Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup star Tom Sharp was left dejected after a cruel mechanical failure denied him the 2012 title in the final rounds of the season at Brands Hatch.
For the second season running, Sharp headed into the Supercup season finale in the hunt for the title, though while he only had an outside chance in 2011, this time round he headed into the final rounds at the top of the championship.
Sharp’s chances took a massive blow before the opening race in Kent though when the driveshaft broke on his VCARS.co.uk-backed G55, leaving him to watch from the sidelines as Carl Breeze moved into the championship lead.
A stunning performance in race two saw him fight through the field superbly from the back to finish fourth, but with Breeze ahead in third, Sharp knew the destination of the title was in his rivals control heading into the final race.
While Sharp did all he could in the race, storming off into the distance to take a dominant win, the title would not be his, with Breeze finishing third to take the title by just five points.
Speaking to thecheckeredflagco.uk shortly after the decisive final race, a dejected Sharp said: “Obviously it’s frustrating that we didn’t come away with the title but at the end of the day, it was something well out of our control that cost us. Carl definitely didn’t win because he was the quickest, we were the quickest all weekend, much quicker in practice, in qualifying we really should have had pole, and in the races, starting last and coming to fourth and winning the last race proves it.”
The disappointment comes at the end of a topsy turvy season for Sharp, who for the second season running started in sensational fashion, building up a comprehensive championship lead, before letting it slip away as the season went on.
Sharp started the year with an unbelievable eight wins in the first races, giving him a lead of over one hundred points in the championship standings. Only two wins from Thruxton in April to the final weekend though allowed Breeze to close him down.
Sharp’s sparking start to the year though means he still ends it with comfortably the most wins of any driver on the grid, eleven, as well as six other podium finishes, but Sharp believes these figures mean nothing when they’re not backed up with the championship trophy.
“Once again though I’ve come away with the most big trophies, managing to win eleven races which is pretty cool, but we missed out on the one we wanted. I’m trying not to be too much of a muppet about it, but the wins aren’t really any sort of consolation, you want to win the championship and if you can do that without winning as many races, fair play.
“To be leading by such a long way and then not win it in the end, it’s just pretty demoralising in truth. It’s been a very long season, lots of ups and downs, but it’s over now.”
While the season has ended in disappointment for Sharp, the 21 year old is ensuring he takes some positives away from the season, with the eleven race wins proving to be his main source of happiness.
“To lose a championship on the very last round is pretty horrible, but you’ve got to take positives away from it. It’s one of the key things of motorsport, you’ve got to take away something positive from the race weekend and if you can’t, you’d need to go and find a different hobby.
“I like the idea of thinking I’m quicker than everyone else, or at least I’m going to tell myself that I am over the winter. I had a lot of really good races and wins, which is the main thing for me.”
After three years in Ginetta Juniors, three years in the Ginetta G50 Cup and now two years in the Ginetta GT Supercup, Sharp is now looking to branch out and break into the world of GT and sportscar racing, with British GT being amongst the options he is considering for 2013.
“I want to move into sportscars and GT’s, ultimately I’d love to make a career out of racing. Realistically you’ve got to do it by the time you are 22 though, that’s the age I’ve set myself and I’m 21, so I don’t think I’ve got that long left to do it.”