Crees Extends Championship Lead With Sublime Snetterton Victories
Michael Crees has increased his lead at the top of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup ‘AM Class’ points standings after taking a sensational double victory in the latest rounds at Snetterton this past weekend (28/29 July). The Premier Contract Supplies supported racer produced a pair of last gap victories in the first two races of the weekend, crucially securing the lead on the final lap in both, before taking second place in the final encounter to make it a brilliant six consecutive podium finishes in the series. Crees headed into the meeting with fond memories of the Snetterton circuit having won three races in Norfolk last year in his title-winning GRDC+ campaign, and his affinity with the circuit was clear during an official test there earlier this month as he set the AM class pace in every session. That class-leading speed continued on Friday as the Nutanix backed driver ended the two free practice sessions over a second faster than any of his AM rivals, which gave him the perfect platform from which to challenge for pole position on Saturday. Qualifying wouldn’t go entirely Crees’ way after an early issue with track limits forced him to adapt his driving style, however he did so superbly as a best effort of 1m 56.431s put him on top in the AM class by over half a second for a fourth pole position out of five sessions this year. The Broadstairs-based driver headed into the opening race later that day with the class win firmly in his sights, however he would have to work hard for it as a fast-starting Colin White grabbed the advantage on the opening lap. After a brief battle with Pro driver Adam Higgins, Crees’ attention turned back to White and he would go on to enjoy a thrilling duel with the ultra-experienced two-time AM class champion, the duo producing some fantastic side-by-side racing. Their fight would come down to the last corner on the final lap of the race, with a bold move from Crees earning him a brilliant victory in his Century Motorsport Ginetta G55, and with it the class pole position once again for race two the following morning. It was a similar story at the start as White stormed ahead to take the lead in torrential rain, with the spray created by the cars in front leaving Crees with limited visibility over the first portion of the race before conditions started to improve. Chipping away at an initial three second advantage for the leader, the Kent racer would be right on his tail as they entered the closing laps and once again it would come down to the final lap of the race, with Crees storming past at Agostini to take his sixth win of the season so far. The victory ensured Crees started from fourth on the reverse grid for the final race of the weekend, which was televised live on ITV4 and would feature a fascinating battle of tyre strategies on a drying circuit. Crees chose the safer option of wet tyres and it would work in his favour initially as he stormed to a five second class lead, however it quickly became apparent that those running slick rubber were gaining speed as the track conditions improved. Fortunately for Crees, it was only White in the AM class who had selected those tyres, meaning that while his adversary went on to take the win, a composed drive from Crees would bring him home in second to complete a podium hat-trick for the weekend. The Hansgrohe, Creesons, DDS Demolition, Daikin, Roca, DPC Group, RadiatorsOnline.com, SMG Croydon, Merlyn Showering, Laufen, ETMS Highways and Imperial Render Solutions supported racer now holds a nine point championship lead heading into the next rounds at Rockingham in Corby (11/12 August). Michael Crees: “Two wins and a second place … it’s unbelievable. If you had offered me that at the start of the meeting I would have taken it in a flash. To come out of the weekend having extended our championship lead as well is fantastic. “It was a crazy meeting, going from 35 degree heat to torrential rain in 48 hours. The changing conditions was a real learning curve for me and it was great to have that variable in the mix to adapt to and learn from. It’s all valuable experience as I continue to grow in the sport. “It was great to top qualifying once again after missing out at Croft, however it certainly wasn’t easy converting pole into the win. Colin White was a formidable foe in the first two races, he’s such an experienced racer and it’s a real test trying to beat him one-on-one. “To grab the win on the last lap on both occasions was amazing, and to then follow it up with second place in the final race is a dream weekend for me. Race three was tricky with the tyre gamble, but we made the safe choice with the focus on getting more championship points under our belt. “It’s been an awesome weekend and I can’t thank Century Motorsport enough for giving me a brilliant race car, as well as all my loyal sponsors for making this possible. I’m looking forward to Rockingham and hopefully we’ll be fighting for the wins once again.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.