Super Sharp does the hat-trick again at Thruxton

Tom Sharp continued his incredible start to the Ginetta GT Supercup season by claiming all three victories at a damp Thruxton circuit last weekend.

The IDL driver beat Tom Ingram in qualifying for yet another pole position for the first of three races, and in the first race got a good start to lead into Allard for the first time around with Ingram in pursuit. Behind them, Carl Breeze made a superb getaway, storming up from fifth on the grid into third place after a poor start from Josh Wakefield.

The leading trio then set the pace early on as they broke away from the pack, Ingram initially looking threatening as he kept up Sharp’s pace.

Sharp quickly responded to the pressure with some strong pace in the second half of the race that saw him pull away from the JHR driver slightly, but could not quite keep his rival out of sight.

However Sharp made it six out of seven wins with a 1.6s gap at the flag over Ingram, Breeze not far back in third ahead of Andrew Richardson in fourth.

Fergus Walkinshaw was a comfortable fourth early on, but he was slowly reeled in by Richardson who got by on lap seven, Walkinshaw hanging on in fifth under pressure from Hunter Abbott.

In the G50 class, Mark Davies won having lead from the class pole position, while Max Coates jumped up to second past a slow-starting Louise Richardson. Rob Gaffney passed Coates on lap two at the chicane before Richardson did so a lap later, Gaffney finishing second under strong pressure from Richardson in the latter stages.

Race two saw Sharp hold his lead from pole in treacherous conditions ahead of Ingram, but just like in the first race Ingram kept up the pressure early on despite the spray causing obvious visibility problems.

Colin White was an early casualty as he slammed into the back of Abbott at the final corner as Abbott slowed coming into the pits, while there was drama on lap five when both Breeze and Walkinshaw spun at Noble.

Breeze continued further down the order with damage to the front of his G55 after the trip across the grass, Walkinshaw’s incident caused much greater damage to the front of his car, forcing him into retirement.

The damage to Breeze’s car made him slip down the order into the G50 battle, Davies again leading from lights-to-flag as cars fell by the wayside. Breeze was then muscled out by two great moves as Louise Richardson drove around the outside of him into the first part of the Complex, before Coates made a late lunge into the final chicane to bump the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver down to ninth.

Of the impressive G50 runners, it was Davies that was most so as he held off G55 drviers such as Wakefield early on, finishing an eventual fifth as G50 winner aheads of Richardson for a one-two for Richardson Racing, Coates follwing them for his fifth class podium.

Sharp meanwhile pulled away for yet another win, Ingram again finishing second. Wakefield came through the chaos to chase down Andrew Richardson for third, the Century Motorsport driver snatching the final podium place at the Complex on the penultimate lap.

Race three saw the top four from the previous race reversed for the starting line-up of round nine, but Andrew Richardson would not start from pole as a late problem caused a delay that left him starting from the pits.

Alone on the front row was Wakefield, but he lost the lead at the start to Ingram into Allard. He tried to get it back on the rest of the opening lap, but had to slot into second after a move around the outside at the final chicane didn’t quite pay off.

Sharp then worked his way up to the back of Wakefield, making an overtake stick on the fifth lap of the race before setting off after the race leader.

Sharp caught his rival to set up a repeat of the Donington final race, Ingram driving very defensively to hang on with a block that kept Sharp at bay into Allard on lap seven, although a lap later the job was done as Sharp pulled a very bold move around the outside at Noble to snatch the lead from the reigning G50 class champion.

Louise Richardson took her first G50 class win of 2012 in style

The battle then ended in disappointing fashion when Ingram slowed coming up Woodham Hill with a broken driveshaft, retiring soon after as Sharp cruised to his eighth win in nine races to increase his already massive championship lead, Wakefield grabbing second place from Ingram’s disaster.

Louise Richardson took a brilliant G50 class win in fifth position after she pulled a brave move on her team-mate Davies at Church on lap three, with Coates also getting past Davies at the Chicane later around the lap.

Richardson was sensational as she had a fantastic battle with the G55 car of Breeze early on, the former Ginetta Junior race-winner keeping up with the series runner-up of last year before going on to finish in the top five for her first class win of the season after being passed by a flying Abbott as Breeze completed the overall podium a long way behind the two leaders.

Championship standings after rounds 7-9 (G55):

  1. Tom Sharp – 310 points
  2. Tom Ingram – 195 points
  3. Carl Breeze – 192 points
  4. Hunter Abbott – 152 points
  5. Josh Wakefield – 138 points
  6. Colin White – 135 points

G50 standings:

  1. Mark Davies – 281 points
  2. Rob Gaffney – 239 points
  3. Max Coates – 236 points
  4. Louise Richardson – 188 points
  5. James Owen – 152 points
  6. Reece Somerfield – 84 points

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