Tom Sharp completed a dream weekend at Brands Hatch with victory in Round Three of the 2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, adding to his victories in the weekends first two races. The IDL driver worked his way up from fourth on the grid for the win, which sees him leave Brands hatch with a 35 point lead in the championship.
With the reverse grid seeing the top four finishers from Round Two swapped, CWS’ Colin White took a popular pole position and a good start saw him lead the pack into Paddock Hill. Sharp shot off the second row to move into second ahead of front row starter George Murrells, while behind, cars had to serve in avoidance of a stalled Adam Morgan on the grid.
A great start for Carl Breeze from ninth saw him jump up to sixth and he quickly gained a few more places, dispatching the G50 of Tom Ingram at Clearways, before passing Total Control Racing team-mate Joachim Ritter at McLaren on lap two and then doing the same to Murrells on the next lap. Also making progress up the field was Century Motorsport’s Nathan Freke, who by lap five had slid past Ritter for fifth, after starting tenth on the grid.
With Breeze catching him quickly, Sharp knew he had to get past White quickly and made his move at Paddock Hill on lap six, with Breeze slipping past a lap later at the same place.
In the G50 battle, Ingram led the pack and after shaking off early pressure from 2010 rival Jake Hill, he set about challenging the more powerful G55 cars around him. Hill's race was soon over though, after being tagged by the G55 of Alistair James at Druids, he was collected by the unsighted Morgan, causing substantial damage to both drivers.
After a short safety car period to clear the cars away, the man on the move was Freke, passing Murrells at Clearways on lap eleven, before passing White at Druids four laps later. Murrells was pushed back into the clutches of Ritter and the duo battled hard before a spin at McLaren saw him forced into retirement.
Another safety car period followed, keeping Breeze close on the tail of Sharp, but after the restart he was able to hold out for the final eight laps to take his third win of the weekend. Breeze followed for his second podium finish of a tough weekend, with former G50 Champion Freke third. Murrells took fourth after a last lap spin for White saw him retire, with Clint Bardwell fifth.
Six overall and G50 class winner was reigning Ginetta Junior champion Ingram, with Meridian Motorsport's Rob Gaffney second. FML's Aaron Williamson completed the class podium in ninth overall and fourth place went to Jody Fannin, who benefited from a late spin from Connaire Finn, who had held the position most the race.
Triple winner Sharp said: “It's been absolutely incredible this weekend, the G55 has been awesome and everything has gone so well. We just couldn't seem to do anything wrong, to win all three races is a fantastic start to the season.”
G50 winner Ingram added: “I've had limited testing, my first time in the car was at the Media Day and I didn't actually find out I'd be racing here this weekend until Thursday morning! I must say a huge thank you to the guys at Plans Motorsport for giving me a great car.”
Provisional 2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Championship Positions (after Rd3):
1st Tom Sharp, 108pts; 2nd Carl Breeze, 73pts; 3rd George Murrells, 70pts; 4th Adam Morgan, 60pts; 5th Clint Bardwell, 54pts; 6th Nathan Freke, 52pts
Provisional 2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup 'G50 Class' Championship Positions (after Rd3):
1st Tom Ingram, 87pts; 2nd Jody Fannin, 76pts; 3rd Andrew Richardson, 66pts; 4th Robert Gaffney, 56pts; 5th Aaron Williamson, 48pts; 6th Connaire Finn, 38pts