Michael Crees would once again be the driver to beat in the AM class of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Donington Park as he stormed to a pole position and race victory for the second time in as many meetings.
Following an eye-catching debut at Brands Hatch three weeks ago, Crees would set the pace once again as the championship reconvened in Leicestershire, with a pair of class podium finishes making it four top three finishes in his first six races.
That’s a remarkable statistic for a driver competing in only his second ever season of car-racing against a field full of many more experienced drivers, but Crees has certainly become right at home behind the wheel of his 355bhp Ginetta G55 GT4.
Under the glorious spring sunshine, the Premier Contract Supplies supported driver would start the meeting as he wanted to go on by topping the timesheets during pre-event testing on Thursday, a result he would on to replicate in qualifying on Saturday.
Despite the weather having changed to tricky wet conditions, Crees was unfazed as an incredible lap time of 1m 21.006s put him seventh fastest overall and earnt him a second consecutive class pole position by a mammoth seven tenths of a second.
With the AM drivers placed behind all their Pro class counterparts on the grids, Crees would line up in twelfth position for race one that afternoon, with a great start seeing him storm to a near two second class lead by the end of the opening lap alone.
From then on, the Nutanix and Hansgrohe backed racer would be in a class of his own as he posted a fastest lap time that was half a second quicker than any of his AM rivals on his way to a dominant six second success – his second win in four Supercup starts.
Starting on class pole once again for race two the following morning, Crees would enjoy a thrilling battle with the two most experienced drivers on the grid, Reece Somerfield and Colin White, over the first half of the race, coming out on top as he rose to seventh overall.
Unfortunately his race would unravel following a mid-race safety car period though, as an issue with his gear selector would leave him stuck in gear for a number of laps before he was forced to pull over into retirement on the very last lap of the race.
That left the Broadstairs-based driver at the back of the field for the final race of the weekend, but in front of over twenty thousand fans trackside and many more live on ITV4, he produced a thrilling charge through the field to pick up a second podium of the meeting.
Crees would gain four places in the opening four laps alone, before storming forwards to second in class with six laps to go. After closing onto the leader, he gave it everything to try and grab the victory on the final tour, but he would have to settle for second at the flag.
That capped off another fantastic weekend for the 34 year old, who would impressively post the fastest lap in class in all three races to add to his two podium finishes, with those results maintaining his second position in the points standings.
Michael Crees: “It’s been an incredible weekend. We were fastest in practice and qualifying, took two podium finishes including a win and the fastest lap in all three races, which all in all is pretty great weekend considering it’s only our second meeting in the championship.
“Unfortunately it didn’t all go to plan with the retirement in race two, especially when we were on course for another win, but that’s motorsport and these unpredictable incidents can always happen so I can’t complain that much at all.
“We’ve had an awesome start to the season and now I’m going to go on holiday with my family, relax, recuperate and reflect on the success we’ve achieved, before coming back at Oulton Park in June with our focus firmly on getting some more silverware!”
There is now a six week break before the next rounds at Oulton Park (09/10 June), where Crees will race with the continued support of Creesons, DDS Demolition, Daikin, Roca, DPC Group, RadiatorsOnline.com, SMG Croydon, Viega, Towelrads and Merlyn Showering.
Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.