Walkinshaws Seventh Heaven At Silverstone
Fergus Walkinshaw delivered the most enthralling battle of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup field by commanding a race-long fight for seventh place around his local Silverstone circuit. The 21 year-olds outstanding performance on Sunday followed a solid drive to eighth place in round 23 on Saturday, sealing a weekend of points-scoring finishes on home soil.The Chipping Norton racer started the penultimate race weekend of the season in promising form, topping the timesheets and consistently featuring in the top five during the early stages of qualifying on Saturday morning. A time disallowed for exceeding track limits combined with a late pit stop, however, left Walkinshaw unable to improve on his eventual 10th fastest time in one of the closest sessions of the season so far.Clean away for round 23 on Saturday afternoon, Walkinshaw picked-off Century Motorsport teammate Freddie Hetherington off the line to hold ninth place by the end of lap one, but progress was immediately hampered by a strong vibration, which was later found to be caused by a CV boot issue.Although conscious of conserving the car for the double-header event on home turf, Walkinshaws measured performance posted his personal best lap time of the weekend so far on lap 15. And while the Association of Air Ambulances Motorsport Advocate also experienced a braking issue around the 1.6-mile National circuit, Walkinshaw managed to stave off Hetheringtons advances in the closing stages of the 24-lap race to finish eighth.In fine form for Sundays showdown, Walkinshaw nailed his fourth-row start to storm clear of Colin White and place seventh into Copse Corner, putting the Oxford Brookes University Automotive Engineering student at the heart of the action for round 24.Hunting down Hunter Abbott, Walkinshaw got an excellent run out of Woodcote to pull alongside the #26 car down the Pits Straight heading into lap two to secure sixth at Copse, sparking a race-long battle between the Century Motorsport teammates. With White joining the challenge for sixth and only just finding a way past Walkinshaw three laps later, the Century counterparts re-commenced their fierce fight to the delight of the Silverstone crowds.Failing to put a single wheel wrong, Walkinshaws flawless drive kept Abbott at bay for the following gruelling 16-lap battle. While the orange Ginetta G55 filling his mirrors refused to offer more than 0.4 seconds grace around his home track, the 2012 podium winner remained unruffled to retain his seventh spot, the Century duo finishing just 0.2 seconds apart.What a race, commented Walkinshaw. The battle with Hunter [Abbott] was relentless but we both gave each other the respect and room to race, so it was just a good, clean fight at close quarters. Thats probably the hardest Ive ever had to battle for a seventh place finish but I enjoyed every lap of it.The car felt really good, we had no problems other than a bit of oversteer, so weve made some good progress this weekend and moved up a place in the championship fight. Silverstone is my home event and we had the honour of welcoming two new sponsors, Keltruck and Itchy Feet, on-board this weekend, so it means a lot to perform well here ahead of the final series rounds at Brands Hatch in two weeks time.