Grantham-based race team Richardson Racing has extended its advantage in the G50 class of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup after the fifth round of the season at Croft, where the team secured another two wins to add to its tally.
The race weekend saw the team again fielding just two cars, with Andrew Richardson in action in the G55 class but Huddersfield-racer Mark Davies alone in the G50 class after sponsorship issues again left Louise Richardson on the sidelines.
Andrew was keen to impress after a tough weekend at Oulton Park a fortnight earlier, where he was forced out of both races by contact with a rival driver. Having impressed in wet conditions during Friday practice, Andrew was once again on form in qualifying as he posted the third quickest time to secure a second row start for race one.
Andrew held position through the early stages of the race before coming under pressure from Tom Sharp and Jake Hill, with the trio running nose to tail for a number of laps before Sharp was finally able to find a way through. Andrew then lost position to Jake to sit in fifth place, a position he would keep to the finish.
The second race saw Andrew repeat his result from race one as he ran in fifth place throughout, although his chances of finishing higher up the order weren’t helped by contact with Colin White that affected the handling of his car.
The start of race three saw Andrew slip a place to sixth off the line, with the #5 car then circulating at the tail of a train of cars dicing for top spot until the tenth lap, when Josh Wakefield and Hunter Abbott clashed ahead. That allowed Andrew to make up to places to fourth to secure his best result of the weekend, despite the fact he was struggling with his tyres throughout the race.
“We did more laps in qualifying than we normally would, and that then worked against us on race day as we’d take more out of the tyres,” he said. “Although we were quick in the wet on Friday, we missed out on the dry running there was so we were a bit behind on set-up as we were trying to set the car up while the tyres were dropping away from us, which wasn’t ideal.
“The last race in particular was difficult as the tyres were at their worst and the car wasn’t quite right after the contact from Colin in race two, but I’m coming away from the weekend with three top fives and some decent points in the bag which is good after some of our recent luck.”
Louise’s sponsorship woes left Mark alone in the G50 class as he looked to extend his points lead before the summer break, and his weekend started well when he secured class pole in eleventh overall in qualifying – four-tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rival.
The opening race of the weekend saw Mark running at the head of the G50 pack in a heated battle for top spot with Max Coates. The pair swapped position as the race wore on before Coates was able to make a move stick to secure victory, with Mark having to settle for second place.
The pair again battled for class honours throughout the second race, with Mark spending most of the race putting his rival under pressure before Coates was forced to retire two laps from the finish – leaving Mark a comfortable G50 winner by more than 13 seconds.
With the team having come up with a plan on how to manage his tyres through the weekend – with only six available for qualifying and the three races – Mark was then in a class of his own in the final race as he stormed to victory in fifth place overall, despite a mid-race spin exiting the chicane while racing against a quicker G55 machine.
Mark now leads the standings by 97 points heading into the summer break. “The car was brilliant this weekend, especially in race three,” the Fastsigns Huddersfield and Overfinch-backed driver said. “The team really thought about how to use the tyres this weekend and the decision to use four new tyres and two we had saved from Thruxton was perfect. Even though I had a spin in the final race while running alongside Jake Hill, I was still able to win.
“The battles with Max in the earlier races were enjoyable and in the second race he was defending well before his problem. The aim was to extend my lead, which I’ve done, and I’ve never driven a G50 that was as good as mine was this weekend. I’m already looking forward to Snetterton when the summer break ends.”