Carl Garnett has kicked off his 2020 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup campaign with a hard-fought class podium finish during the opening rounds at Donington Park this past weekend (01/02 August).
After a near four month delay to the start of the season due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Garnett was raring to go for his second year in the GT4 SuperCup. He returned to the grid with AK Motorsport, with whom he secured four Am class podium finishes in his maiden campaign.
With no opportunities to test since the lockdown was eased and motorsport resumed in the UK, Garnett used Friday’s two free practice sessions to get back up to speed behind the wheel of his 355bhp Ginetta G55 GT4 ahead of three races across the weekend.
The Telescope supported driver put in a strong performance in qualifying on Saturday morning, putting himself third on the grid within the competitive Am class field. That set him up for a podium challenge in the opening race that afternoon.
While he slipped to fourth in the early stages, Garnett kept a consistent pace across the first half of the race and his efforts were rewarded on lap eight as he grabbed third place. He went on to hold the position to the finish for his fifth career podium in the series.
Unfortunately that proved to be the highlight of the weekend, as luck seemingly deserted the York based racer from then on. On the opening lap of race two, he was unable to avoid a spinning car ahead of him down the high-speed Craner Curves, resulting in heavy damage to his car.
A fantastic effort from the AK Motorsport team got the car back out for race three, with the reverse grid putting Garnett on the class pole position. A brilliant run in the early stages saw him maintain the lead in his Astrolite, ValetPro and AC Database Services backed machine.
Unfortunately on lap eight, two cars came to blows inside him heading into the final chicane and one was send into the side of his car. Following a pitstop to assess the damage, Garnett returned to the action at the back of the pack and got some championship points with fourth in class.
Carl Garnett: “It’s frustrating that after such a positive start in race one, luck really turned against me. I was caught up in two incidents completely out of my control and lost the chance to pick up some more silverware to start the season.
“I was on the back foot heading into the weekend having been unable to test in recent months, so I’m pretty pleased with the improvements I was able to make over the course of the meeting. To reach the point where we had the pace to win the final race was brilliant.
“A massive thank you to the AK Motorsport team for all their hard work over the weekend, first with getting the set-up maximised on Friday and Saturday, then getting the car fixed quickly on Sunday. We’ll dust ourselves off and come back stronger this weekend.”
There’s no rest in the revised 2020 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup calendar, with round two coming up this weekend (08/09 August) on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.