- Simon Paice
Breakell Racing Close 2021 Ginetta And Prototype Campaigns With Strong Results
Breakell Racing have brought their main 2021 race season to a close with a busy fortnight of racing across the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship, Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge and Sports Prototype Cup.
The Lancashire team concluded their first year as part of the prestigious British Touring Car Championship support package this past weekend (23/24 October), with the Juniors and GT4 SuperCup racing on the world-famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
Aqil Alibhai has led their charge in the Juniors this season and the rising star produced another impressive display to end the year. Left 21st on the timesheets after a red flag plagued qualifying session, he bounced back in style with three brilliant race performances.
The South African racer fought his way through the competitive midfield pack and gained at least six places in each outing. The standout drive saw him go from 25th to 16th in race two, before he moved up to ninth in the final race for a fourth top ten result of his rookie year.
An exciting change for the season finale saw Breakell Racing expand to a two-car Junior entry for the first time at Brands Hatch, with AJ Rock joining the team for the weekend as part of an agreement with Team HARD.
Contesting only his third ever appearance in the series, the young talent showed great progression across the meeting. Moving forwards in the first two races, he ended up netting a best result of 22nd overall and 14th in the rookie ranks.
Reece Somerfield meanwhile brought his latest GT4 SuperCup campaign to a close with a competitive showing in Kent. Battling on the fringes of the top ten in race one, he was then unfortunately caught up in an incident outside of his control at the start of race two.
With his Ginetta G55 GT4 receiving significant damage, it took a heroic effort from the team and other helpers in the paddock to get it back on track for the final race. Somerfield rewarded their efforts with a charge from the back of the class grid to a top ten finish.
James Breakell - Team Principal: “It’s been fantastic competing as part of the British Touring Car Championship support package this season, with big crowds at the circuits and seeing our drivers racing live on ITV4.
“Aqil [Alibhai] has been superb this season and highlighted his potential again this weekend. He pulled off some great overtaking moves to gain places in each race, and was a brilliant fourth of the rookies in race three. It was a fitting end to the year for him and his future is bright.
“We enjoyed having AJ [Rock] in the team for the first time and he made good steps forward around what is a tricky circuit to tackle for the first time. Reece [Somerfield] had luck against him across the meeting, but kept fighting and got that top ten result in the end.
“We’re ready to expand our presence across Ginetta’s ladder of championships next season, on both the BTCC and British GT support bills, and we’ve had some opportunities recently to test all the different Ginetta models to ensure we can provide the best packages to our drivers.”
One week prior (16/17 October), the Clitheroe based squad were at Donington Park to compete in the final three races of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge. An expanded two car entry saw Sean Peters return to the grid alongside Ginetta newcomer Sam Callahan.
For Callahan, it marked his first time ever in the car and the highest profile racing of his career to date. The Essex based racer took the challenge in his stride and made good progress across the meeting in both dry and wet conditions, ending with a top six class finish in the final race.
Peters meanwhile was making his fourth appearance of the season, joining Callahan in the competitive GT5 Am class. Continuing his education in the championship, he scored a good top six result of his own in the second encounter.
James Breakell: “It was a late deal with Sam [Callahan] and his first time ever in the car was in testing on Thursday. Considering that, he acquitted himself well in a very competitive championship and deserved to break into the top six in the last race.
“Sean [Peters] has made good progress across his outings this season and it was more of the same this weekend. As a team, we’ve really enjoyed competing in the GT5 Challenge, as the racing is incredibly close and exciting, and there’s a great camaraderie in the paddock.”
Breakell Racing were on double duty this past Saturday (23rd October) meanwhile, contesting the Sports Prototype Cup finale at Donington Park. Peter Brookes joined the team for the first time this season with previous experience behind the wheel of a Revolution A-One.
An issue in qualifying left him at the back of the grid for both of the day’s races, but he produced a great comeback in the opener. Fighting his way into the top ten by the end of lap two, he then made further progress across the first half of the race.
Enjoying some exciting wheel-to-wheel racing, he ended up taking the chequered flag in eighth overall and a brilliant third in the Revolution class. He went on to back up that podium result by finishing race two a strong fifth of the Revolutions.
James Breakell: “It’s a shame that it’s been such a small season in the Sports Prototype Cup with only three events, but we’ve had some good moments this year, especially getting the chance to race at Monza on a Formula 1 weekend.
“It was great to have Peter [Brookes] with us at Donington Park and after suffering some misfortune in qualifying, he did a great job in the races. We’re delighted to end our season in the championship with a podium finish.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.