INCIDENT PACKED SECOND DAY AT BRANDS GP FOR TCR Total Control Racing experienced a difficult conclusion to its third motorsport event of 2010 at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 2nd May, after seeing potential race victories in both...
INCIDENT PACKED SECOND DAY AT BRANDS GP FOR TCR
Total Control Racing experienced a difficult conclusion to its third motorsport event of 2010 at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 2nd May, after seeing potential race victories in both the ELF Renault Clio Cup and Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup go begging.
Following on from a superb day on Saturday, 1st May, where the team took a double race win in Ginetta G50 thanks to the efforts of Carl Breeze and a solid podium finish in Clio Cup courtesy of Sam Tordoff, Sunday's action was less favourable for TCR with bad luck hindering the squad's efforts.
In round nine of the Ginetta G50 Cup, Breeze's race was over before it started when the ignition relay on his car failed meaning he had to pit at the end of the green-flag formation lap to give the mechanics an opportunity to try and get him back out on track.
After great work from TCR, Breeze was able to rejoin -- albeit a lap down on the rest of the field -- and his eventual 13th place finish could prove to be highly significant come the end of the season as it enabled him to just hold on to his championship lead by four points. He also proved his pace by lapping within just a few 100ths of a second of the fastest race lap.
Team-mate Joachim Ritter raced superbly well, as is par for the course this season, with a fantastic opening lap lifting him from 11th on the grid into the top six. Going well in tricky, wet conditions Ritter looked all set for a potential career-best result but an unfortunate excursion at Druids Hairpin ruled him out of the action on lap six. Even so, he holds on to a top 10 championship placing.
In the ELF Renault Clio Cup race, round six, Tordoff's hopes of taking his fifth podium of the year ended on the first lap when contact from Fulvio Mussi up the inside into Paddock Hill Bend caused damage to the TCR man's car. Although recovering to the pits, Tordoff was unable to continue and frustratingly had no choice but to accept his second non-finish of the season.
Mike Robinson had a much better opening lap and moved up from third on the grid to take second place behind pole-sitter Dave Newsham. Into lap two, Robinson really started to apply pressure to the leader and it paid off on the third tour when Newsham ran wide at Hawthorn Bend to give the TCR racer opportunity to move ahead into Westfield.
Opening up an advantage of around four 10ths of a second per lap, Robinson built a cushion of 1.5 seconds but a slide at Surtees on lap six dropped him into the clutches of the chasing pack and he dropped to fifth place.
Holding fifth into the 12th and final lap, Robinson fought hard to keep Jack Goff at bay but contact from the latter at Clark Curve forced the Surrey racer back to sixth at the finish after a lurid slide. He was credited with fifth post-race though following a penalty for Goff.
Rookie racer Alistair Barclay did well to stay out of trouble in the difficult circumstances and posted very respectable lap times throughout round six to bring his car home safely in 14th position -- his first score of the weekend after an unfortunate non-finish on Saturday.
Reflecting on Sunday's action, TCR team principal Lee Brookes said: "It was one of those days for us, after an absolutely fantastic day on Saturday we had nothing but problems really on Sunday. Carl's ignition relay failure was very unfortunate but at least he got back out to take a few points. Joachim was really quick again and he did a fantastic job, it's a shame he wasn't able to take a top six finish.
"In Clios, Mike did a very good job and really did look like he was going to get his first ever win. Just a slight mistake was all it took though at Surtees and after that he didn't get back into his rhythm. Sam was absolutely gutted to be hit at the first corner, the officials classed it as a racing incident so we have to accept that. Alistair did well, especially considering the conditions, he's improving for sure."
There is now a five week break in both the ELF Renault Clio Cup and Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup race calendars with the next event set to take place on 5th/6th June at Oulton Park in Cheshire.