Tom Sharp has written his name into the history books by securing the first ever win in the new Ginetta G55, powering home to victory in Round 1 of the Ginetta GT Supercup at Brands Hatch.
The IDL driver started on pole and a good start saw him lead into Paddock Hill, closely pursued by former G50 Cup champion Nathan Freke and Adam Morgan.
In the G50 class, a stall on the grid for Tom Ingram saw him drop to the back, with Jody Fannin taking the class lead. A good start for Andy Richardson saw him move into second ahead of Meridian Motorsport’s Rob Gaffney.
The first couple of laps saw the front two running nose to tail and by lap three, Century Motorsport’s Freke was ready to make a move for the lead. Getting a better run out of Clearways, he moved around the outside of Sharp along the pit straight. As they headed into Paddock, there was contact, sending Freke spinning into the gravel and though he was able to get back on track, he was dead last, where he eventually finished.
Sharp held his lead though and began to pull away from Morgan, with reigning Ginetta Challenge champion George Murrells now third.
Fannin continued to lead the G50 runners, with Andy Richardson a comfortable second. A battle for third was on, with Andy’s younger sister Louise Richardson pressurising Gaffney, eventually getting by on lap 10. Behind, a close contest was developing for fifth in class between a bonnet-less Aaron Williamson and a recovering Ingram.
At the front, the lead Sharp had built up was to be abolished with the introduction of the safety car, after contact between Jake Hill’s G50 and Alistair James’ G55 resulting in them both ending their races in the Druids gravel trap.
The safety car period saw the end of Williamson’s race, as he pulled off the circuit with mechanical woes. Sharp controlled the restart to pull a small advantage out with just four racing laps remaining.
He wasn’t going to be caught and crossed the line to take the win and begin his season in style. Ciceley Racing’s Morgan came home second, with Total Control Racing’s Carl Breeze finding his way past Murrells late on for third. CWS’ Colin White and TCR’s Joachim Ritter completed the top six.
Fannin took victory in the G50 class in his first race in the car, with Andy Richardson a solid second. A last lap mistake for Louise saw her drop to fourth, with former Clio Cup racer Gaffney benefiting for a podium finish. Ingram and Beacon Racing’s Connaire Finn rounded out the class top six.