Title Battle Tightens As Supercup Hits Croft

Andrew Watson holds a slender four point lead over Charlie Robertson in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup as we bring the first half of the season to a close at Croft this weekend.

The Yorkshire circuit plays host to Rounds 12, 13 and 14 of the season, which so far has produced six different race winners, nine podium finishers and three championship leaders.

Watson currently occupies the top spot, thanks to consistent points scoring for the Irishman that has seen him finish outside the top six in just one race so far, coupled with great pace that’s secured him six podium finishes including two wins.

The Douglas Motorsport ace is anticipating a close battle around the 2.1 mile Croft circuit, in particular from his chief title rival Robertson, who he feels may have the advantage thanks to local knowledge from his HHC Motorsport team.

Watson said: “I was pretty quick around Croft last year, but it’s no secret Charlie [Robertson] and HHC Motorsport do a lot of testing around there. I think it’s going to be really tight this weekend, but after Oulton I’ve got a lot more confidence.”

Robertson stormed back to the sharp end of the standings with a superb performance at Oulton Park last time out, showcasing all the attributes that had seen him light up the start of the season with four podiums in his first five Supercup races.

The 17 year old converted his third consecutive pole position into a pair of victories at Oulton, making it four for the season so far, filling him with confidence heading to Croft.

Robertson commented: “Croft is the circuit I won my first race at in 2011, it’s a circuit I like and it’s a circuit that will be interesting to race around in a Supercup car. If we have the pace we had at Oulton, I’m sure we can fight for more victories.”

It’s far from a two-horse race for the title though, and one driver right in the mix is David Pittard. After taking the points lead for the first time during the Thruxton meeting after taking a double win, the SV Racing ace returned to the top with a third place finish in race one at Oulton.

Unfortunately for the KX Akademy member, a clutch failure off the line in race two caused his first retirement of the season. He appreciates there’s a long way to go in the season though, and is focusing on clawing back some of his 26 point deficit to Watson at Croft.

Hoping to re-establish himself in the title fight after a tough Oulton weekend meanwhile is Tom Oliphant, a mechanical failure and a drive-through penalty meaning he left Cheshire with just sixteen points from the weekend.

The Century Motorsport racer has taken four podium finishes this season so far though, including a maiden win at Donington Park, and he will be hoping to end the first half of the season on a high

Closing in on Oliphant and the championship top four meanwhile is Carl Breeze. A positive spell has seen him take three second places in the last five races, making it 89 Ginetta podiums in total for the experienced racer.

The United Autosports man was a double podium finisher twelve months ago at Croft, and heads back to the circuit gunning for a first race win of the season to help close the gap to the points leaders.

Breeze’s team-mate Luke Davenport also heads to Croft in confident mood, the Ginetta GT5 Challenge graduate having bounced back from a qualifying incident at Oulton to take a third podium finish of the season, a tally he’s aiming to increase at Croft.

Also having a positive Oulton after recent troubles were Academy Motorsport. A step forward with their cars yielded season’s-best fourth and fifth place finishes for Sean Huyton and Will Burns respectively in the final Oulton race, with the podium now in both driver’s sights.

Jamie Orton will be aiming to replicate the pace that saw him qualifying second and finish fourth at Oulton, while Dan Norris-Jones will be hoping to bounce back after recent fuel surge problems with his Ginetta.

The grid sat at a season low of twelve at Oulton, and unfortunately that number will remain the same this weekend. The most notable absentees are Harry Woodhead, as he undergoes keyhole surgery today (23rd June) on a knee injury suffered pre-Oulton, and Pepe Massot, who has switched to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB for the remainder of the season.

Provisional 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup Standings (After Rd. 11 of 27):

1. Andrew Watson – Douglas Motorsport – 279pts
2. Charlie Robertson – HHC Motorsport – 275pts
3. David Pittard – SV Racing – 253pts
4. Tom Oliphant – Century Motorsport – 223pts
5. Carl Breeze – United Autosports – 215pts
6. Luke Davenport – United Autosports – 203pts
7. Pepe Massot – JHR Developments – 176pts
8. Jamie Orton – Century Motorsport – 153pts