Luke Davenport took his first Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup victory after a hard-fought win in an action-packed final race of the opening weekend at Brands Hatch.
In what proved to be a race of attrition, Davenport kept his nose clean and benefitted from a race-defining incident between long-time leader Sean Huyton and Charlie Robertson to take the race win.
The reverse grid for the final race put Huyton on pole, with the Academy Motorsport driver just fending off the fast starting Davenport around Paddock Hill Bend.
As Huyton maintained the lead, a great move around the outside at Druids from Andrew Watson saw him snatch second, having started fifth on the grid.
Davenport maintained third for United Autosports, however it was a different story for his team-mate Carl Breeze, whose torrid day ended with a broken front upright on the opening lap.
It quickly became a four car train for the lead, with Robertson entering the battle after passing David Pittard on lap two. Pittard meanwhile was left to defend from Tom Oliphant, the latter forcing his way past on the run to Druids on lap six.
Behind them, the action was frenetic, with Will Burns spinning to the back after contact from Jamie Orton at Druids on lap six, before the latter was forced into retirement two laps later after being hit in the back at Graham Hill Bend by Josh Wakefield.
Wakefield was then the next in the wars, an attempted pass by Harry Woodhead for seventh a lap later ended with both of them parked in the Paddock Hill gravel trap.
Ahead, the action was hotting up too, with Robertson passing Davenport for third, before quickly dispatching Watson for second at Clearways, the Irishman also losing out to Davenport and Oliphant soon after.
The battle for the lead came to a head on lap eleven, when a move by Robertson into Clearways resulted in contact between their wheels. An instant puncture for Robertson forced him into the pits, while a broken rim and a slow puncture eventually spelt the end of Huyton’s race.
Their demises allowed Davenport to sweep though into the lead from Oliphant, Watson, Pittard and Pepe Massot, who had benefitted from all the incidents to move up to fifth from fourteenth on the grid.
A mature final few laps from the race leader secured him and the United Autosports team their first Supercup win, with Oliphant taking a first Supercup podium in second.
“It was the perfect win for me,” Davenport told TCF. “It was tough at the beginning, trying to overtake with cars close behind as well. It was a case of defending, managing gaps, and taking opportunities to pass when they came. There was lots going on, but we just had to keep our nose clean and I’m over the moon with the win.”
Watson completed the podium to make it a group of first, second and third place finishes for the weekend, ensuring a healthy championship lead coming out of the first weekend.
Pittard finished off a strong debut weekend with fourth ahead of Massot, while a penultimate lap move at Paddock earned Burns sixth place ahead of Reece Somerfield.
Dan Norris-Jones, James Owen, Carl Boardley and Robertson completed the classified finishers, the latter having come back out and set the fastest lap of the race with a new tyre.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/141303g50.pdf
2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup Standings (After Round 3 of 27):
1. Andrew Watson – Douglas Motorsport – 93pts
2. Charlie Robertson – HHC Motorsport – 72pts
3. Tom Oliphant – Century Motorsport – 70pts
4. Luke Davenport – United Autosports – 66pts
5. David Pittard – SV Racing – 64pts
6. Reece Somerfield – Privateer – 40pts
7= Pepe Massot – JHR Developments – 34pts
7= Dan Norris-Jones – Priocept Racing – 34pts
9. Jamie Orton – Century Motorsport – 30pts
10. Will Burns – Academy Motorsport – 29pts