Media Release: Walkinshaw Takes First Ginetta GT Supercup Podium At Brands Hatch
Brands Hatch, Kent – Sunday, April 1, 2012; Fergus Walkinshaw delivered an inspired drive to finish third and seal his first ever Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup podium in the second round of the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday, April 1. The upcoming young Scottish driver, however, was denied his first series race victory when contact to the rear of his self-built sportscar while leading round three pitched him in to a heavy accident from which he thankfully emerged unscathed.
With sixth already in the bag from Saturday’s opening round, Walkinshaw mounted his round two podium charge with a good start, taking two slots through Paddock Hill Bend to secure fourth. Leader Tom Sharp already had a good gap and amid the tight fight developing for second Andy Richardson took Walkinshaw on lap three. By lap four, Richardson and Tom Ingram were off in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, promoting Walkinshaw to third and signalling a safety car period until lap 12.
At the restart, the Century Motorsport driver took Carl Breeze around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend for second, which he retained until Colin White nipped past on lap 16. With Sharp enjoying a lead almost the length of the Brabham Straight, Walkinshaw was embroiled in a three-car battle for second and managed to keep White in his sights while staving off the attentions of teammate Hunter Abbott.
Barely five tenths of a second separated each car for over seven laps and although Abbott tried to get the run on Walkinshaw, the Oxfordshire racer failed to put a wheel wrong. Abbott, however, ran wide at Graham Hill Bend on lap 24 of 27 while Walkinshaw continued his mature and faultless drive to take his first Ginetta GT Supercup podium.
“It’s a good feeling to get my first Ginetta G55 podium: it means more to me than any other podium as I achieved it in the car I built,” said Walkinshaw. “It was a close race but a good battle. I might have flat-spotted a tyre in the first few laps as I had a strong vibration on the right front which made it difficult to turn left and caused some understeer. It cleared a couple of laps after the restart and I was able to start pushing again to catch Colin, but by that stage Hunter [Abbott] was closing in and I had to concentrate on defending third.”
Walkinshaw made a lightening start to command the lead off the line for the third and final race, stretching out nearly four tenths of a second from Sharp by the end of lap one. Sharp couldn’t make a move stick through Surtees and Clearways on lap two and Walkinshaw still held the advantage. But as the pair came onto the Brabham Straight, Sharp clipped the rear of the #91 car.
Propelled at speed in to the pit wall, Walkinshaw then shot across the track and spun end-to-end in the opposing tyre wall. A further heavy impact was thankfully avoided when a knock-on incident unfolded down the pack, with further cars coming to rest just a few feet away.
The resulting damage to the car which Walkinshaw built in just seven weeks last summer at Ginetta HQ was extensive, but the 20 year-old will be helping the Century Motorsport crew to rebuild it again this week.
“It’s pretty devastating to see such massive damage to the car in only the first race weekend of the season, even more so when I felt confident that I could have taken my first Ginetta GT Supercup win today,” said Walkinshaw.
“I nailed the start and got a reasonable gap. I gave Tom [Sharp] space through Surtees and we ran side-by -side through Clearways but I got better drive and kept in front. Then I just got hit from behind. I hit the pit wall hard and had several heavy impacts but thankfully the Ginetta held up well and did its job. I was just lucky that none of the cars in the follow-on incident hit me.
“There’s extensive damage to the front and rear of the car. The list of parts runs two pages long but I’ll be joining the Century Motorsport guys at the Banbury workshop tomorrow to start the rebuild. My sincere thanks go to the team for their support this weekend.”
Walkinshaw will be back on track for the next rounds of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Donington Park on April 14&15, where the series will continue to support the 2012 British Touring Car Championship.
Notes to Editors
Visit the new Fergus Walkinshaw website at www.ferguswalkinshaw.com
Emma Spearing, Hazel PR:
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