Richardson Racing endured a frustrating weekend of racing in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Donington Park, the only positive for the Grantham-based outfit being G50 runner Mark Davies leaving the weekend with an extended lead of the class standings.
In the main G55 class, Andrew Richardson suffered a repeat of the bad luck that befell him at the season opening rounds at Brands Hatch. Heading into the meeting, Richardson was buoyed by an impressive performance in pre-event testing, however could only qualify fifth on the grid with his car seemingly down on power.
Despite that, he was well in fight for second place in the opening race when on lap eight, the engine on his car failed and caused him to retire. A huge effort overnight saw the team replace the engine, however the second race was ruined when loose bodywork forced him to pit at the end of the second lap, leaving him unclassified in the result.
A storming start in race three saw him climb up to eighth on the opening lap, before soon getting into the top six. His bad luck would return though when an ECU issue forced him back into the pits and although he was able to rejoin, he was again unclassified, leaving him with no points from the weekend, tenth in the G55 standings.
Andrew said: “There isn't really a lot I can say. We had good pace in testing on Thursday to be only a tenth off [points leader] Tom Sharp but then when we got into the race weekend we've been hit with a number of problems and none of them were our fault. There was nothing we could have done and it's hard on the team who worked so hard on the car to get us back out after the engine let go. We've just got to look forward.”
In the G50 class, fortunately suffering no such bad luck was Yorkshireman Davies. Qualifying third in class, Davies stormed to second in class in the opening race behind Max Coates, before repeating the result in the second race of the weekend. In the third race, Davies stormed to the early class lead, however contact from a G55 saw him run wide at the Old Hairpin, dropping him to second in class where he finished again, keeping him first in the G50 standings.
Mark commented: “It's good to extend my lead but Max had a good weekend and will have got more confidence from it. To be honest, Brands Hatch and Donington were the circuits I wanted to get out of the way as it's the longer circuits that I'm looking forward to, but it was a good weekend points wise. You always want to win and it's a shame that a G55 driver cost me the chance to get a victory in race three, but overall it's been okay and I can now look forward to some circuits where I think I'll be strong.”
In the second G50, Louise Richardson also faced a heap of bad luck like her brother. Storming to a superb class G50 pole, Richardson was baulked at the start, slipping her back to fourth in class. Before she could re-gain positions, a fuel pump failure caused her to retire.
From the back of the field, Richardson worked her way up to fourth in class early on in race two, but her hope of a strong finish was ended when a G55 driver tried an overambitious lunge into the final corner, leaving Louise out of the race in the gravel. In the final race, Richardson again quickly got up to fourth in class and looked to challenge for a podium place, however her car developed an issue, forcing her to settle for fourth, leaving her fifth in the class standings.
Louise added: “The car has been fast all weekend but I've not had the chance to show it in the results, after the failure in race one and then the fact that I was taken out by a G55 in race two. Hunter got points for it, but it won't give me back my result.
“The car wasn't handling quite right in the final race so I had to take it a bit easier than normal down the Craner Curves, but I still had a lot of pace and managed to catch the top three. I think we could have been on for a win until the car developed a problem late on. I think the clutch was starting to go and it meant I couldn't really push them, so I had to settle for fourth instead. It's a shame that the results don't reflect the pace I've had.”