- Simon Paice
Gordon-Colebrooke Shines At Rockingham With Season’s Best Result
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke once again showcased his podium potential in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup as he stormed to a season’s best fourth place in the sixth round of the 2018 season at Rockingham Motor Speedway (11/12 August). Following a tricky start to the second half of the season two weeks’ ago at Snetterton, Gordon-Colebrooke bounced back with an impressive display in Northamptonshire as he battled for the podium in two of the weekend’s three races. Returning to the scene of his first ever car-racing victory three years ago in Monoposto, the WHIreland Wealth Management supported driver built his confidence ahead of the weekend with strong pace in pre-event tests on Wednesday and Friday. Gordon-Colebrooke would encounter a rollercoaster session in qualifying on Saturday morning though, with early troubles leading to him heading into the second half of the session without a representative time, however a superb late burst secured him fifth on the grid. The Buckinghamshire racer backed that up with a stunning start to the opening race, with a fearless move seeing him run three-abreast around the high-speed oval banking heading into the Deene hairpin, which he emerged from in fourth place. Keeping tabs with the final podium contender over the first half of the race, Gordon-Colebrooke began to pile on the pressure in the closing stages and almost got ahead on the penultimate lap, before crossing the finish line just two tenths of a second adrift. The Lillingstone Dayrell-based driver faced a fresh challenge on Sunday morning as he took to a damp circuit on slick Michelin rubber, however it didn’t phase him off the line as a tremendous start launched him up to third place. That would unfortunately be the high point of Gordon-Colebrooke’s race though, as issues with grip and traction from his Ginetta ensuring it would be a case of damage limitation as he brought his Tyrrell Automotive and 3C Test Ltd backed machine home in ninth position. The final race of the weekend would generally be a more positive affair though as after a slow start dropped him back to ninth, Gordon-Colebrooke mounted a superb comeback drive as he picked his way past a number of series front-runners to climb to fifth place. That placed him into a thrilling three-way battle over the final podium position, with the Century Motorsport ace enjoying a starring role on the live ITV4 television coverage as he looked to make further progress up the order. Unfortunately for Gordon-Colebrooke, who competes as part of the Andy Priaulx Sports Management stable, a last lap attempt into Yentwood corner would go awry as contact from another driver forced him off into a gravel trap and out of the race. While frustrated about the retirement, Gordon-Colebrooke ended the weekend with plenty of positives to take into the final two meetings of his maiden Supercup campaign at Silverstone on September 15/16 and Brands Hatch two weeks later. Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke: “I’m really pleased with the pace we showed this weekend and I feel like we made another big step forward in the Supercup. While I missed out this time around, a first podium finish is firmly in my sights. “I have fond memories of Rockingham and with the pace we showed in Wednesday testing and Friday practice, I headed into the weekend in confident mood. Qualifying wasn’t easy, so to salvage a top five result was very pleasing. “I was over the moon with my performance in race one and if we’d have had an extra lap, I reckon I could have grabbed third. Either way, to get my best result of the season so far is a huge positive and I had hoped to build on it over the rest of the weekend. “We struggled in the conditions for race two and slipping back to ninth was frustrating, but I managed to fight back in the final race and I loved being able to go on the attack and make some overtakes, which was down to Century Motorsport giving me a great car. “The incident on the final lap was naturally frustrating as it cost me at least a fifth place finish, but I can’t dwell on it. We made big progress this weekend and now it’s all about using it as a platform to go on and enjoy a great end to the season.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.