FIFTH WIN OF SEASON GIVES BREEZE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Round 11 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup saw the title pendulum swing in favour of Carl Breeze at Oulton Park in Cheshire today, Sunday, 6th June, thanks to another impressive race victory for...
FIFTH WIN OF SEASON GIVES BREEZE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Round 11 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup saw the title pendulum swing in favour of Carl Breeze at Oulton Park in Cheshire today, Sunday, 6th June, thanks to another impressive race victory for the Total Control Racing-run driver.
Taking his fifth win of the year, ahead of chief title rival Frank Wrathall, Breeze opened up a slender three point margin at the top of the driver standings to cap off a truly sensational, and richly deserved, weekend.
His efforts were all the more impressive considering his last experience of Oulton Park prior to this weekend was a huge accident at Old Hall Corner during the corresponding fixture in 2009 -- what a difference a year makes!
CDR's Chris Dittmann pressured Breeze extremely hard, staying within just a few 10ths of a second of the leader until lap 10 when an unfortunate spin at the first corner dropped him out of podium contention. Wrathall gratefully inherited second place in his Dynojet car while the top three was completed by the ever-improving Stephen Tyldsley -- his maiden G50 Cup rostrum.
Speaking on his win, Breeze said: "I just want to thank all my sponsors and TCR -- they gave me the car to be able to do the job. It was quite a struggle, I locked-up into Lodge quite early on and that gave me some problems with the tyre. It's a shame Chris (Dittmann) had a spin as he was pushing me hard. Obviously though, I'm delighted to win again -- it's been a dream weekend really."
Pole-sitter Breeze and fellow front-row starter Wrathall got almost identical getaways but with Breeze holding the inside line for the first corner, he was able to maintain first place. Dittmann sensibly positioned himself in the wheeltracks of Breeze and also slipped inside Wrathall to demote the latter to third while Tyldsley took fourth as Mark Davies spun out.
Martin Donnelly, this weekend's 'guest car' driver, made a great start to move into the top six and grab the initial advantage in the Chairman's Cup battle with Colin White who found himself back in eighth behind Freddie Hetherington. Unfortunately for Donnelly, his race ended on lap three after making contact with White at the hairpin under braking.
Applying immense pressure to Breeze, Dittmann looked by far the most impressive he has been all season and as the race wore on he certainly appeared capable of wrestling the lead from Breeze's grasp. On lap 10 at Old Hall though, Dittmann's car pitched into a spin as he carried a bit too much speed through the turn. He recovered to finish sixth -- welcome points but a frustrating conclusion.
Prior to Dittmann's drop down the order, the fight for third was just as close with Tyldsley right on the tail of Wrathall. Marking a season's best performance for Tyldsley -- coinciding with his first outing for the HHC team -- he eventually finished in third place, just 0.6 seconds shy of Wrathall. He also underlined his superb pace with the fastest race lap, 1m27.845 seconds (91.22mph).
Colin White's hopes of another Chairman's Cup success ended on lap seven when Charlie Butler-Henderson made contact with the CWS driver at Knickerbrook. The delay for Butler-Henderson then enabled Phil Broad to nip through. White's loss was Tony Hughes' gain though and the Speedworks racer went on to claim the Chairman's Cup spoils for the second time this season.
Alice Powell had to drop out of the top six with a car problem on the 11th tour along Lakeside, giving Julien Draper the opportunity to move into the top eight followed by championship debutant Rod McGovern. Adam Morgan rounded out the top 10, recovering well after a lap four excursion across the grass at Cascades in which he also collected series returnee Dan Denis.
Fourth place went the way of Benji Hetherington, just 1.5 seconds ahead of sibling and fellow Century Motorsport racer Freddie, with Dittmann a lonely sixth and Broad five seconds further adrift in seventh place.
Reflecting on his best result of the year, third placed Tyldsley said: "I'm really happy, especially with the new team. Straight from the first session this weekend we were absolutely on it, HHC gave me a great car and everything felt very comfortable. (Carl) Breeze was flat-out here, it was a case of trying to hold on to him for everyone -- he's been something else this weekend.
"This result is a massive turning point for us, we've had a great result and done really well but we know there's more time to come so that's a great thought ahead of Croft. I feel as though we've moved ahead of (Benji) Hetherington this weekend, so we need to maintain that, and I really want to try and bring it to (Frank) Wrathall."
The 'home' event for Ginetta Cars, the annual visit to Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, is up next for the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup with rounds 12, 13 and 14 taking place a fortnight from now over the weekend 19th/20th June.