Media Release: Eighth At Oulton Park Helps Walkinshaw Close The Gap
Oulton Park, Cheshire – Saturday, June 9, 2012; Fergus Walkinshaw recovered vital Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Championship points in round 10 on Saturday June 9, by returning to his point-scoring ways with an eighth place finish at Oulton Park despite suffering from intermittent power loss throughout the first of two 15-lap races this weekend.
Returning to the fray after a six-week racing break, Walkinshaw is looking to make up for lost results following a troublesome last two rounds in horrendous conditions at Thruxton. Although he recorded a strong fifth place in round seven two non-finishes, after aquaplaning off the circuit into a dirt mound caused extensive front-end damage, dropped him from fifth to eighth in the championship battle.
Although recovering from a broken drive shaft, which stinted Walkinshaw’s progress in Friday’s official practice session, the 21 year-old delivered a solid qualifying stint in damp conditions on Saturday morning to record a best time of 1 minute 36.057 seconds and secure seventh on the grid for round 10.
A good start helped the Century Motorsport driver to hold his ground amid the tussle exiting Old Hall Corner and maintain seventh crossing the line for the first time. His progress, however, was called short when a temporary loss of power dropped him down to 10th on lap two.
Settling into the 15-lap foray, he soon started to post ever improving lap times as he slashed ninth-placed Colin White’s advantage by over one second on lap four. As the Oxfordshire racer proceeded to set four consecutive personal best lap times, the #91 Ginetta G55 clocked-in as the sixth fastest car around the 2.26-mile Island circuit on lap six.
With White responding to Walkinshaw’s constant charge, the gap between ninth and 10th place stretched until Walkinshaw countered with his fastest lap of the race on lap 10. The pair’s increasing pace saw them close on the three-car nose-to-tail fight for sixth until a battle between White and Jake Hill promoted Walkinshaw to ninth.
The Brands Hatch podium finisher was making advances on Century Motorsport team-mate Josh Wakefield, closing to within 0.6 seconds on the penultimate lap, when his intermittent power loss issue returned once again to ruin his advances.
While unable to make any further ground, Walkinshaw took the chequered flag in eighth place to close to within three championship points of seventh-placed Marcus Hoggarth in his bid to climb back up the title table.
“Of course, it’s good to get some points back on the board here at Oulton Park, but it would have been nice to have a trouble-free race for a change,” said Walkinshaw. “I started to experience power loss from lap two, that’s why three cars went sailing past on the back part of the track. I couldn’t do anything to defend my position.
“Although I managed to set improving lap times I wasn’t able to push as much as I would have liked or challenge for position. We need to have a look at the car and data to see what the problem is, but I’m sure that we can solve it to ensure we take another strong points-scoring finish tomorrow.”
Round 11 of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Oulton Park follows at 13.42 tomorrow, Sunday June 10. 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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