Junior Formulae

Difficult weekend for Wrigley tightens GT4 championship

A crazy weekend at Rockingham has tightened up the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup championship as leader Tom Wrigley’s 93 point advantage was cut to only 19 points. Jamie Orton and Mark Davies took wins in the sixth round of the championship, whilst two DNFs for Wrigley marks his worst weekend of the championship so far.

Race One

As with many championships, the weather was the main talking point for the first race of the weekend. Wrigley took pole position but it all went downhill from there, as the championship leader lost out at the start of the race and slipped back to third.

It was almost pathetic fallacy at Rockingham. Thunder and lightening stormed overhead as Wrigley slowed to a stop, retiring with a fuel pump problem and bringing out the safety car.

Orton was still leading by this point, with Will Burns and Carl Boardley not far behind him. The Triple M Motorsport driver got a clean get away once Wrigley’s car had been removed, leaving Burns and Boardley to battle with one another for the runner’s up position. The two drivers swapped places back and forth all race, but it was Burns in second when they eventually crossed the line for the final time.

Callum Pointon, who qualified third, had a difficult start off of the line, dropping back to sixth on the opening lap. It was an impressive recovery though, and the TCR driver eventually finished fifth, behind team mate Mark Davies.

It will shock nobody to discover that Colin White took the AM class win. Finishing seventh overall, White finished over twenty seconds before second in class Fraser Robertson. Chris Ingram joined them on the podium.

Race Two

Though the weather had brightened up a little for the second race of the weekend, Wrigley would be starting at the very back of the grid after his retirement the day before. He didn’t stay there for long, cutting through the AM drivers like a hot knife through butter, and was up nine places by the time he reached the Deene hairpin.

At the front of the field, Orton had started on pole, with Burns alongside him but a blinding start from Tom Hibbert meant Burns had no chance to challenge for the win. Hibbert started sixth, but flew off of the line, up to fourth before the field reached the first corner. Hibbert managed to get up to second by the end of the first lap and stuck close to Orton throughout the race, but he couldn’t find a way past the Triple M Motorsport driver.

Slowly but surely, Wrigley made his way up through the field, eventually making it to fourth with Burns right ahead of him. There, his climb would end.

Burns was in a fight with Hibbert for second place, and Wrigley was trying to find an advantage whilst the two other drivers were distracted. Burns made a move on Hibbert at Yentwood on what would be the final lap, and Wrigley thought he saw his chance. It didn’t work. Wrigley only managed to hit the side of Burn’s car and was forced to retire from the race. Burns continued, by the red flag was bought out, and the race ended.

Orton would take his second win of the day, with Hibbert taking his second podium of the season.
Crowds at Rockingham were shocked as Colin White took the AM class win. Finishing eighth overall, White was only eleven and a half seconds ahead of Robertson. Once again, Ingram joined them on the podium.

Race Three

The reverse grid draw put Davies on pole for the final race of the weekend with team mate Pointon alongside him.

Straight off of the line, Pointon was challenging for the lead, but Davies held off long enough for Burns to join the battle. The two chasing drivers made contact six laps into the race and Pointon was sent spinning back down the order. Burns, promoted to second, chased after Davies, but was put under pressure by Orton behind him. Davies was allowed to escape into the distance, and took his first win of the season.

Behind him, the scrap between the two title contenders played for the remainder of the race, but it was Burns who took second place, Orton having to settle for the final step of the podium. There biggest rival, Wrigley, would again start at the back of the grid, and was aiming to repeat his race two effort – without the last lap accident.

By the end of lap one, he’d made it up to ninth. This time, Wrigley could only make it up to fifth but, this time, no last minute dive for a podium ruined his race, and he would be able to take points from the meeting.

The AM class had an actual surprise in the final race, as clutch problems plagued Colin White. The AM championship leader managed three laps before retiring, awarding Ingram the class lead. David Brooks and Chris Car made it a battle for the class win, but neither could get past Ingram.

The disappointing weekend – Wrigley’s worst this season – cuts his lead down to only nineteen. Orton is still nearly a hundred points down after missing the Knockhill weekend and, with only two rounds left, it might just be a two horse race. White continues to lead the AM class, with a lead of 76 points over Chris Ingram.


Race one

1 – Jamie Orton – Pro
2 – Will Burns – Pro
3 – Carl Boardley – Pro
4 – Mark Davies – Pro
5 – Callum Pointon – Pro
6 – Tom Hibbert – Pro
7 – Colin White – AM
8 – Rob Gaffney – Pro
9 – Fraser Robertson – AM
10 – Chris Ingram – AM
11 – Mike Newbold – AM
12 – Chris Car – AM
13 – David Brooks – AM
14 – Ben Green – Pro – DNF
15 – Tom Wrigley – Pro – DNF

Race two

1 – Jamie Orton – Pro
2 – Tom Hibbert – Pro
3 – Will Burns – Pro
4 – Callum Pointon – Pro
5 – Mark Davies – Pro
6 – Carl Boardley – Pro
7 – Ben Green – Pro
8 – Colin White – AM
9 – Rob Gaffney – Pro
10 – Fraser Robertson – AM
11 – Chris Ingram – AM
12 – David Brooks – AM
13 – Chris Car – AM
14 – Mike Newbold – AM
15 – Tom Wrigley – Pro – DNF

Race three

1 – Mark Davies – Pro
2 – Will Burns – Pro
3 – Jamie Orton – Pro
4 – Tom Hibbert – Pro
5 – Tom Wrigley – Pro
6 – Ben Green – Pro
7 – Rob Gaffney – Pro
8 – Callum Pointon – Pro
9 – Chris Ingram – AM
10 – David Brooks – AM
11 – Chris Car – AM
12 – Fraser Robertson – AM
13 – Mike Newbold – AM
14 – Colin White – AM – DNF
15 – Carl Boardley – Pro – DNF

Image Credit: Caroline Rhea

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