Oliphant Extends Championship Lead Whilst Stilp Impresses

Oliphant Extends Championship Lead Whilst Stilp Impresses

Tom Oliphant extended his Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup championship advantage over Carl Breeze this weekend, after a win and third place was enough to keep his closest rival at bay in the standings.

Although Jamie Orton took the second win of the weekend, it was newcomer Jordan Stilp who stole the show, impressing with a storming drive to pass the championship top two and take a second place in only his second race.

In qualifying, Tom Wrigley brought to an end Oliphant’s dominance, after he pipped the championship leader to pole position by just four thousandths of a second. Unfortunately for Wrigley, he was unable to translate his raw pace into starting power, and it was Oliphant who swept into the lead off the line.

Wrigley was soon swallowed up by Orton and Breeze, eventually being shuffled down to fourth after the opening lap. His day then went from bad to worse, as contact with Burns on lap two saw both cars retire.

Ollie Jackson held an early fourth place until he was passed by Stilp, who had made an earlier move on Stefan Hodgetts. The latter then slipped into the clutches of David Pittard and Reece Somerfield, who were busy in a fight of their own.

Stilp eventually passed Jackson to move up the order once again. Pittard passed Somerfield, but was unable to make further progress as the laps counted down. In eighth, Somerfield faced a racy looking Callum Pointon, who was desperately trying to shake championship returnee Carl Boardley from his tail.

In the second race, a great start for Oliphant and Orton saw the pair trading places for the lead around much of the opening lap, although it was Orton who ultimately got his nose in front, and controlled proceedings from then on.

Knowing he needed to keep Breeze behind to maintain his championship advantage, Oliphant then set about defending from his rival, who was in turn, coming under fire from championship Stilp.

Jackson passed Somerfield on lap two, before chasing down Hodgetts just up the road in fifth. The battle between the pair raged until the former BTCC ace took the place on lap eight.

Hodgetts then came under fire from Pittard who snatched the place a lap later, leaving the Amigos Tequila Flavoured Beer backed driver to defend from Burns and Boardley, with the former taking track position on lap 12.

Burns’ charge didn’t end there. Not content with climbing from 19thto seventh following his non-finish in race one, the HHC Motorsport driver passed Jackson to move into sixth during the closing laps.

Dropping back down the order, Somerfield lost ground to Pittard and Boardley as the pair swept past. With Pittard pulling away, a battle emerged between Wrigley, Boardley, Hodgetts and Somerfield for eighth place.

Wrigley remained out front with Boardley behind, but Somerfield did find a way around Hodgetts to secure the final place inside the top 10.

In the AM class, Connaire Finn took the opening win of the weekend, but he was kept honest throughout by one-off entrant Matthew Simmons behind, the latter of whom took podium results in both races.

Having set the fastest time in qualifying, Graham Johnson was in full recovery mode as he powered to second by the mid-point, before taking the race lead before the flag: all this despite starting at the very back of the grid.

Meanwhile championship contenders Colin White, Osamu Kawashima and Fraser Robertson continued to squabble over track position and valuable points. White picked up a third and fourth place, which enabled him to close the overall points gap to Kawashima, before dropped scores.

The focus now shifts to the grand finale at Brands Hatch, when both the PRO and AM class champions will be crowed. With 109 points left on the board, the Kent circuit will certainly host an exciting decider in a fortnights time.