David Pittard made a long-awaited return to the top step of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup podium by kicking off the penultimate meeting of the 2014 season with victory.
The SV Racing ace converted his first qualifying pole position of the year into a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. After quickly forging a gap at the front of the field after an early safety car period, he posted the fastest lap of the race en-route to his fourth win of the season.
“It’s brilliant to bounce back like this after a tough run of races, I’m grinning ear to ear,” Pittard told TCF. “This is really unexpected though, we didn’t think we’d be this quick here to be honest.
“I was a bit worried as it was my first ever safety car restart, but after that I could drop them, break the tow and disappear off into the distance.”
The main battle in the race came for third between championship protagonists Charlie Robertson and Carl Breeze. Breeze got the jump on the championship leader on the opening lap, and once they’d both cleared Jamie Orton early on, they were able to commence battle.
Breeze held the spot through the middle stages of the race, but with the United Autosports racer struggling under braking at Brooklands, HHC Motorsport’s Robertson sensed an opportunity to get past.
He made his move on lap 22, storming around the outside into the left-hander. With Breeze unable to fight-back, Robertson began to hunt down second placed runner Andrew Watson in the closing stages but was left to cross the line half a second shy of the Douglas Motorsport runner, who took a podium on his 50th Supercup start.
“I thought I maybe had the speed to match David [Pittard] at the start, but I got a warning flag for track limits after the safety car so I backed it off, managed the gap and looked after my tyres from there,” commented Watson.
“I made a really good jump off the line and nearly got up the inside of Jamie [Orton], but he shut the door,” added Robertson. “That lost me a bit of momentum and let Carl through, which is the one thing I didn’t want to do, but I got my head down and got back ahead of him again.”
Breeze was left to settle for fourth, depriving him of a crucial opportunity to gain points on Robertson in their battle for the title, while behind Tom Oliphant soaked up a race-long challenge from Orton to take fifth, with Carl Boardley also in close pursuit in seventh.
Renault UK Clio Cup front-runner Josh Cook took a solid eighth on his Ginetta racing debut ahead of Luke Davenport and Tom Howard, all three drivers maintaining their spots despite being awarded five second penalties for exceeding track limits.
Debutant Will Moore took eleventh, with Dan Norris-Jones next up ahead of another newcomer in Aleksander Schjerpen, the Norwegian recovering well after slipping to seventeenth at the start.
Paul McNeilly led home David Pattison to take the first AM class victory in the Supercup, the latter having spun into the Luffield gravel late on, with fellow class entrant Fraser Robertson forced to retire his G50 into the pits.
The other retirements were Will Burns, who spun around at Luffield and lost his rear wing on lap seven when challenging Davenport, and Reece Somerfield who was the victim of contact at Copse on the opening lap.