WRATHALL VICTORY CLOSES-UP TITLE BATTLE ONCE MORE Frank Wrathall produced a fantastically determined and ultimately rewarding drive during round 18 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Silverstone National Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 21st ...
WRATHALL VICTORY CLOSES-UP TITLE BATTLE ONCE MORE
Frank Wrathall produced a fantastically determined and ultimately rewarding drive during round 18 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup at Silverstone National Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 21st August, to take an important victory ahead of title rival Carl Breeze.
Closing down Breeze's championship advantage to just 10 points, Wrathall's win was all the more impressive as he not only had to battle past the series leader in order to claim the spoils but he did so while coping with a constantly opening and closing right-hand door on his Dynojet G50!
Pole position went to the returning Chris Dittmann, a superb effort from the CDR driver who last appeared in a G50 Cup car at Oulton Park in early June. Lapping just 0.071 seconds faster than Breeze in his Total Control Racing prepared machine, Dittmann did a great job to claim his first pole start of the campaign.
Bitter disappointment followed ahead of the start of round 18 though when Dittmann was forced to pit at the end of his lap out of the assembly area with a problem. Identified as a broken driveshaft, the cruel blow prevented the pole-man from taking his deserved place at the front of the grid.
Effectively promoting Breeze to pole position ahead of Wrathall, Benji Hetherington, an impressive Dan Denis and Phil Broad, the race got underway with Breeze leading from Hetherington with Wrathall -- who was attempting to slam shut his damaged door -- in third and Denis holding fourth.
Further behind, championship newcomer Ben Jackson, his Barwell Motorsport team-mate Julien Draper and returning 2008 Ginetta G50 Cup Champion Nigel Moore all ran wide at Copse but the trio did manage to recover. Jackson's debut would only last until lap six though when a power steering issue accounted for his retirement -- the only one of the race other than non-starter Dittmann.
As Breeze continued to hold on to first position, Wrathall moved into second place at Becketts past Hetherington's Century Motorsport G50 with Denis continuing to hold fourth spot ahead of Mark Davies and Broad.
Managing to ignore his flapping door, Wrathall set the fastest lap on the second tour and proceeded to close down Breeze. Then, on lap four, Broad's pressure on fifth-placed Davies told when he made his way by at Luffield.
On lap five, Breeze hit back with the quickest lap to increase his lead to around one second as Wrathall had his hands full with a resurgent Hetherington seeking a way through. Continuing to lap strongly, Wrathall saw off Hetherington's challenge and closed on Breeze and on lap nine set the fastest lap of all as he latched onto the championship leader's tail.
Into lap 10, Wrathall pressed Breeze hard through Copse and up to Becketts where he made his move as the latter ran slightly wide followingmild contact. From that point on, Wrathall was never headed and he opened up a 1.6 second winning margin.
"It was an interesting race for sure", said Wrathall, "A million things were going through my mind on the first lap with the door coming open, I tried to slam it shut but the catch was broken so I just had to let it flap about. The car was fantastic though and once I got into my rhythm I caught Carl quite easily and I was able to move ahead and pull away."
As Wrathall built his cushion over Breeze, the TCR man came under threat for second position from Hetherington but he defended well and throughout the second half of the 22-lap encounter the top five remained unchanged.
Breeze finished a second clear of Hetherington with Matt Blyth Motorsport's Denis taking a career best fourth place with a tremendously competitive drive, lapping with identical pace to that of the two drivers ahead, and Broad holding on to fifth ahead of Davies.
Adam Morgan took seventh for Dynojet and his cause was helped half a dozen laps from the finish when Chairman's Cup leader Colin White, who had been pressuring the Croft race winner, was mugged by Freddie Hetherington into Brooklands.
Contact between White and Hetherington two laps later resulted in both slipping down the order and this allowed Aaron Williamson to grab eighth position for FML, an outstanding drive by the former Ginetta Junior racer from an uncharacteristic 16th on the grid.
White crossed the line in ninth to take yet another Chairman's Cup success with Tom Sharp in 10th position, Freddie Hetherington in 11th and Moore rounding out the top 12. Guest car driver Giles Dawson, for whom the race was his first ever on slick tyres, finished in 14th position and he'll be aiming to put all of the experience gained from today into an improved run on Sunday morning.
Round 19 of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup is timetabled to take place at 10.10 tomorrow, Sunday, 22nd August, with Wrathall starting on pole position ahead of Breeze, Benji Hetherington, Denis, Broad and Davies.
Provisional 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Championship Positions (after Rd18): 1st Carl Breeze, 525pts; 2nd Frank Wrathall, 515pts; 3rd Tom Sharp, 339pts; 4th Benji Hetherington, 297pts; 5th Adam Morgan, 288pts; 6th Freddie Hetherington, 244pts