After a six-week break, the Century Motorsport team headed to Oulton Park for the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, hoping for some more great results along with much better weather than the previous round that was held at Donington Park! The weather was definitely better at the Cheshire-based circuit however luck wasn’t on side for the team along with a few minor driver mistakes, which meant no silverware was brought home.
Qualifying got underway just before lunchtime on Saturday. Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke really impressed and showed excellent pace, qualifying in second place (Pro Class), just 0.264s behind the quickest time. Angus Fender qualified in sixth place (Pro) and Michael Crees topped the Am Class qualifying in first position.
The first race was late Saturday afternoon. After starting from second on the grid, Gordon-Colebrooke looked to stand a good chance at going in for the win however a small mistake on the second lap saw Colebrooke drop right down the order and he spent the remainder of the race fighting his way back through all of the traffic, eventually crossing the line in eighth place.
Fender had very good pace throughout the 15-lap race yet never found the opportunity to make any overtaking moves, crossing the line in a comfortable fifth position.
Crees got off to an incredible start, controlling the race right up until his 15-second lead just before lap 10. He then ran wide at Cascades, filling the radiator of the number 77 car with grass, causing it to overheat. Crees still managed to achieve the fastest lap (Am) of the race with a time of 1m26.387s.
Race 2 got underway Sunday afternoon with all three drivers hoping for better luck. Gordon-Colebrooke showed great improvement in his race pace and managed to top the board for his time in sector 1 of the circuit. He was following right behind Fender from lap 6 all the way up until the penultimate lap when unfortunately Gordon-Colebrooke’s number 48 car suffered with a puncture and he was forced into race retirement.
Fender started from fifth on the grid. Unluckily, he dropped a few places off the line and despite having decent pace throughout; he was unable to make inroads on the drivers at the front and ended up settling for seventh place.
Crees got off to a good start again after starting from the back of the grid. He had climbed up four places by lap 5 putting him in third position however by lap 7 he had dropped down the order and found himself in sixth position. He continued his battle to get his podium spot back however he didn’t have quite enough time and consequently he ended up crossing the line in fifth place.
“I’m delighted with the pace we showed here, putting the car on the front row represents a massive step forward for me after being slightly off the pace for the first two rounds.
A combination of small mistakes and bad luck prevented me from converting a good qualifying into silverware which was frustrating but the lap times were always on par with the leaders so the pace never went away which left me feeling extremely confident heading to Croft in two weeks.
A huge thanks to Century Motorsport who were once again faultless all weekend and gave me an incredible car to drive.”
“After a mixed round 2 at Donington last month, my target for Oulton Park was simply to have two consistent finishes to get my championship up and running. Annoyingly, I struggled to dial into the circuit and could only manage 6th in qualifying.
Race 1 brought better fortune as a crash at the end of the first lap saw me with a completely unchallenged race to P5 and that’s where I stayed for the duration of the race.
Race 2 required more racecraft on my behalf as a poor start by my standards saw me down in 8th at the end of the first lap and briefly down in 9th from my 5th place grid position. However, I gathered myself together, posting a couple of purple sectors along the way and fought back to 7th come the end of the race. A big learn this weekend but I’ll come back fighting for the top spot at Croft in just over a weeks time!”
“It’s been a bittersweet weekend. It’s the quickest I’ve been so far this season, but I just haven’t done myself justice in the races.
I’m still an amateur driver, this is only my second year of racing and I’ve jumped straight into a GT4 car, so I’ve got to expect some mistakes as I learn the car, racecraft and every aspect of racing – I’ve probably learnt more this weekend than in any other so far in my career.
It still feels gutting to lose out on two podium finishes though, but there’s still plenty of positives to take from the weekend. The pace is there to be battling with some of the Pro drivers and it’s getting better every time we go out in the car.
I’ve never been to Croft before and I don’t even know what the circuit looks like, so it will be a whole new experience for me. I’m not expecting to go there and win races, but hopefully I’ll be able to get up to speed quickly and challenge for some more silverware.”
Nathan Freke, Owner of Century Motorsport:
“An up and down weekend really. Andrew and Michael both had blistering pace and that showed in qualifying. A little bit of inexperience cost them both heavily. Angus struggled to find his groove to begin with but by the end of the weekend he was turning good times and brought home 2 decent points finishes.
We’ve learnt a lot this weekend and showed we have the pace, we will look forward to Croft where we can hopefully turn the pace into points.”