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|Podium, points and pace for Richardson Racing|
|15 Aug 2012 11:19|
Grantham-based race team Richardson Racing enjoyed arguably its best weekend to date in the 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup as the season resumed at Snetterton after the summer break.
The team secured no fewer than six podium finishes, with two coming in the G55 class and a further four in the G50 class – including a stunning triple win. There was also lap-record breaking pace in both classes as the team showed its speed throughout the weekend.
In the premier G55 class, Andrew Richardson qualified in a solid fourth place and finished the opening race of the weekend in fifth, having lost a place on the opening lap when his tracking was knocked out of alignment after hitting a kerb.
Maintaining his position at the start of race two, Andrew made up one position when Tom Ingram retired with engine failure and then battled ahead of points leader Tom Sharp to secure a place on the podium in third – only missing out on challenging for victory when he briefly went off the road having caught the top two on track. However, in a display of his pace, Andrew broke the lap record with a stunning lap two-tenths of a second quicker than any of his rivals could manage.
Third on the grid for the final race, Andrew got ahead of Carl Breeze on the opening lap but looked like being forced to settle for second place as Sharp built an advantage in the early laps.
However, Andrew stormed back into contention with a series of stunning qualifying-like laps that saw him close right onto the tail of the leader despite being almost three seconds behind at one stage.
Giving his all on the final lap, Andrew made one last attempt to take the lead at the hairpin before ultimately settling for second place, although that still marked his best result to date in the series.
Andrew now sits joint sixth in the championship but is just ten points away from fifth place.
“In hindsight I could probably have made the move on Tom stick in the final race but it would have taken a rough move and that isn’t how I’d want to take the place,” he said. “I was happy with second place as we’ve shown our pace already this season and haven’t got the results we deserved. However, this weekend, we’ve shown what we are capable of and have picked up three good finishes.
“We had a solid weekend at Croft before the summer break and at Snetterton, we have just got quicker and quicker all weekend. The fact we haven’t had any of the problems we had earlier in the year has meant we could focus on improving the car and now we need to keep the momentum going and try and fight for our first victory.
“Finally, I’ve got to thank the team for the work they have put in all season, and feel like I’ve rewarded them somewhat for the effort that has gone into the programme this year as they had to deal with a lot of problems that weren’t anything to do with them in the opening half of the year. I’ve also got to thank the sponsors who have stood by me during a difficult spell earlier in the year and hopefully these results will help attract new backers for the remainder of the season and beyond.”
In the G50 class, Huddersfield racer Mark Davies continued his dominant campaign to further extend his already healthy championship lead to more than 120 points.
Having qualified on class pole by more than a second, Mark was on top form in the three races as he led each from start to finish – also picking up three overall top ten finishes in the process.
Winning races one and two by nearly ten seconds, Mark ended the final race of the weekend more than 15 seconds ahead of his closest rival and also picked up a hat-trick of fastest laps from the weekend – including his own lap record.
“I thought it would be a bit closer than it was this weekend but its been perfect with pole, three wins and three fastest laps,” he said. “I’ve not done anything differently behind the wheel but the car was really strong and we had more pace than the rest of the G50 field.
“We made some changes to the car for the final race and it was even better than in the first two races and we also made a good choice on how to manage the tyres like we did at Croft. It paid off brilliantly.”
Mark was partnered once again in the G50 class by Louise Richardson, who rejoined the grid after missing the rounds at Oulton Park and Croft following sponsorship issues.
Despite her lack of recent track time and that fact that she was forced to complete the entire race weekend on old tyres, Louise qualified third in class for the opening race of the weekend although she lost places on the opening lap to slip to fifth in class and 16th overall. From there, she fought her way back to finish 13th overall and fourth in class, just three-tenths of a second away from the podium places.
Going one better in race two, Louise secured her fifth podium finish of the season in third place and went into the final race hoping to at least repeat the feat, only to suffer a spin on lap one while avoiding an incident ahead.
Despite that dropping her to the rear of the field, impressive pace for the remainder of the race saw her climb back to fourth at the finish as she again finished just three-tenths of a second away from a place in the top three.
“It’s been a difficult weekend for me,” she said. “I was a bit rusty in the opening race, although I could have been on the podium without a mistake at Williams when I went off and lost places early on. Race two was much better and we got onto the podium but race three didn’t go to plan at all. On the opening lap I had Tom Ingram alongside me and I’m not sure if there was some contact or whether I just got onto the dirt from cars spinning ahead, but I suffered a spin myself and dropped right to the back.
“From there, I just had to try and get as high as possible and I did my best to get third on the final lap but Reece [Somerfield] was just fast enough in the right places to stop me getting onto the podium. Hopefully we can now get something sorted so I can be out at Knockhill.”
Further information on sponsorship opportunities with the Richardson Racing team are available by e-mailing email@example.com
Photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography
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