Tom Ingram has become the first driver in 2012 to beat Tom Sharp in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, Ingram producing a great drive to taste victory in Round Six at Donington Park.
The reverse grid for the final race of the weekend saw the top five reversed from Round Five's result, putting Marcus Hoggarth on pole from Colin White. Rookie Hoggarth bogged down at the start, allowing White into the lead at Redgate, with Ingram and Sharp slotting into second and third.
White's lead only lasted two corners though, with Ingram pulling off a great move down the inside at the Old Hairpin to take the lead, while IDL UK's Sharp also got past at McLeans to drop White to third.
Ingram began to make a small gap to Sharp early on, with White running a clear third. Hoggarth ran fourth early on, however a mistake on lap four saw him run off into the gravel at McLeans, dropping him to last. Also suffering problems early on was Andrew Richardson, the Richardson Racing driver reaching as high as sixth in class from the back of the grid, before being forced to pit with yet more mechanical problems in his G55. Richardson did return to the track, albeit a few laps down.
Ingram continued to lead out front and although Sharp closed slightly to the leader, Ingram looked comfortable. It soon changed when the safety car was introduced, after a spin into the gravel for third placed White, his CWS Racing G55 nearly rolling as it dug into the McLeans gravel.
Reigning G50 Cup champion Ingram produced a great restart though and went on the cross the line for his first victory in the G55's. Sharp crossed the line second for his sixth consecutive podium,
Carl Breeze took a strong fourth, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver having worked his way through from the back of the grid, ahead of Fergus Walkinshaw and Josh Wakefield, another having to drive through for the rear of the field. Jamie Orton took seventh, while the final G55 runner in eleventh overall was JHR Developments' Hoggarth.
A delighted Ingram told TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk: “It's brilliant, absolutely fantastic. I'm over the moon to finally get the monkey off my back and to finally show the potential pace we did have is there.To finally get this first win, I'm absolutely ecstatic.”
Sharp commented: “We're really happy. You can't expect to win them all and we don't expect to win them all. Second was better than I expected, and delighted, two firsts and a second, we can't do much better than that really.”
In the G50 Cup, Max Coates held the class pole, however a fantastic start from Mark Davies saw him take the class lead into Redgate for the first time, with Rob Gaffney working his way into second on the opening lap.
The G50's enjoyed a great tussle with some G55 early on, before being left to have their own battle. Coates worked his way back into second on lap three, before taking the lead a couple of laps later, with Gaffney third ahead of Louise Richardson.
A close battle after the safety car period saw Coates under immense pressure, but the Redbrick Racing driver held on for the win to end a dream weekend, the Yorkshireman winning the class in all three races. Davies followed in second to maintain the class championship lead, with Gaffney third, the only to finish on the class podium in every race so far this season. Richardson took fourth ahead of Reece Somerfield and James Owen.
Triple G50 winner Coates added: “It couldn't have gone much better really could it? We're chuffed to say the least. First win was relatively comfortable to be honest, second one I really had to work hard and I think that one was the hardest to win, contending with G55's, the safety car, and I think the steering pump may have gone towards the end, so it was very hard. We managed to do it though and Redbrick Racing and all the sponsors, for getting me here, I can't thank them enough, it's brilliant.”
Provisional 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Championship Standings (After Rd.6):
1. Tom Sharp – 201 points
2. Tom Ingram – 135 points
3. Carl Breeze – 122 points
4. Colin White – 109 points
5. Hunter Abbott – 96 points
6. Fergus Walkinshaw – 96 points
Provisional 2012 Ginetta G50 Cup Standings (After Rd.6):
1. Mark Davies – 182 points
2. Rob Gaffney – 165 points
3. Max Coates – 158 points
4. James Owen – 112 points
5. Louise Richardson – 96 points
6. Reece Somerfield – 84 points