Jamie Orton is adamant that he would have won the 2016 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup title this season if he had completed a full campaign with Triple M Motorsport.
The 36 year old missed the meeting at Knockhill in August for the birth of his first child, with the subsequent non-score for the four races in Scotland effectively ending any title aspirations with the championship top two scoring over one hundred points each that weekend.
The Knockhill absence came in the middle of the most successful run of Orton’s Supercup career so far, with a sensational six race wins in seven races meaning he gained over eighty points on the eventual champion across the Snetterton, Rockingham and Silverstone meetings.
Missing the trip to Knockhill, coupled with a tough conclusion to the season which saw him finish just one of the final four races, meant Orton eventually finished fourth in the final standings though – a result he feels is much lower than his performances deserved.
“I strongly believe I would have won the championship had I not had to miss Knockhill. That is my best track and where I got my first pole, so I think things would have been different had we been there, both that weekend and at year end,” Orton explained.
“It is a shame we struggled with the car early on at Donington and Oulton where we were very slightly off the pace trying to understand the new rear tyres. It then all clicked for us at Snetterton where we enjoyed the most dominant qualifying of the year.
“The run we had was more dominant than the run Tom Wrigley had earlier in the season, and whether it was wet, damp or dry we were quickest and I don’t think any other team/driver combo showed the same versatility or all round pace.
“I also qualified on the front row for every round this season apart from Brands Hatch where the conditions made it a lottery. I have beaten the best in G55’s for a number of years now and I look forward to the future challenges.”
The 2016 season was the first for Orton with the Triple M Motorsport team, who is headed by the experienced Alan Mugglestone, and after thoroughly enjoying their first campaign together, Orton says they are likely to return to the championship next season in pursuit of more silverware.
“I really want thank Triple M and the Mugglestone family for the best season I have ever had. Whilst there was a lack of competition, I think we would have had a very strong season whatever the grid had looked like. The team are head and shoulders above any other team I have worked with,” he commented.
“Really this year was an underwhelming one from a competition point of view with a lack of genuine front runners to challenge for the front spots, but I am hearing that 2017 is looking more promising already and it could turn out to be the most competitive year ever in the series.
“I will be back next season to challenge for more wins, and anyone considering doing the championship next year would be wise to think about us as a serious threat again. We hope to go for the title, but that has never been my priority – this is ultimately a hobby for me.”