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Tom Oliphant Extends SuperCup Lead With Dominant Knockhill

Tom Oliphant Extends SuperCup Lead With Dominant Knockhill

A near-perfect weekend for Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup leader Tom Oliphant has seen the Century Motorsport driver extend his championship lead with just seven races left to run.

With pole position, two lights-to-flag victories and a pair of fastest laps, Oliphant is in the enviable position of having 59 points in hand as the championship enters the latter stages.

After dominating qualifying, Tom Oliphant stormed off the line in race one, to hold the lead with Will Burns behind. Five laps in and the pair had a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field, whilst behind, an almost untroubled race unfolded for the remainder of the grid.

Jamie Orton initially had to defend from Carl Breeze and Tom Wrigley, but shook the pair as the race entered the latter stages. Despite a number of challenges by Wrigley, the former champion held firm to the flag, with the only other place change between Reece Somerfield and Jackson in their fight for sixth.

In the AM class, it was a dominant win for Colin White, whilst Fraser Robertson lost an almost certain runner’s up spot on the closing laps after spinning out of contention and handing the position to Osamu Kawashima.

Race two was something of a carbon copy for the top three. Oliphant enjoyed yet another dominant lights-to-flag victory whilst Burns and Orton followed him closely. In the early laps, Orton came under pressure from Breeze, until contact with Wrigley behind dropped the 2013 champion down to dead last.

Running in fourth, Wrigley later came under pressure from Jackson. With a change in positions, Wrigley pushed hard to reclaim the place, clipping a tyre stack and damaging the front left corner of his Ginetta.

With limited overtaking spots, it was somewhat calm from then in. Caine made his way from the back of the field into seventh, but his early laps behind the AM racers lost him time. In the sub class, White took another win from Kawashima and Robertson.

If the first two races were calmer than usual, the final encounter more than made up for it in terms of action. Starting from pole following the reverse grid draw, Somerfield held the lead into turn one, whilst Wrigley dropped to third after starting second.

Jackson lost his early second place to Wrigley on lap three, and was in with a chance of reclaiming the spot when Wrigley made a mistake at Duffers on lap six, but by lap 12 the latter was back on form, grabbing the race lead at Scotsman.

A bit of side-by-side action for Burns, Oliphant and Caine saw Oliphant snatch fifth. His teammate Jackson made it unsurprisingly simple for the championship leader to slice into third at the following corner.

With Wrigley in front, he tore away from the rest of the pack. Oliphant struggled to find a way around Somerfield but finally made a move stick on lap nine, seemingly just in time as chaos ensued behind.

Jackson tried to follow his teammate through, only to end up with front end damage and a required pit stop. Meanwhile Burns barged past Somerfield to take third and some eager braking saw the rest of the pack come together quite literally.

Recovering from the back of the grid, Breeze had made his way through the AM class, and with three damaged cars ahead, the racy looking former championship leader was waiting in the wings to launch past Caine, where he grabbed fifth and some all-important championship points.

Provisional Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup standings after 20 rounds;

GT4 SUPERCUP PRO CLASS TABLE

1 OLIPHANT, Tom            560

2 ORTON, Jamie 501

3 BREEZE, Carl 486

4 CAINE, Michael 397

5 BURNS, Will 380

6 SOMERFIELD, Reece 354

7 WRIGLEY, Tom 343

8 JACKSON, Ollie 310

9 SMITH, Bradley 216

10 HALE, Mitchell 124

 

GT4 SUPERCUP AM CLASS TABLE

1 WHITE, Colin 524

2 KAWASHIMA, Osamu 497

3 ROBERTSON, Fraser 355

4 INGRAM, Chris 230

5 BARWICK, Ade 154

6 MOORE, Will 87

7 WHITE, Keith 70

8 ROBERTS, Richard 68

9 FINN, Connaire 53

10 MONAHON, Paul 0