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  • Simon Paice

Breakell Racing Enjoy Podium-Filled Conclusion To 2023 Season

Breakell Racing have enjoyed a phenomenal end to their 2023 race campaign, scoring a handful of podium finishes across endurance, sprint and historic racing over an exciting run of four consecutive season finale events this month.

The Clitheroe-based team’s first full season in the British Endurance Championship (BEC) came to a close on the Donington Park GP circuit (14 October), with the team’s talented driving duo of Tom Jackson and Ameerh Naran aiming to add to three podium finishes secured in the previous events.

A productive week of testing in their Mercedes-AMG GT4 leading up to the event came to a dramatic conclusion on the Friday, as an engine failure out of the team’s control led to a last-minute change of plans; the hiring of a McLaren 720S GT3 for the two-hour race the next day.

Jumping straight in at the deep end with no previous running in the car prior to qualifying, they adapted quickly and secured a strong fourth overall on the grid. Settling into a rhythm in tricky damp conditions at the start of the race, they soon went on the offensive.

Moving up to third overall at the half hour mark, it wasn’t long until they had risen to second position. Flawless driving performances from Jackson and Naran on a drying circuit led to them leading the race at one stage before coming home a fantastic second overall, just 13 seconds shy of the race-winners.

James Breakell - Team Principal:“It was quite a curveball to suddenly be heading into race day with a new car, but everyone in the team did a phenomenal job to adapt to the situation and do a perfect job on Saturday. We put a fast race car out on circuit, and Tom and Ameerh drove it superbly.

“We’ve really enjoyed our season competing in the British Endurance Championship, pitting ourselves against a high quality, competitive grid. Ameerh has shown fantastic progression through the year and Tom has been a class act, and we certainly hope to work with both of them again in future.”

Breakell Racing were back at Donington Park the following weekend (21-22 October) for the last three races of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship, with a fantastic finale seeing Ruben Hage and Karim Sekkat both pick up silverware to sign off the team’s hugely successful season.

Heading into the last weekend full of confidence having won three of the previous six races, Hage put himself in contention for more trophies with fifth place in qualifying. After finishing in the same spot in race one, his best performance of the weekend came in race two.

A brilliant opening lap saw the GT5 Challenge graduate avoid incident ahead of him and storm into the race lead. Trading the spot a couple of times in an exciting duel at the front, he came home with a brilliant seventh win of the year, which he followed up with fifth in the last race.

Sekkat ended his fourth consecutive season of GT5 racing with a seventh podium finish of the campaign. The Moroccan racer, who took a maiden win at Cadwell Park recently, built on a sixth-place finish in the opener and fought his way through to a superb third place in the final race.

Carl Garnett meanwhile endured a frustrating conclusion to the season. The five-time podium-finisher battled a number of car issues outside of his and the team’s control, which limited him to a best result of eighth overall in the final race of the year.

James Breakell - Team Principal:“We couldn’t be happier with how our Ginetta season has gone. To have accumulated 12 class wins, 35 podium finishes, 10 pole positions and 11 fastest laps is a testament to the talent of our drivers on track and everyone behind the scenes who have been working on the cars.

“Ruben’s run of form over the last few rounds has been phenomenal and he deserved to sign off with another win. Karim’s made brilliant progress this year and we’re delighted he could get another trophy, and while it’s a shame it was a tough finale for Carl, it takes nothing away from a brilliant season for him.”

The Breakell Racing’s final race event of the 2023 season (27-28 October) saw them head to the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal for their second appearance in the Masters Endurance Legends, with the aim of building on their stunning championship debut during the Silverstone Festival in August.

That weekend, Andy Cummings and Bradley Ellis secure a class win in the Morgan-Pescarolo LMP2 car’s first race since an extensive restoration and rebuild by the team. Cummings would be joined by Alvaro Fontes for the season-ending Algarve Classic Festival, with more silverware the target.

They got off to a perfect start during Friday’s two qualifying sessions, with great laps around the 2.9-mile ex-Formula 1 circuit securing them a brilliant pair of G2/P2 class pole positions in third overall.

Slotting into fourth for the first half of the opening race, they gained a position after the mid-race pitstop and a faultless drive netted them the class win in third place. There was better to come in race two, as another perfect performance doubled their win tally in an improved second overall.

James Breakell - Team Principal:“Considering the extensive work we put in during the restoration and rebuild of this car, it’s a great feeling to have come away with four podium finishes from four races across two prestigious historic racing festivals.

“It was brilliant to welcome Alvaro [Fontes] to the team alongside Andy [Cummings] and they both drove superbly across the event. We have loved being part of the historic racing paddock again and hope for more exciting projects like this in 2024.”

The Lancashire-based team started the month with the closer for the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB on the world-famous Brands Hatch GP circuit (07-08 October). Following on from a brilliant podium finish in the penultimate event at Silverstone, Reece Somerfield was determined to end the year on a high.

Unfortunately a cooling issue outside of the team’s control would hamper his progress through free practice and qualifying, leaving the former Ginetta GT4 SuperCup race-winner starting the opening two races of the weekend from the back of the grid.

Somerfield showed his characteristic fighting spirit though, storming up four places on the first lap of race one alone before battling through to a top six class finish. He produced a similar charge in the second race, getting up into the top six again before a heart-breaking conclusion to the weekend.

Aiming to gain a further place on the run to the final corner, he was unceremoniously forced onto the grass by another driver. The subsequent loss of traction led to a spin into a concrete bridge support, leading to huge damage to his Cayman and forcing him to sit out the final race of the season.

James Breakell - Team Principal: “We’re devastated with how the season ended. After some troubles in practice and qualifying out of our control, Reece was fired up for the races and put in a couple of great drives to move his way up the order and get into contention for a podium in the final race.

“Sadly he was cruelly denied the chance due to a questionable defensive move by a different driver. Once he was forced onto the grass, he was a passenger and its gutting to see the huge damage caused to the car. It’s been great racing with Reece again this year and we hope to continue working together in 2024.”


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