Louise Richardson led the way for family-outfit Richardson Racing in the latest three rounds of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at home circuit Donington Park. Competing in the G50 class, she took two podiums over the weekend, while brother Andrew endured a tough weekend, retiring from all the races.
Qualifying saw both the Richardson's involved in an incident which ended both there sessions early. Heading through McLeans, Andrew came across the G50 of Connaire Finn recovering from the spin and unable to avoid it, clipped the car, with Louise following behind and making contact with Andrew, forcing both out.
This meant Andrew lined up fifteenth on the grid for Saturdays opening race, fifth in class. A great start saw him up to second in class, but a mistake saw him run wide and back to the rear of the field. Working his way through again, he was into the top six when he got hit by the G55 of Jordan Skinner, breaking a wishbone and forcing him to retire.
After the team fixed his car, he started the second race from the back and worked has way into the top ten, before pushing on and getting second in class behind Aaron Williamson, eventually taking the lead for four laps until an incident wiped him out the race. Running towards McLeans, he was hit by Williamson behind and as he spun off collected Tom Ingram, putting the top three G50's into the gravel.
Hoping to just finish the final race, the 19 year old starting well again but more contact from a rival at the chicane damaged his diffuser, ruining his handling and his chances of challenging for a class podium. He got to fifth in class, but was forced to retire two laps from the end with a snapped alternator belt. The three DNF's sees him drop to eighth in the G50 points.
Commenting on a tough weekend, Andrew said: “Obviously I can't be happy with three DNFs, but the positive from the weekend is that we were quick and we were able to race strongly. Even though I didn't have the pace to match Tom Ingram in terms of the fastest lap, I was able to fight with him on track. In race two, I had the line when we were fighting for the lead and I was on for a victory, but then Williamson tapped me in the rear and we all went off.
“In race three, the handling of the car was affected by the diffuser being broken when someone hit me in the rear and then a warning light came on and I pulled into the pits. It's been a tough weekend but I come away from Donington knowing we can fight for victories even if we don't always have the quickest car and I'm hopeful of a good weekend when we go to Thruxton for the next round.”
For younger sister Louise, the incident in qualifying saw her line up seventeenth overall, seventh in class. A strong start saw her up to fifth in class by the end of lap two, but a mistake at the chicane saw her drop to the rear of the field. A strong recovery saw her finish thirteenth and sixth in class for some much needed points.
Race two saw her battle with former Ginetta Junior rivals Jody Fannin and Jake Hill throughout the first part of the race for fourth place, before the trio capitalised from the incident involving Andrew to move into the podium places, with Louise ending the race eighth overall and second in class, her first G50 podium of the season.
The positive news continued in race three, with a strong start seeing her take the class lead on, before dropping to fourth in class when her engine intermittently shut down. She eventually finished fourth, eleventh overall, but was promoted to third when Fannin was later disqualified, giving her a second podium of the weekend. The strong results see Louise move into fifth in the G50 standings.
Louise said: “I was happy to even be able to race this weekend after we discovered the chassis of my car was broken on the Tuesday before the event. To come back from that and avoid the carnage in race two to get onto the podium, and then get another podium in race three despite the electrical problem, was good.
“After Brands Hatch it was important to get some good points, and two podium finishes has given me a big boost in the standings. I've managed to close the gap and have brought myself back into contention, and I'm now only two wins away from the championship lead.”