Tom Oliphant was left to bemoan a missed opportunity in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup after an engine failure cost him a potential podium finish in race three at Thruxton
With his championship rivals Carl Breeze and Will Burns having already used their two extra tyres in the second race of the weekend, and Jamie Orton off track in retirement with suspension damage, Oliphant sensed the opportunity to end the day with a strong points haul.
Although he had slipped from second to fourth at the start, Oliphant was ready to maximise the potential of his two new Michelin tyres as his rivals ahead battled with tyre wear when a third engine failure of the year forced him to park up his Ginetta G55 at the side of the road.
Earlier in the weekend, Oliphant had turned a second row qualifying result into a fourth place finish in the opening race, before some set-up tweaks helped him on his way to a fourth podium finish of the season with third.
The unfortunate race three retirement ended Oliphant’s run of fifteen consecutive top six finishes in the GT4 Supercup, as well as his record of finishing every race so far this season in the top four.
“Qualifying didn’t quite go our way, which meant that race one was difficult,” said Oliphant, who now sits fourth in the championship standings.
“I was able to cement fourth place through the race though, and we made some changes to the car for race two which made a really positive impact. We went quicker on colder tyres and were a lot more competitive with the front-runners, managing to take third and keep pace with the two ahead on new tyres.”
“We went into race three knowing we had the new tyres and that those around us didn’t, so while we were unlucky at the start we knew we could push for a podium finish through the race until the engine failed, which is something out of our hands. It’s a real shame as it’s cost us third in the championship, but we’ll go again at Oulton Park.”