G50 CUP LEADER BREEZE CHARGES THROUGH TO FOURTH AT KNOCKHILL Carl Breeze maintained his lead in the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup with a very hard-fought fourth place finish during round 20 of the season at Knockhill in Scotland today, Saturday,...
G50 CUP LEADER BREEZE CHARGES THROUGH TO FOURTH AT KNOCKHILL
Carl Breeze maintained his lead in the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup with a very hard-fought fourth place finish during round 20 of the season at Knockhill in Scotland today, Saturday, 4th September -- the Total Control Racing driver battling through from an uncharacteristic ninth place on the grid.
Breeze's task in the first of the weekend's triple-header was made all the more difficult after a highly unfortunate excursion during qualifying, the Kings Lynn driver sliding into the gravel at Clark's after snatching his brakes on only his fifth lap of the session.
Slipping to ninth on the timesheets by the end of the session, Breeze's problem was compounded by the fact chief title rival Frank Wrathall qualified fourth on the grid but the TCR man scythed his way through the competition impressively and ended the encounter within 2.5 seconds of the podium.
Pushed back to ninth on the opening tour, even though he made a good start initially, Breeze sliced through the order well and by the end of lap five he was into the top six. On the ninth tour he took fifth place into Duffus Dip and then grabbed fourth on lap 12, again on the inside at the first turn.
Although taking fourth place on the road, compared with Wrathall's second place finish, Breeze earned the points for third place due to round 20 winner Nigel Moore being ineligible to score -- the 2008 Ginetta G50 Cup Champion making selected 'guest' outings this season.
Team-mate Joachim Ritter also enjoyed an excellent drive today, producing lap times within just 0.3 seconds of Breeze's best on his way to a seventh place finish -- sixth in the points. Qualifying in 11th place, within just over six 10ths of a second of pole position, the Switzerland-based businessman lapped better than he ever has before at Knockhill and will be aiming for even more tomorrow.
Speaking on the G50 Cup action, TCR boss Lee Brookes said: "Carl did very well to come through and limit the damage with a good fourth place. He was unlucky with his mistake in qualifying, without that he'd have qualified on the front row I'm sure, but he used his head in the race and performed well. Joachim lapped faster than he has before at Knockhill so he's pleased with that, we all are,"
Graduate class winner Dixon close to outright podium on Knockhill debut ELF Renault Clio Cup front-runner James Dixon led the way for TCR during this afternoon's 15th round of the season at Knockhill, the Kent driver continuing to impress during his maiden year of saloon car action with an excellent fourth place finish and the Graduate class victory.
Qualifying as the strongest of the TCR trio, Dixon secured fourth on the grid for the first race of the weekend -- within just 0.3 seconds of pole position -- immediately ahead of experienced team-mate Sam Tordoff in fifth place and fellow TCR runner Mike Robinson in seventh spot.
At the beginning of the race, Dixon and Tordoff slipped to fifth and sixth places due to Jake Packun making an electric start and moving into the top three. Tordoff then moved inside Dixon at the hairpin at the end of lap two and on the run to Duffus Dip at the start of the third tour, he took fifth as Robinson continued in seventh.
The complexion of the race then changed on lap five. Tordoff moved inside Packun at Clark's to try and take fourth place but the cars tangled and the result left Tordoff with damaged steering. Into the hairpin, he just couldn't make the turn as he wanted and as a pack of pursuing cars all dived into the corner, multiple contact was inevitable -- Tordoff and Robinson both being eliminated.
Dixon managed to avoid any contact and he was able to continue in fourth place. During the closing stages he was put under immense pressure by James Colburn but the TCR rookie held on superbly to win the Graduate class -- he also posted a new Clio Cup lap record of 57.840 seconds (79.12mph) to finally break former TCR driver Jason Templeman's long-standing benchmark from back in 2002.
"It's very unfortunate what happened to Sam and to Mike", commented Brookes, "Both their cars suffered a fair bit of damage but it'll all be repaired for tomorrow. It all started when Sam passed (Jake) Packun, they tangled and that damaged Sam's steering. When he went into the hairpin the car didn't do what he wanted, then there was a lot of barging and cars were flying everywhere.
"James did a very good job to hold fourth and to keep (James) Colburn behind him, to set the fastest lap as well is great and shows he's continuing to improve nicely. We did struggle a bit in qualifying to be fair but we made a change for the race and all three drivers were very happy with it."
Round 21 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup kicks-off the action at Knockhill tomorrow, Sunday, 5th September, at 09.00 with round 16 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup following at 12.25. The G50 Cup cars are then back in action for the final time of the weekend at around 14.50. All of the afternoon's race action will be screened live across the UK on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4.