Xentek Motorsport have made a brilliant return to the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB podium as Danny Dwyer converted a seasons’ best qualifying performance into a third-place finish in the latest rounds at Donington Park this past weekend (26/27 August).
The championship’s second visit of the season to the Leicestershire venue saw the grid of identical Porsche Cayman’s competing on the full Grand Prix circuit, with Dwyer feeling instantly at home on the longer layout after some competitive performances on it in his recent Ginetta campaigns.
Free practice on Thursday proved to be tougher than hoped due to some mechanical issues outside of the South Yorkshire team’s control, however some great support from Porsche ensured their Cayman was ready to go for another bumper weekend with qualifying and three races.
Dwyer impressively overcame the lack of practice running compared to his rivals and produced a fantastic qualifying performance on Saturday morning. Securing top three starts in class for the opening two races of the weekend, he’d also line up for both inside the top ten overall.
From third in class on the grid for race one, Dwyer produced a faultless performance to maintain that position throughout. Keeping pressure on the second place driver ahead for a long spell, he was comfortably clear of his next class competitor as he finished a great seventh overall.
He’d start one place higher in class and overall for race two on Sunday morning, the first of two encounters to be televised live on ITV4. It proved to be a hectic start in wet conditions, with the London-based racer sustaining damage on the opening lap that knocked his tracking out for the remainder of the race.
Battling on with the effects of the damage and the challenge of a drying circuit, Dwyer was on course for fourth at the finish before a robust overtaking move from another driver at the last corner of the race forced him off circuit. Recovering in sixth, the perpetrator of the move was later penalised to promote Dwyer to fifth.
There was further misfortune for Dwyer in the final race of the weekend as contact from behind going through Redgate corner for the first time sent him onto the grass. Recovering to the rear of the field, he was able to make some progress back up the order before a part failure - a consequence of the lap one incident - led to a retirement.
Sarah-Jayne McKenna, Team Manager: “It’s been a typically rollercoaster weekend of emotions in the Sprint Challenge GB, but there’s a lot to be proud of from the performances by Danny and the whole team.
“We felt on the back foot after some issues in Thursday practice, but Danny absolutely nailed it in qualifying to put himself in great starting positions for the first two races. He did a perfect job in the opener and really deserved the podium finish.
“Sadly it was a tough Sunday, with Danny finding himself out of luck and on the receiving end of some unnecessary moves from other drivers. It’s a shame not to be able to fully capitalise on the great pace this weekend, but it’s a positive sign heading into Silverstone next.”
Next up is the penultimate round of the 2023 Porsche Sprint Challenge GB season, with three races on the Silverstone National circuit next month (23/24 September). Prior to that, Xentek Motorsport will return to Ginetta action at Brands Hatch (09/10 September).
Image from Porsche GB.