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The Amigos backed Porsche Carrera Cup GB duo of George Gamble and Seb Perez kicked off their 2018 season in style, with Gamble taking an inaugural series victory in the final race at Brands Hatch last weekend (7th/8th April).

Despite only his second ever Carrera Cup race, Nottingham based Gamble stormed to victory in race two from fourth place on the grid, beating many more experienced Pro drivers in the process. He left the Kent circuit on Sunday evening in an impressive third place in the championship standings and leading rookie heading into round two at Donington.

Perez suffered a knock back in the season opening race of the weekend, ending it in the gravel but impressed in race two, making ten places from the back of the grid to take 10th and finish just outside of the ProAm category podium.

After a strong season as team mates in 2017, the Ginetta GT4 graduates would form a new partnership in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this season with the Team Parker Racing outfit.

The 16 round series is one of the most highly regarded championships in Europe and follows the British Touring Car package, with a trip to Monza in Italy for the European Le Mans Series support thrown in for good measure. Each 485 brake horse power Porsche 911 GT3 is identical, meaning the racing is as close as it gets with the first meeting Brands Hatch proving the point suitably well.

A difficult qualifying session for both Amigos drivers dashed any hopes of starting on the front row of the grid; heavy traffic at the narrow and short Indy circuit being the main culprit. Nevertheless, Gamble would start race one on Sunday in fifth and Perez would line up in ninth spot.

Race day would provide the additional challenge of a mixed weather forecast and with the Carrera Cup being one of the first out on the circuit, would have to cope with a very wet track and a very different one to that experienced in qualifying the day before.

Gamble would hold the team’s best chance of a podium in the opener but the tightly packed asphalt offered little opportunity for overtaking. Both Gamble and Perez would need to acclimatise quickly to the wet tyres and new set up with both Amigos drivers providing a masterclass on how to control the 911’s in tricky conditions.

Sadly Perez’s efforts would come to nothing after being punted into the gravel at just over the half way point and it responsibility would lay at Gamble’s door for a team result. He truly delivered, overcoming a slow puncture on the final few laps to take score first rookie home and narrowly missing out on a debut podium in fourth.

The unpredictable conditions remained for the second race, broadcast live on the ITV4 network in the afternoon. Perez would have it all to do starting from the back of the grid, with Gamble taking the fourth slot.

Perez stunned onlookers at the start, making up five places by turn three and continued to return one of the best drives of his career throughout the race.

By lap ten, he had picked off effectively one place per lap to settle into tenth. A safety car on lap 16 halted any more progress through the ranks but the Chesterfield ace was happy with his opening weekend performance.

“It could have been a much different story had I not got taken out in race one but I feel really positive about the weekend as a whole” said Perez.

“The car feels great and we are making real progress with every lap. It just feels very comfortable in the Porsche and Team Parker (Racing) have done a great job to get the car back out for race two. I really need to continue the pace into the next round at Donington”.

It wasn’t just Perez that had a good race. Gamble took a mature approach to the opening half of the race but by lap 11, had moved up from fourth to second spot and was eyeing first. The safety car deployment came at the same time as a rain shower which caught out the leader, allowing Gamble to inherit the top spot and take a surprise but welcome inaugural Carrera Cup victory.

“That last race was insane” said an elated Gamble.

“The rain just changed everything out there and the pace is so hot that you can’t afford to be an inch off line. I had a really good rhythm in the car for much of that race and I just managed to pick my way through the pack. It really is the perfect start to the season and t take my first Porsche win on the first round against some pretty experienced drivers is really special. It’s a real confidence boost to head into the second meeting with my first win under my belt and valuable points for the season ahead”.

The next round of the season heads for Donington Park on the 28th/29th April.

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