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Porsche Centres Compete At Donington Park - Starting The 2019 Restoracing Season

The 15 Official Porsche Centres that restored a 986 Boxster last year and added the finishing touch of a traditional Porsche inspired livery to their race car were excited to start the new season.

The opening round kicked off at the iconic Donington Park, a new location for the competition, which offered its own challenges to both driver and car to go with the seasonally hot temperatures. 

Dick Lovett are proud to have two cars on the grid for a second season. Both have been professionally prepared by our Porsche trained Technicians from Swindon and Cardiff.

As per 2018, the series is designed to promote the technical abilities and knowledge of our teams, whilst at the same time allowing one lucky employee, from the dealership, the opportunity to get behind the wheel and steer the car to glory.

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Porshce Centre Cardiff

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Porshce Centre Swindon

Donington saw the return of the No.39 car from Swindon, with its distinct Coca Cola livery based upon the Porsche 935 of the late 70’s and 80’s with driver Ollie Coles at the wheel for his 2nd term in charge.

Porsche Centre Cardiff’s 550 Spyder inspired Fletcher Aviation car is back on the grid this season, but this term with a brand new driver in Gold Technician, Scot Adams. This was Scot's first outing in a competitive race, having only recently gained his racing license in order to proudly represent his dealership.

After travelling up on Good Friday, ably supported by their pit crews formed of experienced Technicians, there was some useful last minute testing in the days open track session for Team Cardiff and they found their new driver, Scot Adams, travelling quicker and quicker lap by lap.

Porsche Centre Swindon's Team

Scot with his team

Qualifying For Grid Position

When Saturday dawned it was clear from early on that the day was going to be a scorcher, with car reliability in the heat possibly being a factor to those that succeeded today and those that didn’t.

In qualifying, each car had to complete a minimum of three laps during the 20 minute session to decide the race grid line ups and gave the drivers the first opportunity to weigh up their competition. 

There were some familiar cars but in some there were new faces. Ben Mcgloughlin of Porsche Driving Experience Centre fame, once again lined up in the Bournemouth car. Due to his racing experience, his car is carrying an extra 30kg in order to bring some order to the grid and fairness to the competition. Also on the grid this season is Matt Bird, a Pistonheads journalist, who is both racing and covering the event through his articles, and John Tordoff, father of touring car driver Sam Tordoff in the Leeds car for his first race too.

Qualifying proved successful for both Dick Lovett cars and times for everyone were improving lap by lap. The weight penalty for the Bournemouth car was seemingly working in comparison to last year, when racing but not scoring in the championship and holding a large distance between 1st and 2nd place. Closing the gap this year, Ollie for Swindon was hot on his tail and at one point only 0.6 of a second behind. 

As qualifying came to an end the Bournemouth car was able to make experience count, but Ollie had performed admirably and at only a 1.19 behind looked forward to taking his place at the front of the grid in position 2. Scot was benefiting greatly with his time on the track and was already performing better than the day before and posting improving times. He would find himself at the rear of the grid but encouraged by his ever growing confidence and car reliability due to the great work completed on the Boxster by his team in the off season.

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Race 1

So to Race 1 and as the lights went out, Swindon’s Coca Cola car was immediately put under pressure on the inside by the flying start of Wolverhampton’s Pink Pig, who challenged for the lead from the off. 

With Ollie dropping to third position he was battling it out with the Salzburg car of Wilmslow when lap two he lost the back end of the Boxster on a sweeping bend and spun on to the grass verge. Thankfully, having missed the gravel trap, it allowed him to get back on the tarmac and enter the race just in front of Scot in 14th place. Scot was making good progress on his lap times, his steady pace was proof that he was getting quicker and proving reliable. 

Ollie was on the charge and was able to make some strong progress, gaining quicker times than those around him and smoothly picking his way through the pack and back up to a credible 8th by the time the chequered flag was waved. 

With Nottingham’s car crashing out just before the end, Scott was able to claim 14th place to the joy of his team, fans and supporters that had travelled since 6.00am to be there to watch him.

The race, as expected, was won by Bournemouth by some margin and 2nd and 3rd proved a dog fight between the Pink Pig and Matt Birds ‘Hippy’ car, with the Wolverhampton car proving the stronger contender finishing runner up.

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Race 2

With both Dick Lovett cars in the same grid positions for race 2, optimism was in the air. After a solid start, Ollie was in the leading pack as they headed into the first bend, but with the outside line he exited in 3rd.

Scott meanwhile, although at the back in 15th, was both challenging and pressuring those cars in front of him. As the laps started to pass, it was clear that this race was going to be both competitive and eventful. 

As Ben Mcgloughlin again started to stretch his lead with the Pink Pig behind in second, the Swindon car found its self under pressure with the Martini car of Chester and again the Hippy inspired car of Matt Bird moving ahead of him. Matt, perhaps in trying to write headlines of his own, lost control and span dramatically off the track, although losing valuable time and places he was able to continue.

In the meantime, Ollie was back up to 4th, but his day would draw to a disappointing end when a throttle problem materialised and so ended his race. Moments after the Swindon car had steered to a safe position off the course, the car of Glasgow span off the track and the safety car was deployed. 

With the cars all now bunching back together and the track being made safe Scott was able to close up and take his place in a 11th position ready for the restart.

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In the remaining laps the front two places did not change, but Chester’s credible third position was challenged by Wilmslow who managed to pinch the 3rd podium place behind Wolverhampton in 2nd and Bournemouth’s second victory of the day. 

Cardiff and Scot benefited further from the tiring drivers around him and a lack of concentration by the Hatfield car in front allowed Scot to steal another placing with his fastest lap of the day. Scot finished the race in a respectable 10th place and was cheered by his patriotic Welsh team mates as he crossed the finish line. The subtle positioning of the national flag on the car obviously proved a good luck charm on the day.

The first round of racing proved eventful and a learning curve for both Dick Lovett teams. They now look forward to Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time and further races and venues thought out the summer. Both teams will return inspired by the first race with competitive spirit, well prepared cars and confident drivers to tackle this challenging, but fun, racing series that helps highlight all that is good about the Dick Lovett Porsche dealers and our teams.

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