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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Abbie Eaton displays improved performance at Brands Hatch

Rebelleo Motorsport's Abbie Eaton took a significant step forward in her second ever meeting in Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, where she displayed class-leading speed throughout the weekend and will be aiming to assert herself as a consistent contender for ProAm podium finishes.


Abbie Eaton, Rebelleo Motorsport, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, 2024 Brands Hatch
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Abbie Eaton took a significant step forward in her second ever meeting in Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain. Competing at Brands Hatch for Rebelleo Motosport, Eaton was unfortunate to lose out on her first ProAm podium following a post-race penalty, ending the weekend with a best result of fifth in class. Nonetheless, she displayed class-leading speed throughout the weekend which will encourage her as the season progresses.


Eaton’s Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain season got off to an encouraging start at Donington Park, despite challenging weather conditions. In the one race which took place, Abbie finished seventh in the ProAm class which secured her championship points on her debut. Following the postponement of race two, the contest was rescheduled for Brands Hatch which meant a busy schedule including three races for the Rebelleo Motorsport driver.


The race weekend began on Friday with two free practice sessions on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, As the only track time prior to qualifying, these sessions were vital in honing in a good setup for what was set to be three warm and challenging races. Similarly to the season opener, lap times were extremely close among the drivers with Eaton setting the 23rd fastest time in practice, tenth among those in the ProAm class.


Eaton’s quickest lap time on Friday was just seven tenths of a second away from the pacesetter Will Martin and therefore qualifying was set to be equally competitive. The majority of drivers made two separate new tyre runs in order to maximise their pace, with Eaton sitting just inside the top-10 in class at the halfway stage. A fantastic final new tyre run saw the Rebelleo Motorsport driver gain seven tenths of a second from her best time on Friday to qualify fifth in the ProAm class, 16th overall.


The opening race of the weekend took place on Saturday afternoon and was ran in place of the postponed contest at Donington Park. As a result, the grid was based on the finishing positions from race one at the season opener with Eaton starting 19th overall, seventh in ProAm. Making a fast start, Eaton gained one position on the first lap to move into sixth in class, 18th overall. Abbie’s overall position was improved further on lap three following a moment for James Wallis through Clearways as the Pro class driver fell behind Eaton.


Wallis found his way through on lap seven, with Eaton focused on gaining positions within her class. As overall race leader Angus Whiteside defended his position stoutly, this kept the field in close proximity with Abbie lapping faster than the leaders. On lap 19, the safety car was deployed with Eaton moving up to fourth in ProAm, 16th overall.


After a short interruption, the racing resumed with Eaton losing out to a recovering Sid Smith, before settling into fifth position. Taking the checkered flag in 16th overall, it was a maiden top-5 ProAm result of the season for the Rebelleo Motorsport driver.


Abbie Eaton, Rebelleo Motorsport, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, 2024 Brands Hatch
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Race two of the weekend was the first based on the qualifying results from Saturday, with Eaton lining up 16th overall, fifth in ProAm. The race got off to a dramatic start after an opening lap incident involving Will Burns and Angus Whiteside saw the latter roll, with the race subsequently red flagged. On the restart, Eaton was able to move into 12th place overall, fourth in class. A smart overtake on Ross Wylie then promoted her into a provisional ProAm podium position.


The race then settled into a rhythm with Abbie in 11th position overall, with Saturday’s Pro class race winner George Gamble directly ahead. Eaton kept pace with the group ahead and this saw her set the second fastest lap time among the ProAm runners, a marked improvement from the speed she displayed at Donington Park. As Gamble moved forward on lap 10, this meant that class rival Oliver White was now Eaton’s next target.


The Rebelleo Motorsport driver applied the pressure to her rival throughout the second half of the race, but with overtaking extremely challenging on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, she was unable to make a move. Taking the checkered flag inside the top-10 following the final lap retirement of Gamble, Abbie had provisionally secured her maiden podium finish. However, a ten second penalty was later applied for a false start which dropped Eaton to seventh in class.


Looking to add to her tally of points in race three, Eaton would line up seventh in ProAm, 18th overall. It was another good start for the Rebelleo Motorsport driver who gained two overall positions on the first lap. Once again, Eaton was one of the few drivers who was able to make on-track progress and this saw her overtake Henry Dawes on lap four. Abbie was now inside the top-5 in class and this position was improved further as she made her way past former British Touring Car Championship driver Jack Butel on lap six.


Eaton was now behind Ollie Jackson and was looking racy as she aimed to move into a provisional podium position. Looking faster than her rival ahead, Abbie continued to search for a way ahead of her fellow ProAm class competitor. As the race entered the second half, Eaton’s task was made more challenging as she now had the Pro class car of James Wallis directly behind, with the Porsche Junior driver keen to move forward.


On lap 19, Wallis made his move and this also allowed Butel to re-pass Eaton a lap later moving her down to fifth. Taking the checkered flag inside the top-5, her final result was set to be a sixth-place finish as a five second time penalty for track limit infringements dropped her behind Dawes.


Despite not achieving the overall results to show for it, Eaton took a significant step forward in performance and this will be cause for encouragement for the Rebelleo Motorsport driver. Showing improved pace in qualifying as well as the races, Abbie will be aiming to assert herself as a consistent contender for ProAm podium finishes.


The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain championship will take place at the high-speed Thruxton Circuit on the weekend of 8th/9th June.

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