Carl Breeze continued to close the gap at the top of the 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup standings with a double victory in the latest triple-header at Knockhill, with Nathan Freke taking the other win on his return to the championship
In the series’ annual pilgrimage to Scotland, Breeze had to hold off Tom Ingram for victory in the first two races, before Freke took the win in a subdued race three, the race having to be restarted after a huge startline accident between Ingram and double G50 class winner Mark Davies.
Saturday afternoon’s opening race saw Breeze start from pole position and comfortably lead the majority of the race. Freke ran second for a long time, but Ingram passed him with four laps remaining and began to hastily close down the race leader.
The JHR Developments driver cut his lead by nearly a second a lap, setting the race’s fastest lap in the process, but Breeze just held on to take the win by half a second.
Freke’s late struggles saw him lose third on the line to Andrew Richardson, who out-dragged him out of the final hairpin to take the position by just 0.040s, his fourth podium of the season proving to be the perfect way to celebrate his 21st birthday.
Hunter Abbott ran fifth for the majority of the race, but ended his race in the barriers after contact with Jake Hill on lap fourteen, Hill emerging unscathed to take fifth ahead of Jamie Orton. Finishing seventh was championship leader Tom Sharp, the IDL UK driver having to battle his way through the field after an incident in qualifying left him fifteenth on the grid.
Eighth overall was the G50 class winner Davies, the Richardson Racing driver comfortably taking the class win. His closest challenger was Declan Jones, the Ginetta Junior graduate finishing tenth overall behind the G55 of Colin White, while completing the class podium in thirteenth overall was Rob Gaffney.
Breeze’s win gave him pole for race two on Sunday morning. The former BTCC driver led from pole once again, this time with Ingram right on his tail from the off. After a mid-race safety car, allowing the safe recovery of Fergus Walkinshaw’s car after he had contact with Abbott, Breeze maintained his lead and although Ingram stayed within a second throughout, the KX Akademy member couldn’t make a move, giving Breeze his fourth win of the season.
Freke worked his way into third off the line and maintained the position throughout to take his first podium of the year, while Sharp followed him home after jumping from seventh to fourth on the opening lap.
Hill took fifth ahead of Richardson, Orton and White, while taking his second comprehensive G50 win of the weekend in ninth overall was Davies. Gaffney took his fifteenth class podium of the season after running second throughout, despite a brief off track excursion at one stage, while Jones took third after a great race-long battle with Reece Somerfield.
The reverse grid for the final race flipped the top four around, putting Sharp on pole. As he led away, Ingram in third stalled, with an unsighted Davies left with nowhere to go, leading to massive contact into the back of Ingram, with the G50’s of Jones and Gaffney also collected in the ensuing melee.
With three hugely damaged cars and large amounts of debris littering the circuit, the race was instantly red-flagged, with the decision made to reschedule the race to the end of the day, with Ingram, Davies and Jones forced to sit it out.
The drama continued at the restart, with a late arrival to the grid meaning pole-sitter Sharp was forced to start from the back. This meant Century Motorsport’s Freke led off at the start from Breeze, with Hill in third ahead of Richardson.
Breeze was straight onto Freke’s boot-lid, with Hill soon working his way onto their tail to make it a three way battle for the lead, less than a second splitting the trio heading to half distance.
Behind, Sharp was on a charge, getting up from fifteenth to ninth by lap seven. Passing Orton on lap ten, Sharp continued his forward charge after a brief safety car period to allow the removal of Marcus Hogarth from the gravel, getting ahead of Walkinshaw for seventh on lap seventeen.
Ahead, Breeze was still within a second of Freke as he looked to take a triple victory from the weekend, but Freke used his experience to hold on and win by just 0.183s to record his first win since Knockhill last season. Hill took his third podium of the season in third, with Richardson fourth.
Late moves on Abbott and White gave Sharp fifth, with Abbott finishing sixth ahead of his Century Motorsport team-mate Walkinshaw, while White dropped to eighth. In the G50’s, the loss of Davies and Jones meant it was a two-car battle in the class, with Somerfield coming out on top for his first win in the class, Gaffney finishing second.
Provisional 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup ‘G55’ Standings (After Rd. 20 of 27):
- Tom Sharp – 587pts
- Carl Breeze – 535pts
- Tom Ingram – 472pts
- Andrew Richardson – 306pts
- Hunter Abbott – 305pts
- Colin White – 292pts
- Jamie Orton – 243pts
- Josh Wakefield – 240pts
- Fergus Walkinshaw – 229pts
- Jake Hill – 217pts
- Mark Davies – 638pts
- Rob Gaffney – 523pts
- James Owen – 316pts
- Reece Sommerfield – 310pts
- Max Coates – 272pts
- Louise Richarson – 258pts
- Declan Jones – 83pts
- Ian Parsons – 79pts