MOORE SEALS DONINGTON HAT-TRICK AS WRATHALL EXTENDS POINTS LEAD Tockwith Motorsport's Nigel Moore concluded a perfect triple-winning weekend at Donington Park today, Sunday, 19th September, while in the fight for the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50...
MOORE SEALS DONINGTON HAT-TRICK AS WRATHALL EXTENDS POINTS LEAD
Tockwith Motorsport's Nigel Moore concluded a perfect triple-winning weekend at Donington Park today, Sunday, 19th September, while in the fight for the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup title, Frank Wrathall increased his advantage over sole rival Carl Breeze to 26 points.
"It's been an excellent weekend", commented Moore, "Thanks to everyone at Tockwith for doing a great job. We've proven our car is as good as any in the championship, it's so competitive this year so to win all three races is fantastic."
With only three races remaining in the current campaign -- which will be contested three weeks from now at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit -- Wrathall's lead is greater still when the championship's double 'drop score' ruling is taken into account; 45 points to be exact to put him in a healthy position.
While neither of the title contenders had a great weekend by their own extremely high standards, both made it onto the podium for the final race with Wrathall just edging his Dynojet car ahead of Breeze's TCR machine at the line by a mere 0.085 seconds. Importantly, this secured him the maximum score due to race winner Moore being ineligible to claim points in the championship.
Round 24 became a tyre choice lottery for the most part with a damp-yet-drying track leading several competitors to opt for treaded wet-weather rubber. The majority of the grid elected to run slicks, including pole-sitter Moore and Breeze further back on row seven, but intriguingly Wrathall took wets on the third row.
Moore produced an absolute master class from lights to flag and although challenged early on by Wrathall he managed to pull clear quite quickly, even when the track was at its most treacherous for the slick-shod cars.
Never headed, the 2008 Ginetta G50 Cup Champion led by 10 seconds at mid-distance and although his pace tailed off a little towards the finish, he still won by seven seconds from Benji Hetherington who mounted a spirited late change for Century Motorsport and set the fastest lap on the final tour.
During the opening laps, Wrathall made the most of the grip from his wets to run in second while Mark Davies, Hetherington and Dan Denis diced just behind. Championship newcomer Chrissy Palmer rocketed up the order from the last row on the grid and was seventh by lap two but after climbing to a high of fourth, he dropped away to sixth in the end -- still the best placed on wets.
Denis maintained his excellent performance to finish third, the Matt Blyth Motorsport driver's first ever G50 Cup podium, with Tom Sharp -- who started from the pit-lane on slicks -- coming through fantastically to take fourth place. Freddie Hetherington finished in fifth, a tremendous result too from the back of the grid, with Palmer sixth.
Chairman's Cup winner Colin White was seventh overall, the CWS driver being another to have started from the pits, with Davies slipping to eighth on his wet tyres and Breeze coming through to take ninth in the end after passing wet-shod Wrathall on the last lap.
The former points leader wasn't able to make the progress he wanted early on but his cause wasn't helped by an excursion at the Old Hairpin on lap seven when locking up under braking and sliding into the gravel. Luckily, he managed to recover and after shooting past Wrathall's grip-less car he pulled some four seconds clear.
Round 25 was completely dry and while the racing was much closer, the outcome was the same with Moore winning by 2.4 seconds ahead of title protagonists Wrathall and Breeze in perhaps their closest finish of the season.
Tom Sharp led away from the 'reverse' grid pole position with Benji Hetherington second but Moore, who started fourth, got past the latter into Coppice on lap one and set about hunting down the race leader. Hetherington remained in third but on lap three officials confirmed he'd made a false start, as had Chrissy Palmer, so both would have to serve drive-through penalties.
With the Safety Car deployed on lap five, due to some dislodged bales at the chicane, Hetherington pitted to serve his penalty but with the race under a cautionary period this wasn't permitted so he was shown the Black Flag shortly after. He never acknowledged it though and the same was true for Palmer who didn't pit at all and was also shown the Black Flag lap after lap to the finish.
At the re-start, Sharp led Moore, Denis, Palmer, Breeze -- up from ninth on the grid -- Davies and Wrathall -- who started 10th -- and the top seven were all unbelievably close into Redgate on the subsequent lap. Moore made the most of the tight action to get ahead of Sharp into the lead and Palmer took second from Wrathall shortly after with Breeze close behind.
Continuing to ignore the Black Flag, Palmer challenged Moore for the lead and got ahead on lap 11 but Moore hit back on the next tour and Wrathall then got into a tussle with Palmer. However, Palmer still had his sights set on first place and he hit the front again on the penultimate lap -- it all changed though on the 17th and final tour.
Moore produced a brilliant cut back at Redgate to move into the lead once more and shortly after Palmer's bonnet became dislodged as he headed down Craner Curves -- resulting in a spin onto the infield. Wrathall inherited second, which he only just held on to at the flag, with Breeze third, Sharp fourth , Denis fifth and Davies sixth. Colin White took the Chairman's Cup spoils in ninth overall.
Reflecting on the weekend, Wrathall said: "It's been really tough on everyone in the team, we all had to dig really deep. I knew we could be quick in the last race though and make progress but to take the maximum points was fantastic."
Breeze added: "The weekend has been very tough for us, on Saturday we had second place and the maximum points wrapped up and then some wiring broke. That put us on the back foot but it's finely poised now for Brands Hatch -- the best man will win the championship there."
The final three rounds of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup will take place over the weekend 9th/10th October at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.
-source: ginetta cars