UK: Total Control Racing Rockingham Saturday summary

DOUBLE CLIO PODIUM & GINETTA G50 ROSTRUM FOR TCR AT ROCKINGHAM Total Control Racing enjoyed a fantastic start to the second event of its 2010 motorsport campaign at Rockingham in Northamptonshire today, Saturday, 24th April, with podium success...


Total Control Racing enjoyed a fantastic start to the second event of its 2010 motorsport campaign at Rockingham in Northamptonshire today, Saturday, 24th April, with podium success in both the ELF Renault Clio Cup and Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup.

Celebrating a highly impressive double-rostrum finish for Sam Tordoff and Mike Robinson during round three of the all-action Clios, the Wednesbury team also tasted podium glory in round four of Ginetta G50 with a strong second place finish for seasoned campaigner Carl Breeze.

In addition to its on-track success, today's action also marked an expansion for TCR from two to four cars in the Clio Cup having agreed deals during the build-up to the weekend with ex-Formula Renault BARC driver James Dixon and racing newcomer Alistair Barclay, the latter a true 11th hour signing.

During qualifying for round three of the Clio Cup, Tordoff just missed out on his first pole position of the season by a mere 0.032 seconds while Robinson was an excellent fourth fastest, Dixon a superb fifth on his debut in saloon cars and Barclay a solid 16th quickest.

Tordoff held on to second place at the start of this afternoon's 14-lap race but a very bold piece of late braking from Fulvio Mussi around the outside into Deene Hairpin resulted in Tordoff being pushed back to third place. Regaining the position from Mussi on lap seven, the Leeds 21-year-old pressed-on and gradually closed the gap to Newsham during the second half of the race.

Behind, Robinson produced one of his most impressive drives since stepping-up to Clio Cup racing in 2007 and moved into the top three on lap seven when Mussi ran wide at Deene under braking as he jostled with Tordoff. Under immense pressure from Lee Pattison throughout, 27-year-old Robinson soaked it up well and kept his rival at bay to secure an excellent, and richly deserved, podium.

Tordoff, meanwhile, reeled in Newsham over the final few laps and was just six 10ths of a second behind at the flag. New team-mate Dixon delivered a strong showing on his debut in a 'tin-top' racer and ran strongly in the lead group of cars before being edged back to an eventual finish of ninth. His best race lap was extremely competitive, within 0.2 seconds of Robinson's quickest.

Barclay, meanwhile, ended his maiden encounter in 16th place with a best lap time less than a second outside the fastest of the race which was set by Tordoff. Marking an impressive first ever race outing for the 22-year-old, his performance capped off an all-round great race for TCR where the squad took the lead in the entrant's championship.

"We were hoping Sam could get the win, we're all hungry for that win but he drove an absolute blinder today", said team principal Lee Brookes, "All of the lads did a superb job, Mike was very impressive and we're delighted to see him and Sam on the podium together. Both of our new boys were great too, James showed some fantastic pace and Alistair did very well in his first ever race."

Breeze & Ritter continue strong start to 2010 in G50 Cup Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup competitors Carl Breeze and Joachim Ritter carried on where they left off at Thruxton three weeks ago with highly impressive performances at Rockingham today -- Breeze taking a strong podium and Ritter proving, once again, he is getting quicker and quicker.

Kings Lynn racer Breeze just missed out on pole position for round four of the Ginetta G50 Cup by the smallest of margins, only 0.076 seconds, and this proved to be the difference in the end as he shadowed pole-sitter Frank Wrathall all the way to the chequered flag.

Proving he had the pace to win by posting the fastest lap of the race, Breeze gained a bonus point for doing so and is now -- like Tordoff in Clios -- second in the championship. In addition, TCR has also taken the lead in the Ginetta G50 Cup team standings

Ritter had a challenging journey to even get to Rockingham for this weekend's race meeting, the Danish racer forced to drive across Europe from his home in Switzerland due to the lack of flight availability because of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Qualifying in 13th position, less than a second outside pole position, he raced superbly throughout round four to climb into an eventual finish of seventh place. Ritter did run as high as sixth but just lost out to reigning Ginetta G20 Champion Mark Davies a couple of laps from the end. Bagging another healthy haul of points, Ritter heads into tomorrow's two races seventh in the standings.

Brookes added: "Carl did very well today, his drive was impressive and he put (Frank) Wrathall under a lot of pressure. We're all happy to take away another podium but the pace is there to win. Joachim put together a great race again, he really is a definite front-runner now and took another fantastic result today. We've had awesome results from everywhere within the TCR camp today."

Rounds five and six of the 2010 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup will take place at Rockingham tomorrow, Sunday, 25th April, at 10.00 and 15.15 respectively. The fourth round of the ELF Renault Clio Cup, meanwhile, will get underway at approximately 14.45. Check listings for full details of television coverage on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4.

-source: total control racing

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Series General
Drivers Carl Breeze , Sam Tordoff , Frank Wrathall