Carl Breeze secured a winning start to his title defence in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup with victory in Round One at Brands Hatch.
Starting 2013 as he ended 2012, Breeze produced a sensational opening lap to storm into the lead, maintaining it for the whole race to secure the win, a victory made more remarkable considering he wasn’t signed up to compete 72 hours previous.
It was Breeze’s Total Control Racing team-mate Jamie Orton who secured the first pole position of the season in the morning qualifying session, with Breeze started fourth behind series newcomers Andrew Watson and Rob Boston.
A solid start for Orton saw him lead into Paddock Hill for the first time, with a fast-starting Breeze slotting into second. Orton’s lead didn’t last for long however, with a mistake at Druids seeing him run slightly wide, allowing Breeze to slide up the inside into the lead.
Behind them, another quick start came from Matt Nicoll-Jones, with the Academy Motorsport boss getting into fourth going into Paddock, before passing Boston for third into Druids. Quickly onto Orton’s tail, Nicoll-Jones seized second at Paddock Hill on lap three, with the fighting for second giving Breeze a chance to gain some breathing room.
At the bottom of the top six, a battle was soon developing between Ginetta Junior graduates Pepe Massot and Watson, and Supercup race-winner Tom Ingram. The former G50 champion was the man on the move as he aimed to recover from a frustrating qualifying performance, passing Watson at Druids on lap seven, before dispatching Massot five laps later.
Ahead, as the race came to its conclusion, Breeze’s advantage at the front began to get cut down by Nicoll-Jones. A tense final couple of laps saw Breeze’s mirrors full of the black Academy G55, but the reigning champion fended off the challenge to secure the victory.
Nicoll-Jones capped off a superb debut with second, with Orton completing the podium for his second rostrum finish in the series. Boston held off his KX Akademy team-mate Ingram for fourth, the latter setting the race’s fastest lap, with Massot completing the top six ahead of Watson.
Series rookie James Birch held off a race-long challenge from double G55 race-winner Mark Davies to take eighth, with former Hot Rod world champion Carl Boardley completing the top ten.
In the G50 class, Sean Huyton held the class pole, however the reigning Ginetta Challenge champion slipped to second behind Reece Somerfield early on. Huyton briefly regained the lead, however his spell at the front was cut short when he received a drive through penalty for a false start.
This gave the win to privateer Somerfield, with Dan Norris-Jones taking second for Priocept Racing ahead of series debutant Simon Green, Huyton finishing up fourth in class, albeit with the class fastest lap to his name.
The full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2013/131303g50.pdf