This weekend saw some tough times for Ben Green and Declan Jones, who were both competing in Round 7 & 8 in The Michelin Ginetta GT 4 Supercup at Oulton Park. While there was a great start in qualifying, Saturday saw both drivers fail to finish, but Sunday saw both drivers pull those deep deep reserves out of the bag and put some points on the board.
It was a great start to the weekend; the qualifying session was hotly contested with all of the drivers putting in fantastic times. Both Jones and Green put in solid qualifying times that both were happy with, despite a cold and wet track.
Before the first race, starting positions had been decided and saw Declan Jones at position 5 and Ben Green in position 8.
Conditions for round 7 on Saturday saw a similar situation, with a cold but damp track. The great results from the previous day saw everyone in a quietly confident mood and keen to start the race.
Both drivers had a great start to the first race, with Green in particular putting in a very fast first lap.
Unfortunately Jones didn’t fair much better. A car clipped a tyre stack at Knickerbrook corner, moving it several inches. As Declan came through behind, he clipped the tyre stack, obviously unaware that it had been shifted. The impact broke the steering rack and pushed him into the opposite wall. This saw Jones retire also, although thankfully there was no damage to Declan himself, in what was considered by all to be a fairly serious collision.
The damage to both cars was fairly comprehensive and left Team Century with a lot of work ahead of them… Repairs to both cars carried on until 2am in the morning and then saw the team back on the cars at 8am the same day.
The monumental efforts of the team was rewarded with both cars ready for the track in time for Sunday afternoons race, although Jones’ car was till being worked on, right up to the last minute.
Despite both drivers having a tough day on Saturday, they both showed their mettle and pulled the reserves out of the bag and had good races.
Green, once again, had a particularly good start and both put in a consistently good performance, Green finished in position 4 and Jones in position 7 ensuring that the all-important points were added to the board.
The end of Sunday saw Ben Green in 5th place with 131 points and Declan Jones in 6th place with 126 points on the professional board for the 2017 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
You can view the whole board over at Ginetta: http://www.ginetta.com/racing.php?championship=supercup&tab=standings
Declan Jones expressed his opinion of the weekend on a Press Release this morning: “A bitter sweet weekend. I am happy that we finished seventh today and got some points, especially after the incident on Saturday. I am also happy we got some good TV coverage for the Century Motorsport-Whitley Neill Gin team.”
“Century and Ginetta have really helped me to get the car how I want it and we have got a test day coming up at Croft now, so just onwards and upwards to that and see how we get on there. ”
“It is very tight this year in the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup and even though this has been a difficult weekend there are lots of weekends left – five in fact and with three races per weekend, that’s 15 races in total. A lot can happen in 15 races.”
Nathan Freke, Team Principle at Century Motorsport said of the weekend: “It was looking very promising at the start of the weekend,” said Freke, “and we were showing good signs of pace. Practice went well. Qualifying was tricky, it was very difficult conditions and we only really had two flying laps, but Declan and Ben did a great job.”
“In the first race both drivers had a great start, but unfortunate incidents left us with a lot of work to be done.”
“Overall, a bit disappointing given the weekend promised much. Things are looking a lot more positive for the next round at Croft (June 10-11).”