Breakell Racing Enjoy Positive Ginetta Weekend At Snetterton
Breakell Racing continued their Ginetta education this past weekend (12/13 June), with some strong progression and points finishes from an expanded double entry in the second meeting of the BTCC season at Snetterton.
Continuing their exciting new-for-2021 programme in Ginetta racing, the Lancashire team ran Aqil Alibhai for his second event in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship, as well as debuting in the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup with experienced racer Reece Somerfield.
Following a strong debut at Thruxton last month, Alibhai continued his development in the UK’s most competitive Junior series. Snetterton provided a vastly different challenge for the 14 year old as the longest and most technical circuit on the calendar.
Alibhai improved his lap times by almost two seconds between Friday’s opening free practice session and qualifying the next morning, with a competitive run securing him 24th on the grid for the first two races of the weekend.
After finishing 23rd in the opening race, Alibhai’s best performance came in race two as he superbly fought his way up the order to 19th position. That secured him a richly deserved second points finish of the season, though sadly his hopes for another in race three were dashed on lap one.
During a chaotic lap, Alibhai got caught up in an incident outside of his control and had to pit with bonnet damage. A fantastic effort by the Breakell Racing team got the car turned around and back on track though and he went on to continue his impressive record of finishing every race so far this season by taking the flag in 21st.
The GT4 SuperCup is Ginetta’s flagship one-make championship meanwhile, with new recruit Somerfield being one of the most experienced drivers in the series as he entered his tenth consecutive season with more than 200 race starts to his name.
Tapping into the former race-winner’s wealth of knowledge, Breakell Racing quickly got to grips with their 355bhp Ginetta G55. After dealing with some teething problems in the car following a winter rebuild, some positive work on the car setup helped Somerfield go on a charge in the races.
From 14th on the grid, the West Midlands based racer picked his way through the pack to 10th place in the opener, before gaining more ground to eighth in the next outing. Somerfield, who is a former Caterham Supersport champion, then completed a top ten hat-trick for the weekend with eighth again in race three.
James Breakell - Team Principal:“We’re pleased with our weekend at Snetterton. This is arguably the toughest circuit on the calendar for rookie Junior drivers, so we knew it was going to be a steep learning curve for Aqil, but he rose to the challenge.
“With the support of our driver coach Max Coates, he improved his pace across every session and put in a couple of great performances in some very close fought races. Unfortunately he missed the chance to make further progress in race three, but it’s still been a good weekend all round.
“It was a late and unexpected deal to run Reece this season, which came together thanks to Max. The GT4 SuperCup is an incredibly competitive championship, but we knew with Reece’s experience that he’d do a great job.
“Friday was essentially a shakedown for the car after its winter rebuild, so once we’d ironed out the issues, Reece was able to go out and do a fantastic job in the races. He made some good progress up the order and we’re confident we can push for some front-running results together this year.”
Breakell Racing continue their 2021 season in two weeks’ time (26/27 June) with all three of their Ginetta’s racing. Aqil Alibhai and Reece Somerfield will be back in action at Brands Hatch, while Morten Dons will compete in the GT5 Challenge at Silverstone with British GT.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.