On Friday the 9th of October Tom Wrigley was at Brands Hatch to take part in the free practice sessions prior to the race weekend. The weekend of the 10th and 11th of October was the finale of the whole season. Tom was looking forward to what he was hoping to be a successful weekend’s racing.
The two practice sessions were full of red flags due to people crashing out and repairs needing to take place. The first forty minute session saw twenty seven drivers head out on to the 2.4332 mile long GP circuit. After only 8 laps of the session Matthew Cowley unfortunately rolled his Ginetta G55 GT4 car in the paddock hill gravel trap. This meant the session was red flagged whilst Matthew Cowley could be checked over and the car recovered. Tom headed back out onto the circuit for the final 5 laps of the session. When the chequered flag came out Tom was 7th on the live timing screens with a time of 1:32.146, just 1.164 seconds behind Will Burns, who set the fastest time. Out of the forty minute session the drivers only spent about twenty minutes out on track setting lap times due to incidents taking place and numerous red flags coming out during the session.
The second forty minute session took place later on during the day. Tom only completed ten of the seventeen laps drivers completed. He finished the session in sixth place with a lap time of 1:30.915, just 0.995 behind Carl Breeze, who finished the session on the top of the times. From his lap times Tom was improving the more he went out on the circuit.
Unfortunately Tom was unable to run new tyres in either of the sessions due to there being so many red flags throughout the sessions. Tom then turned his focus to looking at where he could improve in qualifying.
Tom out during Free Practice on Friday. (Credit:Tilley Photography.)
Saturday morning came round and it was time for Tom to go out and qualify. Qualifying did not go the way Tom wanted it to, this resulted in him qualifying to start 6th overall on the grid for race one. In his words “Quali was okay, my best lap got ruined. It would have put us P3 on the grid but now I’ll start from P6 and see what I can do from there.” Tom was pretty optimistic on what he could achieve from starting in 6th place, alongside team mate Jordan Stilp. He was going to give it his best shot, he was hopeful of ending the year on a high after his previous success earlier in the year.
Later in the day it was time for race one, Tom lined up in sixth place alongside Jordan Stilp. The lights went out and away they went. Tom was having good battles on track with multiple competitors. Again the race kept being red flagged due to incidents on track and cars needing to be moved or recovered. Tom didn’t get the chance to overtake anyone, however he did manage to take the fastest lap of the race.
Tom out on the GP Loop during Race One. (Credit: Tilley Photography.)
Race two, which took place on Sunday, was delayed due to the Ginetta Junior race being rescheduled from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning. Tom went out and lined up in seventh place, alongside Bradley Smith. Tom got a pretty good start and was making up some places. Unfortunately at some point during the race Tom received some contact which caused damage to the car. This resulted in Tom finishing in seventh place, exactly where he started.
Race three took place at around 4pm on Sunday. Tom got another good start and was having good battles with other drivers. In Tom’s words “We had some good close racing pace throughout race three but it was difficult to overtake.” Tom eventually managed to gain a place. When the chequered flag came out Tom took 6th place.
Overall it was a pretty good weekend for Tom with a trio of top ten finishes, but Tom would have preferred top 5 finishes. Throughout the season Tom has proved what he is capable of doing and is looking to return to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup grid with Rob Boston Racing next year. After the fire Tom was devastated and thought that would have been the end of his season. Thankfully there was a spare Ginetta which was lent to Tom so he could carry on for the rest of the season. He chose to go with Rob Boston racing for the second half of the season. Since then he has been doing amazing and managed to get a fair few podiums. Tom is looking to return stronger than ever next year to fight for the title.
© Fay Tilley 21st October 2015.