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  • Simon Paice

Breakell Racing Score Fantastic Maiden Ginetta Podium Finish

Breakell Racing have picked up their first podium finish in Ginetta competition, with Aqil Alibhai picking up his first piece of rookie class silverware during a breakthrough weekend in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship at Thruxton (28-29 August).

The long trip south to Hampshire completed a busy month of Ginetta racing for the Lancashire based team, with it being their fourth race event across August. Alongside Alibhai, they were once again running leading Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup talent Reece Somerfield.

After a superb performance last time out at Knockhill in which he scored the best qualifying and race results of his debut season so far, Alibhai headed to Thruxton in high spirits. Returning to the scene of his Ginetta debut back in May, he went on to enjoy a standout weekend.

The South African rising star finished inside the top six overall in both free practice sessions, and converted that pace into a new personal best qualifying result as he posted the sixth fastest time – finishing just two tenths of a second off pole position.

Initially slipping to tenth in race one, Alibhai produced a tremendous fightback to join a long train of cars battling over the podium places. Narrowly avoiding an incident ahead, he traded positions with the then championship leader in the closing laps en-route to sixth at the flag.

That result also netted him a maiden podium finish in the championship as he finished second in the rookie class, to the delight of the team and his family. Joining the top ten battle once again in races two and three, he came away with 12th and 14th place finishes.

Somerfield meanwhile enjoyed another hugely competitive showing in the GT4 SuperCup. Qualifying in a seasons’ best seventh position, he produced a great run in race one to challenge for the podium before slipping back to eighth at the finish. An unfortunate incident then resulted in a 13th place finish in race two.

He hit back in style with a brilliant drive in race three. An opening lap charge saw him rise four places to eighth, before he moved his way into the top six by mid-distance. Joining the podium battle ahead, more progress in the closing laps ended with him matching his best result of 2021 with fourth.

James Breakell - Team Principal:“It’s been a fantastic weekend. Aqil [Alibhai] has made another huge step forward this weekend and was a consistent threat in the top ten. Thruxton produces proper slipstreaming racing and he got to grips with it very well.

“He drove smartly to stay out of trouble in race one and get that breakthrough podium. It is the culmination of months of hard work from him and he really deserves it. We’re confident there’s more silverware to come over the remaining rounds this season.

“Reece [Somerfield] was unlucky not to pick up a trophy of his own as he was twice right in the mix for the podium. He had great pace out there and once again used all his experience to pull off some great overtaking moves. It was a joy to watch.”

The Clitheroe squad have another busy month ahead of them, with the return of the Sports Prototype Cup in support of Formula 1 at Monza on 11-12 September, before back-to-back Ginetta BTCC meetings at Croft and Silverstone the following two weekends.

Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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