Carl Breeze leads the way at the halfway stage of the 2011 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, the inaugural running of the sportscar series. Breeze holds a small advantage over early runaway championship leader Tom Sharp, while Tom Ingram holds a substantial lead in the G50 competition after a superb start to the season.
The GT Supercup emerged this season as an evolution of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup, which ran from 2008 to 2010. The Supercup runs in two classes, one for the new-for-2011 Ginetta G55 model and one for the older G50’s, with the prize for the winner a funded drive in the 2012 British Touring Car Championship.
The season started at Brands Hatch in early April and it was Sharp who hit the ground running in the G55’s debut weekend, taking a superb three wins out of three. Adam Morgan started the season well with second in the opening two races, while Breeze, Nathan Freke and reigning Ginetta Challenge champion George Murrells shared the other podium finishes.
Sharp continued his sensational start to the season two weeks later at Donington Park, where another perfect triple win made it six consecutive wins for the IDL driver. Morgan and Breeze continued their strong starts with two more podium finishes each, with Murrells and Freddie Hetherington also visiting the podium.
Sharp’s incredible winning streak was ended at Thruxton, where Breeze took victory in race one, before doubling his tally in race three. Taking the other win was Morgan, who took second in the other races to make it seven podiums in nine races. Sharp took third in race three, while Colin White took his first podium of the season in race two.
Century Motorsport’s Freke saw his season kick into gear during Rounds Ten and Eleven at Oulton Park, taking a win and a second place. Breeze continued his impressive run by taking two podiums, making it six in a row for the Total Control Racing driver, while Stefan Hodgetts made an instant impact on his debut in the series, almost matching Freke with a win and a third place.
Another driver to make a great debut in the series was former BTCC champion Tim Harvey, who joined in the action at Croft and cruised to victory in the weekend’s second race. In tricky, wet conditions, Freke continued his strong run with victory in both the other races, with Morgan also impressing with his eighth and ninth podiums of the season.
G55 Championship Standings after Round 14:
|1||Carl Breeze||Total Control Racing||361|
|3||Adam Morgan||Ciceley Racing||331|
|4||George Murrells||Optimum Motorsport||270|
|5||Nathan Freke||Century Motorsport||262|
|6||Colin White||CWS Racing||244|
|7||Alistair James||Plans Motorsport||152|
|8||Joachim Ritter||Total Control Racing||124|
|9||Freddie Hetherington||Century Motorsport||92|
|10||Stefan Hodgetts||JHR Developments||91|
|11||Mark Steward||Century Motorsport||71|
|12||Clint Bardwell||Century Motorsport||54|
|13||Tim Harvey||Total Control Racing||35|
|14||Jordan Skinner||Brookland Speed Racing||32|
Brands Hatch saw Jody Fannin take the first G50 win of the season, leading home Andrew Richardson and Rob Gaffney. Richardson went one better in the second race to take the win, with Ingram following suit in the third race to take the early championship lead.
At Donington Park, Ingram took the opening victory in what turned out to be a dramatic weekend for the G50’s. In race two, the front three of Ingram, Williamson and Andrew Richardson took each other out of the race, gifting Fannin the win and Louise Richardson her maiden podium. Jake Hill went on to take his first win of the year in the final race of the weekend.
Ingram stamped his authority on the G50 Cup around the high speed Thruxton circuit, taking a triple victory to hugely extend his championship lead. His closest rival proved to be FML’s Williamson, who took two second places before a huge startline accident in race three ended his and Louise Richardson’s races, with the latter forced to miss the next two rounds due to the damage caused.
A depleted six car field headed to Cheshire for two rounds at Oulton Park, with Ingram and Williamson sharing the honours, taking a win and second place apiece. Close behind was Hill who took third in both, while making his debut in the series was Lee Pattison, enjoying a best result of fourth in race one.
Just when it looked like Ingram was walking away with the class, he suffered double disappointment at Croft to allow the others back into the title fight. After winning the first race, his seventh win of the year, Ingram crashed out of both the others in treacherous conditions, with Andrew Richardson and Williamson benefitting to take the wins, the latter making history as the first G50 runner to take an outright podium finish. Hill also took two podiums, making it five in six for him heading into the summer break.
G50 Championship Standings after Round 14:
|1||Tom Ingram||Plans Motorsport||365|
|2||Jody Fannin||Team Pyro||323|
|4||Jake Hill||Optimum Motorsport||274|
|5||Robert Gaffney||Meridian Motorsport||186|
|6||Andrew Richardson||Richardson Racing||167|
|7||Louise Richardson||Richardson Racing||136|
|8||Lee Pattison||JHR Developments||92|
|9||Connaire Finn||Beacon Racing||86|
|10||Martin Thomas||CWS Racing||36|
|11||Paul McClughan||Kelvin Jones Motorsport||14|
As the season hits its final five meetings, Breeze will hope to maintain his advantage in the G55 battle and return to the BTCC. He will have to fight for the title though, as Sharp and Freke in particular look to win the crown and follow 2010 G50 Cup winner Frank Wrathall into the BTCC. In the G50 fight, Fannin, Williamson and Hill lead the chase to Ingram, who’s looking to add to his 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship crown.
TCF’s three to watch:
- Nathan Freke – The former G50 champion suffered his fair share of bad luck in the first few meetings, including mechanical failures at Donington and Thruxton. He’s turned it around though, with three wins in the last five races putting his title charge back on track, so he will be one to watch as a dark horse for the championship.
- Lee Pattison – Joined the series at Oulton Park from the Clio Cup and has impressed so far in his G50, running towards the front and picking up a podium at Croft. As he gains more experience in the car, he has the skills and experience to take class wins.
- Louise Richardson – She has been riddled with bad luck this season, stopping her from really proving her talent. Running on a shoestring, she got caught up in the huge startline smash at Thruxton, which forced her to miss the two most recent meetings. When she returns, she has the speed to add to her two G50 podiums already this season.