Ginetta G50

Sharp and Morgan secure Maiden G50 Wins at Croft

4 Mins read

Tom Sharp and Adam Morgan wrote their names into the Ginetta G50 Cup history books after both securing their maiden wins in the series this weekend at Croft. Sharp secured a hard fought win in Round 12 and then went on to double his tally with another impressive success in Round 13, before it was Morgan's turn to taste the winners champagne with victory in Round 14.

Sharp was consistently on the pace all weekend and in qualifying secured his first pole position of the season. Alongside him on the front row was the impressive Stefan Hodgetts, who was in the guest car for the weekend. Behind, Freddie Hetherington qualified third, a career best G50 qualifying performance for him, with Stephen Tyldsley joining him on row two. Row three was made up by the two main title protagonists, Carl Breeze and Frank Wrathall.

The front two were both able to make good starts and entered Clervaux side by side, with Sharp emerging ahead. Behind, contact between Hetherington and Tyldsley while fighting for third left them both taking a trip off circuit, losing multiple places in the process. This promoted Breeze into third, closely followed by Wrathall.

A battle was emerging behind them for fifth place between Wrathall's Dynojet team mate Adam Morgan and former Ginetta G50 Cup champion Nigel Moore, making his first appearance of season for the Optimum team. After slowly catching him over a few laps, Moore decided to make his move on lap six. Getting better traction out of the final hairpin, he looked to make a move into Clervaux but Morgan shut the door on him. Not to be defeated, he stuck on the back of Morgan's bootlid and made another move at Hawthorn, this time successfully sliding pass for fifth.

Back at the front, despite being kept under constant pressure from Hodgetts, Sharp was able to hold his nerve to secure victory. Hodgetts came home a clear second, a very impressive drive in his first time out in a G50. Despite being caught over the final few laps, Breeze was able to hold on for third, followed by Wrathall in fourth. Moore rounded out the top five, with Morgan sixth, Alice Powell seventh and Mark Davies eighth. Another series debutant, former British GT Champion Jon Barnes, came hold a solid ninth, with Benji Hetherington tenth. Chairman's Cup honours went to Colin White, the only runner in the class.

With the grid for Round 13 based on the finishing results of Round 12, Sharp again held the advantage of starting on pole. One again he was able to make a good start and hold off Hodgetts as they entered Clervaux for the first time. The IDL driver then began to try and pull away, but was unable to shake off Hodgetts, who continued to lap closely behind.

Breeze held onto third, but there was a change of position behind for fourth. After having a couple of looks down the inside of Wrathall, Moore was able to make a move stick at Tower Bend on lap five, before setting his sights on ousting Breeze for a podium finish.

Back at the front, Hodgetts continuing pressure on Sharp seemed to pay off on lap eight, with the guest driver able to slide through at Sunny In. However his over exuberance left him running wide out of the bend, allowing Sharp straight back through.

That was to prove Hodgetts only opportunity to get into the lead, with Sharp driving well to hold onto the lead to take his second victory of the weekend and of his career. Another second place in only his second race in a G50 was another great result for Hodgetts. Breeze was able to hold onto third, despite the advances of Moore behind. Wrathall finished fifth, followed by team mate Morgan in sixth, with Optimum's Davies seventh, Benji Hetherington eighth, Barnes ninth and Freddie Hetherington tenth. As the only competitor taking part eligible, White once again won the Chairman's Cup honours, finishing twelfth.

With the top six being reversed for Round 15, Dynojet pairing Adam Morgan and Frank Wrathall started on the front row. A solid start by Morgan allowed him to hold the lead, followed closely by Wrathall. Breeze slotted in third, but was overtaken at Tower on the opening lap by Hodgetts, who was looking to make it three podiums out of three for the weekend.

Breeze was to be overtaken again a few laps later, the impressive Moore taking fourth from him on lap four. At the front, Morgan was beginning to pull away, with Wrathall having to defend from Hodgetts behind. Hodgetts pressure paid off on lap five, forcing Wrathall into a mistake, with the Dynojet driver running wide at Sunny In. Hodgetts, Moore and Breeze all capitalised from the mistake, dropping Wrathall to fifth.

After finally getting through, Hodgetts hoped to made inroads into Morgan's lead, but instead had to begin defending hard from Moore behind, the former champion really getting to grips with car again and showing some good pace. Hodgetts wasn't able to defend for long though, with Moore sliding his way through at the Hairpin on lap six for second place. However, his hard work was undone a few laps later after hitting a kerb too hard forced him into retirement, a disappointing result after an impressive drive.

The race was to come to an early conclusion after contact between Barnes and Tyldsley at the high speed Barcroft corner left both drivers going off track at high speed, forcing the race to be stopped a lap and a half early.

Morgan finished a comfortable 3.4 seconds clear to record his first win in the series, ahead of Hodgetts, recording his third second place finish of the weekend. Championship rivals Breeze and Wrathall came home third and fourth respectively, with double winner Sharp fifth. Joachim Ritter benefited from Barnes and Tyldsley's accident to finish sixth, a great result after having to drive through the pain barrier all weekend due to an arm injury. Powell finished seventh after a brilliant drive through the field from 15th on the grid. Benji Hetherington, Chairman's Cup winner Colin White and Freddie Hetherington rounded out the top 10.

With the series entering its summer break, there is a seven week gap before the next 3 rounds at Snetterton in Norfolk on the weekend of 7th/8th August. Breeze enters the break with an increased championship lead, 18 points ahead of Wrathall. His double victory moves Sharp up the third in the standings, ahead of Benji Hetherington and Adam Morgan.

Click here for: Race 1 results // Race 2 Results // Race 3 Results

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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