Wednesbury-based motor racing team Total Control Racing made a successful return to the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Oulton Park, with Carl Breeze recording two second place finishes in rounds 10 and 11 of the campaign.
After missing the first three events of the year, the West Midlands squad recently agreed fresh deals with 2011 drivers Breeze and Jamie Orton – each having raced elsewhere at the beginning of the season – and both competitors shone back at the wheel of a TCR-run Ginetta G55.
Breeze, who was unable to start his 2012 title bid with TCR due to budget restrictions, produced his most consistently strong performance of the year so far to give Lee Brookes’ squad a podium finish on its first outing in the series since last October.
After qualifying fourth fastest for round 10 in the wet on Saturday, the Kings Lynn driver went on to take an excellent second place result and also post the fastest lap, and new lap record, of 1m25.726 seconds (93.47mph).
Scorching off the line at the start, Breeze saw-off the battling Tom Sharp and Andrew Richardson at Old Hall to quickly move into second place before closing-in on pole-sitter Tom Ingram. Pressuring the race leader and also edging clear of Sharp and the rest, Breeze set the new lap record on the seventh tour but settled for a nonetheless superb second place during the closing stages.
Team-mate Orton, who made a single appearance for TCR last year, made a terrific start himself by leaping from sixth on the grid into the top four. Initially seeing off the attentions of Hunter Abbott, Orton looked very comfortable indeed. At mid-distance though, Abbott closed back in and managed to edge past into Cascades on lap 12 to push Orton back to fifth place.
In round 11 on Sunday, Breeze was again second but had a harder time maintaining the position with brake problems and a sticking throttle. Coping with the issues brilliantly, he fended off Abbott and series leader Sharp to cap his most competitive weekend of the season to-date.
Orton, starting in fifth for the second encounter, held position off the line and remained there until lap seven when an unfortunate spin at the chicane dropped him back to seventh. Managing to stay ahead of Colin White on the road, the London driver was actually promoted from seventh to sixth at the finish due to a five second penalty for Josh Wakefield.
“Two podiums is great for our first weekend back”, said team principal Brookes, “In the second race Carl had a problem with the throttle sticking flat out, he had to flick it back after braking and then get it ready for the corner – really well done to him for that. Jamie is on the pace now, if we can get him that little bit further up in qualifying he’ll be fighting for podiums so it’s all looking good.”
Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey (http://www.jakobebrey.com)