HOLLYMAN HEADS TRACTIVE 911 CHALLENGE FIELD HOME AT SNETTERTON
Norfolk’s Snetterton 300 hosted Porsche Club GB Motorsport’s second Tractive 911 Challenge race of 2021, and it was Rob Hollyman who took the win in his 964, chased home by Miles Maserati’s 911 Turbo. James Neal and Neil Harvey took the final podium place as the first of the twodriver 911s competing.
Hollyman set the pace in the morning’s qualifying session, with Tim Bates achieving a second-place start in his 911 SC. The 964 Carrera 2 of Neal and Harvey had gained an impressive rear wing since racing in the series opener at Donington Park in April, as fourth-place qualifier, the solo Maserati, was only too aware, such was its prominence in his immediate line of view! “Snetterton felt good and quick today,” said Hollyman after securing pole position. “My 964 wears new tyres for the first time in a while. This really helped push pace. I’m looking forward to the race.” Sadly, a misfire late in the session saw Bates unable to participate.
Despite not having a experienced a standing race start in his blue
964 before, Hollyman got away cleanly, while a storming first lap from Maserati saw him whip into second and Neal pushed back to third. Hollyman was in the quickest car on the circuit, and promptly pulled clear of Maserati, who found his 930 stopping better after work to remedy brake complaints during qualifying. He soon opened a gap on Neal.
Running a strong fourth in the early stages of the race was Christian Ayres, making his debut in a 964 Carrera 2 known for being a previous Porsche Club Championship title winner. Close behind was Rainer
Becker and his immaculate 911 RSR (look out for this spectacular motorsport machine in the next issue of Classic Porsche). He managed to move ahead on lap two, with Ayres running fourth ahead of Nathan Luckey’s red 964 Carrera RS N/GT.
With Hollyman out front and setting a series of fastest race laps, it was Ayres who was the first to pit as soon as the window to stop opened after twenty minutes, at the end of his twelfth lap. From then on, the field worked its way in and out of the pitlane — Mike Champion stopped his 911 RSR the very same lap Neal chose to hand the third place 964 to Harvey. The only other two-pilot Porsche swapped drivers two laps later, when Luckey was replaced by David Harrison in the N/GT.
TIME TO REFLECT
Maserati was in the pits at the end of his fourteenth lap, which saw Becker move up to second place. He and racing rival, Hollyman, were the last to pit, coming in on sixteen laps, after which, the true order was clear: Hollyman led with a gap to Maserati, Harvey close behind and Becker in fourth place ahead of Harrison. They stayed in that order to the end of the race, Hollyman taking his well-sorted 964 to the win on his first Tractive 911 Challenge outing, while Maserati claimed another podium, this time in the very same 911 Turbo his father raced in the 1990s. Harvey brought his shared 964 home in third, with Becker settling for fourth in his RSR. Despite the hot temperatures, there was only one did-not-finish. Champion was the victim, regrettably retiring his Jagermeister-liveried RSR on what was his 911 Challenge debut.
Still, with a surname like his, we’re sure to be seeing much more of this Porsche racer in forthcoming rounds of the series.
“The start went really well!” said Hollyman, after the race. “I pushed hard early to get a little gap, but my car’s brakes went away after ten minutes. The team checked brake fluid level at the pitstop, but it was fine, giving me the confidence to push on harder thereafter.” Maserati was also concerned about his 911’s stopping abilities. “There was a bit of sheen on the brake discs this morning, but they were much better this afternoon,” he told us. “I went around the track faster than during any of my previous visits to Snetterton. Obviously, this was very pleasing, but the race was very tiring. Fuel surge also threatened to put paid to my fun. Thankfully, the car held out. I really enjoyed the race.”
Tractive 911 Challenge porscheclubgb.com/motorsport/911-challenge ROUND 2 RESULTS: SNETTERTON 300, 5th JUNE 2021
1 Rob Hollyman (964) 27 Laps
2 Miles Maserati (911 Turbo) +55.796s
3 James Neal/neil Harvey (964 Carrera 2)
4 Rainer Becker (911 RSR)
5 Nathan Luckey/david Harrison (964 Carrera RS N/GT) 6 Christian Ayres (964 Carrera 2)
Rob Hollyman 2m09.599s (82.47mph)
Oulton Park, Cheshire, 3rd July 2021