- Simon Paice
Crees Continues Supercup Title Charge With Dream Silverstone Hat-Trick
Michael Crees will enter the final rounds of the 2018 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup with a superb 72 point lead at the top of the AM class standings after taking a sensational trio of victories at Silverstone this past weekend (15/16 September). A stunning display in Northamptonshire saw Crees storm to his first hat-trick of wins in the same meeting, a remarkable feat that has put him in command of the title fight heading into the season finale at his home circuit, Brands Hatch, at the end of the month. Crees headed into the penultimate meeting of the season in a rich vein of form and it showed in the lead up to the weekend as he topped the timesheets in both testing on Thursday and free practice the following day in his Century Motorsport Ginetta G55. The Premier Contract Supplies backed driver would unfortunately miss out on a sixth pole position of the campaign during qualifying the next day though; albeit by the tinniest of margins as incredibly just five thousandths of a second separated him from top spot. Crees, who celebrated his 35th birthday earlier this month, hit back in the opening race of the weekend that afternoon though as after maintaining second place for the opening laps, he pounced on a mistake from the class leader to grab the lead on lap four. From there it was a controlled drive to victory from the Nutanix supported racer, who showed fantastic pace to post the fastest lap in the class as he kept his title rivals behind and threatened some of the Pro contenders in front on his way to the chequered flag. That gave him the class pole position for the first of Sunday’s two races, and the Kent racer took full advantage as he led the way from start-to-finish, successfully negotiating a mid-race safety car restart on his way to victory in front of a huge trackside crowd. The reverse grid draw put him into fourth place for the final race of the day in front of the live ITV4 television cameras, but that didn’t faze him as he excellently fought his way through to the lead in less than seven laps and held it to the finish with another fastest lap to boot. The weekend’s success has extended his run to twelve podium finishes in a row including nine victories, which coupled with an unfortunate race three retirement for his chief title rival means that the reigning GRDC+ champion has taken a commanding lead atop the standings. Crees now heads into the final three races of the season around the world famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in two weeks’ time (29/30 September) with his destiny in his own hands as he tries to make it a superb two titles in his first two years of car-racing. Michael Crees: “I honestly started to feel like the hat-trick of wins was never going to come, so to achieve it and especially at the ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ Silverstone is a truly special feeling and it’s something I will never forget. “It took me a while to really get to grips with the high-speed sections around the National layout, but I grew to love the track and started to feel at home here. To miss out on pole by such a tiny margin was frustrating, but we were still in a superb position for the races. “To come through to three victories is amazing. Century Motorsport gave me a truly fantastic car across the meeting and that meant I was able to attack the races, build gaps and control the pace of the race whenever I got the chance. “We have a healthy lead now heading to Brands Hatch, but my mind-set doesn’t change. I’m not going to be focusing on the points and permutations, I’m going there to try and win all three races and bring an amazing season to an end on the biggest of highs.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.