Carl Breeze just missed out on the 2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup title by just five points after the final rounds of the season at Silverstone, a bitter blow for himself and his Total Control Racing team.
Lining up on the front row for the first race of the weekend, Breeze made a good start and took the lead from championship rival Adam Morgan at the opening corner. Breeze set about establishing himself in first place, but contact from Nathan Freke at Brooklands dropped him to third.
After a three lap safety car period, the race was red flagged and fully restarted. At the restart, Breeze slipped to fourth and dug deep to regain the place on lap eleven and despite closing on the front two, ended the race third.
Breeze was joined in the TCR camp for the weekend by Caterham Superlight R300 Championship leader Jamie Orton, making his Supercup debut. A sensational start saw him qualifying fifth, but a slow getaway in the race saw him drop to thirteenth, before losing another spot when forced to go off track avoiding a spinning rival, a disappointing finish.
TCR team principal Lee Brookes said: “If there hadn't been the contact on the first lap Carl could have won this one today. It was a real shame but at least he recovered the podium. Jamie's pace was mega, he just needs to learn these starts. His speed is superb, to come in and be mixing it in qualifying with the guys fighting for the title shows he can be up for the championship next year if he does it. We're really, very impressed by him.”
Breeze headed into the final race of the season with a four point cushion in the championship standings over Morgan. Starting the race well, Breeze got ahead of Morgan to take third, a circumstance that would have seen him take the title.
After a lengthy safety car period, Breeze slipped back behind Morgan at the restart, but fought back later in the lap. Caught up behind arch-rival Freke, Breeze came under pressure from Morgan and lost the place on lap twelve, who then passed Freke soon after, moving the championship pendulum his way.
Unable to find a way past Freke, Breeze ended the race fourth and with it concludes the season second in the points, just as he had done in 2010, a bitter blow for himself and the TCR team. The race didn't go well for Orton after, a stall on the startline seeing him get clipped from behind, ending his race on the spot.
Brookes added: “This has been out of the team's control and Carl's control. In the end we've finished second which is disappointing. Carl has driven superbly all year and the boys in the team have done a cracking job, I can't fault any of them.
“You can always look back and find occasions when you should have won, or finished a bit higher up the order, but that's the same for everyone. Second is still a good result but still very disappointing when you know you should have won it.
“It's a real shame for Jamie the way things turned out in the races with the starts as his pace has been superb, to come in and be so quick – faster than a lot of drivers who've been doing this for a while – shows the ability he's got. We'd love to see him back in a TCR car next year.”