2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Season Review


Adam Morgan Emerged From A Close Fought Title Battle To Take The Championship – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

The inaugural running of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup proved to be a dramatic affair, with Adam Morgan emerging from a superb three-way championship battle to take title glory in the final race of the season. It was a different story in the G50 class, with Tom Ingram dominating the year to take a comprehensive championship win.

G55 Class

The start of the season was all about one driver, Tom Sharp. The IDL racer adapted to the new-for-2011 Ginetta G55 the best and went on a sensational run at the start of the campaign, taking six consecutive wins. The winning streak was to end though, with Sharp then heading into a win drought, having to wait fourteen races for his next win.

During this spell, Total Control Racing’s Carl Breeze was able to slowly chip away at Sharp’s points advantage and take the championship lead during the fifth meeting of the year at Croft, thanks in part to a double win at Thruxton earlier in the year. Morgan remained close to the top of the standings throughout the first half of the season thanks to consistent podium finishes.

The second half of the year saw Breeze and Sharp switching the championship lead, with Sharp retaking the lead at Knockhill when he ended his winning drought, before three wins in the next five races saw Breeze regain the championship advantage heading into the final weekend at Silverstone, with Morgan moving up to second.

Tom Sharp Enjoyed A Sensational Start To The Season – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

Breeze and Morgan, who had continued his consistent year with nine podiums in the previous eleven races, headed to Silverstone split by just eight points, with Sharp still in contention, 27 points behind Breeze. As Sharp took two race wins, Morgan and Breeze battled it out behind, with two second places enough to give Morgan the title by just five points.

Champion Morgan took only three race wins during the year, half the amount of Breeze and a third of Sharp’s tally, but it was incredible consistency, 20 podiums in 27 races, that gave him the title and with it a fully funded drive in the 2012 British Touring Car Championship.

Best of the rest was Century Motorsport’s Nathan Freke, who was left to rue a slow start to the year, which stopped him from really challenging for the title. Former Formula Ford and Ginetta G50 Cup champion Freke suffered some mechanical problems early in the season which left him out of touch in the title battle, but he still confirmed himself as one of the best drivers in the series by taking sixteen podiums, including six wins.

Carl Breeze And Nathan Freke Fought Hard Throughout The Year – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

Throughout the 2011 season, a great battle emerged for fifth place in the championship between veteran racer Colin White and 2010 Ginetta Challenge champion George Murrells. White, one of only five drivers to compete in every race of the season, ended up on top after taking podiums at Thruxton and Croft. Murrells lost out after missing two rounds during the year, but still enjoyed a competitive year, taking a maiden victory in the ill-fated first ever Supercup pitstop race at Rockingham, as well as two other podiums during the first five races of the year.

After Joachim Ritter was forced to leave Total Control Racing early in the season, the team used his G55 to introduce a series of guest drivers into the championship. First up was former BTCC and Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Tim Harvey, who made a winning debut at Croft, followed by sportscar ace Marino Franchitti, who joined the grid at his home circuit Knockhill and took a podium in the last race of the weekend.

Former BTCC driver Patrick Watts entered the fray at Brands Hatch, taking three solid finishes, before Caterham racer Jamie Orton competed in the final weekend of the season at Silverstone. Another guest driver to impress when joining the championship at Oulton Park and Croft was Stefan Hodgetts, the JHR Developments driver taking three podiums in five races, including one win.

Final 2011 Ginetta GT Supercup Championship Standings:  

Position

Driver

Team

Points

1

Adam Morgan

Ciceley Racing

694

2

Carl Breeze

Total Control Racing

689

3

Tom Sharp

IDL

683

4

Nathan Freke

Century Motorsport

638

5

Colin White

CWS Racing

443

6

George Murrells

Optimum Motorsport

411

7

Alistair James

Plans Motorsport

202

8

Freddie Hetherington

Century Motorsport

164

9

Joachim Ritter

Total Control Racing

124

10

Phil Broad

Century Motorsport

120

11

Lee Pattison

JHR Developments

106

12

Stefan Hodgetts

JHR Developments

91

13

Fergus Walkinshaw

FML & Century Motorsport

75

14

Mark Steward

Century Motorsport

71

15

Marino Franchitti

Total Control Racing

64

16

Clint Bardwell

Century Motorsport

54

17

Patrick Watts

Total Control Racing

50

18

Tim Harvey

Total Control Racing

35

19

Jordan Skinner

Brookland Speed Racing

32

20

David McDonald

JHR Developments

26

21

Jamie Orton

Total Control Racing

11

 

G50 Class

Ingram was the class of the field in the G50 class of the Supercup, the reigning Ginetta Junior champion taking ten wins and eight other podiums in the 25 races he competed in. A disastrous couple of meetings at Croft and Snetterton, either side of the summer break, saw Ingram drop 95 points to his closest rival after accidents and mechanical woes, but the 18 year old bounced back and re-asserted his authority in the final few meetings to win the class by 59 points.

Tom Ingram (No. 80) Was A Class Above In The G50 Class – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

The fight for second in the class was a great spectacle throughout the year, with Aaron Williamson, Jody Fannin and Jake Hill all in contention. Fannin held the spot for the majority of the year, taking ten podiums, including three wins, but he was eventually usurped by FML’s Williamson, who went on a tremendous late charge, taking three class wins in the last five races. He ended the year with sixteen podiums under his belt, including a sensational outright podium at Croft. Hill also remained in touch throughout the year and ended up just twenty points off second, having taken seventeen podiums himself.

The unluckiest team of 2011 has to be family outfit Richardson Racing and in particular former Ginetta Junior frontrunner Louise Richardson. Running on a shoestring, the team faced a series of setbacks, including three hefty incidents for Louise at Thruxton, Rockingham and Silverstone. A bruised Louise fought through until the end, picking up three class podiums, but damage and injuries from the various shunts meant she missed three meetings during the campaign. Her brother Andrew Richardson enjoyed a more positive campaign, taking fifth in the standings with four wins and seven other podiums to his name, but he too was forced to miss some of the year due to budget woes.

Jody Fannin (Left), Aaron Williamson (Centre) and Andrew Richardson (Right) All Enjoyed Success In The G50’s – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

Throughout the year, like in the G55 class, many drivers entered the class for one or two weekend forays, with varied success. Amongst those to enjoy success were Mark Johnston and Mark Davies. Johnston joined the series for Brands Hatch GP and Silverstone at the end of the year, taking a third place finish at Silverstone. Davies also joined the series at Silverstone, the current Ginetta Challenge champion relishing the challenge, taking a third place in the final race of the season. 

Final 2011 Ginetta GT Supercup ‘G50 Cup’ Standings:  

Position

Driver

Team

Points

1

Tom Ingram

Plans Motorsport

664

2

Aaron Williamson

FML

605

3

Jody Fannin

Team Pyro

590

4

Jake Hill

Optimum Motorsport & Tollbar Racing

585

5

Andrew Richardson

Richardson Racing

452

6

Rob Gaffney

Meridian Motorsport & Beacon Racing

266

7

Louise Richardson

Richardson Racing

262

8

Connaire Finn

Beacon Racing

196

9

Lee Pattison

JHR Developments

130

10

Michael Doyle

Beacon Racing

108

11

Mark Johnston

Redbrick Racing

62

12

Mark Davies

Optimum Motorsport

48

13

Martin Thomas

CWS Racing

36

14

Gary Duckman

Beacon Racing

34

15

Trevor Keats

Century Motorsport

32

16

Jake Rattenbury

JHR Developments

20

17

Josh Fielding

JHR Developments

18

18

Paul McClughan

Kelvin Jones Motorsport

14