The fourth event of the 2013 Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge was one that saw David Pittard mark himself out as a title contender, winning twice at Snetterton to move up to second in the championship.
The Hertfordshire-based rookie showed that his previous motorsport success at Snetterton was no fluke by taking two hard-fought wins in the weekend’s three races last weekend at the Norfolk venue, although his 100 per cent record of qualifying on pole position at the track was ruined by former champion Mark Davies in Saturday’s drying timed session in tricky conditions.
“I have always like Snetterton and always gone well there, and this time was no exception”, said the SV21 driver. “Having not tested, we knew it would be tough going straight into qualifying. The damp track was drying rapidly so I knew it would be all about the final laps to set the pole times for both races. On my second to last lap I caught bad traffic in the final corner, stopping me from grabbing the second race pole.”
Pittard made amends for his narrow pole position miss by winning the opening two races of a thoroughly entertaining weekend of Ginetta racing, fighting his way past Davies at Agostini hairpin before fending off the pursuing pack to just reach the chequered flag first in race one by a mere 0.079 seconds from a charging Jake Giddings.
The second encounter saw Pittard double his success tally at Norfolk and take his third win of the 2013 season, this time with a very concise performance as he again took the lead at the Agostini hairpin, before driving a precise race to keep a train of slipstreaming Ginetta G40s behind him to take a victory that he later described as the toughest race of his brief career so far.
“Having not driven the track in the dry it was important to not make an mistakes early in the race,” Pittard said following the opening race. “After a reasonable start I managed to pick up the gist of the track, slotting into second behind Mark. After a great run into Agostini’s, I managed to outbreak him into the hairpin to take the lead. Due to the nature of the track It was very hard to try and break away from the pack, so there was a lot of ‘cat and mouse’ chasing going on! However I managed to keep everyone at bay to take my second win of the year!”
“The second race was a lot closer than the first,” he reflected after race two. “This time I dived for the lead into the Agostini hairpin. After some pressure from behind I briefly lost the lead, but forced the new leader into an error to regain it and bring the NDS Ginetta home for another fantastic result.”
The third and final race of the weekend saw Pittard in contention for a possible hat-trick of wins at the 300 circuit, losing the lead to Will Burns on the opening lap before snatching the top spot right back heading into Riches on lap two with a bold overtaking move. The pair’s battle then went to the same hairpin that Pittard effectively made the race-winning moves at in the previous two races, but contact from behind by Burns sent Pittard’s blue G40 spinning down to 12th, where he later fought up to ninth place.
“I got a great get away to then to be overtaken through the first lap,” he said. “I managed to regain the lead at the start of lap 2 with a great move into the fast first corner. However disaster struck a few corners later as contact from behind lifted my rear wheels off the ground, spinning me to the infield and down to P13. I managed to recover to ninth overall but it was a disappointing way to end an otherwise fantastic weekend.”
Despite missing out on a clean sweep, the strong weekend sees Pittard head to the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium next month on July 12-13 lying second in the championship, 39 points behind race three winner Brad Bailey, and in a highly positive frame of mind after winning three of the past six races (four on the road).
“We’ve clearly showed our pace once again, proving the NDS SV21 Ginetta is right on form. A massive thanks to the team and all my supporters, I will be carrying this momentum with us to Spa in a month’s time.”