GINETTA GT4 SUPERCUP 2018
RD.7 - Silverstone National
The first round of the 2018 Ginetta GT4 Supercup was held at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone. Unfortunately, it wasn't the full-on Grand Prix circuit, but still racing at Silverstone is always special. Friday’s testing sessions were a bit of a struggle. The team and I had an issue with the steering and only got the problem fixed by the end of Friday, with no time to test the car before qualifying. As qualifying got under way, there was a big point made in driver's briefing regarding track limits and thus, I had to be careful on the exits of corners to not exceed the track limits. Maybe as a result, I was too cautious but I ended qualifying in P5 for race 1 later that day.
Later on that day was the first race of the weekend and lining up P5, I knew I had work to do to improve my position and as the lights went out I was straight on the attack. Having been shoved out on turn 2 I dropped to P7 but got my head back down and made the places back. When I was back in P5 I then endured a race long battle with a car I knew I was much faster than. He defended well and on the penultimate lap I had to pull out all the stops and pass him round the outside of Brooklands to get into P4. Unfortunately however, I got out-dragged into turn 1 and would have to settle for P5. My pace in this race was strong but on a track like Silverstone, that basically consists of 4 corners and 3 straights, it's easy to go wheel to wheel but completing a pass was more difficult. P5 was disappointing but I'd come back fighting in race 2.
Off the back of my disappointing result in race 1, I made a much better start in race 2. climbing to P3 within 3 laps. I was comfortably holding P3 in my own air, with a big gap ahead to P2. However, a safety car with 5 laps to go bunched the pack back up and put me not only into the grasps of P4, but closed the gap from myself to P2 and the leader. We were back to green flag racing and instantly I was putting pressure on to the top two, smelling my first victory in car racing. However, P4 was also on my tail and seemed persistent in his attempts to put me off the road. a hit in the rear at the start of the penultimate lap was just the start of things as he tried to wrestle a podium from my grasp. This allowed P2 to get away starting the last lap so I could focus on defending. However, on the last lap I was hit 3 times, and was forced off the road just as many times and despite holding onto my place for the majority of the lap, receiving a huge whack in the last corner put me wide and I lost P3 and finished P4 on the road. After the race I was promoted back to 3rd place, but I missed the champagne showers so it didn't quite have the same level of satisfaction.
For the final race of Silverstone Weekend, I would start on a reverse grid P2. A steady start put me back into P3 and one lap later, I was passed on the main straight and was dropped back into P4. I got my head back down and began to close the gap on the front three. At the halfway point in the race, I made my move on the exit of the first turn. The car who I was passing, either didn't see me alongside him, or was being over aggressive in his defense, but either way I was forced all four wheels onto the grass as I tried to take 3rd place. I kept my foot pinned and rejoined the track side-by-side but more importantly, I was able to get my podium place. As the rest of the race went by, I was able to consolidate my podium and brought the car home a well-deserved P3.
Overall, this was my best weekend as far as my racing performance is concerned. I got stuck in and didn't shy back from a battle. It was also my first double-podium in car racing and was a continuation of my strong form as this season has progressed. The next, and final round of this year's championship is at Brands Hatch GP in three weeks time!