Knockhill Double For Nicoll-Jones As Ingram Wins Again

by Simon Paice

Matt Nicoll-Jones and Tom Ingram shared the wins during the latest rounds of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Knockhill.

Nicoll-Jones took victory in Rounds 18 and 19, before Ingram battled through to take the Round 20 win, a podium treble for the weekend further extending his championship lead.

In the G50 class meanwhile, Sean Huyton was crowned the 2013 class champion, despite not racing over the weekend.

Round 18:

Qualifying for the opening race of the weekend ended with Andrew Watson and Jamie Orton on matching times at the top of the leaderboard, only for Orton to lose his time for a breach of re-fuelling regulations.

Watson couldn’t maintain his advantage over the opening lap of the first race though, with Nicoll-Jones storming through to take the lead. Watson held off Ingram for third until lap seven, when the Irishman slipped back to fourth, before a drive-though penalty for a false start dropped him to the rear of the field.

Ingram was soon on Nicoll-Jones tail and put the race leader under some pressure late on, but the Academy Motorsport ace wasn’t phased and completed his lights to flag win, his first of the season.

Carl Breeze completed the podium, following Ingram throughout the race, while Orton passed Rob Boston late on for fourth. Boston took fifth meanwhile ahead of Carl Boardley and Pepe Massot, with Reece Somerfield, Colin White and a recovering Watson completing the top ten, the Irishman having proved his potential with the fastest lap of the race.

Round 19:

Nicoll-Jones led away from pole position at the start of the second encounter, with Ingram and Breeze slotting in behind. Ingram kept on Nicoll-Jones’ rear wing throughout the race, with Breeze never far behind as a five-car train developed behind the leader in the latter stages.

While the gap between Ingram and Nicoll-Jones never went over half a second, Ingram was unable to find a way past, with a sterling performance from Nicoll-Jones seeing him take his second lights-to-flag win of the weekend.

Breeze had come under immense pressure from former team-mate Orton, however the Century Motorsport driver slipped behind Watson at the start of lap 20, before spinning down the field at Scotsmans later in the lap.

Whilst Breeze took third for a repeat of the race one podium, Watson lost out on fourth on the final lap to Davies, the Ginetta Junior graduate left to settle for fifth. Massot ran sixth around halfway until contact from Boston, who had ran fifth in the early stages, dropped the Spaniard down to an eventual thirteenth place finish.

This allowed Somerfield to take sixth, and with it pole position for the reverse grid final race, with Fergus Walkinshaw seventh ahead of the recovering Boston and Orton. Completing the top ten meanwhile was Brad Bailey, the current Ginetta Challenge points leader impressing on his G55 debut.

Ingram Has Now Visited The Podium In The Last Eighteen Consecutive Races - Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ingram’s Round 20 Win Has Made It Eighteen Consecutive Podiums For Him – Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Round 20:

A resurgent Watson joined Somerfield on the front row of the grid for the final race and a fantastic start for the Irishman saw him take the lead into the first corner. Somerfield ran second until the chicane where he ran wide, with Breeze taking the place.

Nicoll-Jones briefly ran third, however he was passed by Davies at the hairpin at the end of the lap, though the reigning G50 champion’s advantage lasted a lap before he pitted for a drive-through penalty after a jump start.

Nicoll-Jones regained third and as he has done all weekend, he found his mirrors full of Ingram’s orange G55. This time round, Ingram was able to find a way through, taking third on lap 14.

Once past, Ingram instantly began closing on Breeze ahead, the reigning champion himself having begun closing on the leader, Watson struggling with his tyres. The front three were separated by less than a second with three laps to go, with Ingram the first to make a move, diving past Breeze at the hairpin on lap 22.

A lap later Ingram repeated the move on Watson, though the Douglas Motorsport ace stuck with him on the outside and tried to fight back at the first corner. He ran slightly wide though, leaving him to defend from Breeze and Nicoll-Jones behind.

This gave Ingram a clear run to his seventh win of the season ahead, while at the final hairpin, a defensive Watson slowed himself and Breeze up. This allowed Nicoll-Jones to cut back and blast past both on the run to the line, with Watson just holding third, the trio separated by 0.112s on the line.

Behind Breeze, Orton ran fifth for the majority of the race, just ahead of Walkinshaw. Taking his best finish of the weekend meanwhile was Bailey in seventh, the series newcomer leading home Dan Norris-Jones, Marcus Hoggarth and Boardley, with Davies ending up eleventh after his drive-through.

G50 Class:

With none of his rivals in the points standings still competing in the class, Huyton decided to skip the meeting, knowing his 14 wins in 17 races to date was enough to secure him the 2013 ‘G50 Cup’ title, his second consecutive Ginetta crown.

With no Huyton, there were no entrants in the class over the weekend.

Provisional Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Standings (After Rd. 20):

1. Tom Ingram – 617pts
2. Carl Breeze – 488pts
3. Matt Nicoll-Jones – 396pts
4. Mark Davies – 374pts
5. Pepe Massot – 348pts
6. Rob Boston – 324pts
7. Andrew Watson – 272pts
8. Jamie Orton – 264pts

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