Ginetta GT4 Supercup ace George Gamble bagged a solid haul of points at Oulton Park this weekend (20/21 May) to ensure he stays in the race for the championship title, leaving the Cheshire circuit in third spot in the standings.
The Amigos backed Ginetta pilot headed to the third circuit of the season with hopes of repeating his double race win on the opening Brands Hatch meeting back in April, but was nevertheless pleased to leave Oulton Park with another 40 points to add to his tally.
Enduring a tough weekend in the sister Amigos Tequila Beer, Simpson Race Products GT4, Chesterfield’s Seb Perez suffered from a low qualifying spot on the opening race of the weekend to take ninth in race one and 11th in the second. He leaves the circuit with a championship position of eighth, albeit just 29 points away from a podium place.
The weather would play its part in deciding the race one result for Gamble and Perez. Despite the race itself being dry, qualifying on Saturday morning was a different affair with heavy showers interrupting the session part way though. Making the decision on when to set the flying lap for grid position would be ultra-critical, but both Amigos driver’s missed out on the “prime” time by seconds and the drying track turned wet once again. Tenth for Gamble, 11th for Perez would be all they could manage in the now sodden circuit.
Gamble put in a mature drive throughout the first race and as drivers began to get tangled up around him, making use of the battle going on in front of him to edge his way through the field. The ultra-tight Oulton circuit offers very few opportunities for passing; the wide-bodied Ginetta GT4’s making that feat even more impressive and by the time the flag dropped, Gamble had charged up the order to fifth.
Perez was another to make headway up the field but the almost train-like procession made passing harder work than usual. Ninth was small consolidation, still smarting from a lowly grid position.
The Ginetta drivers would have to wait until Sunday afternoon for the second race of the weekend which was a much warmer affair than the previous day’s racing. Gamble lined up in fifth spot and after a good start, held firm his position for the remainder of the 15 tours of the circuit. A safety car towards the mid-point of the race meant the distance would fall to time-left rather than laps but unfazed by the stutter to the pace, Gamble crossed the line in the position he started.
“I`m pleased to pick up more points for the championship but probably like Seb, I missed out on the prime qualifying time which hampered progress through race one” said Gamble.
“Oulton Park is so narrow and it’s hard to pull off any passing manoeuvres without taking massive risks. There are probably only one or two real chances here so making any inroads on my grid slot was a tall order. But there is a long way to go in the championship and we are still in a good position going into Croft”.
Perez suffered from a bogged start in the second and combined with not feeling at one with the GT4 throughout the remainder of the race, brought the Ginetta home in 11th.
“We haven’t really had much luck this weekend” said Perez after race two.
“We probably missed our chance to get a decent grid slot in qualifying by a minute or so but the weather caught us out so we made it hard work for ourselves really. That makes race two difficult and I really couldn’t get a good feeling with the car today. It didn’t feel right up through the gears so the team will take a look at that. It’s been frustrating but the points are always useful and we are just a few good results away from the podium positions”.
Rounds 9 and 10 take the championship to Croft Race Circuit in North Yorkshire on the 10th/11th June.
Ginetta GT4 Supercup Championship Points after Oulton Park
|POS & DRIVER||TOTAL|
Perez image courtesy of James Roberts
Gamble image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography