Tom Hibbert takes first win of the season after race 3 is marred by a huge accident

by Denis Hardy

Tom Hibbert and Triple M Motorsport secured victory in the restarted Race 3 of the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Donington Park, after a huge incident on lap four at the chicane brought out the red flags.

The reverse grid race saw, privateer, Carlito Miracco on pole with Hibbert joining him on the front row; Mike Epps and Will Burns lined up on row 2.

Burns would fail to make the start after pulling off after the formation lap with a drive shaft issue which seemingly ended his weekend. 

Everyone got away from the line cleanly, with Epps, Reece Somerfield and Carl Shield, getting the jump on Miracco into Redgate. Elite Motorsport’s Harry King, spun going into the first corner but managed to rejoin near the back of the pack, a corner later Chris Ingram spun, also managing to rejoin safely.

On lap three Am Class driver Nathan Heathcote took the the class lead, moving up to seventh overall. A lap later Fin Green having gotpast Miracco, was putting AK Motorsport’s Shield under pressure, when disaster struck.

Whilst trying to drive around the outside of Shield, exiting the chicane, Green lost control, hitting the tyre wall and coming to a stop, facing the wrong way on the start/finish straight. Those immediately behind managed to avoid the stranded Green, until Lucky Khera with Paul Taylor exited the chicane. Khera, managed to dodge Green at the last minute but Taylor wasn’t as lucky and ploughed head on into prone car.

Colin White tried to avoid the crash, but in doing so ended up in the barrier himself. Heathcote was another casualty, his car wreck, as too was Chris Ingram. The race was immediately stopped, with a huge delay while the marshals cleared the track.

News on the drivers involved in the accident is positive, five were taken to the medical centre to be checked over, four were discharged straight away, whilst one was sent to hospital for further tests and later discharged; A testament to the build quality of the Ginetta’s in that everyone walked away from the huge accident.

When the shortened eight lap race restarted, the drivers took to the grid in the track positions they held when the red flag occurred, with Burns starting from the pit lane after fixing his fault.

Everyone got away cleanly at the restart, Shield managed to get the jump on Team HARD’s Mike Epps to take third briefly, but he couldn’t make it stick, letting Epps back past before King slipped by shortly after.

Am Class driver Darron Lewis got the drop on Miracco at the restart to take sixth place and was soon chasing down Shield, ultimately passing him. 

King was pushing Epps for third, and looked to have made the move, but Epps had other ideas and was soon back in front as King slowed a little, with a possible mechanical issue. 

Will Burns had quietly made his way up the field and with just a couple of laps to go, putting a move on Shield at Redgate to take sixth place, keeping his Championship hopes alive.

Rob Boston Racing’s James Kell, took second in the Am class, after being chased home by Century Motorsport’s Jack Oliphant, who set the Am class fastest lap on his way to third in class and ninth on the track, just ahead of new boy Miracco who rounded out the top ten.

Khera, Carl Garnett and Lee Frost, came home in convoy, a little over six seconds behind Carlito, with Peter Bassill getting home last, a further 17 seconds adrift. While Dan Kirby put his car into the wall on the very last corner.

The Supercup takes a break now, returning to the track, in June for the meeting at Croft.

The final classification looked like this:

  2019 Miller Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup Classification - Round 6   
PositionNumberClassClass PlaceDriver Team
181Pro1Tom HIBBERTTriple M Motorsport
212Pro2Reece SOMERFIELDPrivateer
337Pro3Mike EPPSTeam HARD
419Pro4Harry KINGElite Motorsport
511Am1Darron LEWISTeam HARD
614Pro5Will BURNSRob Boston Racing
799Pro6Carl SHIELDAK Motorsport
833Am2James KELLRob Boston Racing
968Am3Jack OLIPHANTCentury Motorsport
1076Pro7Carlito MIRACCOPrivateer
1124Am4Lucky KHERADeclan Jones Racing
124Am5Carl GARNETTAK Motorsport
1398Am6Lee FROSTDeclan Jones Racing
1458Am7Peter BASSILLCentury Motorsport
DNF6AmDan KIRBYRob Boston Racing
DNF5AmChris INGRAMHHC Motorsport
DNF15AmPaul TAYLORTeam HARD
DNF44ProFin GREENTotal Control Racing
DNF50AmNathan HEATHCOTECentury Motorsport
DNF78AmColin WHITECWS Motorsport

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