WRATHALL WINS 2010 MICHELIN GINETTA G50 CUP! Frank Wrathall achieved his aim of becoming Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Champion at the third attempt at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Sunday, 10th October -- and the Dynojet racer now has his sights...
WRATHALL WINS 2010 MICHELIN GINETTA G50 CUP!
Frank Wrathall achieved his aim of becoming Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Champion at the third attempt at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Sunday, 10th October -- and the Dynojet racer now has his sights set on graduation to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Having finished as runner-up during the previous two seasons, Wrathall finally got his hands on the champion's trophy during the penultimate round of the 2010 campaign this morning and opted to sit-out the final race of the championship having done enough to fend off Carl Breeze's challenge.
Preston-based Wrathall, who recently celebrated his 24th birthday, has enjoyed a sensational year in Ginetta G50 with five on the road wins, 11 maximum scores (when taking into account non-scoring victorious 'Guest Car' drivers) and a total of 19 podiums.
Total Control Racing's Breeze is a deserving Vice-Champion and actually won the most races over the course of the season, with nine victories. Ultimately though, Wrathall was able to miss the final race and still take the crown by 10 points -- when implementing the championship's double 'drop score' ruling -- but the pair were evenly matched throughout the year and raced with the utmost respect.
"It's an amazing feeling to have finally won the championship", said the 2010 title winner, "We've had a fantastic season, the Dynojet team has done an incredible job with the car and we really have had some fantastic results. All credit to Carl, he's a great driver and racing against someone of his ability -- with past BTCC experience -- has helped me improve and learn more. It's been a great year."
Wrathall made certain of his championship victory in round 27 with a pass for third place on Chris Dittmann at McLaren on lap 22 of 24. When the latter ran slightly wide Wrathall saw his chance and made no mistake in seizing the final podium spot. Up to that point, Wrathall had run in his grid place of fourth while Breeze controlled the race at the front from pole-position.
Never looking likely to make a costly mistake, Breeze wasn't able to pull out a gap over the pursuing cars of Benji Hetherington and Dittmann but winning the race -- his second victory of the weekend after success in round 26 on Saturday -- was as much as he could do to try and keep his title hopes afloat. Wrathall's pass for third though was absolutely crucial.
Hetherington kept Breeze honest throughout, and likewise Dittmann to the Century Motorsport driver, while behind the top four Freddie Hetherington continued his strong late season run with a fine fifth place. Mark Davies took sixth position ahead of the 'VIP guest car' of 2010 ELF Renault Clio Cup Champion Dave Newsham, the latter producing a superb drive from the back of the grid.
Matt Blyth Motorsport's Dan Denis took eighth ahead of Joachim Ritter's TCR machine with Barwell's Julien Draper rounding out the top 10 after a sluggish start. Colin White, meanwhile, took victory in the Chairman's Cup once more with 11th overall ahead of Tom Sharp whose superb early race effort to climb into the top seven from 14th on the grid was undone with a couple of excursions.
With the championship decided ahead of round 28, Breeze was keen to end the year with another victory but he faced a stern test from the Hetherington brothers -- Benji taking his second outright win of the campaign with a tremendous performance from third on the 'reverse' grid.
Dittmann led away from pole position initially with Benji holding second, Breeze in third and Freddie Hetherington fourth. Newsham delivered another great showing early on and shot from seventh on the grid -- effectively sixth with Wrathall's non-participation -- into the top five past Davies. Denis too got ahead but his race ended in disappointment on lap two when his car ground to a halt.
The top five cars all ran incredibly closely and by lap five the lead group had become seven with the order Dittmann, Benji, Breeze, Freddie, Newsham, Sharp and Davies. However, Dittmann's bid for victory came to an end when he was served with a drive-through penalty for a false start.
Dittmann pitted at the end of the eighth tour so Benji Hetherington assumed the lead ahead of his sibling Freddie who had already got ahead of Breeze on lap seven at Druids. On lap 11 Sharp took fourth off Newsham at Paddock Hill Bend with a great pass and from that point on the front-running positions remained settled.
Benji won by 1.6 seconds from his brother with Breeze just 0.4 seconds further adrift, the series runner-up having mounted a late push in which he posted the fastest lap of the race. Sharp was fourth, Newsham fifth and Davies rounded out the top six.
Tony Hughes took his second Chairman's Cup win of the year after a tough race for White which was compounded with an excursion through the gravel at Druids on lap 16. Making contact with the tyre wall on the outside, the CWS driver managed to recover but Hughes kept his Speedworks-entered G50 ahead at the finish by just 0.6 seconds.
Speaking on his well deserved win, Benji said: "It couldn't have gone much better for me that one, I couldn't have scripted it! Everything went absolutely perfect and it's great to have Freddie up there on the podium with me. It proves what we can both do, we've won in British GT and I knew it was only a matter of time before we'd do something similar in G50 Cup. It's as good as it gets for Century Motorsport and 'Team Hetherington'!"
Breeze commented: "I really thought we'd just about taken it to the wire in the final race but we were just a point away from doing that. It's been a great year though. We've been very strong in the Bluechip TCR car and have won more races than anyone. I have had more than my share of troubles, we've lost a lot of points through bad luck, but congratulations to Frank on winning the title."
Final Provisional 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Championship Positions (inc. drop scores): Champion: Frank Wrathall, 727pts; 2nd Carl Breeze, 717pts; 3rd Benji Hetherington, 609pts; 4th Tom Sharp, 487pts; 5th Adam Morgan, 435pts; 6th Freddie Hetherington, 426pts