- Simon Paice
Crees Continues Sensational Form With Double Rockingham Success
Michael Crees has increased his advantage at the top of the 2018 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup ‘AM Class’ standings to twenty-two points following a fantastic double victory at Rockingham this past weekend (11/12 August). Crees headed into the weekend in sensational form with four victories in the previous six races, and that continued at the Northamptonshire circuit as he propelled his Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 to a hat-trick of podium finishes, extending his current run to nine in a row. Rockingham would provide an exciting challenge for the Kent racer, with its banked oval giving flat-out, high-speed thrills in his 380bhp Ginetta, something he relished as he stormed to the top of the class timesheets in a pre-event test on Wednesday. Crees would repeat that performance in changeable conditions during official Friday practice, which set him up perfectly for a brilliant performance in qualifying the next day as he secured a fifth pole position in six meetings so far this year by no less than six tenths of a second. The Premier Contract Supplies supported racer would convert that into a superb lights-to-flag victory in the opening encounter, with a solid start seeing him lead by half a second at the end of opening lap before maintaining that advantage over the first half of the race. Crees would then get the hammer down and extend his lead to three seconds, before a composed drive to the chequered flag completed a perfect victory, made even better by the fact he was crucially able to preserve his tyres on a circuit renowned for high degradation. That helped him heading into Sunday’s two races, the first of which would see Crees tackling a damp track on slick tyres. Adjusting well to the conditions, the Broadstairs-based racer settled into second in class and started to heap pressure on the leader. As the pair latched onto a big Pro class battle ahead, Crees was all over the rear of season-long rival Colin White for a large spell, however with a clear overtaking opportunity not presenting itself he would bring the car home in second for another crucial haul of championship points. Crees lined up third in class on the reverse grid for the final race of the weekend, with a great start in front of the live ITV4 television cameras seeing him immediately rise to second place, before he superbly grabbed the race lead on lap two. From there, it was another masterclass performance in the Nutanix-backed Ginetta G55 as Crees quickly built a healthy lead at the front and maintained it to the finish for victory, completing a clean sweep of fastest laps across the three races along the way. Crees’ eighth win of the season so far means he has increased his advantage atop the standings to a season-high twenty-two points as he continues his pursuit of a second car-racing title in two years of competition following his GRDC+ success last year. The Hansgrohe, Creesons, DDS Demolition, Daikin, Roca, DPC Group, RadiatorsOnline.com, SMG Croydon, Merlyn Showering, Laufen, ETMS Highways and Imperial Render Solutions supported driver is next on track at Silverstone on September 15/16. Michael Crees: “It’s been another phenomenal weekend, getting two wins and increasing the championship lead again. Nine podium finishes in a row is unbelievable and I keep having to pinch myself to believe the run of success we’re having. “I was expecting Rockingham to be one of my weaker circuits on the calendar, but I instantly jelled with the circuit in testing on Wednesday and it was great to carry that pace through practice on Friday and to take pole position in qualifying. “The races each presented their own challenges, but Century Motorsport gave me a brilliant car in all conditions and I was able to give it everything for victory in each. I enjoyed some really close, fast and fair racing out there and that’s a testament to the rest of the grid. “I really want to get a hat-trick of wins on the same weekend and I just missed out again this time around, but I can’t really complain at all. To build my championship lead to twenty-two points is a great position to be in heading into the final two meetings of the year.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.