PERFECT OULTON PARK RETURN FOR VICTORIOUS BREEZE Carl Breeze made an exceptional return to Oulton Park -- the scene of a huge accident for the Kings Lynn racer in 2009 -- during the 10th round of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup today, Saturday, 5th...
PERFECT OULTON PARK RETURN FOR VICTORIOUS BREEZE
Carl Breeze made an exceptional return to Oulton Park -- the scene of a huge accident for the Kings Lynn racer in 2009 -- during the 10th round of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup today, Saturday, 5th June, with pole position, race victory and fastest lap.
Serving up a dominant display at the Cheshire venue, the Total Control Racing driver led the way comfortably during pre-event testing on Friday, 4th June, and went on to convert that pace into a clear pole position start ahead of an impressive Chris Dittmann and series leader Frank Wrathall.
In race conditions, Breeze dominated and took his fourth victory of the 2010 season with a margin of more than five seconds over championship leader Wrathall. In doing so, he also closed to within just two points of his chief title rival heading into tomorrow's 11th round of the campaign.
"All credit to TCR", said Breeze at the conclusion of this afternoon's 15-lap encounter, "The team has given me a fantastic car all weekend, from the off on Friday we were really quick and we've carried that through. Obviously, to bounce back like this after what happened here last year is fantastic. It's great to be standing on the top step of the podium this time and not lying down on a stretcher!"
During qualifying this morning, Breeze lapped with a best time of 1m26.594 seconds (92.54mph) to take pole position over 0.3 seconds clear of Dittmann's CDR-run G50 with Wrathall a further two 10ths of a second adrift in his Dynojet car. Mark Davies produced perhaps his best performance of the season with the fourth fastest time ahead of Benji Hetherington and Stephen Tyldsley.
The top four drivers all made good starts to round 10 and heading into Old Hall for the first time, the quartet were almost four abreast into the corner. Breeze emerged with the lead ahead of Dittmann and Wrathall but the latter knew the importance of trying to go with Breeze and he produced a great pass on the outside line at Cascades to take second place.
Steadily building an advantage at the front, Breeze and Wrathall pulled clear of Dittmann in third and the chasing pack of Davies, Tyldsley and Hetherington. Into lap two Alice Powell headed the next group of cars in seventh place, fighting hard to keep Chairman's Cup leader Colin White at bay and former Grand Prix racer Martin Donnelly in the championship's 'guest car'.
At the start of lap four, Breeze's lead was up to 1.5 seconds and from that point on he pressed home his advantage with apparent ease to take a clear victory. In addition, he also posted the fastest race lap of 1m27.572 seconds (91.50mph) for an extra bonus point.
Although he didn't have an answer for the eventual winner's pace, Wrathall comfortably secured second position in the end around four seconds clear of Dittmann -- his fifth podium result of the season. It wasn't without potential hitch though, both drivers almost coming to grief when lapping backmarkers at Knickerbrook four laps from the finish.
During the closing stages, Tyldsley closed down Davies for fourth and really started to apply pressure to the reigning Ginetta G20 Champion but Davies held on by 0.6 seconds. Hetherington claimed sixth place with a solid drive ahead of Chairman's Cup competitors White and Donnelly -- White delighted to take the class win by over four seconds ahead of the ex-F1 star.
Powell, who had a fantastic battle with White, Donnelly and Freddie Hetherington, slipped to 10th place in the end but she once again impressed with her pace. Today also marked the G50 Cup debuts of Charlie Butler-Henderson, in 12th place, Rod McGovern, in 16th position, and Dave McGuire, in 20th place. Unfortunately for G20 racer Gary Simms, his maiden G50 Cup run ended in retirement.
Matt Blyth Motorsport's Dan Denis also made a welcome return to the championship after a major accident at Thruxton during the season-opening event in early April ruled him out of action. He finished 14th, just 0.5 seconds behind Phil Broad.
Speaking after round 10, Wrathall said: "Carl (Breeze) has been fast here all weekend and we've been a little bit off the pace unfortunately. I made a couple of mistakes early on, trying to stay with Carl, but as the car came to me later in the race things improved."
Third placed Dittmann commented: "We didn't have enough pace to go with the front two but near the end I saw Frank (Wrathall) go up the escape road at the chicane and I thought I might capitalise on that. I was caught out though by the backmarker at the exit so had to settle for third, it's a good result though."
Round 11 of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup will take place at approximately 15.10 tomorrow, Sunday, 6th June, and will be featured as part of ITV4's live afternoon broadcast from Oulton Park on Freeview, cable and digital satellite TV in the UK. The finishing order from today's race sets the grid for tomorrow's encounter.
Provisional 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Championship Positions (after Rd10): 1st Frank Wrathall, 281pts; 2nd Carl Breeze, 279pts; 3rd Benji Hetherington, 201pts; 4th Tom Sharp, 177pts; 5th Chris Dittmann, 167pts; 6th Stephen Tyldsley, 152pts