Fergus Walkinshaw put in a sterling recovery drive at Rockingham race circuit to deliver a strong eighth-place finish on Sunday, September 23, in round 22 of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup.
The 21 year-old was only given medical clearance to race four hours before taking to the track, following treatment received for the inhalation of fumes after the first Ginetta GT Supercup race yesterday. Forced to take to the grass to avoid an incident between Hunter Abbott and Marcus Hoggarth, the debris lodged in the radiator caused the engine to overheat and fumes inevitably breached the cockpit.
Feeling absolutely fine, Walkinshaw proved that he was back in tip-top form with an outstanding first lap in the final race of the weekend around the International Super Sportscar Circuit. Starting from 13th on the grid, due to yesterdays non-finish, he took an impressive five places to lie eighth heading into lap two.
Continuing his charge, Walkinshaw steered clear of the G50 runners by passing Rob Gaffney at Tarzan to sit seventh by lap three, leaving the #91 car to close on Tom Sharp. Running barely 0.2 seconds adrift of the sixth-placed driver, Walkinshaw looked promising to line-up a pass before a three-lap safety car period brought a halt to his progress and closed-up the field.
With the race shortened to a maximum duration of 25 minutes, rather than the scheduled 18 laps, 15 minutes remained as the field returned to green flag racing on lap eight. Clean away at the re-start, Walkinshaw immediately got back in the battle but progress wasnt easy due to a completely steamed-up windscreen which proved impossible to clear.
Keeping in contention with the gaggle ahead, the Association of Air Ambulances Motorsport Advocate fought on, relinquishing just one spot to Jamie Orton due to poor visibility on lap nine, before taking a commendable eighth-place finish at the flag.
Its great to just record a race finish here at Rockingham after the dramas of yesterday, but Im quite pleased with my performance today, said Walkinshaw. I got a great start and just picked off places throughout the opening lap and that really put me back in the fight. My only problem was that I could barely see out of my windscreen from a few laps in, so I had to be a bit careful.
I love racing in the wet, so todays conditions suited me well. The car felt good and the Century Motorsport guys did a great job to replace the engine and get me back on-track today, so massive thanks to them. Now Im looking forward to my home race of the season at Silverstone in two weeks time.