Dino Zamparelli produced his best weekend of the year to take two 2nd place finishes during rounds 5 & 6 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship, to bounce back from the disappointment at Donington Park in April.
Oulton Park in Cheshire, would play hose to rounds 5 & 6 of the championship and despite Practice being set in the summer heat, Saturday morning qualifying was a wet affair. This was to be the first wet qualifying session of the year, and the 24 year Bristol driver produced a solid display with 2nd fastest time, being pipped by rival Dan Cammish in the final few moments for pole. Of his qualifying effort, Zamparelli said:
"It was a tricky session in qualifying as it was really slippery at the start and very easy to crash. I actually went off at the start and therefore didn't post a lap time before the session was briefly stopped for a crash. After the red flag, I went out on new tyres and got myself into pole position for the majority of the session."
"However, Cammish and his team played it quite well, by pitting with a few minutes to go and bolted on a new set of tyres. It was quite risky from them, but it paid off. They pipped us to pole position and I would have to settle for 2nd place. Nonetheless, we were pleased with our efforts in the first wet session of the year."
For Round 5, Zamparelli made a strong getaway from the outside on the rolling start, and would tuck behind Dan Cammish into turn one. However, a huge incident behind with over 10 cars involved, would cause a lengthy stoppage to the race. Thankfully none of the drivers were injured in the crash, and the race was able to be resumed after the delay.
It was a full restart and Dino once again tucked in to 2nd place behind Dan Cammish. From there, the pair traded fastest laps before crossing the line as they were, in a slightly shortened opening race. Of his 2nd place finish, Dino said:
"It was manic out there! It was one of those races where you just had to finish because there were so many cars going off and crashing. The start was crazy, as I looked in the mirror and just saw a huge pile up, I knew there was going to be a red flag."
For the second race of the weekend, which again took place in sunny conditions on Sunday afternoon, Zamparelli would once again make a solid start off the line and consolidate 2nd place at the start. This time, his times were seemingly not as fast as the leader Dan Cammish, and the top 3 would play out a stalemate race throughout the duration.
Despite a bit of pressure from 3rd place man Eastwood at times during the race, Zamparelli produced another solid defensive drive and comfortably finished 2nd place for the second weekend encounter. Clocking up a handful of points and a move of intend towards taking wins, Zamparelli said of his weekend:
"It was our best weekend yet. We're working and gelling with the team JTR well and moving towards that first win of the year. Two 2nd places is by no means a bad weekend, but naturally we're all eager to push on for the wins now. Obviously Donington Park has hit us hard in terms of Championship points, but I'm not really looking at the Championship table at the moment. I know that if I can focus on producing solid, consistent drives then the points will take care of themselves. And maybe at the end, if we're a bit lucky, then we'll have a chance to fight for the championship.
"As it is, I'm just focussed on continuing our progression towards the front of the grid and continuing our step towards taking the wins. We're getting closer and I feel our progression has been clear to see, which is good. I'm excited to travel to Le Mans next month for the next round of the championship, and will be attacking for that first win there!"
Rounds 7 & 8 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship take place at Le Mans on the 17th/18th of June 2017.