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Scorching sun turns to rainstorms for SuperCup drivers at Snetterton

Century Motorsport headed to Snetterton Circuit for rounds 12 – 14 of the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, wondering what the weather would bring, as the extraordinarily long heat wave in the UK was about to take a turn for the worse! Friday’s free practice sessions were in the scorching sunshine, which were the conditions that the drivers had most recently been experiencing however torrential rain filled the paddocks overnight, which then dried up on Saturday but returned on Sunday, with much cooler temperatures at the Norfolk-based track.

Saturday morning, the qualifying session got underway. Angus Fender came out third quickest, with a speedy time of 1m54.598s, just 0.227s away from claiming pole position. Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke qualified in sixth and showed very good pace, just one second off the pole-sitter’s time. Michael Crees claimed the fastest Am-class lap therefore he was to start race 1 from pole position (Am-class) later that day.

Race 1 got underway on Saturday afternoon. Fender started from third on the grid. He lost one position on the first lap, then unfortunately he dropped a further two positions on the second lap. He then battled through and found fifth place by the final lap, which was where he crossed the line at the end of the race.

Gordon-Colebrooke started from sixth on the grid however avoiding action made him lose a few places. Unable to find a gap to push further forward, he had to settle with tenth place at the chequered flag.

Crees showed some excellent driving in this race and it made for an entertaining battle for the Am-class lead. Competitor Colin White squeezed past Crees during the first lap and then controlled the race. Crees closely chased White right up until the final lap, continually pressuring him until the last corner, where White made a mistake, allowing Crees to slip through and claim Am-class victory a few seconds later, with White just one eighth of a second behind.

The second race on Sunday morning was in extremely wet conditions. Fender had started from 11th on the grid due to him receiving a post-race penalty in race 1. He had quite a lot of work to do if he was to get anywhere close to the front of the pack. He definitely worked hard as he managed to climb up two places by the second lap and then by lap 8 he had found fifth position. He remained in this position until he crossed the line at the chequered flag three laps later, narrowly missing out on fourth place.

Gordon-Colebrooke started from ninth on the grid. The torrential rain and greasy track conditions led him to go on a minor detour on the first lap and then during the next lap, contact with a barrier forced him into early retirement from the race.

Crees had a similar journey throughout this race as he did in the first race. He started from pole position and then on the first lap, White, in the number 78 car, overtook him. Crees then spent the rest of the race fiercely fighting to get upfront, with cars from the Pro-class category in between the pair of them, making it more difficult for Crees to find White. Yet again, a determined Crees found his opportunity on the final corner of the last lap and he then went on to take Am-class victory, crossing the finish line 1-second before White.

The final SuperCup race of the weekend started late Sunday afternoon. Fender started the race from fifth on the grid. During his first lap, he jumped ahead one position however by the second lap, he had dropped down to sixth. He then managed to hunt out fifth place again on the next lap however it was short lived, as over the next few laps, the wet tyres were struggling on the drying track and Fender dropped down the order, eventually settling with ninth (eighth in class) at the chequered flag.

Gordon-Colebrooke started from 11th on the grid. He had opted to start on slicks, so a steady first lap saw him drop down to 17th position. During the remainder of the race, Gordon-Colebrooke spent his time battling his way back up the order, whilst setting the third fastest lap time in the race. He eventually settled with 10th place (ninth in class) at the chequered flag, finishing one tenth of a second behind Fender.

Starting from fourth place in the Am-class field was Crees, after a reverse grid pushed him back a few positions. Crees managed to find second place off the line and then by the second lap he was controlling the Am-class race. This was up until lap 5, when the number 78 car of White found a gap to get past Crees. White went onto gain a significant lead as he had taken the gamble of going out on track on slicks, which on a drying track became a huge advantage over Crees’ chosen option of wet tyres. White crossed the finish line over 40-seconds ahead of Crees. Luckily for Crees, the other Am-class drivers, like him, were out on wet tyres therefore he managed to retain his second place.

Overall, all three Century drivers gained plenty of experience at Snetterton and will be looking to further improve and impress at the next round which is on 11th – 12th August at Rockingham.

Fender:

“Even though the results aren’t the best I’ve enjoyed all season, in my opinion this was a breakthrough weekend for me. Having qualified 3rd, I really raced for my positions in all 3 races and didn’t allow myself to be pushed over which I feel as though I had been at previous races this season. My personal highlight was gaining 8 places in 10 laps in race 2 to move from 13th (my position at the end of lap 1) to a well-earned P5 with 3rd fastest lap. Thanks once again to the guys at Century Motorsport, especially my mechanic Nige (Nigel Charman). Rockingham is only two weeks away and I’m looking forward to improving further when I get there!”

Gordon-Colebrooke:

“This weekend has been one of ‘ifs, buts and maybes’. We had strong pace on the Friday in practice that we weren’t able to carry over into Saturday for either quali or Race 1, which was disappointing. Sunday was all about survival really and unfortunately the conditions caught me out in Race 2 and then Race 3 another mistake prevented me from taking full advantage of the gamble I’d taken by running slicks. I’m going to learn my lessons from the weekend, it was a very tough one but you get those every now and again in racing. I’m very much looking forward to bouncing back at Rockingham.”

Crees:

“Great weekend with great results – 2 wins a 2nd place! Stuck to the game plan and extended the championship lead! Should have gone out on slicks for race 3 but made the decision to play safe!” 

Nathan Freke, Owner of Century Motorsport:

“This weekend was a little up and down with us. Michael came away from the weekend with 2 wins and extending his championship lead, so very happy there. Angus and Andrew both had great pace, but the results didn’t reflect in the results unfortunately. We are looking forward to Rockingham where we are hoping Michael will continue with his great run, and Andrew and Angus will have a change of fortune.”