Orton Leads Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup After Brands Opener

Orton Leads Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup After Brands Opener

Brands Hatch played host to the opening round of the 2015 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, and following three rounds of intense racing, Jamie Orton tops the championship table, although tied on points with second placed Carl Breeze, whilst Reece Somerfield and Will Burns are also equal on points in third and fourth place respectively.

It was a HHC Motorsport top three grid lockout for the first race of the year, as Jamie Orton claimed pole position ahead of teammates Carl Breeze and Will Burns. A good start for Orton saw him retain track position into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, and despite a number of challenges from his teammates, managed to hold the lead, to kick off the season with a lights to flag victory.

Burns was set to maintain third place until he ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend on the final lap, allowing Oliphant to slip by and take the final podium position behind Breeze – who also celebrated his 100thGinetta podium – and eventual race winner Jamie Orton.

Michael Caine arguably enjoyed the best start, powering his Amigos Tequila Flavoured Beer liveried Ginetta G55 GT4 car up five places on the opening lap, before going on to pick off another two cars before he took the chequered flag – ending his debut in seventh place, just behind Reece Somerfield in fifth and Ollie Jackson in sixth.

With the grid for race two based on the finishing positions of race one, Orton once again lined up on pole position for the first of Sunday’s encounter with Breeze behind.

Orton once again peeled away as the lights went out, forcing Breeze to settle in behind him, whilst a great start for Somerfield saw him leapfrog from fifth to third as the cars headed into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, with Oliphant and Burns giving chase.

Burns managed to pass Oliphant on lap four, but the pair were still staring at the back of Somerfield’s Ginetta G55 GT4 car, all the while allowing Breeze and Orton to break away up ahead. Keen to catch up to his HHC Motorsport teammates, Burns pulled off a slick manoeuvre on Somerfield going into Paddock Hill for the sixth time and began the charge onwards. 

Meanwhile, as Oliphant and Somerfield began trading places for fourth, Ollie Jackson, Michael Caine, Mitchell Hale and Bradley Smith managed to lock onto the back of the pair, and it soon became a six way scrap for the final places inside the top five. Caine passed Jackson to take sixth on lap 10 before he began to hunt down Somerfield in fifth, but the Forkers backed driver held his own and retained fifth position.

A little further down the field, a great battle emerged between Clarke and Smith over the closing laps with the latter leading for much of the race, until Clarke swept past with just a few laps to go, before he started reeling his old BTCC rival Ollie Jackson, only to run out of time in the 26 lap encounter.  As the flag fell, it was a HHC Motorsport podium lockout with Orton, Breeze and Burns taking home the champagne and silverware.

Caine lined up on pole position following the reverse grid draw, with Somerfield alongside on P2. A monster start for the latter saw him take the race lead off the line, whilst Breeze jumped from fifth to third over the opening lap.

Coming through from lower down the order, double race winner Orton passed Jackson and Hale to move into fifth by lap nine, whilst teammate Breeze found a way to pass Caine to claim second place.

With Caine later shuffled down to fifth, Burns and Oliphant moved into third and fourth and the fight for the podium heated up. After a fair few laps of squabbling, Orton passed Caine for fifth whilst Breeze tried every trick in the book to unsettle Somerfield, whilst also defending his position from the racy looking Burns, Oliphant and Orton.

As the flag fell, Somerfield had done everything he needed to fend off the advances of the former champion to claim his inaugural Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup race win in his G55, with Breeze settling for second place in the end, whilst Colin White took his third win of the weekend in the AM class.