Life's a Breeze in the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Carl Breeze heads to Croft as the leader of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup after two dominant race wins at Oulton Park. Twelve months ago, Carl Breeze came to Croft feeling the effects of a monster...
Life's a Breeze in the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup
Carl Breeze heads to Croft as the leader of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup after two dominant race wins at Oulton Park.
Twelve months ago, Carl Breeze came to Croft feeling the effects of a monster shunt at Oulton Park. This year he comes to North Yorkshire as the championship leader and with his confidence sky-high after crushing the field at Oulton Park at the start of June.
Breeze (TCR) is excellent when leading from the front. It seems to give him greater confidence and he was able to use that to his advantage to draw clear of Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) who by his own admission is not a massive fan of Oulton Park. Breeze bagged two wins, a point for pole and fastest lap over the weekend and has a slender three-point lead in the title race, whereas Wrathall's damage limitation exercise at Oulton keeps him in the hunt. He will be looking to bounce back this weekend as the championship returns to its three-race format: the constraints of the timetable at Oulton meant just two races were scheduled there.
If Breeze and Wrathall have positioned themselves as the top two in the championship, the Oulton Park races marked out a number of other drivers increasing their pace. Chris Dittmann (CDR) ran well in both races, particularly race two when he moved past Wrathall on the opening lap and then kept Breeze of his toes for the first half of the race. Only a spin, caused seemingly by carrying a gnat's too much speed into Old Hall, spoilt his run and dropped him to sixth. Dittmann continues to improve and shouldn't be discounted. Nor should Stephen Tyldsley who took a podium and a fastest lap at Oulton Park. The former Renault Clio racer has switched to HHC Motorsport, run by former Ginetta staffers Charlie Kemp and Jodie Hemmings. The Harrogate-based team has excellent qualifications for running cars (Hemmings is a former F1 engineer) and racer Kemp is a well-respected driver coach. The effect they had on Tyldsley was clear at Oulton Park where he raced better than ever and should be a factor here this weekend, too.
Mark Davies, the reigning Ginetta Challenge champion for the older G20 models, also enjoyed one of his better races of the year at Oulton Park by taking fourth in race one but a time-consuming spin in race two scotched his chances of a repeat. The Yorkshireman will be keen to recapture his good form this weekend at his home circuit.
The Hetherington brothers, Ben and Freddy, continue to display good pace with Ben the quicker of the two at present although the gap between them is narrowing. Ben has been on the podium this season and could well achieve that again at Croft.
Others that shouldn't be ignored include former National Hot Rod World Champion (many times over) Colin White who found increased pace at Oulton en route to another win in the Chairman's Cup for the over 40-year-olds, although his second race was rudely interrupted by Martin Donnelly in the guest car who used him as a brake. Alice Powell, splitting her time between single-seaters and sports cars this year continues to impress while Julien Draper made a step forward in terms of pace at Oulton as did Phil Broad.
After Oulton Park, though, the question is: Can anyone stop Breeze?
Qualifying for the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup takes place at 11.45 on Saturday June 19 with race one, over 10 laps, starting at 17.00. Race two, on Sunday June 20, is at 13.15 and runs over 15 laps as does race three at 17.55.