Dynojet star Frank Wrathall took the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup after a fascinating duel with Total Control Racing ace Carl Breeze. The duo produced a season long battle, with 24 year old Wrathall coming out on top at the final meeting to take his first car racing title in just his fourth season of racing.
Heading into the 2010 season, both title contenders were desperate to take the crown to make up for previous G50 heartache. For Wrathall, 2008 and 2009 had seen him twice agonisingly finish runner up in the series. For Breeze, he was in contention in 2009 until a horrendous accident at Oulton Park forced him to miss a few rounds and lose his opportunity.
It was Wrathall who was quickest out the gates, with two wins and two other full points' scores in the first couple of meetings giving him the early lead in the championship. However, Breeze fought back at the next three rounds, with four wins in five races, followed by three podiums at Croft, swinging the championship pendulum his way at the halfway mark of the season.
After trading wins at the next two rounds, they rolled into Knockhill for what turned out to be the decisive meeting of the season. A poor weekend by Breeze, that saw him finish the three races 4th, 10th and 9th, was compounded by Wrathall picking up three full points finishes, moving him back into the championship lead.
Tough weekends for both drivers at the penultimate meeting at Donington Park saw the title battle go down to the season finale at Brands Hatch. Breeze went on to dominate the opening two races, but a fourth and a third was enough for Wrathall to wrap up the crown with a race to spare.
Behind the title rivals, the best of the rest was Century Motorsport's Benji Hetherington. On the podium early on, with two at Rockingham and three at Brands Hatch, a dry spell in the middle of the season followed, before a strong weekend at Silverstone saw him take his maiden win in the series. This proved the catalyst for a great end to the year, with seven podiums in the final nine races, including a spectacular win the final race of the year.
As well as taking third in the championship, Benji also won the battle of the Hetherington's, beating brother and team mate Freddie. A regular runner at the top end of the pack himself, Freddie took his first podium of the season with third in Round 17 at Snetterton. He went on to go one better in the final race of the year, following Benji home in second to complete a Hetherington one-two, capping off a solid season that saw him finish fifth in the standings.
Sandwiched by the Hetheringtons in the final championship standings was IDL's Tom Sharp. A strong campaign saw him pick up a double podium at Brands Hatch, before going one step further and taking a superb double victory at Croft, his first wins in the G50 Cup. Although not taking any more race wins, he went on to take further podiums at Snetterton and Silverstone.
Another driver picking up his maiden win during the season was Adam Morgan. Racing for Dynojet, Morgan often found himself racing in Wrathall's shadow, but had his time in the limelight with victory in Round 14 at Croft. He also picked up podiums at Rockingham, Snetterton and Donington over the course of the season.
One of the stars of the season turned out to the inaugural G50 champion from 2008, Nigel Moore. Returning as a guest driver for a short campaign, Moore took part in eleven races over the course of the year. The 18 year old showed his pure class with a superb run of five wins and a second place in six races at Knockhill and Donington.
Guest drivers have been appearing at every round this year thanks to an initiative that was introduced for 2010, a VIP Guest car, run by Dynojet on behalf of Ginetta Cars UK. Different drivers were invited along to compete at the car at each meeting, to varying success.
First up was World Touring Car Championship star Rob Huff, who dominated the Thruxton weekend, picking up three wins out of three. No other guest driver was able to replicate this feat, with only one more picking up a win, former BTCC driver Jonny Adam on home tarmac at Knockhill. Stefan Hodgetts came close at Croft though, picking up three second place finishes. The guest car was home to a variety of drivers, including ITV commentator Simon Hill, Adrian Newey, the Red Bull Formula 1 team's chief technical officer and 2010 Renault Clio Cup champion Dave Newsham.
Within the G50 Cup ran the Chairman's Cup category, a series for the older drivers in the series. For the second year running it was won by CWS Racing's Colin White, who comfortably picked up the title ahead of closest rival Tony Hughes.
The 2010 season saw a variety of changes introduced to try and spice up the racing, including the guest car and a reverse grid format for Race three of the weekend. These succeeded, with the series once again producing close, thrilling racing and creating one of the most closely fought, captivating championship battles on the TOCA package.
To end, here's TCF's choice of Top 5 drivers of the season:
- Carl Breeze – Might have lost out on the championship, but was the star of the season. He took more wins and podiums than any other driver and his run of 14 podiums in 15 races in the middle of the season was magnificent. Unlucky to lose out on the title again.
- Frank Wrathall – Used his heartache from years gone by to spur him on to finally taking the championship. Knew the ultimate ambition from the start and drove smartly to take the title without taking unnecessary risks.
- Benji Hetherington – Enjoyed a very good year, taking fourteen podiums, just two less than the champion. He deserved more than the two wins he got, but should be proud of his achievements.
- Nigel Moore – Came back and showed why he is a champion in this series. Suits the car perfectly and easily beat the best the series had to offer. He's gifted with great speed and racecraft and has a top career ahead of him.
- Tom Sharp – Had a good season, regularly challenging at the front of the field and picking up podium finishes. His superb double win at Croft was a joy to behold.