Century Motorsport traveled to Donington Park for the second weekend of the 2017 Ginetta GT4 Supercup. In what would be a bumper weekend of motorsport in the United Kingdom for motorsport fans, both Ben Green and Declan Jones’ attention was solely focused on their championship aspirations at the Leicestershire circuit.
From the word go in testing, Green showed that his Brands Hatch pace wasn’t just a one off. Finishing the day within just a few tenths of the leaders, he was content that he would be firmly in the mix when the real business got underway on Saturday. Declan’s weekend didn’t get off to the best start, but the Liverpudlian worked hard with his team of engineers to rekindle the magic pace he had shown last time out in Brands Hatch.
When qualifying got underway on Saturday morning, Ben was right in the mix once more, completing the session in second, a mere six hundredths of a second off the outright pole time. Jones was showing that his hard work since testing on Thursday was paying dividends, as he rapidly closed the gap to those in front.
Initially race one got off to the perfect start for the Century duo, however Ben was first to falter following heavy contact from championship rival George Gamble. Green was able to continue, but Gamble’s stricken Ginetta necessitated a brief Safety car to bunch up the field. When racing got back underway on lap six, Declan Jones was a man on a charge, now up to fourth, where he would remain to the chequered flag. A determined Green made the most of his chance to remain in the race and charged his way back up to eighth at the flag.
Race two got underway just before 11 on Sunday morning and with both Century drivers starting in the top four rows, they were hoping to make a move towards the podium places. This time however it only took one lap for the Ginetta G40 Safety Car to be called to neutralise the field. However it was a short spell and the race was back underway on lap two. Declan Jones was already into the first of the podium places in third and keen to make a break to pursue the leading duo. Initially it was Carl Boardley breathing down his neck for the place before he spun out on lap five, handing the place to Ben Green who was charging through the field. With the teammates now working together to push forward and close in on the leaders, the dream double podium result for the team was given a helping hand when second placed man Callum Pointin spun exiting Redgate, promoting the Century duo into second and third overall.
However by this stage, Green was now set to make a move for second, and on lap 12 he made a nice clean pass on the inside at Redgate to move into the runner-up spot which he would maintain to the flag, closely followed by Declan Jones.
Following the draw for the race three grid, the top five finishers from race two would be reversed, placing Declan on the inside of row two, with Ben alongside. Both drivers secured a strong start to the race but quickly found themselves battling for position. Ben was getting some close attention from George Gamble, while Declan was hunting down Tom Hibbert. With the latter driver finding a way past Jones for second, the Century duo were now together on track once more. With Reece Somerfield and Hibbert battling it out at the front, Ben slipped past Declan on lap four at the end of the Craner Curves to move into third. Now on a charge, next on his list was Somerfield and quickly dispatched the early race leader later in the same lap to take second.
Jones had now briefly slipped back to fifth, but he too completed a superb pass on Somerfield into the last corner to move back up to fourth. At the head of the field, Green was now taking chunks of time out of new race leader Tom Hibbert. Going into lap eight, Green sent his Ginetta around the outside of Hibbert into the first corner and managed to make the move stick exiting the corner to take the race lead. Such was his pace, he had already built a one second margin by the end of his first lap in front. Hoping to make it another Century double podium, Declan was now giving Hibbert some close attention before finding a gap coming out of the Old Hairpin on lap 10 to take the first podium place.
From there, the pair would consolidate their positions, making it a second Century double podium of the day and their first race win of the season.
Declan Jones – #14 Whitley Neill Gin Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“I’m happy to come away with some good results this weekend. Coming away from this weekend third in the championship the plan going forward is to just keep collecting points as I want to win this championship, that’s all I’m here for.”
Ben Green – #22 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“It’s been a great weekend overall. Saturday was a bit annoying loosing out in the first race, but Sunday was great. I wasn’t expecting to go from eighth to second, but you take every opportunity that you can. Likewise in race three I wasn’t expecting to go from fourth to first but I’m very happy to finish the weekend on the top step.”
Nathan Freke – Team Principal, Century Motorsport:
“Overall this has ended up being a really strong weekend for the team. Ben has been right on it from the word go and Declan made some fantastic progress over the weekend to be right in the mix. Getting our first win of the year in the second weekend really sets us up well, and Declan has proved that consistency is key in a championship like this, as he sits joint-second overall in the championship, going to his home circuit – Oulton Park next.”
Oulton Park, Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May 2017