© Bute Motorsport Limited 2015
Heartbreak for Downing as Huggins and Davidson leave it late for Oulton Park victories
Saturday 29th July 2017
A three-car battle for honours in group GTB entertained the GT Cup crowds at Oulton Park, Neil Huggins emerging victorious in his Lamborghini Gallardo with a late charge from third to first.
Sitting third with only a handful of minutes to run in the opening 25-minute sprint race of the day, Huggins dispatched the Ginetta G50 of John Saunders for second in GTB before setting off in pursuit of fellow Top Cats Racing team-mate, Warren Gilbert.
Huggins kept up the pressure and made his move stick on the Marcos with less than a minute on the clock, clinching a hard-fought group victory. “It kicked off okay and settled into a rhythm, so I started playing the waiting game early on”, said Huggins. “Warren worked his way past Saunders and from that I figured out where I could make my moves. Warren didn’t want to hold me up, so I made my way by cleanly to take those important points.”
Graham Davidson meanwhile also came from behind to claim GTO group success. The Jetstream Motorsport McLaren moved up to third place as the field headed into Old Hall for the first time, soon picking off pole-sitter Jake Rattenbury’s Lamborghini Huracan.
The Scot hunted down the rapid Mosler of Gareth Downing, but the latter’s last-lap retirement allowed Davidson through to claim the group and overall spoils. “I made a good start and got myself onto the tail of the Mosler, so I chose to follow him and learn where I was strong”, said Davidson. “I felt relaxed and I knew that in the closing laps I couldn’t give up.”
Rattenbury had held the lead of the overall race from pole position in the early running, finishing second behind Davidson to confirm group honours in GTC. “I didn’t have the outright pace to hang onto the overall lead in the opening laps, but I was concentrating on collecting the group win”, said Rattenbury. “Getting those points was important. Those wins could prove to be very important come the end of the season.”
Dominic Paul added victory in the GTA group to his earlier pole position. The Spy Motorsport driver held his advantage from the rolling start, edging out a lead over fellow Ginetta G55 driver, Gary Smith.
“After I got that good start I was able to make a bit of a break and get into some clear air”, he said. “The gap stayed consistent, but I had to keep my cool not to lose it all which is so easy to do around his track.”
1: Graham Davidson – McLaren MP4/12 GT3
2: Nigel Hudson/Adam Wilcox – Aston Martin GT3
3: Michael Brown/Matthew Manderson – Aston Martin GT3
1: Jake Rattenbury – Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo
2: Andy Demetriou – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
1: Dominic Paul – Ginetta G55 GT4
2: Darren Standing/Ian Goodchild – Ginetta G55 GT4
3: Brent Millage – Ginetta G55 GT4
1: Neil Huggins – Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo LP570-4
2: John Saunders/Patrick Scharfegger – Ginetta G50
3: Warren Gilbert – Marcos Mantis