Media Release: Walkinshaw Ready To Fight Back At Oulton Park
Oxford (UK) – Friday, June 11, 2012; Fergus Walkinshaw will resume his Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Championship charge and podium mission at Oulton Park, on June 9 & 10, as the British Touring Car Championship and support rounds return to racing after a month-long break.
Walkinshaw heads into the double-header weekend at the Cheshire circuit lying eighth in the championship battle during his first full competition campaign in three years. The 21 year-old has already proved to be one of the series’ front-runners, with his first Ginetta G55 podium scored in only the second round of the season. Since then, Walkinshaw has recorded a solid string of point-scoring finishes, including four top six results.
The Oxfordshire racer, however, suffered a minor set-back at the last series rounds at Thruxton, where two non-finishes in appalling weather conditions dropped him from fifth to eighth in the title fight. Once again underlining his potential, Walkinshaw delivered his strongest qualifying performance of the season at the Hampshire circuit with third fastest, which he turned into a solid fifth place amid changeable weather conditions for round seven.
The Century Motorsport driver’s podium aspirations, however, were demolished when he aquaplaned off the circuit while running a strong fourth and unluckily hit a dirt mound causing significant front-end damage. Despite a record rebuild of the #91 car to get back on track, running six laps down he did not qualify for championship points in round nine.
After the break in his racing schedule, which allowed the Oxford Brookes University Automotive Engineering student to focus on his second year-end exams, Walkinshaw is ready to resume his title fight. Standing on 116 points, just 36 adrift of fourth place – the sum of one race win and fastest lap – Walkinshaw wants to put his poor luck behind him at what is one of his preferred circuits on the 2012 calendar.
With the introduction of the new Ginetta-supplied differential, which has already seen seven tenths of a second reduction in his Oulton Park lap times in recent testing, and Walkinshaw’s natural skill there’s every chance he can climb back up the title table next weekend.
“Following a really disappointing weekend at Thruxton it’s been good to have the break in racing to really get the car back to full set-up,” said Walkinshaw. “I’m really pleased with our progress in testing and by how well the car is responding to the new differential.
“We briefly ran the new differential in testing and the car immediately felt a lot better. I don’t have to rev the engine so high in the lower gears, which at tracks like Oulton Park will make a great difference. The improvement in lap times was obvious.
“With two DNFs at Thruxton I need decent finishes and points on the board. I’m putting my recent poor luck behind me and I’m going for it. I think I’ve got a reasonably good chance of recovering my championship position on my Ginetta G55 debut on the Island circuit.
“We’ve got a couple of test sessions lined-up before the race weekend, where I’ll be polishing off my racing lines on what is quite a technical circuit, and tweaking the set-up with the new differential. I’m really enjoying driving the car at the moment and hope that helps put me back on course for my championship fight.”
The Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Championship action at Oulton Park starts with qualifying at 09.00 on Saturday, June 9, followed by round 10 at 15.35. The second 15-lap race for round 11 will be held at 13.42 on Sunday, shown live on ITV4, while live timing is available at the GINETTA LIVE portal www.ginetta.com/live
Emma Spearing, Hazel PR:
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