Media Release: Walkinshaw Battles To Continue Top Ten Charge At Snetterton
Snetterton, Norfolk – Saturday, August 11, 2012; Fergus Walkinshaw maintained his top 10 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup finishing record at Snetterton today despite battling with a fuel surge issue. The 21 year-old’s continued perseverance at the Norfolk circuit not only salvaged a ninth-place finish for round 15 but also helped maintain seventh in the series title battle ahead of the double round showdown on Sunday.
Returning to racing after the six-week summer BTCC break, Walkinshaw immediately impressed by running as high as third fastest and consistently in the top five during Friday’s official TOCA test session.
With much cooler conditions on Saturday morning, Walkinshaw was hopeful of carrying that form into the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup qualifying session but an intermittent loss of power prevented him from properly proving his pace.
A clean getaway from the fifth row for round 15 saw Walkinshaw hold 10th at the end of lap one. Hot on the tail of Josh Wakefield, the Oxford Brookes University Automotive Engineering student took his teammate heading into Agostini on lap two and although Wakefield tried to counter attack approaching Hamilton, Walkinshaw held sway.
Lying eighth after Hunter Abbott made for the pits, Walkinshaw set his sights on slashing Colin White’s 2.1 second advantage. Posting constantly improving lap times aboard his self-built Ginetta G55, the Chipping Norton racer cut the deficit by half a second on lap three before his best lap time of 1:58.398 put the #91 car to within 0.7 seconds of seventh place, all the while keeping Wakefield at bay an equal distance behind.
Walkinshaw maintained his impressive pace right up until the final lap of the seven lap sprint when the fuel surge issue returned heading into Hamilton, leaving Walkinshaw powerless to avoid a resulting spin. However, a swift recovery ensured a ninth-place class finish at the flag and all-important championship points to maintain seventh place in the series standings.
Walkinshaw commented: “I got a reasonable start for the first race of the weekend and opted to play it safe on the opening lap before having a good battle with Josh [Wakefield] on lap two. The car felt good in the early stages and I was able to push and close the gap to Colin [White] in seventh place, cutting his advantage by half within two laps, so it’s a shame I had an issue on the final lap.
“I lost all power heading into Hamilton and that caused the spin, but I quickly recovered to ensure I took another points-scoring finish. We’ve had a good look at the car and the data and found that there was a loose connection with one of the wires to the fuel pump which was causing the fuel surge, so we will have that fixed to come fighting back tomorrow.”
The lights will go green for round 16 of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at 09.40 tomorrow morning, with the third and final series race of the weekend taking place at 15.25. Race fans can follow the action live on ITV4 with live timing available via www.ginetta.com/live
Emma Spearing, Hazel PR:
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