Total Control Racing's Carl Breeze and Joachim Ritter endured a frustrating weekend at Donington Park during Rounds four, five and six of the 2011 Michelin GT Supercup. Both showed great pace throughout the meeting, but suffered their fair share of misfortune in the three races.
Thursday practice saw Breeze topping the timesheets and Swiss racer Ritter ending up third overall. This gave the team confidence ahead of qualifying for the first race, but an off into the gravel trap for Breeze at the Old Hairpin forced him to miss most the session, with his best lap only enough to put him third, though he was later promoted to a front row start.
A good start saw Breeze hold second, the position he stayed throughout the race. He kept up with leader Tom Sharp throughout, setting a new G55 lap record in the process, ending just 1.1 seconds off the winner third podium in four races. Ritter qualified a strong seventh and hoped to push for a podium finish, but contact at the first corner forced him into an early retirement.
The first race on Sunday saw Breeze start where he finished in the previous race, but a throttle sensor problem meant he was unable to pull away at the start, with his car crawling to a stop. He eventually got his way round to the pits and tried to go out again and finish, but was forced to retire. Ritter started eighteenth and produced a great drive through the field, finishing the race in the top six.
The final race of the weekend saw Breeze produce an even better recovery drive. Starting at the back, he got into the top four by lap ten and looked to have gained a podium place, but lost out on the final lap to 2009 rival Nathan Freke to finish fourth on the road. However a 30 second penalty at the end of the race for Freke promoted Breeze to a deserved podium finish. Ritter meanwhile, looked set for another top six finish until a spin at McLeans on lap ten dropped him back to an eventual finish of tenth.
Commenting on the weekend, TCR team principal Lee Brookes said: “Qualifying was a bit of a problem in the Ginettas but even so it worked out ok in the end with Carl on the front row and Joachim on the fourth row. Carl and Joachim both had fantastic pace this weekend, they both deserved better results than they ultimately ended up with but that's the way it goes. Both of their drives from the back of the grid were fantastic and Carl was very unlucky to miss the podium in the last race. I'm sure at Thruxton they'll be just as strong and competitive again.”