Tom Ingram has made the battle for the 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup title come alive after taking a superb set of victories at Oulton Park.
For the first time this season, Tom Sharp was beaten in qualifying, with Ingram lining up on pole for the first race. Andrew Richardson was alongside him, missing pole position by 0.050 with Sharp behind in third.
As the lights went out, Ingram got a fantastic getaway and lead into Old Hall for the first time, while second placed man Richardson was forced out onto the grass, dropping him into sixth place behind Sharp, Carl Breeze, Jamie Orton and Hunter Abbott.
Breeze managed to overtake Sharp to move up to second place, with the top two pulling away from the rest of the field. A few laps later Abbott closed onto the rear of Orton and after a few attempts succeeded to move up to fourth at Orton’s expense.
By lap eleven, an intense battle for sixth place had between Richardson, Josh Wakefield, Jake Hill and Colin White, White span his car across the track at Hislops a lap later . Andrew Richardson’s rotten luck continued when two laps from the end he was forced to retire from the race.
As the chequered flag came out, Ingram held off Breeze to take his second win of the season, with Sharp taking the last podium spot . Abbott took fourth while Orton and Hill finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.
In the G50’s, debutant Declan Jones took pole position on his first outing, however a detour on his way to the grid ended his race before it had begun. Mark Davies graduated to pole position ahead of Rob Gaffney and Reece Somerfield.
A spin for Somerfield dropped him down the field, while Gaffney was given a drive through penalty, dropping him to third behind Irish returnee Connaire Finn. As Davies stormed to victory, Gaffney was able to close down Finn and take second, with Finn finishing third ahead of James Owen and Somerfield.
For full race classification click here.
For race two, Ingram lead off the line, whilst Breeze moved straight up to second and White forced his way past Richardson. By lap two, yesterday’s impressive drive seemed to be continuing for Hill, battling over fifth place with Orton. Andrew Richardson moved up five places over the course of the opening laps, however an off at Cascades left him out of the race for a second day in a row and continued in the miserable luck he has endured in 2012.
In the G50’s, another great start for Davies sees him happily leading, whilst Somefield drives well behind him in third. Keen to make up for yesterday’s lack of track time, and with a start from the back of the grid, Jones powers his way through the field over the opening laps, desperate for his first podium slot.
By lap six, Ingram had pulled out a 2.166 second lead over Breeze, whilst behind him, Sharp continually tried to unsettle Breeze, however, Abbot takes note of the distraction up ahead, and slips up the inside of Sharp right onto the tail of Breeze, resulting in a three-way battle over the final two podium slots to the end of the race, with less than a second separating the trio over the final few laps. This action behind allows Ingram to draw out a gap of 9.170 seconds by the time the chequered flag fell.
In the G50’s, Davies continues to lead, with yesterday’s second-placed finished Gaffney still fighting for the win, behind them, Somerfield loses out to Jones for the final step on the podium on lap nine as the newcomer tastes the sweet taste of success.
With Breeze looking considerably happy with new team Total Control Racing, and Ingram finally finding the form which awarded him the Ginetta Junior Championship and Ginetta G50 Cup titles over the past two years respectively, there is certainly still all to play for in as the championship looks forward to Croft in two weeks’ time.
Rounds 12, 13 & 1 of the 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup will take place on the 23rd-24th June at Croft in Yorkshire.
For full race classification click here.
For full championship standings click here.
Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey (http://www.jakobebrey.com)