Oliphant maintains place among Porsche top five

Tom Oliphant in Porsche Carrera Cup GB action at Silverstone. Picture: James Lipman/Porche
Tom Oliphant in Porsche Carrera Cup GB action at Silverstone. Picture: James Lipman/Porche
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Leamington-based Tom Oliphant stormed to a pair of top-five finishes during an action-packed second meeting of the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Silverstone.

The weekend saw Oliphant race in support of the FIA World Endurance Championship around the iconic Silverstone circuit and he made full use of the platform to once again showcase his pace and potential.

Oliphant had to use all of his skill across a weekend of changing weather, the worst of which saw the circuit bathed in snow on Saturday morning, leading to the cancellation of qualifying with fears over the levels of standing water on the track.

With the decision made to set the grid by championship position, the Redline Racing ace lined up fifth on the grid for the opening encounter later that afternoon, buoyed by showing top-six pace in both wet and dry conditions in Friday practice.

The snow and rain had ceased by the time the opening race came around, meaning Oliphant was able to race on slick tyres. Starting on the wet side of the track would prove to be his downfall, however, as when squeezed to the inside at the first corner he suffered an unfortunate spin.

That fired up the 25-year- old and from 17th at the end of lap one, he mounted a sensational comeback to move into the top eight within four laps before swiftly closing down an eight-second gap to the group ahead.

With two more positions gained on lap six, Oliphant held the outright fastest lap during the middle portion of the race as he began to pressure Lewis Plato in fifth, getting through with a slick move into Stowe on lap 11.

After giving the place back soon after, Oliphant would produce an even better move at the same corner four laps later, storming around the outside to take a fifth place that he would maintain until the finish.

Starting fourth for race two courtesy of an improved championship position, he would once again have to mount a fightback after slipping to sixth off the line - a position he would hold for a large portion of the race as he sat in the middle of a thrilling five-way battle for fourth.

Biding his time as the clock ticked down, Oliphant seized an opportunity on the penultimate lap with another tremendous move at Stowe to take fifth from Tom Sharp before storming past Stephen Jelley coming out of Copse on the final lap to secure fourth position.

Post-race, however, Oliphant was demoted to fifth behind Sharp after it was deemed he exceeded track limits when he overtook his adversary.

Oliphant is now able to catch his breath, with a seven-week break before the next meeting at Oulton Park in early June.

“This break before Oulton Park is going to be a blessing,” said Oliphant.

“It’s been a manic few weeks with the two race meetings and all the preparations, so it’s great to get them out of the way with a solid start to the season and I feel we have the potential to be regularly challenging for podium finishes from now on.”