MOORE WINS ACTION-PACKED DONINGTON PARK OPENER Nigel Moore followed up his double Knockhill race victory from a fortnight ago with another superb winning performance at Donington Park in Leicestershire this afternoon, Saturday, 18th September,...
MOORE WINS ACTION-PACKED DONINGTON PARK OPENER
Nigel Moore followed up his double Knockhill race victory from a fortnight ago with another superb winning performance at Donington Park in Leicestershire this afternoon, Saturday, 18th September, as Frank Wrathall edged further clear of Carl Breeze in the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup title battle.
Coping well with two separate Safety Car periods, which limited round 23 to a duration of 13 laps and also eroded Moore's advantage at the front twice, the 2008 Champion never looked back after grabbing the lead at the newly configured chicane at the end of lap one in his Tockwith-run G50.
Speaking on his win, Moore said: "There was quite a bit of mayhem and a few people ended up with some damage, which was unfortunate, but I was in the right place at the front. I absolutely love the new chicane, so I enjoyed that, and the car was perfect -- a big thank you to everyone at TMS for doing such a good job."
Century Motorsport's Benji Hetherington finished in second place, and in doing so took full winner's points with Moore ineligible to score, while Dynojet's Adam Morgan avoided the chaos brilliantly to earn an outstanding podium from 12th on the grid.
As the race entered its final lap, Breeze looked set to overhaul Wrathall in the driver standings once again with the rivals running in third and seventh places respectively. Heading up to Schwantz Curve though, Breeze's Total Control Racing car suddenly slowed dramatically due to an electrical problem and he dropped to 13th at the finish. Wrathall inherited sixth and therefore extended his points lead.
In this morning's qualifying session, the usual suspects were conspicuous by their absence in the top order as Hetherington could only manage the sixth fastest time, Breeze was seventh quickest and Wrathall was further shy with the 11th best time.
Instead, championship newcomer Chrissy Palmer -- Formula Ford Festival winner and ex-Formula Renault racer -- did a tremendous job to take pole position on his debut in the G50 Cup after edging out Matt Blyth Motorsport team-mate Dan Denis by a mere 0.005 seconds. IDL's Tom Sharp was only 0.098 seconds shy of pole in third with Moore fourth fastest and Chris Dittmann fifth.
Palmer initially got away well from the line at the start of round 23 but he was pressured by Denis and Sharp into Redgate for the first time, Sharp moving up to second ahead of Denis and then taking the lead from Palmer as they headed through Hollywood. Moore made good early progress as well to move into second past Palmer and Denis before grabbing the lead from Sharp at the chicane.
Behind, Freddie Hetherington was forced to pit with broken suspension following a lap one incident which also involved Aaron Williamson and delayed Chairman's Cup regular Colin White -- resulting in the CWS driver finishing behind class rivals Tony Hughes and G50 Cup debutant Mark Jessop, the Toyota MR2 racer doing a fantastic job with the Chairman's Cup victory on his maiden outing.
Into lap two, Moore led Sharp with Palmer third, Dittmann up to fourth, Benji Hetherington in fifth and Denis down in sixth but the Safety Car was deployed at the end of the lap due to the multi-car tangle on the opening tour.
At the re-start on lap five, Moore led away well and Hetherington took second at Redgate with a great move but as the fight for the runner-up place intensified over the course of the lap the leader was able to stretch out a big advantage.
It wasn't long before the Safety Car was required again though, this time after a multi-car accident into the chicane which accounted for Sharp, Dittmann and Palmer. Surprisingly, Breeze emerged from the corner in second place -- having been seventh at the start of the lap -- with Hetherington third, Morgan up to fourth, Mark Davies in fifth and Joachim Ritter sixth, up from ninth on the grid.
The second re-start came on lap 11 and Moore again pulled away at the front, having seen a four second advantage wiped out, with Hetherington pressuring Breeze and Dynojet's championship leader Wrathall moving up into seventh.
At that point, Wrathall looked set to lose the advantage in the title race on overall scores (final positions determined after each driver 'drops' their two lowest finishes of the season) but on the penultimate tour Breeze's car started to lose performance.
Hetherington took second place at Redgate but Breeze's problem looked to have righted itself and he mounted a fight-back. At Schwantz Curve though on the 13th and final lap, Breeze's car almost ground to a halt due to an electrical problem and he slipped to an eventual finish of 13th on the road.
Morgan, therefore, moved up to take fourth with Davies finishing fifth, from 10th on the grid, Ritter taking sixth and Wrathall coming through in seventh place. Denis was seventh ahead of impressive debutant Jessop with Hughes and White rounding out the top 10.
"Welcome to the Ginetta G50 Cup with an almighty big bang!", said elated Chairman's Cup winner Jessop, " I was right in the middle of both accidents , but luckily came through. The car is absolutely fantastic, having only driven the MR2s before it's such a big step up for me and a mountain to climb and I did expect to be a couple of seconds off the pace. To have done so well though is fantastic."
Round 24 of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup is timetabled to start at 10.05 tomorrow, Sunday, 19th September, with round 25 scheduled to get underway at 15.05. The second of the day's races will be screened live across the UK on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4.
Ginetta Cars is also doing its bit for the Help for Heroes charity this weekend at Donington Park with special decals being run by the drivers and around 20 members of the armed forces from Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell, Nottingham, attending the race meeting as guests of the Leeds-based marque.
-source: ginetta cars