- Simon Paice
Carl Garnett Enjoys Dream Return With Double Ginetta Podium
Carl Garnett enjoyed a sensational return to racing this past weekend as he picked up a brilliant pair of second place finishes in his debut outing in the new Ginetta GT Championship at Oulton Park (08-10 April). Garnett made the trip to Cheshire full of enthusiasm as he prepared to go racing for the first time in almost 18 months. While traffic proved to be a problem during pre-event testing on Friday, it didn’t dampen his spirits as he headed into qualifying in his Breakell Racing-prepared Ginetta G56 GTP. A great performance saw Garnett finish up fourth fastest overall, with a top three berth only denied by a last gasp effort from his young team-mate Ruben Hage. Fourth quickly became second at the start of the opening race though, as Garnett produced a lightning getaway. Storming off the line and sweeping around the outside of Hage and Callum Davies, he settled into second place and kept tabs with the race leader in the early laps. The focus soon turned to pressure from behind though, with a calm drive seeing him keep Davies at arms’ length. Battling between the two drivers behind then presented Garnett with the opportunity to edge away from them, and he took full advantage to ultimately take the chequered flag in second place for the first overall podium finish of his racing career so far. A change of weather for Monday meant races two and three took place in wet conditions. Garnett produced another rocket launch in the first of those to once again rise from fourth to second, and he went on to hold the position throughout the race to make it a brilliant two podiums from two races. That results meant Garnett, who races with the support of Telescope, AC Database Services and Demon Tweeks Motorsport, would line up on the front row for the final race. Another great start meant he leapfrogged the pole-sitter to lead a Ginetta race overall for the first time. Unfortunately, a slide coming out of the Brittens chicane dropped him to third by the end of lap one, while a spin at the same corner in the increasingly treacherous conditions soon after meaning that he would eventually take the chequered flag in fourth place. Carl Garnett: ’“I’m over the moon with how this weekend has gone. Coming into it having not raced last year, against a competitive grid of drivers, I never expected to be near the podium battle. Therefore to come away with two trophies is beyond anything I could have dreamt of. “I’m really happy with my race starts and my pace across all conditions, so a huge thank you to Breakell Racing for giving me such a fantastic car for both the dry and wet. This is a great platform for us to try and build on heading into Silverstone and beyond.”
The 2023 Ginetta GT Championship season continues next month (06/07 May) with three races on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, once again in support of the British GT Championship.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.