Carl Breeze retained his position at the head of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup after a win and second place at Oulton Park saw him keep his HHC Motorsport teammate and closest rival, Jamie Orton at bay.
It was once again a HHC Motorsport top three qualifying lockout in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup as Orton claimed his third qualifying pole position of 2015 with teammate Carl Breeze alongside and Will Burns behind.
A storming start for Orton saw him hold off the championship leader into Old Hall for the first time, their teammate Burns wasn’t quite so fortunate however, as Tom Oliphant took third from him on the opening tour, whilst Ollie Jackson made great progress to move from eighth to fifth.
As the race played out, three distinct battles emerged – out front, Breeze hassled Orton for most of the encounter, with Oliphant fending off Burns, until an excursion at Cascades forced the latter to retire on lap 12 as grass blocked his radiator.
In the mid-pack, Jackson, Michael Caine, Reece Somerfield and Tom Wrigley were running nose-to-tail for fourth after being bumped up the order by Burns’ retirement and ultimately ending the race in that order, but providing spectators with lots of edge-of-your-seat moments in the process.
Making a one-off appearance for the weekend, Ginetta GT5 Challenge regular Callum Pointon was involved in the top five battle, until a spin saw him caught up in the third inter-action race between AM drivers Colin White and Connaire Finn, who were second and third respectively, with British GT switcher Ade Barwick leading the class.
The second race of the weekend saw Orton start from pole position, and with his Ginetta G55 GT4 car angled to block Breeze off the line, it was no surprise to see him lead into Old Hall at the first time.
Orton’s lead was short lived however, as he overcooked the entry into turn one at the start of lap two and gifted the advantage to teammate Breeze, only to retake the position after cutting the chicane at Knickerbrook a few laps later. Although Orton held on to the lead to the flag, a 1.4s penalty following the race handed the maximum points haul to Breeze.
Meanwhile, the duo’s HHC Motorsport teammate Will Burns was making great progress from the back of the grid, having moved into seventh within the first few laps. With Oliphant sticking with the leaders up front, it was left to Jackson to lead the rest of the pack around the Cheshire circuit, with round 10 rival Caine filling his mirrors whilst defending from Somerfield behind.
It wasn’t long before Burns was mixing it with the trio up ahead, passing Somerfield to begin pressuring Caine, and after a number of attempts to pass, tried (and failed) to make a move around the outside of Caine, leaving the door open for Somerfield to retake sixth as the action reached its climax.
Wrigley was enjoying a great race with early AM class leader Connaire Finn, with the pair soon caught by Bradley Smith who was forced to start from the rear of the grid following an issue in the previous race.
Once Smith passed the pair, he made spectacular progress to pull away and begin to close up on the back of the battle for fifth – setting one of the race’s fastest laps along the way. In the AM class, Connaire Finn enjoyed an early lead, but soon had to defend from Barwick and White, with the latter passing the round 10 winner to take the lead towards the end of the race.
The Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup reconvenes at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on Sat 27/Sun 28 June. Provisional standings are below.
1. BREEZE, Carl 337
2. ORTON, Jamie 304
3. OLIPHANT, Tom 255
4. BURNS, Will 249
5. CAINE, Michael 233
6. SOMERFIELD, Reece 200
7. JACKSON, Ollie 176
8. WRIGLEY, Tom 139
9. SMITH, Bradley 120
10. HALE, Mitchell 112