The season opener of Ginetta GT4 SuperCup was held last weekend at a rather damp Brands Hatch, supporting the British Touring Car Championship. Century Motorsport entered three cars into the Ginetta SuperCup this season: #67 Angus Fender, #48 Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke (both Pro class) and #77 Michael Crees (Am class).
Starting with practice on Friday, Crees topped the board for the Am class. In the Pro class, Fender came out of practice with a P3 and Gordon-Colebrooke came out with a P9.
Going into qualifying on Saturday morning, all three drivers further impressed and were ready for the first race at 15:55. Fender moved up to P2, Gordon-Colebrooke moved up to P8 and Crees held onto his P1.
Race 1 got off to a bad start, with Fender’s number 67 car getting tapped into a spin on the first lap. The red flag was waved and all three cars caught up in the incident had to come off the track and sadly that was the end of the race for Fender.
Crees, who won the GRDC+ Championship last year as a rookie, managed to hold onto the top spot (Am class) throughout the entire race and stood on the top step to receive his trophy at the end of the race. Unfortunately, this was soon taken away from Crees due to him receiving a five second penalty for contact with another car at the start of the race, demoting him to second position.
Buckingham’s Gordon-Colebrooke had a trouble free race and managed to gain one position by the end of the race, finishing seventh.
Century’s team worked hard through the night to ensure that Fender’s car was ready for Race 2 (10:40 on Sunday morning). The rain started coming down just before the race was about to begin and this left the team uncertain as to which tyres the cars should go out on.
Once Race 2 got underway, Crees lead the race (Am class) after only a few laps. Crees then held onto pole position for the remainder of the race. Crees also achieved fastest lap (Am) and sixth position overall in the race.
Fender started 10th on the grid after being unable to complete the last race and he managed to work his way up to finish in seventh position with Gordon-Colebrooke crossing the line in sixth place, just under a fourth of a second ahead of Fender.
The third and final SuperCup race of the weekend was live on ITV4 at 16:20 on Sunday. This race saw Gordon-Colebrooke start from pole position, due to a reverse grid for the first six positions from the previous race. This was a great opportunity for Gordon-Colebrooke and had he got off to a better start off the line, he might have been in with a chance of getting a podium spot however coming out of the first lap, Gordon-Colebrooke had dropped back into sixth place. He fell back a little more throughout the race and by the eighth lap he was in eighth position, which was where he stayed for the remainder of the race.
Fender started Race 3 from seventh on the grid. Coming out of lap seven, Fender was in eighth position however the next lap seen him lose three places. He gradually managed to come back up two positions and finished the race in ninth position.
A third of the way into the race, Crees went for an overtaking move as he went into the final corner but unfortunately he made contact with the car in front. Crees took class victory again at the end of the race but later on it was decided that he would get demoted, this time down to fourth place (Am class) due to a ten second penalty for the incident. Crees also achieved fastest lap (Am class) again in this final race of the weekend.
“After qualifying on the front row – a crash on the first lap in race 1 and then changeable conditions in races 2 and 3 curtailed a baptism of fire for my first GT4 Supercup race but I will come back stronger for Donington!”
“This weekend was always going to be a weekend of learning as I continue to get more comfortable with the car and with the championship environment as a whole. Despite this I was extremely pleased with how it all went, my pace was closer to the leaders than I had expected and of course coming away with 3 finishes was fantastic as well considering the changeable conditions on Sunday.
Getting to start race 3 from pole was also an unexpected but pleasant surprise! Giving me some early experience, which I’ll hopefully get some more of over the season. I just need to make sure I don’t get quite so much wheelspin next time!
Massive thanks need to be given to Century Motorsport who of course did a fantastic job all weekend and didn’t put a foot wrong. I feel incredibly privileged to be driving for them and I’ll be working hard to bring home some silverware for them over the course of the season, they definitely deserve it. Thanks also to my sponsors WH Ireland, Tyrell Automotive and 3C Test. Without them I wouldn’t have been racing at all, so thank you.”
“It’s a privilege to even be on the grid this season, but to enjoy the success we have this weekend means so much to me. The Ginetta GT4 Supercup is a great championship, it provides proper racing in fast, fun cars, and I want to thank Century Motorsport for giving me a fantastic car.
We took all three wins on the road and while I’m gutted that a couple of mistakes from me meant we lost two of them, that’s all part of the massive learning curve that I’m on. With some more experience and some more coaching, I’m confident those mistakes won’t happen again.”
Nathan Freke, Owner of Century Motorsport:
“All things considered, the weekend was a good one. The highlight was probably qualifying for me where Michael got P1 and Angus qualified P2.
It’s the first time in the season where we know everything is equal and when you consider the experience of all the drivers we have, I think we excelled.
It was a shame for Angus to have his race ended prematurely, but glad to get the car back out and have 2 clean races. Andrew just improved all weekend, and even held fastest lap for a good period of the final race. Michael’s speed was amazing this weekend and to win all 3 races on track was great for him and his confidence.
We have some things to finesse ahead of Donington, but I’m excited about the season and what potential we hold for it.”
The next round will be held at Donington Park on 28th – 29th April.