Building Materials supplier, Nicholls & Clarke, are sponsoring pro race driver, Mark Cole as he competes in the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup GB as part of their 140 year anniversary celebrations.
Mark Cole was denied a podium finish during rounds five and six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park (6/7 June). Misfortune at the hands of other drivers cost Mark the chance of two strong results in the striking cyan blue livery of the N&C supported Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
After an eight-year break from racing, Mark has returned to the sport this season in the hugely competitive Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Britain’s fastest single-marque race series for identical 460bhp racing Porsches. With a prime position on the supporting programme for the British Touring Car Championship, the Carrera Cup GB enjoys outstanding live TV coverage and huge race-day audiences.
Mark’s programme is backed by the Nicholls & Clarke Group as part of the company’s celebration of 140 years in business. Mark is racing in the championship’s Pro-Am1 category with the standard-setting Parr Motorsport team. The latest race weekend at Oulton Park in Cheshire was the third of eight events this season and drew a crowd estimated at 30,000 to the spectacular parkland track.
Mark (49) from Highclere in Berkshire went to Oulton Park seeking to build on the opening two race weekends and convert excellent pace into podium finishes in the hotly-contested Pro-Am1 category.
Unfortunately, inadvertent contact from other cars had a big impact on Mark’s weekend and left him with a best result of fourth in Pro-Am1 in the opening race, just half a second away from a podium finish.
“On the third lap of qualifying I got hit by a slower car and that damaged the bodywork at the front of the car,” explained Mark. “That cost me places on the grid at a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult, so fourth in the opening race was the best I could do. But we had good pace in the race.”
Mark went into the second race hopeful of exploiting that speed, but on only the second lap he took a heavy knock from a rival car at the tight Island Hairpin. Although he knew something was badly amiss with his car, he battled on and finished the race. Only later did he discover that the contact had broken the rear hub, cracked the brake disc and bent the lower wishbone. That damage made it incredibly difficult to even keep the car on the track, but Mark bravely raced on and salvaged fifth in class.
“It was very frustrating not to be able to show our true pace,” said Mark at the end of the weekend. “But I’ve been racing long enough to know that you get weekends like this one. We’ll now re-group and come back even stronger for the next race weekend!”