Davies maintains G50 lead on a tough weekend for Richardson Racing

Richardson Racing endured a frustrating weekend of racing at Donington Park, although there was one positive to take away from the second round of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup season as the team maintained its position at the head of the G50 class standings.In a repeat of the bad luck he suffered at Donington Park last season, Andrew Richardson failed to score in the G55 class after he ran into a series of issues while sister Louise also encountered problems as she came away from the weekend with just a single fourth place in the G50 class. However, Huddersfield-racer Mark Davies maintained his solid start to the season by finishing on the G50 podium in all three races to extend his advantage at the head of the class standings.Going into the weekend, Andrew had been buoyed by an impressive performance in pre-event testing but could only qualify fifth on the grid with his car seemingly down on power. Despite that, he battled hard with Carl Breeze and Tom Ingram for second place until the eighth lap of Saturday’s opening race when the engine on his car failed; putting him into retirement on the spot.A huge effort from the team overnight to replace the engine allowed Andrew to line up on the grid for the second race on Sunday, although his race didn’t start well when he didn’t get away when the lights went out. Loose bodywork then forced him to pit at the end of the second lap and he would end the race unclassified in the results.A storming start to race three saw Andrew climb up to eighth on the opening lap alone and the forward progress continued as he worked his way into the top six. His wretched luck would soon return as an ECU issue forced him back into the pits and although he was eventually able to rejoin, he was again unclassified, leaving him a hugely unrepresentative tenth in the G55 standings.“There isn’t really a lot I can say,” he reflected. “We had good pace in testing on Thursday to be only a tenth off [points leader] Tom Sharp but then when we got into the race weekend we’ve been hit with a number of problems and none of them were our fault. There was nothing we could have done and it’s hard on the team who worked so hard on the car to get us back out after the engine let go. We’ve just got to look forward.”Andrew’s problems meant it was down to the G50 class cars to uphold Richardson Racing honours, with Mark building on the results he secured in his first race meeting for the team at Brands Hatch. Qualifying third in class, he held his place early on in race one before working his way to second in class behind Max Coates; a result he would then repeat in the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning.In race three, Mark stormed away at the front of the G50 field to build a commanding advantage before contact from the G55 of Fergus Walkinshaw saw him run wide at the Old Hairpin. The loss of momentum allowed Coates to get ahead of Mark to secure the class victory again, although Mark heads away from the weekend having extended his championship lead over closest rival Rob Gaffney.“It’s good to extend my lead but Max had a good weekend and will have got more confidence from it,” he said. “To be honest, Brands Hatch and Donington were the circuits I wanted to get out of the way as it’s the longer circuits that I’m looking forward to, but it was a good weekend points wise. You always want to win and it’s a shame that a G55 driver cost me the chance to get a victory in race three, but overall it’s been okay and I can now look forward to some circuits where I think I’ll be strong.”Louise’s weekend started well when she secured the G50 class pole but she was then baulked at the start by another car and slipped back to fourth in class. Before she had chance to make up positions, a fuel pump failure caused her to park her car at the top of the Craner Curves, leaving work to do on Sunday.From the back of the field, Louise worked her way forwards to fourth in class but again saw any hope of a podium finish ended through no fault of her own when Hunter Abbott – trying to recover from an earlier spin in his G55 – tried an overambitious lunge into the final corner and put Louise into the gravel.Quickly establishing herself as the quickest G50 car on track in the final race of the weekend, Louise was battling hard for the podium positions when her car developed an issue in the closing stages, which meant she had to settle for fourth place – leaving her fifth in the class standings.“The car has been fast all weekend but I’ve not had the chance to show it in the results, after the failure in race one and then the fact that I was taken out by a G55 in race two,” she said. “Hunter got points for it, but it won’t give me back my result.“The car wasn’t handling quite right in the final race so I had to take it a bit easier than normal down the Craner Curves, but I still had a lot of pace and managed to catch the top three. I think we could have been on for a win until the car developed a problem late on. I think the clutch was starting to go and it meant I couldn’t really push them, so I had to settle for fourth instead. It’s a shame that the results don’t reflect the pace I’ve had.”Further information on sponsorship opportunities with the Richardson Racing team are available by e-mailing info@richardsonracing.co.uk