- Simon Paice
Snetterton Podium Keeps Garnett In Title Contention For Season Finale
Carl Garnett will head into the 2020 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season finale in contention for the Am class title after securing an eleventh podium finish of the season so far at Snetterton this past weekend (24/25 October). After enjoying a sensational run of eight consecutive class victories across the previous three race meetings, Garnett headed to Snetterton expecting it to be a tough ask to continue his winning streak as he tackled the technical 2.97 mile circuit for the first time in his Ginetta. Constantly changing weather conditions across Friday’s free practice sessions meant the Yorkshireman wasn’t able to get much running in the dry ahead of the weekend, but it didn’t faze him and he produced an impressive display in qualifying the next day. Garnett left it late after some mistakes early in the session behind the wheel of his AK Motorsport prepared Ginetta G55 GT4, but he hooked it up with a superb final effort to secure second in class on the grid for the opening race that afternoon. Unfortunately his hopes of challenging for a record-breaking ninth win were ended within 100 metres at the start, with cars closing on him either side leaving him with nowhere to go. Resulting contact led to a broken rear wheel and a long run back to the pitlane. Quick work from the team meant he was able to return to the track in his Telescope backed machine, albeit a lap down. That meant his focus was on getting to the finish and scoring some valuable championship points, which is exactly what he achieved. Race two on Sunday morning took place in tricky, greasy conditions following rain overnight. From fourth on the class grid, the York based racer made immediate progress to third place and soon latched onto the rear bumper of the next class contender. A dramatic moment three laps from the finish saw that driver spin heading through the high speed first corner. Garnett got tagged by the spinning car as he tried to take avoidance, but fortunately the damage wasn’t too severe and he was able to bring the car home in second place. With the class winner being a guest driver not eligible for championship points, Garnett therefore secured a maximum haul from the race. With confidence high, the Astrolite, ValetPro and AC Database Services backed racer would start third on the reverse grid for race three. Garnett held position through the opening lap before trading second place a couple of times in the early stages. Eventually settling in third again, he was on course for another podium result before contact from another driver sent him off the circuit. Fortunately able to continue, he came home fourth in class. The weekend’s results mean that he will head into the Brands Hatch season finale in three weeks’ time (14/15 November) only 15 points off the Am class championship lead with two races to come in Kent. Carl Garnett: “It’s been a frustrating weekend in the sense that our results didn’t reflect the speed we had, but luck just wasn’t with us this time around. The AK Motorsport team did a fantastic job with the car though and put me in the position to challenge for silverware. “It came together at the end for me in qualifying and that put me in a strong starting position for race one, but our podium challenge was over before it had even begun. To come back from that and finish second in race two was great and I’m pleased to have picked up some more silverware. “The incident in race three could have seen a guest driver cost me a chance at the championship, but I was able to get to the finish. We head into the final weekend with a shot at the title and that’s all we can ask for. I’m excited to see what we can do at Brands Hatch.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.