FORMER CHAMPION MOORE BACK TO WINNING WAYS IN G50 CUP AT KNOCKHILL Inaugural Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Champion Nigel Moore made a welcome return to the top step of the podium at Knockhill in Scotland this afternoon, Saturday, 4th September, with...
FORMER CHAMPION MOORE BACK TO WINNING WAYS IN G50 CUP AT KNOCKHILL
Inaugural Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Champion Nigel Moore made a welcome return to the top step of the podium at Knockhill in Scotland this afternoon, Saturday, 4th September, with a comfortable three second victory ahead of 2010 championship contender Frank Wrathall.
Although taking the winner's spoils the Tockwith Motorsport driver doesn't score championship points so runner-up Wrathall, who just fended off a spirited challenge from Benji Hetherington, moves closer to series leader Carl Breeze who ended the race in a hard-fought fourth position.
Breeze and Wrathall, fresh from teaming-up last weekend at the Nurburgring in Germany at the wheel of a Team LNT Ginetta G50 for the latest round of the GT4 European Cup, both had problems to contend with -- Breeze's was a lower than anticipated grid slot due to an unfortunate excursion in qualifying while Wrathall had brake problems during the closing stages of today's 16-lap race.
Even so, Wrathall steered his Dynojet entered Ginetta G50 to second place and Breeze mounted an excellent fight-back into fourth place on the road, third in the points, from ninth position at the end of lap one.
Scottish ace Jonathan Adam, a former Renault Clio Cup Champion, double SEAT Cupra Champion and podium finisher in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, looked set to fight Moore for the round 20 victory but a drive-through penalty for a start-line infringement ruined his chances.
Adam, driving the 'VIP' guest car, qualified on pole position 0.138 seconds ahead of Moore and looked on course to try and replicate the example set by World Touring Car Championship racer Robert Huff at Thruxton during the season opener when he piloted the guest car -- Huff going on to take a hat-trick of wins.
Holding off Moore at the start with a great getaway, Adam surged into an early lead but officials quickly served notice of the penalty. Moore struck before Adam pitted though, taking the lead at the hairpin on lap two, and when the former BTCC driver elected to take his drive-through shortly after, Wrathall moved up to second and Benji Hetherington took third ahead of sibling Freddie.
Breeze, starting ninth on the grid after running off the circuit into the gravel at Clark's early on during the qualifying session, made a good initial start but he was pushed back to ninth at the end of the first lap. Mounting a superb recovery, the Total Control Racing driver was into sixth by lap five and scythed his way into fourth by lap 12.
Wrathall, meanwhile, pressed Moore while under pressure himself from Benji Hetherington but from lap nine the top two were able to pull out a small gap to the Century Motorsport racer. Into the last third of the race though, Wrathall started to suffer from brake problems and so slipped back into the clutches of Hetherington once more.
At the hairpin on the final tour, lap 16, Hetherington drew alongside Wrathall momentarily as he tried to get ahead on the run to the line but he just didn't have enough pace and had to tuck back in behind -- taking the chequered flag just 0.3 seconds adrift but 2.5 seconds ahead of Breeze.
Freddie Hetherington finished in fifth place ahead of Adam Morgan with Joachim Ritter enjoying his run to seventh place on the road -- lapping within just three 10ths of a second of TCR team-mate Breeze's pace.
Adam recovered to within just 0.2 seconds of Ritter at the finish, and posted a new lap record of 53.215 seconds (86.00mph) along the way, with Tom Sharp taking ninth after a late race moment dropped him back down the order.
The final classified finisher was 10th placed Neil Houston, the Optimum Motorsport runner making his return to the G50 Cup for the first time in over 12 months and winning the Chairman's Cup during his maiden 2010 outing after a rare non-finish for runaway class points leader Colin White.
Commenting on the overall win, 2008 Ginetta G50 Cup Champion Moore said: "I got an excellent start, so did (Jonathan) Adam, and the idea was to just pressure him early on. I managed to get past him at the hairpin -- which I'm glad I was able to do before he had to take his drive-through -- and from there it was plain sailing."
Chairman's Cup victor Houston said: "I can't believe I managed to keep the car on the track! It's over 12 months since I last raced it so to come through and take away a trophy as well is fantastic, I'm really, really pleased."
Ahead of Sunday's 21st and 22nd rounds, Breeze holds a 31-point lead in the championship standings but when the double 'drop score' ruling is taken into consideration Wrathall is actually within just four points of his rival -- setting up a couple of potentially mouth-watering races tomorrow.
Round 21 of the G50 Cup will begin the day's racing at Knockhill tomorrow, Sunday, 5th September, at 09.00 with round 22 following at around 14.50. The second encounter will be screened live across the UK on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4. Moore will start the first race from pole position ahead of Wrathall, Benji Hetherington, Breeze, Freddie Hetherington and Morgan.
-source: ginetta cars