Tom Sharp Dominates Again At Thruxton

Tom Sharp took a hat-trick of victories at a very wet Thruxton to continue dominating the Ginetta GT Supercup, making it a total of eight wins in the opening nine races of the season.

Starting from pole position for round seven was a massive advantage as spray was massive issue for other support series’ throughout the day.

Once the start lights went out Sharp made a brilliant getaway with Tom Ingram holding second place from Fergus Walkinshaw.

On lap one, Sharp began to eke out a lead, whilst an excellent start for Carl Breeze saw him move from fifth to third by the end of lap two. Ingram was starting to pick up the pace, and by lap five was running 0.766 seconds behind Sharp, cutting it down to 0.693 on lap six.

With Sharp and Ingram in a field of their own, they began to build out a lead over Breeze, who was running in a comfortable third place by lap eight. With the conditions on track not improving all the drivers did a brilliant job racing and keeping their cars pointing in the right direction.

At the front of the field, Sharp never looked to be under threat and built a comfortable 1.050 seconds over Ingram, with both of them just looking to bring their cars home. This allowed Breeze to close up to within 0.265 seconds of Ingram by lap ten.

As the flag dropped, it was Sharp who would take the victory,  Ingram and Breeze finished in second and third place respectively whilst Mark Davies took the G50 win, with Rob Gaffney finishing in second and Louise Richardson finishing third in class.

For full race classification click here.

For race two Tom Sharp was once again on pole, with Ingram and Breeze second and third. A textbook getaway allowed Sharp to pull away and have a clear view of the track, while the others behind battled in the monsoon like conditions. Ingram was not content sitting in second and chased down Sharp, bringing the gap down to 0.660 at the end of lap one.

Fergus Walkinshaw and Andrew Richardson were  locked in an intense battle for fourth and fifth position with just 0.147 seconds separating them on lap two. Further down the field, Hunter Abbott and Colin White had a coming together as Abbott exited the final chicane slowly on his way into pit lane, leaving White with nowhere to go but into his rear and ultimately into retirement.

A few laps later, Breeze and Walkinshaw were racing hard for the final spot on the podium before two separate incidents left the drivers to lose momentary control over their G55’s. Whilst a detour for Breeze cost him a few places, Walkinshaw wasn’t so lucky, as hitting standing water sent him aquaplaning off the circuit where he smashed into a dirt mound, launching him off the ground and resulting in extensive damage on the landing.

This allowed Andrew Richardson to move up to third place, with Josh Wakefield behind showing blistering pace to close the gap from 3.645 seconds to 0.473 in the space of three laps. After a few attempts Wakefield finally found a way around, dropping Richardson to fourth.

As the chequered flag dropped it was Sharp again who would take the victory, with Ingram and Wakefield finishing in second and third place respectively.

In the G50 class, Mark Davies claimed another victory, finishing in an impressive fifth placed overall after leading his class from lights to flag. Behind him, his team mate Louise Richardson put in an impressive performance to finish second in class and Max Coates rounding off the G50 podium.

For full race classification click here.

For race three, Andrew Richardson was on pole alongside Josh Wakefield. Unfortunately for Richardson coming on to grid late meant he was forced to start from pit lane, promoting Wakefield to pole position.

Wakefield’s team-mate Abbott joined Richardson in a pit lane start, whilst Fergus Walkinshaw, did not start after his crash in race two.

As the lights went out, an excellent start for Ingram saw him take an almost instant lead, whilst Wakefield sat in second ahead of Sharp. Despite early challenges from Wakefield, Ingram held the lead and Wakefield started to come under pressure from Sharp.

On the G50 grid, Mark Davies was on pole giving him a head start over his team-mate Louise Richardson. Although it wasn’t long before she was hot on his heels, with Max Coates not far behind producing an exciting battle for the class victory.

Strong racing from Richardson and Coates saw both of them make their way around Davies at separate points on lap three, leaving Richardson to chase down the G55 of Carl Breeze.

Over the following laps, the field remained pretty much constant, before the battle between Ingram and Sharp came to a head on lap eight as Sharp finally found a way around Ingram. Despite an impressive comeback from Ingram, a broken driveshaft forced him into the pits for a quick examination, and regardless of the best efforts from the JHR Developments team and a brief attempt to re-join, Ingram was forced to call time on his race.

This retirement promoted Wakefield to his second podium spot of the weekend whilst the G55 of Breeze and G50 of Richardson followed along a good way behind before a last minute move from Abbot shifted Richardson down the overall standings to fifth, but nevertheless, allowed her to claim her first win of the season in the G50s, ahead of Coates and Davies.

Laying claim to eight wins out of a possible nine, Sharp has built a comfortable 115 point lead over the course of the first three race weekends, with Ingram and Breeze sitting behind on 195 and 192 points respectively. Whilst in the G50 class, Davies still has a 42 point lead over Gaffney, as Coates settles in just three points behind him.

Rounds 10, 11 & 12 of the 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup will take place on the 9th-10th June at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

For full race classification click here.

For full championship standings click here.

Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey (http://www.jakobebrey.com)

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