For Luke Davenport, the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup season will be a campaign remembered for a mixture of impressive results and missed opportunities.
Joining the championship from the first time with United Autosports alongside former champion Carl Breeze, Davenport burst onto the scene with a reverse-grid victory on the opening weekend of the season at Brands Hatch.
That kicked off a season which featured a number of strong performances for the 21 year old, with a second win at Knockhill being one of four podium visits in total, but Davenport ends the year feeling there should have been more.
“It’s been a season of highs and lows. At the beginning of the year, if I’d have looked ahead and known I’d take two wins, a number of podiums and some real good drives through the field, I’d have been happy with that,” Davenport told TCF.
“I’m a little frustrated though that on the other side of that, the poor races have been really poor, especially over this second half of the season.”
That frustration stems from a failure to build on his strong podium results and produce a run of consistent front-running results during the season, having picked up just twelve top six finishes in the 27 race season.
“In my interviews and debriefs after each of the good races this year, we’ve spoken about then following it up with consistency, we’d hope that a good result like the win at Knockhill would then breed consistent results at the front but we didn’t manage it,” Davenport reflected.
“We really thought at Croft we had it, that weekend went so well pace wise, I went in to every session knowing that I had a really good car. I thought this is it, we now have a base-up that we can go from for the rest of the season, but it didn’t quite happen like that.
“Part of that we can definitely put down to it being a rookie year for me, plus it’s also been a new car for the team. We come out of the year happy, we took the Teams Championship which is really good for the team, but we feel like we were just missing something slightly.”
While frustrated that he couldn’t consistently challenge for podium finishes, particularly after his great start at Brands Hatch, Davenport was pleased with the front-running results he did gain and feels he made huge strides forward as a driver over the course of the year.
“The win at Knockhill meant a lot to me, it was the first time I went to the circuit and it showed that I did have the pace to win again. Some of the podiums prior to that as well, I was very pleased with my drive in the final race at Donington too, chasing Carl [Breeze] down, and coming all the way through the field in race two at Croft,” commented the Cambridge-based racer.
“I’ve developed massively this year as a driver. This series is one of the most competitive out there for aspiring young GT drivers, and I’ve now got used to having almost double the horsepower to what I was used to, all the aero these cars have, and all in a series where the racing is so close.
“My pace has stepped up a level, but it’s my racecraft that has really improved. I’m really pleased with how I’ve been able to carve through fields and gain places, which I think bodes well for the future. This series is a really good apprenticeship for the next step with the GT3 cars.”
While Davenport has his eye on making the next step on the GT ladder with some GT3 opportunities next year, the Duo and Henderson Insurance-backed racer isn’t done with the Supercup yet and a return to the championship next year is on the cards.
“We’ll want to see a plan, want to see some answers as to where we went wrong this year and if we can see that, then I definitely see the Supercup as unfinished business, and we saw this as a two year plan anyway,” Davenport concluded.
“With some of the opportunities that seem to be coming up this winter though, I’d also be looking at some one-off GT3 drives, but its early days and I’m not pushing for anything too hard, it’s just a case of grabbing every opportunity that comes up with both hands.”