Preview: Oliphant On Verge Of Title Heading To Brands Hatch


Tom Oliphant looks set to be crowned 2015 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion this weekend at Brands Hatch, with only a complete disaster in the final three races allowing Carl Breeze to snatch the title away from him.

An eighth win of the season and a third place, his fifteenth consecutive podium finish, last time out at Silverstone means Century Motorsport’s Oliphant has a 49 point lead on dropped scores heading into the season finale.

Oliphant has been the class of the field in recent months, his last non-podium finish coming at Thruxton in May, while a stunning run of consistency has seen him take 30 top six finishes in his last 31 Supercup races.

While Oliphant may need to only outscore him by a single point in any of the weekend’s races to secure the title, 2012 champion Breeze won’t be going down without a fight as he heads into the season finale in title contention for the fourth time in five years.

Twelve months ago, a nightmare in Kent saw Breeze suffer a retirement and a best finish of eighth to slip to third in the standings, so he knows that anything can happen around the Grand Prix circuit, but will need to repeat his double victory from Rockingham last month to stand any chance.

Jamie Orton’s absence from the Rockingham races last month mean he is out of title contention, but he showed what might have been victory and a second at Silverstone and he’ll be looking to steal the headlines again this weekend in what’s likely to be his last outing in the Supercup.

Orton, Breeze and their HHC Motorsport team-mate Will Burns also head into the weekend with the task of trying to help their team overcome Century to win the Teams Championship, with just seventeen points separating the two outfits at the top of the standings.

Burns will be hoping to bounce back from a tough Silverstone and end a mixed season on a high by adding to his eleven finishes so far and fighting for a maiden category win at the end of his second season.

Ollie Jackson will be hoping to keep the Team’s title in Century’s hands however, with the former BTCC racer also eyeing a return to the podium to end a season in which he has finished in the top six on thirteen occasions so far.

Jackson is also in a close battle for the final position in the championship top six, with a three-horse race between himself, Michael Caine and Tom Wrigley, with seven points splitting the trio.

Caine still holds sixth despite missing the last two rounds through injury, and the former British GT champion will be keen to put that spell behind him and return to the podium in his Amigos G55, to add to his win at Thruxton and three other podiums so far.

Wrigley meanwhile has been a revelation over the second half of the season with his maiden pole position at Silverstone and victory in the last two reverse grid races at Snetterton and Knockhill a run he’ll be aiming to continue this weekend.

Reece Somerfield is a clear fifth in the standings following an ultra-consistent season, having finished outside the top ten only twice, and he returns to Brands Hatch with fond memories after stunning the paddock there with his maiden win at the season opener.

Hoping to end a frustrating season on a high will be Bradley Smith, who showed his pace at Croft with a dominant maiden win but has otherwise been plagued by mechanical gremlins, while Callum Pointon has shown strong pace on his two appearances so far this season and has the top six in his sights.

In the AM class, Colin White looks set to take home the silverware, with dropped scores putting him 76 points clear of Osamu Kawashima courtesy of eleven class wins over the campaign – meaning if he finishes in front of Kawashima in race one the title is his.

Kawashima and fellow class regulars Fraser Robertson and Chris Ingram will be hoping to feature on the podium against some strong class competition, while Richard Roberts returns to the grid for the first time since the Brands opener, having taken a best finish of third in class then.

Roberts is amongst a host of new and returning faces that means the championship is set to grow even higher from the season’s high 22 at Silverstone. One of the debutants is 2015 British GT4 vice-champion Mike Robinson, who will compete in the car used by his regular team-mate Graham Johnson at Silverstone.

Century will expand from three to six cars for the weekend, with Steve Fresle and Ruben Anakhasyan joining the AM class alongside Pro Matthew Cowley, while Robinson is part of a three-car Optimum Motorsport line-up alongside returning AM class race-winners Ade Barwick and Will Moore.

Steve Tandy will swap his factory British GT Ginetta G55 GT3 for a run-out in a GT4 in the AM class, while former Radical racer Rob Wheldon joins the grid for the first time with his own outfit Raw Motorsport.

Former podium finisher Carl Boardley returns for his second appearance of the campaign having settled straight back into the top ten at Silverstone, Tom Hibbert will be looking to improve on his debut fifteenth in the same meeting, while Connaire Finn is another former AM class race-winner.

With a potential 26 car grid, the highest in the championship’s history, and all three championships still up for grabs, we’re set for a fascinating weekend of racing in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup around the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit.

The drivers and teams will get a crucial opportunity to test around the circuit with two sessions on Friday, before the competitive action begins with qualifying at 11:35 on Saturday. The potentially title-deciding opening race will follow at 16:20, before Sunday hosts two races at 10:00 and 15:42, the latter to be televised live on ITV4.

Full championship standings ahead of the weekend can be found here.