Tom Sharp Overcame Tom Ingram And The Weather To Take Victory - Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

Tom Sharp overcame horrendous wet conditions to take victory in Round Eight of the 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup to make it two wins out of two for the IDL UK driver at Thruxton.

With the grid positions for the weekend's second race being decided by the finishing positions of race one's result, Sharp started the race from pole position, with Ingram alongside him. A great getaway in the tricky conditions gave Sharp the early lead, Ingram slotting in close behind.

Breeze stayed in third, with Fergus Walkinshaw fourth ahead of Andrew Richardson. Behind, there was early drama as Hunter Abbott exited the final chicane slowly on lap two, and with no-where else to go, Colin White hit the rear of him hard, ending his race, with Abbott spun round, but able to continue after a trip to the pits.

Despite the terrible conditions causing extensive spray in front of him, Ingram was able to put some pressure on Sharp over the opening few laps, but as the conditions worsened, the V-Cars.co.uk-backed driver was able to start edging clear.

While the front two coped well with the conditions, Breeze and Walkinshaw both had moments behind at Noble on lap five. While Breeze took a trip off the grass and was able to continue, a big incident for Walkinshaw caused extensive damage to the front of his car, instantly ending his race.

This promoted Richardson into third, but the Richardson Racing driver began to get slowly caught by Josh Wakefield. After a couple of challenges, the Century Motorsport driver finally found his way past at the Complex on the penultimate lap to take the podium position.

In front, Sharp stormed clear to take his seventh win of the season so far, with Ingram following 6.5 seconds adrift in second. Wakefield took third, his second podium of the season, ahead of Richardson.

Fifth overall was the G50 Cup class winner Mark Davies. The Yorkshireman started the race on class pole and led from lights to flag to take his second class win of the weekend, even holding off the G55 of Wakefield well early on.

The main action took place behind him, with team-mate Louise Richardson diving up into second early on ahead of Max Coates and Rob Gaffney. Richardson slowly got caught by Coates behind, but her attention was quickly turned to the G55 of Breeze, who emerged in front after his off track excursion.

Breeze started to hold up the G50 runners in his damaged car, with both Richardson and Coates forced to make risky, but fantastic moves to get by. First Richardson drove around the outside of him into the first part of the complex, before Coates make a late lunge into the final chicane.

By that point, Davies was miles away in the distance taking the win, with Richardson crossing the line to make it a Richardson Racing one-two, Coates taking his fifth podium of the season in third. Gaffney took fourth after his own off track moment, the Meridian Motorsport driver ending up tenth overall behind the G55's of Marcus Hoggarth and Breeze, but ahead of Abbott.

A delighted Sharp told TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk: “It was definitely the hardest win of the year, Tom was chasing me for most of the way through the race and it was only towards the end that I finally got a bit of a gap. I thought 'great', but then the track got worse, the tyres were wearing out more and the aquaplaning was happening more and it was really sketchy, I nearly went off the track. Truthfully towards the end it was just a matter of keeping it on the black bit and it was very difficult.”  

Ingram added: “It was very dangerous out there, with the lack of visibility and the puddles causing the car to move about like it was. We were really struggling to see. I looked behind, third was way back, so I just focused on looking after the car and not risk going off or anything, as if you go off here you're going to do some damage. We got some more solid points, it was another podium and although we'd obviously like to be first, it's better than being upside down at Church.”

Full results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/?loc=major&season=2012&series=BTCC&event=races&source=ed_TOCA&eventid=121703&table=121703rc2g50&tabletype=gif