Optimum Motorsport’s Ade Barwick surged to a Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup victory on his series debut, before claiming a second-place finish to close out a highly successful weekend (6-7 June) at Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit.
Taking place in changeable conditions, Saturday’s qualifying was ultimately a dry affair, and newcomer Barwick stunned series regulars by securing twelfth on the grid and claiming the AM-class pole-position for the first of two races, with a 1:27.426 lap of the 2.2-mile Island Circuit.
Later on in the day the first race took place, and Barwick had the ‘perfect’ race, taking the fastest lap (1:27.741) in his class, and completing a lights-to-flag victory, bringing home his Optimum Motorsport-run Ginetta G55 first, ahead of the highly experienced Colin White and young-gun Conaire Finn.
Supporting the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup benefits from big attendances, and Barwick remain composed as he took to the grid ahead of the second race of the weekend, which took place midway between the first two BTCC races.
In front of a huge crowd of trackside spectators, Barwick, starting ninth overall (Class Pole-Position), dropped to second behind Finn, before being joined by White in the CWS 4x4 Spares G55.
On lap nine, Barwick dropped behind White and allowed the Ginetta stalwart to take on class-leader Finn. Three laps later Finn ran wide at Lodge corner, and Barwick pounced, but so did White. The pair finished the race just 2s apart, with White denying the Optimum racer a second victory by the smallest of margins.
Following such a positive performance, both Barwick and Optimum are evaluating taking part in the Snetterton round of the GT4 SuperCup, with confirmation expected in the coming weeks.
Shaun Goff, Optimum Motorsport Team Principal: “That was a really impressive SuperCup debut for Ade. We’re all chuffed for him! Up until the last race he had never not finished first in a Optimum run car, but you can't win them all! While Ade got the ‘AM’ pole, he was still some 2.2s off the overall pole, so we spent time on data and video analysis to find where he could close on the frontrunners. By the end of the final race, he was 1.5s off, so he’d found a good half a second! We’re both very keen to do more in SuperCup, and we might well attend Snetterton if things go to plan.”
Ade Barwick, Driver: “Saturday, the car set up was spot-on. It was the least undeersteer I’ve experienced in a G55 and it was all very confidence inspiring. The car felt like it was on rails, which meant I could carry more speed into the corners, especially through the higher speed ones like Druids. I really enjoyed both races, even though I didn’t win the second one. We will be back for further rounds. I came from sprint racing and still very much enjoy it, as this weekend proved.”