DOUBLE KNOCKHILL PODIUM FOR GT4 SUPERCUP RACER DAVIES WHILE JUNIOR DRIVERS GRADY, WOODER AND COLLARD ALL CELEBRATE SILVERWARE• Ninth Junior podium of year for Wooder despite power issues • Maiden Junior rostrum for Grady with superb second place in Rd17• Collard stars with career-best top five and first Rookie class victory
Leading Ginetta Junior Championship and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup team Total Control Racing enjoyed widespread podium success in both categories at Knockhill in Scotland over the weekend, 13th/14th August, with a series of star performances from the squad’s drivers.
Mark Davies raced to his second and third podium finishes of the GT4 Supercup season in rounds 11 and 12 and had an opportunity to potentially challenge for victory in the fourth and final race of the weekend – until driveshaft failure prior to the start dealt a cruel blow. Even so, his results and those of team-mate Callum Pointon have elevated TCR to the top of the team standings.
In Ginetta Junior, Dave Wooder moved into the series top three and secured his ninth podium even though struggling weekend-long with power issues. Fellow Junior racers Connor Grady and Jordan Collard both excelled, the former racing to a career-best second place finish in the final contest while Collard finished an outstanding fifth overall in the same race with a maiden Rookie class victory.
“We wanted to see if we could get the win in the Supercup with Mark but when the driveshaft went, that was it – two podiums was good though”, said TCR team principal Lee Brookes, “In the Juniors, Connor did a great job with his first podium and P2, he really deserved it and raced very well.
“Jordan was fantastic too, it’s great to see him get the Rookie win and he had the same pace as [William] Tregurtha who’s leading the championship, a big step forward. We don’t know why Dave’s car had the power issues but he was two or three miles per hour down on his team-mates. We’re getting stronger, but just need some breaks on our side now!”
Podiums galore for TCR in Ginetta JuniorFrom ninth on the grid in round 15 for the Juniors on Saturday, Wooder put together a good first lap to climb into seventh place and then claimed sixth on lap three. Maintaining position in the thick of the battle just behind the podium, Wooder’s race came unstuck at the end of lap 10 when he was shuffled back to eighth and ultimately bundled back to 11th after a robust final couple of laps.
From the outside of the fifth row Grady moved up into ninth on lap one and although pushed back to 10th again he reclaimed ninth on lap four. With incredibly close action throughout the upper order, Grady slipped back to 10th place once more but during the closing stages he produced some impressive driving to see off his immediate rivals and claim an excellent seventh place result.
Collard produced one of the best drives of his maiden season from 14th on the grid and, although slipping back a spot at the start, he climbed to the cusp of the top 10 in 11th place by lap six. Two laps later, though, an unfortunate excursion dropped him to 17th and eighth in the Rookie class.
From the back of the grid in round 16 later in the day, Collard delivered an outstanding and very well judged performance to secure a then season-best ninth overall, fourth highest placed Rookie. Gaining three places on lap one alone to rise into 14th position, Collard moved up into the top 10 during the second half of the race before taking ninth three laps from the finish to cap a terrific drive.
Wooder, starting in 10th place, held position during the first few laps before moving into ninth on lap five. With several rivals tripping over each other, the TCR racer leapt into sixth the next time around and as a result of a penalty for a rival, and a final lap tangle ahead, he ended the race fourth.
Team-mate Grady started and finished the race in seventh place, although it wasn’t quite as straightforward as that with a fair amount of position changing throughout. Post-race, however, the results were amended as a result of penalties for two rivals – Wooder was elevated into second place, Grady moved up into fifth and Collard a lofty seventh, second in the Rookie class.
In the final Junior race of the weekend, an encounter jam-packed with action and incident, Grady started in second place and although slipping to third at the hairpin after a lock-up he regained the place as a result of a drive-through penalty for Lewis Brown. Running just 0.7 seconds shy of the race leader at mid-distance, Grady eventually ended the race second to seal his first Ginetta podium.
Collard began the race seventh on the grid and although losing a little ground, the championship rookie worked his way back up the order. Into eighth as the race reached the halfway point, he became embroiled in a huge multi-car battle and when three rivals tangled out of the chicane on lap nine he rocketed into fourth place and the Rookie class lead.
Edged back to sixth overall with two laps to go, Collard then got back ahead of team-mate Wooder on the final tour to seal a tremendous fifth place finish and Rookie win. From fifth on the grid, Wooder slipped to sixth initially and was edged back to seventh on lap four but did manage to battle his way back into the top six to conclude the Knockhill weekend back in the championship top three.
Welcome podium return for Davies at KnockhillRound 11 of the GT4 Supercup season, rescheduled from the previous event at Snetterton, was the first of four races for the category over the weekend. From seventh on the grid, Pointon’s hopes were dashed on lap two when contact led to an enforced pit-stop. Rejoining in 14th place, he battled through to eighth.
Davies, meanwhile, held his starting slot of sixth for the first half dozen laps before his race came alive when the leaders tangled. Elevating him into fourth, Davies soon challenged for third and took the place on lap 12 with a superb move at Butchers. He only just missed fastest lap by 0.1 seconds.
For round 12, Davies and Pointon started seventh and eighth respectively but leapt into fifth and sixth at Scotsman after two cars collided. The incident resulted in a Safety Car period and on lap seven at the re-start, the TCR duo held position – in fact Pointon stayed in sixth to the finish.
Davies remained close behind the podium placings and managed to take fourth on lap 15 before setting his sights on third. Pressuring at every corner, he pieced together a superb final lap and nabbed third place brilliantly from Ben Green on the drag to the line by a mere 0.026 seconds.
In round 13 on Sunday, Davies slipped from third to fifth initially but reclaimed fourth into lap two and then pressured for third. Despite being edged to fifth on lap 13, he continued to run nose-to-tail with the two cars ahead but had to settle for fifth when the race was red flagged on lap 18.
In the sister TCR machine Pointon also lost some ground on lap one, edged back to seventh from sixth, and was then passed by Carl Boardley on lap seven. Staying with Boardley, though, Pointon was able to move back into seventh place on lap 10 where he stayed to the conclusion.
Race four of the weekend held much promise for TCR but it ended in major disappointment for the team. Davies was due to line-up on pole position but the driveshaft failed on the formation lap, ruling him out before the start.
Pointon, meanwhile, ran in sixth position early on but at the end of lap three he had nowhere to go when two cars ahead collided. Sustaining significant front-end damage, after pitting he ventured back out into the race where he eventually finished in 10th position three laps down on the leaders.
Both the Ginetta Junior Championship and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup will be back on track just two weeks from now, on 27th/28th August, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.
Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd17):3rd Dave Wooder, 351pts; 11th Connor Grady, 180pts; 16th Max Bird, 114pts; 18th Jordan Collard, 97pts
Ginetta Junior Championship Team Standings (after Rd17):4th Total Control Racing, 598pts
Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup Driver Standings (after Rd14):5th Mark Davies, 240pts; 7th Callum Pointon, 224pts
Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup Team Standings (after Rd14):1st Total Control Racing, 464pts