Brace of top-five finishes at the Porche Carrera Cup for Oliphant

Leamington-based racer Tom Oliphant produced a clear indication of his potential in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB after storming through to a pair of top-five finishes during his championship debut at Brands Hatch.

Thursday, 7th April 2016, 10:46 am
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2016, 10:59 am
Tom Oliphant in race action at Brands Hatch. James Lipman/Porsche

Bouncing back from an unsatisfying qualifying performance, Oliphant showcased his overtaking prowess with some sublime moves to pick up a fifth and a fourth place and slot into joint-fourth in the championship standings.

A frustrating qualifying session saw issues with traffic hamper his crucial final flying laps, restricting him to an uncharacteristic sixth and eighth on the grid for Sunday’s two races.

After losing a spot on the opening lap of race one, the 25-year-old was a man on a mission in his Redline Racing Porsche, quickly dispatching Stephen Jellley for sixth place at Surtees.

A couple of laps later, Oliphant pulled out the overtake of the race with a sensational move around the outside of Jonas Gelzinis at Druids giving him a fifth position that he would maintain to the chequered flag.

The highlight of the weekend would come in the live televised second race, with a fantastic launch off the line seeing him immediately gain two places before a carbon copy of his around-the-outside move at Druids from race one secured him fifth from Charlie Eastwood.

From there, Oliphant spent the remainder of the race in the middle of a thrilling battle over the final podium position. After a slick move on Tom Sharp at McLaren gave him fourth, he closely pursued Jelley but was unable to find a way past.

The fourth place still capped an impressive Carrera Cup GB debut for Oliphant, though, with a maiden podium finish firmly in his sights at Silverstone as the championship joins the support bill for the FIA World Endurance Championship.

He said: “Everyone last season said you can’t overtake in Porsches, so I went out there determined to prove everybody wrong and I think I did.

“There are some really good drivers in this field, but I put myself in and around the best and earned their respect pretty quickly.”