Ginetta celebrated a one – two result in the second round of the Britcar Dunlop Prototype Series at the weekend as Craig Fleming took a sensational win from Ginetta Commercial Director Ade Barwick.
Fleming got the call to race the Simpson Motorsport prepared Ginetta G57 at 11pm on Saturday night after original pilot Paul White was forced to return home. 12 hours later, Fleming was in the cockpit testing, by the afternoon he was racing and an hour later he took a sensational win.
No stranger to sportscar racing, Fleming races a Juno in the Open Sportscar Series, and has history in the G57, having raced the car in the VdeV championship at Barcelona earlier in the season. Here’s the fascinating story of the event.
The 20-minute free practice session took a while to get going as the four Ginetta G57s, circulating as a train, found their groove. They then yo-yoed at the top of the timing screen, Craig Fleming and Ollie Jackson vying for the fastest time until Jackson stamped his authority, first with 1:03.023, then 1:02.484 as the session came to a close.
In qualifying, it was Ollie Jackson’s Ginetta all the way, always in the 1:02s, this time ending up at 1:02.377 with time to breathe at the end of the session. Colin White and Craig Fleming ebbed and flowed for second place in their G57s, a final serious dash by Fleming just not enough to get him on the front row.
In the race, pole-sitter Ollie Jackson momentarily lost the race lead, but by lap two he was out in front and pulling a second per lap over the Radical chasing behind. Craig Fleming initially held third place in the #50 Simpson Ginetta G57, but began slipping back into the clutches of stablemate Ade Barwick in the sister G57, whilst Colin White was recovering from a pit-lane start in the similar CWS-liveried machine.
Fleming continued to battle and he was pushed to the back of the field once passed by White, who promptly undid his hard work with a quick spin at the Old Hairpin. Coming up to the half-way point of the 60-minute race, Ollie Jackson’s lead was the best part of a quarter of a minute over the Radical, but during the pit stops, a front splitter adjustment cost the team time.
Elsewhere, Fleming pitted, then Barwick and the Radical inherited the lead. However, the frontman’s pace was no match for the Ginetta and Ade Barwick was only 10 seconds behind, then next time around just five seconds, and with 20 minutes of the race left to run, Ginetta’s new Commercial Director was turning his ‘test run’ into a potential race win.
Flemming was on a charge though, and soon disposed of the Radical in second place to mount a challenge on Barwick’s lead. In the end, the position came easy as a spin at Goddards for the leader with just 10 minutes to go, handed the advantage to Fleming.
Barwick quickly unreeled himself from last place, and as the flag fell after 53 laps, a surprised Fleming crossed the line nearly half a minute in hand, with Barwick a further 21 seconds ahead of the Radical.