Optimum Motorsport enjoyed a winning return to the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Oulton Park, with Ade Barwick securing the AM class victory in the opening race of the weekend.
Optimum, who last competed in the Supercup in its inaugural year in 2011, fielded a single Ginetta G55 GT4 in Cheshire for British GT regular Barwick, who made his debut within the biggest and most competitive AM class entry of the season so far.
Barwick instantly matched the front-running pace in the class though, with himself, class points leader and Ginetta stalwart Colin White and series returnee Connaire Finn proving to be fairly evenly matched across the weekend.
It was Barwick who got the upper hand in qualifying on Saturday, and he went on to complete a perfect day by leading the class from lights-to-flag in the opening race, setting the class fastest lap en-route.
A much closer affair played out in race two, with Barwick embroiled in a thrilling race long battle with White and Finn. After slipping back to third on lap nine, Barwick fought back three laps to secure second place for the finish.
“Saturday, the car set up was spot-on. It was the least undeersteer I’ve experienced in a G55 and it was all very confidence inspiring,” said Barwick.
“The car felt like it was on rails, which meant I could carry more speed into the corners, especially through the higher speed ones like Druids. I really enjoyed both races, even though I didn’t win the second one.”
For Optimum team principal Shaun Goff, the weekend was a huge success and the team are evaluating taking part in the Snetterton round of the Supercup in August.
“That was a really impressive Supercup debut for Ade. We’re all chuffed for him! Up until the last race he had never not finished first in a Optimum run car, but you can’t win them all!” enthused Goff.
“While Ade got the ‘AM’ pole, he was still some 2.2s off the overall pole, so we spent time on data and video analysis to find where he could close on the frontrunners. By the end of the final race, he was 1.5s off, so he’d found a good half a second!
“We’re both very keen to do more in Supercup, and we might well attend Snetterton if things go to plan.”