Carl Garnett continued his fantastic podium record in the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup with another pair of top three finishes in the Pro Am class during the third meeting of the season at Oulton Park this past weekend (31 July / 01 August).
Garnett made to the trip to Cheshire with fond memories of taking his first two Ginetta wins at Oulton Park last season. After scoring second place finishes in each of the opening six races of 2021, a return to the top step of the podium was his main target for the weekend.
With five weeks having passed since the last rounds at Snetterton, Garnett used Friday’s two free practice sessions to get back up to speed with his AK Motorsport Ginetta G55. Changeable weather ensured he enjoyed productive running in both wet and dry conditions.
That proved crucial for Saturday as the weather changed across the day. In a close-fought qualifying session, the York based racer tamed a wet track to finish third quickest, a result he was pleased with up against the largest and most competitive Pro Am entry of the season so far.
The circuit had dried before the opening race that afternoon and Garnett continued to impress in his Telescope backed Ginetta. Trading second position in the early stages with 2020 adversary Stewart Lines, he made a move stick on lap three heading into a safety car period.
With a number of Pro drivers separating him from the class leader when the action resumed, he focused on controlling the gap to the pack behind and took the chequered flag in second. That result set the grid for race two, which was televised live on ITV4 on Sunday afternoon.
The Astrolite, ValetPro, AC Database Services and Demon Tweeks supported driver unfortunately lost a position through the first corner as he slowed in reaction to a spinning car ahead. Settling into third place, he set about trying to regain the place as the race developed.
It wasn’t to be however, with Garnett remaining third throughout. That still continued his brilliant 100% podium record for the 2021 season so far, with those results keeping him second in the Pro Am championship standings heading into the next rounds at Knockhill in Scotland (14/15 August).
Carl Garnett:“While I’m always happy with podium finishes and I’m really pleased to pick up a couple more this weekend, it’s a bittersweet feeling as we weren’t able to match the pace of the top guys in the class and that’s frustrating for us all.
“The mixed conditions on Friday gave us a good base setup with the car for whatever the weekend threw at us. Top three was the target in qualifying with it being wet and we achieved that, but my hopes to push on in the dry didn’t quite come together in the races.
“Either way, I’m still feeling good with such a consistent run of podiums so far this season. Returning to the top step is the goal and we’ll work hard to make some improvements ahead of Knockhill. That should be a fun event and I’m looking forward to it.
"I'd also like to take a moment to send my thoughts to the family and friends of the marshal that sadly lost their life at Brands Hatch on Saturday. The 'orange army' of volunteer marshals are the unsung heroes of our sport, without them we wouldn't be able to go racing, so our thanks to them for all their hard work and dedication."
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.