BREEZE RETAINS G50 CUP LEAD AS ROBINSON RETURNS TO CLIO PODIUM Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup title contender Carl Breeze held on to his championship lead at Silverstone National Circuit today, Saturday, 21st August, with a fine second place finish ...
BREEZE RETAINS G50 CUP LEAD AS ROBINSON RETURNS TO CLIO PODIUM
Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup title contender Carl Breeze held on to his championship lead at Silverstone National Circuit today, Saturday, 21st August, with a fine second place finish during the 18th round of the 2010 season.
The Total Control Racing driver, who heads the standings by 10 points heading into Sunday's 22-lap encounter, just missed out on pole position by a mere 0.071 seconds in qualifying but he ended up starting the race from first place when Chris Dittmann was ruled out with a broken driveshaft.
Getting away well at the start, Breeze led until mid-distance when chief title rival Frank Wrathall attacked at Becketts following mild contact between the pair. With the TCR man pushed wide, he was unable to try and wrest the place back and in the end had to settle for second.
Although disappointed to miss out on the win, yet another podium finish means Breeze holds on to a fair cushion at the head of the standings and with the starting order for tomorrow's 19th round based on the finishing positions from today's race, he'll line-up on the front row again.
Team-mate Joachim Ritter qualified within only 0.7 seconds of the round 18 pole position time but such is the competitiveness of the G50 Cup around Silverstone's short, 1.64-mile National Circuit this placed him 15th on the grid. Running within roughly a second of Breeze's race pace, Ritter finished the outing in 13th place -- one spot behind 2008 Champion Nigel Moore.
TCR team principal Lee Brookes commented: "We're happy with second place for Carl, obviously we'd have preferred the win but he was pushed slightly wide at Becketts on lap 10 and that enabled Frank (Wrathall) to go through. He was also struggling with the brakes a bit so we need to find a cure for that. Joachim's result keeps him in the championship top 10 so that's important for him."
Robinson celebrates welcome Clio Cup podium return Following on from an ELF Renault Clio Cup victory for Sam Tordoff at Snetterton a fortnight ago, the team's first of the season, and a double podium for category rookie James Dixon in East Anglia too, today's Silverstone event saw a welcome return to the podium for Mike Robinson -- his third of 2010.
Qualifying as the quickest TCR driver with a best lap of 1m05.497 seconds (90.08mph), just a 10th of a second shy of pole position, Robinson produced an excellent start and ran strongly in impressive company behind series leader Dave Newsham and former double Clio Cup champion Paul Rivett.
Taking second place from Newsham at Becketts, Robinson began to pressurise leader Rivett but on lap seven at Brooklands a dive up the inside by Newsham demoted the TCR man to third. After dropping back from the lead duo around mid-distance, Robinson mounted a fresh charge as the race neared its conclusion and at the chequered flag just 0.5 seconds covered the top three.
Team-mate Dixon, who lined up fifth on the grid, made a decent getaway and although slipping to sixth he looked comfortable. At the exit of Brooklands though, while in the middle of a four or five car scrap, two cars ahead tangled and the net result meant Dixon was forced wide through the gravel trap on the inside of Luffield.
Rejoining in 10th place behind Tordoff, the former single-seater racer sustained some damage to his Clio and also flat-spotted all four tyres on lap two meaning his pace was compromised and he dropped to an eventual finish of 14th position. Even so, he moved into ninth in the standings.
Tordoff, meanwhile, just couldn't find the form he's shown throughout the season to date and after qualifying in seventh position he ended round 13 in the same placing. Stuck behind Jake Packun for the entire race, Tordoff wasn't able to find a way by and the result means he has slipped a single point behind Lee Pattison to third in the championship.
Commenting, Brookes said: "Mike's been strong all weekend, he likes this circuit and it shows as he's been really quick -- he deserved to be back on the podium. Unfortunately James flat-spotted all four tyres, and he also had some panel damage, so that ruined his race. We're not sure why Sam isn't where he should be but we'll work on a solution for that before tomorrow."
Round 19 of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup will get underway at around 10.10 tomorrow, Sunday, 22nd August, with the 14th round of the ELF Renault Clio Cup -- which is scheduled to be broadcast live on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4 -- set to follow at 13.45.