Grantham-based race team Richardson Racing secured two more victories with Mark Davies in the G50 class of the 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Oulton Park. It was a weekend of mixed emotions for the team though, with Andrew Richardson suffering two disappointing retirements in his G55.
A superb performance in qualifying had seen Richardson qualify on the front row of the grid in a closely-fought qualifying session, but contact on the opening lap with championship leader Tom Sharp left him with a punctured tyre.
Astonishingly he was able to continue despite the car running on the tyre walls, running inside the top six despite clear handling difficulties; however he was forced out on the penultimate lap when the tyre finally let go and he went off track into the barriers.
From the back of the field in race two, Richardson worked his way through the slower G50 cars in the opening laps and was on the rear of his first G55 rival. Moving into Cascades at the start of the fourth lap, Richardson looked to make a move down the inside of Marcus Hoggarth, however his rival turned in on him, with the resulting contact putting him off onto the grass and into retirement once again.
Richardson said: “I showed my pace in qualifying which is the positive thing to take away from the weekend. The contact with Sharp ruined my chances in the first race as I picked up a puncture although I was able to keep going until the penultimate lap when the tyre finally let go at Lodge and I couldn't stop the car. That left the boys with work to do to repair the car for Sunday and they did a great job, although I was suffering with understeer and it didn't feel as good as it had done earlier in the weekend.
“The incident with Hoggarth was deemed to be a racing incident but I was up the inside of him and he turned across and put me into a spin. It's disappointing, as a weekend that started well has ended with two DNFs and neither were down to anything I'd done.”
Huddersfield racer Davies qualified third in the G50 class despite a broken diff mount limiting his track time during the session. The opening race saw him dominate proceedings in his class, before producing a repeat performance in race two to extend his championship lead to 55 points.
Davies commented: “I'd have liked to have three races here because I love the circuit, but a double victory is good enough for me as it means I've increased my points lead. I've got to give a lot of thanks to the team as the diff mount broke in qualifying and they got it fixed for race one, and they also put a really good set-up on the car as we'd not had any dry running and we had to try and decide which was the best to go. The car felt really good and even when I got stuck in gear in the second race, I had enough of a lead that it didn't cause any problems.”
Davies was the only G50 in action for the team at Oulton, with Louise Richardson forced to sit out the weekend after a sponsorship deal failed to come off. She hopes to secure the backing to compete at Croft in a couple of weeks, while an unforeseen issue for one of his sponsors means Andrew's participation at Croft is also in doubt.