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Larne excels out East!

Impulse Racing’s Pascal Costa appears to be Kamil Grabowski’s only challenger in the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup (ARA Porsche Cup). Arriving at Suzuka for round five of the championship, Grabowski holds a commanding forty-point lead over Costa. Best of the rest, is PorscheSport’s rapid Yorkshireman, Josh Camm. In the AM class ranks, Kev Copeland holds a slender five-point gap from Leon Erger.

Pascal Costa struck the first psychological blow in the qualifying dash. Edging out Grabowski by 0.153 seconds, the German star started just yards ahead, but the first punch had been landed. Leon Erger claimed AM class pole and an impressive thirteenth overall.

Race 1

While Pascal Costa negotiated the snaking S bends of the opening sector safely, Kamil Grabowski’s start to the twenty-minute sprint race was far from serene. After being pipped by Nick Rowland, Grabowski careered across the grass and back into oncoming traffic. Miraculously, Grabowski avoided an incident. However, the championship leader’s abrupt re-entry to the circuit triggered a multi car incident behind.

By three-quarters distance, Grabowski finally reeled in Nick Rowland and moved past the Briton into second place at the Casio triangle. However, Costa had already checked out to a flawless victory and crucial championship points.

Leon Erger snatched the AM championship lead with a storming drive to seventh overall and top of the AM class. Kairos Competition’s Dane Baird scored an impressive overall top ten and second in the AM division.

Feature Race

For the thirty-minute feature race, a twenty-four-place grid inversion shuffled up the pack. Championship frontrunners, Costa and Grabowski, would need razor sharp reactions to ascend the leader board without issue.

Martin Spalek and Kev Copeland enjoyed a clear view to turn one for the feature race. Spalek soon faded while Copeland held his own amongst PRO class opposition, despite Salvatore Larne and Tor A. Berven pushing through to the overall lead.

Sadly, Copeland’s impressive run for the overall podium ended at the Degner curves. Carrying a little too much speed into the first Degner curve, Copeland shot off the track and into a gap in the barriers. An Austin Powers-esque multi-point turn was required to break free.

Back at the front, Larne and Berven duelled for the lead. Simultaneously, Josh Camm and Lewis Ward settled their own dispute for third. However, an error from Larne handed a comfortable lead to Berven. Furthermore, Larne now faced the ascendant Josh Camm and Lewis Ward.

Larne spent the remainder of the race tenaciously recovering from his earlier mistake. With five minutes to go, Larne was now back in touch with his Norwegian rival. A mistake on the way to the Degner curves from Berven handed the win to Larne and second place to Josh Camm for good measure. Lewis Ward came home fourth in a dramatic finale to a tough day’s racing at Suzuka.

Jelt Heldoorn refused to crack under pressure while his AM class rivals fell by the wayside. Fifth overall placed the Dutchman ten spots ahead of AM class runner up, Jack Knight.

Post Race

After the race, several of the ARA Porsche cup stars joined Joshua Lee and Alessandro Dalledonne in the Apex Racing TV commentary box:

Leon Erger: “I definitely got lucky in the second race. It was a huge mistake on my end, but I got lucky with Copeland spinning out. I just never gave up but I didn’t think I’d end up in front of him.”

Jack Knight: “I had my best qualifying. I spun at Spoon but I managed to recover in to quite a good finish. One of my best of the season.”

Dane Baird: “The first race was pretty good. I just wasn’t quick enough to catch the guys in front of me. In the second race, Kev Copeland got into second place on the reverse grid, so I knew it was going to be tough to be him. I then had the contact on lap five which ended my race.”

On the 17th of March, the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup returns for round six of the championship at Watkins Glen. Tune in to live coverage on Apex Racing TV at 8pm GMT.

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