Media Release: Walkinshaw Opens 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup Account With Sixth
Brands Hatch, Kent – Saturday, March 31, 2012; Fergus Walkinshaw opened his 2012 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup account in solid fashion on Saturday, March 31, with sixth overall securing valuable championship points on his Brands Hatch Indy circuit debut in his self-built Ginetta G55.
Walkinshaw, who turns 21 next Friday (April 6), set out his stall in confident style in qualifying on Saturday morning. One of the first of the Ginetta Supercup field to get on the pace and top the timesheets on only his second lap, he posted consistently improving times throughout the 20-minute session despite battling with a brake issue caused by extensive rubber pick-up around the 1.198-mile track.
The Oxfordshire racer’s best time of 47.864 seconds slashed his previous personal best from Friday practice by over half a second and secured eighth on the grid for round one. In one of the fastest series qualifying sessions ever recalled, barely five tenths of a second covered the top eight cars promising a fierce fight for the G55 Cup this season.
A solid race start on Saturday afternoon saw Walkinshaw vying for position three-wide approaching Paddock Hill Bend, but he sensibly relinquished and temporarily dropped to ninth before retaking eighth when Colin White ran wide.
Amid the front-field battle, the Century Motorsport driver allowed the opening lap tussles to unfold before making his move on seventh-placed Jamie Orton heading down the Brabham Straight to start lap two.
Although Orton stayed in close contention for a few laps, Walkinshaw held sway and moved up to sixth when Andy Richardson took a drive-through penalty from second place. By lap nine of 16 Walkinshaw enjoyed more than a five second buffer to seventh-placed White.
Running in a comfortable position, the Oxford Brookes University Automotive Engineering student set his best race pace of 48.240 seconds on lap 12 on his way to securing sixth and his first valuable championship points at the chequered flag.
“A sixth place finish is a good way to start the season,” said Walkinshaw. “I’ve already said that the key to the championship fight will be taking consistent points and that’s exactly what I’ve achieved today.
“Qualifying was promising this morning. I lost a few tenths due to a braking issue caused by a large marble of rubber fusing itself to the brake pad and caliper, which was easily resolved for the race.
“I got a reasonable start but Carl Breeze got a flyer and came up the middle. It got a little tight going into Paddock Hill Bend. I wanted to avoid getting pushed wide so pulled back to hold position and when Jamie [Orton] went wide at Clearways I got a good run on him down the straight.
“Bit by bit I was chipping away at my teammate Hunter Abbott but I lost time lapping the G50 of James Owen. I had a good margin on Colin [White] so I decided to ease back and conserve the cars and tyres. With the field so evenly matched we should have some close races tomorrow. How close will depend on whether people have looked after their tyres. It should be interesting.”
Walkinshaw will be back on track at 10.20 tomorrow (Sunday) morning for his first 24-lap race of the season, followed by round three at 15.40, which will be aired live on ITV4.
Notes to Editors
Visit the new Fergus Walkinshaw website at www.ferguswalkinshaw.com
Emma Spearing, Hazel PR:
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