The 2.0L Cup series returned to action in the Dix Mille Tours du Castellet at Paul Ricard last weekend. We were delighted to catch up with the team at Peter Auto and to get back to racing our beautiful 2-litre 911s.
We supported seven cars at the Dix Mille Tours du Castellet. Six were 2.0-litre cars, driven by the driver pairings of Richard Cook and Harvey Stanley, William Paul and Rory Butcher, David Clark and Pascal Pandelaar and Shaun and Max Lynn. Philippe de Craene (below) drove solo, as did Christian Coll, who debuted a new livery on his 2-litre car for the event. We also supported the 3.0 911 RSR of Michel Speyer in Classic Endurance.
The Provençal weather did not disappoint and the cars raced in glorious sunshine all weekend. The three-day racing weekend began with free practice on Friday. Held in the full glare of the afternoon sun, track temperatures were much higher than on our last visit to the circuit in 2019. Lap times came down steadily as drivers blew off the cobwebs and got back up to speed.
Saturday was qualifying day. The 30-minute qualifying session was held in the cooler early evening temperatures and lap times fell significantly. As qualifying drew to a close, three-time BTCC winner, Rory Butcher, set a stunning lap in the number 73 Tuthill Porsche to claim pole position by just three one-hundredths of a second. All six of our cars finished in the top ten: an amazing result in the first competitive session post-lockdown.
Sunday’s ninety-minute race was held in the early afternoon and the pace was red hot from the start. Philippe de Craene put in a blistering drive, running inside the top three until taking the lead on lap 17. William Paul also delivered an outstanding opening stint, making up seven places before handing over to Butcher, who proceeded to set fastest laps for the rest of the race.
The new driver pairing of David Clark and Pascal Pandelaar proved an effective combination, making up three places in the race and enjoying a great weekend. 2019 2.0L Cup Gentleman Drivers Champion, Richard Cook, showed he had got even quicker over the winter, climbing from ninth to fifth before enjoying a small stroke of luck when a safety car was called, just as he entered the pits.
The safety car period was followed by a tremendous race to the finish. When the chequered flag was waved, Richard Cook and Harvey Stanley emerged victorious, ahead of the relentless Philippe de Craene. Christian Coll showed incredible speed in a race-long tussle with de Craene and went on to claim a well-deserved third on the podium. Shaun and Max Lynn charged hard to the end, setting third quickest race top speed and coming home eighth overall.
“What a first race after four months in lockdown!” said a delighted Richard Tuthill. “Pole position, a 1-2-3 finish and six Tuthill cars in the top nine. Our team has worked hard to make these cars the fastest they have ever been: we even re-jetted the carburettors between practice and qualifying to account for the very hot weather. Consequently, our six cars set all six highest top speeds in the race.
“The result pays tribute to excellent driving, but is also testament to our set-up philosophy. We set our cars up not for ultimate speed in the hands of a seasoned professional, but for gentleman drivers to be comfortable when pushing them hard. When three gentleman drivers lock out the podium in three Tuthill Porsches, that says it all.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better result: thank you to everyone who put so much hard work into making it happen. Congratulations also to Michel Speyer who put in an excellent drive in Classic Endurance. Michel just gets quicker and quicker: his RSR set the highest top speed in the race this weekend. The next event at Monza in September is another race our team won last year. We’re excited to get back to Italy and keep pushing hard against strong competition.”
Photos by Mathieu Bonnevie for 2.0L Cup