John McCullagh recovered from a high-speed clatter with the crash barriers in qualifying to bring his Inlec.com-backed 911 GT3 home to another Porsche Carrera Cup GB double points-scoring finish at Snetterton to keep his Pro-Am1 title aspirations alive.
The 52-year old North Yorkshire driver left his breaking slightly too late for a corner during the qualifying session on Saturday and spun his 160mph 911 backwards into the Armco. Having come into the pits to make repairs, McCullagh only had the final 10 minutes of qualifying to set the two best lap times required, and he used all his experience to coolly set times that placed him on the inside of Row 8 and the inside of Row 9 for Rounds 9 and 10 respectively.
An early start on Sunday saw the first of two races begin at 09.15, and there was already a very big crowd at the Norfolk venue to watch the 25 Porsche 911s make a rolling start. A rub with Justin Sherwood at turn one didn’t cause any damage and McCullagh was able to set qualifying pace lap times as he swapped position several times with Sean Hudspeth. After a great race, McCullagh crossed the line 4th Pro-Am1 and 12th overall.
McCullagh made a great standing start in the afternoon’s second race to move up several positions within the first two corners. Unfortunately he tagged the back of Sherwood’s car as the field braked hard and bunched up for the tight hairpin corner, which resulted in McCullagh spinning off the track and forcing him to rejoin at the back of the field. Having dropped to 23rd overall, he fought back to finish 18th – but more importantly he scored valuable Pro-Am1 points for finishing 6th in class.
The close and spectacular races were broadcast on ITV4, with recorded highlights of Round 9 and the afternoon’s Round 10 broadcast live.
John McCullagh said: “The Porsche Carrera Cup GB races at Snetterton didn’t follow the usual pattern, so the championship is still very much alive. We made a couple of mistakes that were costly, but we also had a lot of positives which we’ll take forward to the next rounds at Knockhill. It was a weekend full of incidents, but we managed to survive and once again score points in both races, so I’m please with that. Our race lap times were on par with our qualifying lap times, so I was very happy with our overall pace throughout the weekend. We’re still third in the Pro-Am1 championship – after the first race we were tied with Sean Hudspeth in second, but we leave Snetterton just three points behind and everything still to play for.”