Buckinghamshire racer Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke saw race-ending contact from another driver twice deny him of a potential podium finish during a frustrating fourth meeting of the 2018 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup season at Croft this past weekend (23/24 June).
Gordon-Colebrooke showed tremendous front-running pace once again in North Yorkshire, having superbly qualified on the front row two weeks’ prior at Oulton Park, however a breakthrough podium finish in the championship would cruelly be taken away from him on two occasions.
The Croft meeting would mark the 25 year old’s first ever visit to the Dalton-On-Tees venue, which meant that Friday’s two free practice sessions had added importance as he got to grips with the technical 2.13 mile circuit in his 355bhp Ginetta G55 GT4.
His efforts would be rewarded the following morning as a tremendous run in qualifying put him in the top four for a second meeting in a row, with a blistering effort of 1m 23.886s seeing him finish less than two tenths of a second off pole position in fourth.
That performance put him in buoyant mood heading into the first race that afternoon and after maintaining position through a busy opening few laps, Gordon-Colebrooke capitalised on a mistake by a driver ahead to move into the podium places.
It would sadly be short-lived for the WHIreland Wealth Management backed racer though, as heavy contact to the rear of his car heading into the high-speed chicane sent him spinning round into a tyre stack, forcing him into an instant retirement.
Not only did the incident cost Gordon-Colebrooke a potential podium finish, but it also meant he would have to line-up at the back of the Pro class field for race two on Sunday afternoon; the first of two races being televised live on ITV4.
A great display from the former Monoposto class champion saw him seize a number of opportunities to calmly work his way up the order to sixth position at the chequered flag, his best race finish of the season so far with Century Motorsport.
Gordon-Colebrooke would start race three strongly as he held sixth place early on, however it sadly wouldn’t last as the same driver from race one once again hit his 3c Test Ltd and Tyrrell Automotive supported Ginetta, causing race-ending damage for a second time.
While the driver in question was penalised on both occasions, with a grid penalty after race two and then exclusion from race three, that unfortunately proved scant consolation for Gordon-Colebrooke as he came away with two non-finishes.
The Lillingstone Dayrell-based driver still heads into the championship’s summer break in positive spirits though after making huge strides forward over the first half of the season, with his pace at Oulton Park and Croft proving he’s there to stay at the front of the field.
Gordon-Colebrooke, whose part of the Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) stable, will return to action in five weeks’ time (28/29 July) as the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup heads to Snetterton in Norfolk for Rounds Twelve, Thirteen and Fourteen.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke: “This has truly been a weekend of immense frustration. We had exceptional pace in the car, the Century Motorsport team did a superb job all weekend, but we were denied the breakthrough podium result we deserved.
“Both moves from the other driver were completely unnecessary and they ruined my weekend. While I’m glad he got penalised for them, that doesn’t get back the two top three finishes that I know we had the speed to achieve this weekend.
“Qualifying in fourth, just two tenths off pole, proves that Oulton Park wasn’t just a one-off for us. While we did come away with our best result of the season so far with sixth, we know we are capable of achieving so much more this season.
“It was a big step for me moving into the Supercup and it’s been a massive learning curve. We’ve made some fantastic progress though, joining the battle at the front of the field, and I’m looking forward to regrouping over the summer, and coming back even stronger at Snetterton.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.