Following on from a successful debut in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Oulton Park two weeks ago, Century Motorsport headed to Rockingham Motor Speedway for the next three rounds of the series looking to build on the strong pace they showed previously.
Qualifying and the first race of the weekend took place on Sunday followed by the remaining two races on the bank holiday Monday. Danish driver Frederik Mortensen placed himself in an impressive seventh for Sunday afternoon’s race one followed by the ever-improving Osamu Kawashima in 21st.
When racing got underway at the Northamptonshire circuit, Mortensen immediately showed his intent for the weekend by rocketing into fourth place at the start from seventh on the grid. Running comfortably in sixth place, an unfortunate last lap spin dropped Frederik to an eleventh place finish. Osamu Kawashima maintained his starting position to end the race 21st.
Second fastest lap times from qualifying determined how the cars lined up for the second race of the weekend. Once again Mortensen was positioned in seventh with Kawashima 22nd. Another lightening start from Frederik promoted him to third after avoiding a first corner incident, Osamu also making his way through to 18th on the opening lap. The battle for third was now a five-car train but it wasn’t long until Mortensen started to pull away and close in on the lead pair as they continued to battle. As the flag fell however Mortensen came across the line holding his third position and taking his first podium in the series for himself and the team while Osamu continued to become more comfortable in his Ginetta G40 and cross the finish line in 18th.
The starting positions for the final race would be the same as the finishing order from race two. Quick reactions as the lights went out from Mortensen gave him the inside line on the run to the first corner and as a result moved him into second rounding the hairpin past George Gamble. This was short lived however, as contact from Gamble at the next corner would send Frederik off the circuit dropping him down the order to 15th. Kawashima was running in 20th locked in battle with the Ginetta G20 of David Pattison. Mortensen set about moving back up the order and while running 13th was given a drive through penalty on the last lap for an overtaking infringement under an earlier safety car leaving him to finish in 15th. Osamu ended his weekend in 19th after a race long battle with Pattison.
Frederik Mortensen – #25 Ginetta G40:
“My goal for this season is to learn and during the season find myself in the best part of the field. I didn’t expect this to happen in my second race weekend! It’s a tough championship with some pretty experienced and talented guys – who know both the tracks and the Ginetta quite well!”
“I can really feel that all my preparations during the winter have paid off – all the physical and mental training, I have been going through makes a big difference.”
“Looking forward to Silverstone, we will be racing on yet another track that I haven’t been racing on before. It’s going to be a great weekend with lots of new experiences and hopefully good racing. My aim is to finish the races in the top 10.”
Osamu Kawashima – #11 Ginetta G40:
“I had a better race than last race at Oulton Park. l have further developed my driving last weekend with the help of my team! I keep pushing and my next race will be better than Rockingham! Many thanks to my team Century Motorsport!”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“It was a good weekend for our Challenge team. Frederik had a great qualifying put his car in seventh. I think he felt he could have been a little bit higher on new tyres with his testing pace, but it was still a great result. Osamu continues to make good progress qualifying in 21st. In the races, Frederik had a mega race two finishing third and getting the team’s first Challenge podium which I was really pleased about. In race three he was up to second but an incident shuffled him down the order unfortunately. Osamu is improving all the time and its hard for him with limited testing as he travels from Japan for each of the rounds. He moved up from his starting position in each of the races and is making good progress. Onwards to Silverstone and hopefully a return to the podium!”