Carl Garnett enjoyed a sensational start to the 2021 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season this past weekend at Snetterton (12/13 June), with a hard-fought hat-trick of Pro Am podium finishes putting him at the top of the class championship standings.
Following a brilliant 2020 season in which he recorded 10 wins and 13 podiums en-route to the vice-champion honours in the Am class, the Yorkshireman relished a fresh challenge for the new campaign as he stepped up into a competitive Pro Am field.
Continuing his long-term relationship with the AK Motorsport team, Garnett had high hopes for the opening meeting of the season around the longest and most technical circuit on the calendar. He kicked things off strongly too, finishing quickest in Pro Am during Friday’s free practice sessions.
In his Telescope backed Ginetta G55, which was sporting an eye-catching new orange and blue livery, Garnett converted that practice pace into a brilliant pole position in qualifying. A great final lap of the session got him top spot by the tiniest of margins, just one thousandth of a second.
A good start to the opening race on Saturday afternoon allowed him to convert pole position into the class lead. The action heated up as the race wore on and the battle for victory went down to the final lap, when a Pro class driver aiming to make up ground allowed class rival Colin White to slip past at the same time.
The York based racer looked to build on his second place finish in Sunday’s two races. In a summer heatwave in Norfolk, he initially slipped from pole position to third in class at the start of race two. He quickly set about reversing his fortunes though and grabbed second place on lap two, a position he then held to the chequered flag as he posted the fastest lap of the race.
The 45 year old lined up third on the partial reverse grid for the final race of the weekend, which was televised live on ITV4. Holding position early on, a puncture for White moved him up to second place and left him tucked under the rear wing of the new leader Dan Morris.
Posting the fastest lap of the race again in his Astrolite ValetPro, AC Database Services and Demon Tweeks supported Ginetta, Garnett got the lead on lap ten and was on course for the win when a heart-breaking conclusion saw Morris get back ahead at the final corner of the race.
Carl Garnett:“Whilst it’s frustrating that I could well have ended the weekend with two race wins, I’m really delighted to have picked up three podium finishes and the championship lead. Compare that to 2020 when I started with two DNFs and a heavily damaged car, and I’ll take this for sure.
“AK Motorsport did a fantastic job with the car all weekend, as shown by our pace in practice and qualifying, which allowed me to challenge at the front in the races. We had a good run in both of the first two races, whilst the final one was fantastic up until the last corner! I’m kicking myself for leaving the door open, but fair play to Dan it was a great move.
“Overall, a fantastic weekend though and a huge thank you to the team and my partners for their support.”
Garnett holds an early four point lead at the top of the Pro Am class championship standings heading into the second meeting of the 2021 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time (26/27 June).
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.