Oliphant Storms Through For Opening Donington Win

Tom Oliphant overhauled Carl Breeze and Jamie Orton for his first Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup victory of the season in the opening race of the weekend at Donington Park.

Co-championship leaders Orton and Breeze started the race from the front row, and headed into Redgate for the first time side-by-side.

Breeze emerged in front, with Oliphant getting a run on Orton from third on the grid to snatch second place down the Craner Curves just before the safety car appeared.

The break in racing came after a start-line incident between Mitchell Hale and Colin White which eliminated both the cars, and once the action restarted the battle quickly resumed at the front.

With Breeze struggling with understeer, Oliphant sensed a chance to take the lead but found himself having to defend into Redgate each lap from Orton, who was getting great drive out of the final chicane.

Will Burns was on their tail though and his presence meant that four laps from the end, Oliphant was finally able to mount a challenge on Breeze – a great cutback out of Coppice giving him the lead, with Orton following through for second.

From there, Oliphant set the fastest lap of the race as he broke away to take the win by over six tenths of a second from Orton – who comfortably maintained second as Breeze held off Burns at the flag.

“It’s fantastic,” Oliphant told TCF. “I knew we had the pace in the car, and we were unlucky to start third after having our fastest lap in qualifying taken away after the session.

“I took a good opportunity into the Old Hairpin on the first lap for second and then build up after that. It was a difficult race, having to concentrate on defending and attacking, but I managed to get some pressure on Carl [Breeze] and it paid off. I’m delighted.”

Michael Caine enjoyed his strongest race run of the season so far to take fifth, while a sensational drive from Rob Boston saw him climb from sixteenth on the grid to sixth on his return to the championship.

Ollie Jackson picked up seventh after a close midfield battle with Bradley Smith and Reece Somerfield, whilst Tom Wrigley rounded out the top ten.

A dramatic end to the AM class battle saw Osamu Kawashima snatch his maiden class win from Fraser Robertson on the last lap – despite both spinning at McLeans on the last tour – with Chris Ingram completing the finishers.

Former British GT champion Bradley Ellis failed to start the race meanwhile, the SV Racing team running out of time to change his differential in the time after qualifying.

Full race results can be found here.