Tom Sharp Has Started The 2012 Season In The Best Way Possible - Photo Credit: Stuart Paice


It was a case of deja-vu in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Brands Hatch as Tom Sharp stormed to the opening win of the season, just like he did 12 months ago.

Last year, Sharp started the season in perfect style with three wins out of three at the Kent circuit and the IDL UK driver started this season in the best way possible with pole in qualifying, which he duly converted into victory in the 16 lap opening race.

Sharp got a blistering start from pole position, giving him a clear run to Paddock Hill time for the first time. Behind, Andrew Richardson slotted into second position ahead of 2011 G50 Cup sparring partner Tom Ingram, but the Richardson Racing driver's race was soon ruined when he was awarded a drive through penalty.

After Richardson's drive through, Sharp held a comfortable two second lead over Ingram, with Josh Wakefield in a strong third on his Supercup debut. Up to fourth was Carl Breeze, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver enjoying a great opening to the race to work his way up from ninth on the grid after a tough qualifying session.

Hunter Abbott and Fergus Walkinshaw completed the top six for Century Motorsport, while running seventh was Jamie Orton, however on lap six the Fauldsport driver ran wide at Clearways, ending his race in the gravel trap.

Back at the front, Sharp controlled the remainder of the race to take the first win of the season and his tenth since the Supercup was created. G55 newcomers Ingram and Wakefield completed the podium ahead of Breeze, Abbott, Walkinshaw and Colin White. Fighting back after his drive-through, Richardson got through the G50 runners, but was only able to make up one G55 place over Marcus Hoggarth on his way to eighth, with Hoggarth ending up eleventh.

In the G50's, Mark Davies took the class pole and the Huddersfield-based racer comfortably led the class from start to finish to take his first class win in ninth overall. Davies was aided in the early stages by a couple of G55 runners sitting between him and his closest rivals, with it being his Richardson Racing team-mate Louise Richardson who ended up following him home for a great class one-two for the team.

Meridian Motorsport's Rob Gaffney took third early on and held the spot throughout to complete the podium. Max Coates held fourth for the first half of the race for Redbrick Racing; however a snapped anti-roll bar caused the Ginetta Junior graduate handling problems. This meant he fell behind Ian Parsons, before he then received a 5 second penalty for exceeding the track limits too often, dropping him to sixth in class at the finish behind   Parsons and Reece Somerfield, but ahead of James Owen.