Ingram cuts Sharp points lead with dominant doublePosted: June 12, 2012
Tom Ingram finally proved that the Ginetta GT Supercup is not a one-man championship show by taking both victories at Oulton Park to trim the large points lead of Tom Sharp.
The reigning G50 class champion started the stir when on Saturday he was the man to finally break Sharp’s unbeaten run of pole positions, a mere 0.050s ahead of Andrew Richardson while Sharp could only manage third on the grid.
In race on, Ingram also held the lead into Old Hall for the first time, while Richardson lost out badly when he got forced out onto the grass and dropped to sixth behind Sharp, new Total Control Racing team-mates Carl Breeze and Jamie Orton, and Hunter Abbott.
Car Breeze, now driving for Total Control Racing, then moved ahead of Sharp with a good move and began to break away with Ingram setting a good pace at the front. Orton lost out the Abbott for fourth place meanwhile, as a big battle for sixth developed.
Richardson led Josh Wakefield and newcomer Jake Hill, while Colin White lost out when he spun across the track at Hislops. Bad luck then again hit Richardson this season when he held the position until suffering a puncture two laps from the end, when he was forced to retire despite trying to nurse the car home.
Ingram meanwhile took his second win of the year as he took the flag over four seconds ahead of Breeze, Sharp completing the podium ahead of Abbott and Orton, while Hill claimed a solid sixth place on his G55 debut ahead of Wakefield, Fergus Walkinshaw and Marcus Hoggarth.
A surprise pole sitter in the G50 class was Junior series graduate Declan Jones, but he did not even make it to the start after an off going to the grid which gifted Mark Davies the class lead from Rob Gaffney and Reece Somerfield.
Somerfield then spun down the field while Gaffney was given a drive through penalty that dropped him to third behind Irish returnee Connaire Finn. Davies took an easy victory, while Gaffney took second place for Finn late in the race.
Race two was another controlled drive by Ingram who again made no mistakes from the pole position to lead into turn one, followed by Breeze who chopped across the front of Sharp at the last moment to shut out the championship leader’s lunge on the inside.
The worst start of all turned out to be from Walkinshaw as he was handed a fairly harsh jump start penalty for rolling slightly before the lights went out, while Richardson’s troubles continued when he spun out at Cascades and bogged his G55 in the wet grass.
As Ingram gapped the field, Breeze had Sharp and Abbott all over the back of him, while behind them Orton lost control of his car at the Knickerbrook chicane that allowed Tollbar Racing with WIRED’s Hill to nip by.
On lap seven Sharp attacked Breeze into the hairpin as Breeze continued to struggle with a gearbox issue, and as Breeze defended the inside line this allowed Abbott to sneak up the inside of the championship leader and steal a podium spot.
Ingram took his second win of the weekend comfortably to trim the points lead once more, while Breeze held onto second ahead of Abbott and Sharp, with Hill putting in another good showing with fifth ahead of the recovering Orton.
Davies again took G50 honours to extend his class points lead, while Gaffney again took second but over eight seconds back. Jones made no mistakes this time and forced past Somerfield at Cascades to snatch third in class.
Max Coates – who has already been impressive with four G50 wins to his name in 2012 – meanwhile was forced to skip this round along with Louise Richardson due to budget troubles, but Coates especially has vowed he will be back at Croft, and with dropped scores taken into account could still be a championship threat if he returns to the class.
Overall (G55) championship standings after round 11:
1. Tom Sharp – 358
2. Tom Ingram – 267
3. Carl Breeze – 253
4. Hunter Abbott – 200
5. Josh Wakefield – 168
6. Colin White – 162
1. Mark Davies – 353
2. Rob Gaffney – 299
3. Max Coates – 236
4. James Owen – 192
5. Louise – Richardson 188
6. Reece Somerfield – 126