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April 29th Brands Hatch Indy
May 13th Oulton Park
June 17th Silverstone GP
Aug. 19th Croft
Sept 3rd Oulton Park
Sept 10th Brands Hatch GP
Oct. 14th Castle Combe
It was a testing day of action for Mark Sumpter and his Paragon Porsche 996 C2 at Silverstone on Saturday June 17th, with a 3rd and 4th position after two hectic races in the summer sun on the circuit’s full Grand Prix layout.
Qualifying went well, with Mark’s Baylis & Harding-backed car second of the Porsche Club Championship runners on the grid despite briefly leaving the circuit at the end of the session.
“I had a short trip through the gravel – they have changed the circuit layout slightly since yesterday and that’s my excuse!” said Mark. “Seriously, I have raced on this layout loads of times and was on a good lap and pushing hard. By then I felt I had the best of the tyres and thought I had done enough as we were a second quicker than pole here last year, but Mark McAleer was even quicker, the pace keeps moving on. The car feels good, I’m looking forward to the race.”
A great start in race one saw Mark head the field into the first corner, but it was to prove a troubled race, a damper issue causing Mark’s car to handle poorly. Unable to match his qualifying pace, he was in second by the end of lap one and despite defending lap after lap had slipped to fourth at the end of the 25-minute race.
“We had a problem with a damper and that was causing a handling imbalance,” explained Mark. “It was strange we lost two seconds of pace between qualifying and the race and I had to drive defensively the entire race.”
Race two saw another superb start by Mark and in a display of aggressive yet controlled driving Mark sat it out side-by-side with the car on pole round the first half of the Silverstone lap, finally having to slip into second at the end of the long Hanger Straight. He was in second for much of the race despite heavy pressure from behind, but the whole shape of the race changed on the final lap.
“We didn’t change the car other than set it back to how it was yesterday,” said Mark after another hot race, “and maybe we should have softened it as the heat was so much more today, but I wanted to know what had happened earlier so we ran with that. As the race progressed it was getting harder and harder to defend but I am disappointed to get hit like that.
“I was defending into the slower corners, I had my car on the right-hand side of the track into a slow right-hander and he was on the grass, didn’t stop and hit me in the side and knocked me back to sixth. I was lucky to be able to pull places back and came back to third in the last half a lap.
“It wasn’t the weekend we wanted, I think we need to test the car some more!”
Next Races: Croft, North Yorkshire, August 19th.
A win and a second place from the latest two rounds of the Porsche Club Championship at Oulton Park left Mark Sumpter and the Paragon Porsche team in a good mood as they set off on the long drive back to East Sussex from the Cheshire circuit. Mark led much of the opening race of the day before having to settle for second, but from pole position in race two made no mistake to lead the field all the way for his maiden win on the team’s return to the series.
The morning’s qualifying session had gone well, with Mark setting times good enough to take pole for both the day’s races in his Baylis & Harding backed 992 C2. He led the field away in race one only to be greeted by the sight of the safety car at the end of lap two. The field was set off to race again with ten minutes remaining, Mark heading a train of cars.
Trading fastest race laps with second placed Mark McAleer, Mark’s 996 got briefly out of shape as he powered out of Old Hall corner on lap 10 allowing McAleer to go by and take the win, Mark less than a second behind at the end.
“I just made a mistake coming out of Old Hall,” said Mark, “I knew my car was good in the first half of the lap and Mark was good in the second so I wanted to push and open a gap but I just got it a bit wrong!”
The final race of the day followed the same script in the early laps, Mark having to hold off the similar 996 of McAleer, the pair never more than a second apart over the first nine laps. Mark led over the line into lap ten, only for McAleer to suddenly slow exiting Old Hall, Mark coming round at the end of the lap a second clear of the field.
Over the remaining laps Mark was able to ease away to be over two and a half seconds clear at the end, the 2011 Porsche Club champion taking his first win on his return to the series this season.
“I had to work hard,” said Sumpter,” it seems like for most of the day I have had another car within inches of me. Mark McAleer was pressing hard so when he suddenly slowed that gave me an advantage, it’s nice to take our first win on our return to the series.”
Next Rounds: Silverstone, Northants., June 17th.
Mark Sumpter and the Paragon Porsche team returned to the Porsche Club Championship at Brands Hatch on Saturday April 29th, and reminded the series regulars of their pace with two podium finishes first time out in their new Porsche 996 C2. Mark overcame a brake problem in the first of the two 25-minute races to finish third, only to go one place better later in the day with a fine second place finish.
Mark’s Baylis & Harding–backed Porsche also bore allegiance with recently injured racer Billy Monger, Mark’s cousin, with a large ‘Billy Whizz’ logo on the front of the car, the rest of the Porsche racers gathering round the car after qualifying for a picture to show their support of the recovering teenager. The team’s first qualifying with the 996, which Mark went to buy over the winter initially not knowing it was a car he had raced at the end of the 1990s, went well, Mark taking fourth on the competitive grid.
Fourth in the early laps of race one, Mark went into third at the Druids hairpin on lap four and closed in the car in second, former champion Pete Morris. Close to the car ahead by mid-race, Mark was also under pressure from behind and having to be precise where he positioned the car on the track, an issue made harder as a brake problem hampered his car.
In the final laps Mark was right with the second place Morris, but couldn’t find a way past, taking third at the flag less than two-tenths of a second behind.
“I enjoyed that, pleased to be on the podium and racing Pete Morris again,” said Mark. “I have the same car as him now and we will have some good races this year. The car was good, we have to go away and improve it in certain areas and it will be a good season – though we had front brake issues in that race.”
Mark started race two fourth on the grid again, but a strong first lap saw him immediately up to third. That put him on the tail of Craig Wilkins, and Mark kept up the pressure over the next few laps before Wilkins suddenly slowed, pulling into the pits and moving Mark into second.
By that point the leader was too far ahead for Mark to challenge, but second place at the end of the 18-laps was enough for Mark to be happy with his day’s racing.
“The brakes weren’t a problem but we know now where we have to improve the car,” said Mark after race two. “It’s great to be back in the championship and it should be a good close season.”
Next Rounds: Oulton Park, Cheshire, May 13th.
At Paragon we live and breathe Porsche. Racing is an important part of our heritage, with our success on the track an endorsement of the abilities of our technical staff. The whole team at Paragon has contributed to our success including the Paragon MD Mark Sumpter, winner of numerous races and titles.
We started racing back in 1994, competing in the UK Porsche Classic Championship with a 1978 3 Litre SC. We have subsequently raced most variants of the Porsche 911, as well as the 944 and 968. We have also been fortunate enough to compete in a 962.
41 years after Giorgio Schön and Giovanni Borri raced their Porsche 3.0 RSR in the 1974 Paul Ricard 1000 Kms Mark and Lee Maxted-Page took it back there to race in the Peter Auto – Classic Endurance Series, in its debut race return to historic events.
The famous Harpers Bazzar livery, conceived by the celebrated Italian Fashion designer Mila Schön, has been meticulously restored and now fully-prepared by Maxted-Page for Peter Auto - F.I.A. series CER 1 and Le Mans Classic - 2016.
RSR chassis 911 460 9074 has a significant period racing history in the 1974-1975 World Manufacturers Championship and is one only 54 genuine examples built by the Porsche racing department and delivered during the period.
The car was co-driven by BRDC member Mark Sumpter of Paragon Porsche and Lee Maxted-Page. Several other original cars from the 1974 1000 kms were also entered at the same meeting, together with both Jürgen Barth and Gerrard Larrousse, still doing what they do best, in a magnificent Porsche 917/10 and Porsche 908 Longtail.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is as well known for its much loved undulating layout as it is for changeable weather conditions. At the 2016 Spa Classic, the track certainly lived up to its reputation with lovely spring conditions on Friday, followed by the odd hail shower on Saturday and Sunday.
Headlining the Spa Classic were the pair of Group C races run on Sunday. The star cars in the field were the Jaguar XJR-14 of Christophe d'Ansembourg, the Peugeot 905 of Dominique Guenat and the Porsche 962 of Mark Sumpter. It was most likely the first time these were pitched against each other since the 1991 World Championship and it was certainly the first time a Peugeot 905 was ever run at Spa. Unfortunately an incident in the second qualifying prevent the Peugeot from starting in the races. The XJR-14 did survive qualifying with d'Ansembourg setting the fastest time ahead of Mark Sumpter in the ultimate development of the works Porsche 962Cs.
Christophe d'Ansembourg had a great start but then made a mistake coming onto the straight and crashed into the wall. The damage was sufficient to prompt a retirement. The lead was taken over by Sumpter, who was in a close fight with Erwin France in a another 962C. After the pit-stops, Pierre-Alain France had taken over from his son and could not keep up with Sumpter. Ultimately he was also passed by Robin Ward in his Spice SE90C.
The XJR-14 could not be repaired, so the results of the second race were virtually identical with Sumpter again winning from Ward and the Frances.
In 2000 we made the progression into GT Racing with a 'factory built' GT3-R and in our debut season we won the British GT Championship.
We continued successfully in GT Racing with a 996 RSR, including a full season of FIA GT and the Daytona 24hr.
We also competed in the Porsche Cup with a 996 Cup car, winning several races and ending up 3rd overall in the championship.
We acquired the ultimate Porsche 962 (962-011) for 2007 and set the pace in the Championship winning 7 of the 12 races.
We also won our class at the Silverstone 24hr finishing 3rd overall in our 996 GT3 Cup car.
More Group C success followed in 2008 including 2nd place at the Le Mans 24 Support Race.
We returned to the Silverstone 24hr with a Porsche 997 RSR in 2008. We won the race after 602 laps of hard driving on the famous GP circuit.
Competing in the 997 RSR Britcar GT, we fought hard all season and won Class 1.
We won both of the Pirelli GT Trophy races, the first at Brands Hatch and the second at Snetterton.
We won the 2011 Porsche Club Championship with our faithful old 3.2 Carrera - our first ever race car!
We built and ran two 964 racers and enjoyed some very close, and extremely competitive racing.
We also competed with a beautiful 1964 901 in the Spa 6hr Classic. The 901 was the very first 911.
We were back winning races in the hard-fought 2013 Porsche Club Championship.
We built our own 1965 911 2 Litre 'historic racer' and competed in the Silverstone Classic, Spa 6hr and Paul Ricard 3hr.
The 2014 Porsche Club Championship proved to be tough against the newer cars but we won races at Rockingham, Croft and Brands Hatch and finished 2nd in Class 1.
Our 2 Litre 911 was the fastest 911 and took a podium place at the 2014 Silverstone Classic.