Downshift issue limits teenager to 19th on home soil
A gearbox issue ultimately masked what Cameron Twynham later described as his ‘best Porsche Supercup performance of the season’ in front of a partisan crowd during the Formula 1 support series’ fourth round of 2015 at Silverstone last weekend (July 3-5).
While the result, 19th, remains some way short of the BRDC Rising Star’s expectations, Sunday’s race did at least demonstrate his growing confidence behind the wheel of the #12 MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX entry. Indeed, Twynham had already made up five places in six laps when a downshift issue between gears two and five prevented further progress.
The adjustment from single-seaters to sportscars has been most noticeable during qualifying, and in particular the need for greater aggression when warming the Porsche’s tyres. The net result was 21st on the grid for Sunday’s race but, as at previous rounds, progress was swift once the lights went out.
“There’s no doubt qualifying has held us back so far this season, but it’s something we’re working on,” confirmed the 19-year-old. “Starting that far back in the pack means we’re right in the thick of it from the off, which is great for honing my racecraft but not ideal when trying to make progress towards the top-10, which is where we’re aiming for during my maiden season of GT racing.”
To emphasise the point Twynham was shadowing 2014 series vice-champion Kuba Giermaziak when the downshift problem began at the start of lap six while running 16th.
“You can see from the onboards how difficult it was for me to change down and find a gear,” he explained. “The issue was between two and five, which is quite a big chunk of the range! It basically compromised most of my corner entries because I was having to brake much earlier to make the apex. There was less engine braking, too, and obviously there’s the not inconsiderable matter of trying to keep other drivers at bay!”
With over half the race still remaining it would have come as little surprise to see the local lad tumble down the order. But, incredibly, just three places were lost over the remaining seven laps.
“I had a lot of friends and family from Market Harborough come along to support me as it’s only 30-odd miles,” continued Twynham. “I really didn’t want to let them down and fought like hell to hold on to as many places as I could. On paper 19th doesn’t sound all that special but, believe me, I worked hard for it! That’s why it feels like the best race of my season so far. I’m really pleased with it, actually, although obviously I’d have liked to finish a bit higher. Without the problem we’d have been sniffing around the fringes of the top-10, based on where Giermaziak ended up.”
And so on to the Hungaroring, or ‘Monaco without the walls’ as it’s come to be known, on July 24-26.
“I always went well there in F3 and feel like we learned a lot at Silverstone, so I’m looking forward to Hungary,” he said. “Getting qualifying sorted is now the priority; we know there’s work to do on that front and it’s something we’ll pay close attention to, especially as it’s so difficult to overtake around a circuit as narrow and bumpy as the Hungaroring. But we always knew it would take time to learn the sportscar ropes, especially at the highest level like Porsche Supercup. I’m enjoying every minute.”