The second half of the 2016 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup season kicks off this weekend with the championship’s annual trip north of the border to Scotland and the picturesque Knockhill circuit, which is set to play host to a unprecedented four races across the meeting.
That comes as the scheduled triple-header is joined by the postponed final race from Snetterton last time out, meaning this could well be a defining meeting in the destination of the 2016 title – the race for which is currently headed by Tom Wrigley.
Despite the visit to Snetterton two weeks ago being the first time this season that Wrigley has left a race weekend without a victory to his name, the Rob Boston Racing ace still heads to Scotland with an extended 68 point lead atop of the championship standings.
Wrigley, who took five wins on the bounce prior to Snetterton and has so far finished every race within the top three, will head to Knockhill eager to return to the top step of the podium at the circuit where he secured his second career Supercup win twelve months ago.
Behind Wrigley there is literally nothing separating Will Burns and Jamie Orton in the standings – a double victory for Orton in Norfolk regaining him some lost ground in the title battle and drawing him level with his former team-mate.
Orton will likely be missing from action this weekend however as he awaits the imminent birth of his first child, and his absence would unfortunately effectively end his title hopes and place Burns as the only realistic championship challenger with twelve races remaining.
Burns has finished on the podium in each of the race weekends so far this campaign in his Douglas Motorsport G55, and he’ll know at least matching his podium hat-trick from Knockhill last season will be key to keeping the pressure on Wrigley.
With one of the established top three missing for the weekend, there is an extra opportunity for some other drivers in the field to pick up some standout results, including podium finishers this year Carl Boardley and Mark Davies.
Boardley climbed aboard the rostrum for a second time this season last time out at Snetterton, while Davies’ sole top three of the season so far came in the previous meeting at Croft. As former race winners in the series, they are both capable of getting in the mix at the front of the grid.
Two other active drivers have featured on the podium so far this campaign, with Reece Somerfield and Ben Green taking a top three back at Brands Hatch and Donington Park respectively, and they’ll be aiming to get back into contention this time out.
Regular top six finisher Tom Hibbert will be confident of adding his name to the roll call of podium finishers meanwhile as he starts the rescheduled Snetterton race from the reverse grid pole position, while Callum Pointon and Rob Gaffney have also shown glimpses of being able to break into the podium picture.
In the AM Class, Colin White is marching to a successful defence of his title with nine class wins in the opening ten races, though his main competition through the season, Grahame Tilley and Chris Ingram, will be leading the charge to beat him this time out.
Tilley is the only driver to deprive him of a class win so far back at Donington Park and he, Ingram and Fraser Robertson have been podium regulars so far, while Mike Newbould and David Brooks are chasing their first rostrum visits of the campaign.
At the head of the pack meanwhile, since the Supercup’s inception in 2011 there’s always been a double race-winner across the Knockhill weekend – with Nathan Freke (2011), Carl Breeze (2012, 2014), Matt Nicoll-Jones (2013) and Tom Oliphant (2015) achieving the accolade.
Can Wrigley follow in their footsteps this weekend a move a big step closer to the title? Could Burns lead the way and make a dent in the leader’s advantage? Or will another contender steal the spotlight at the Scottish circuit? Keep an eye on TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk across the weekend to find out.
The addition of the final Snetterton race means it’s a busy weekend for the teams and drivers, with Saturday set to feature qualifying and two races, before two more races on the Sunday – the second of which is set to be televised live on ITV4.
The full championship standings ahead of the weekend can be found here.