and CO₂ values. Vehicle loading, topography, weather and traffic conditions, as well as individual driving styles, can all affect the actual fuel consumption, energy consumption, electrical range, and CO₂ emissions of a car.
** Important information about the all-electric Porsche models can be found here