Oliphant Storms To Victory As Breeze Hits Barriers

by Simon Paice

Tom Oliphant took a lights-to-flag victory in the opening Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup race at Snetterton, a race in which Carl Breeze lost his championship lead to team-mate Jamie Orton after an incident with fellow HHC racer Will Burns.

After topping the timesheets in both free practice and qualifying, Oliphant enjoyed a trouble free run to victory for his third Supercup win in the last four races – the Century Motorsport ace pulling clear of the field by half a second a lap in the early stages to build an unassailable lead.

His cause was aided by an unfortunate incident between HHC Motorsport team-mates Breeze and Burns two laps from the end. Breeze, who had gained second place heading into Riches on the opening lap, suffered a mechanical problem heading out of Agostini, leading to a sudden loss of power.

As he suddenly slowed, Burns behind was left with nowhere to go and hit the rear of his team-mate, sending Breeze into the barriers. Both cars retired with damage, leading to a busy evening for the HHC team to repair both cars for tomorrow’s racing.

Ironically, the main beneficiary was their fellow team-mate Orton, who moved up to second place for his tenth top three finish of the campaign so far – a result that has seen him retake the championship lead by seven points from Oliphant, with Breeze one point further back.

“I got a really positive start, warmed the tyres up in the first couple of laps whilst managing the gap to Carl [Breeze] and then once they were up to temperature I was going for the lap record,” said Oliphant, who was 82 points off the championship lead just four races ago.

“I broke it two, three times and then once I was clear and the accident happened behind, I was able to cruise home and try to save the tyres for tomorrow’s races. I’ll be going for the win and the fastest lap again, this is a competitive championship so you’ve got to take full advantage when you’re on form.”

Bradley Smith meanwhile was able to make it two podiums on the bounce after his maiden win at Croft, the Mectech Motorsport taking third at the flag ahead of Michael Caine, while Ollie Jackson looked set to take fifth place until a late puncture dropped him down the order.

That spot went to Tom Wrigley, with Will Moore taking the AM class victory in sixth overall on his debut in the championship – his Optimum Motorsport team-mate and fellow debutant Flick Haigh following him home in seventh.

AM runners Colin White, Ade Barwick, Osamu Kawashima, Chris Ingram and Fraser Robertson were next up ahead of the final finisher Jackson, with Reece Somerfield also finishing up on the retirements list following contact off the startline with Jackson.

Full race results can be found here.

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