Wednesbury’s Total Control Racing will field an expanded three-car line-up in the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Silverstone this coming weekend, 8th/9th September, after agreeing deals with series regulars Graham Johnson and Neil Delargy for the final two events of the 2012 season.
Joining championship contender and multiple race winner Mike Robinson, who is currently second in the driver standings, Johnson and Delargy will contest the three Silverstone races with TCR along with the season finale at Donington Park at the end of the month.
“It’s fantastic to have Graham and Neil on board”, said team principal Lee Brookes, “We’ve been keen to expand our team in the Ginetta Challenge so we’re really looking forward to going out there at Silverstone with three cars for the first time in this championship.
“Mike [Robinson] and Graham have known each other a long time and, along with Neil, they should all work really well together and push each other on. Hopefully all three can have a really strong end to the season, we’re confident we can help Graham and Neil take their best results yet.”
Johnson, who resides in East Horsley in Surrey, has raced in the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge for the past two seasons and is currently sixth in the championship with best results of fifth place at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit.
Having been somewhat frustrated not to have been on the podium this year, the 38-year-old is more determined than ever to challenge for top three results during the final two events of the campaign, beginning at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this weekend.
“First and foremost I want to get a dependable and reliable car and I know TCR will give me that, it’s such a professional team”, said Johnson, “I’ve not had the best results so far this year and I’ve been sitting there watching what Mike [Robinson] has been doing...and I want some of that!
“I’m very good mates with Mike, we’ve known each other since he was 13, so it’ll be fantastic being team-mates again as we started out racing together in karts. I don’t want to speak too soon but I think I can guarantee I’ll be more competitive this weekend than I have been all season.”
Delargy, from Acton in London, returned to competitive action last season after a 16 year hiatus from the track due to business and family commitments. Having originally raced in the mid 1990s, Delargy never lost the motorsport bug and after a lunch meeting with good friend Clive Richards – 10 years since they’d last met-up – they both decided to purchase a Ginetta.
Now following Graham Johnson to TCR from their previous team, Delargy is bidding for a marked upturn in performance but more than that he wants to enjoy a greater level of confidence at the wheel of his G40.
“I’ve been lacking confidence with the car and that’s what I need to change, TCR has already given me some great feedback and it’ll be just nice to drive a car that’s good”, he said, “The main thing for me is to be able to drive with more confidence, that’s been lacking with some of the problems I’ve experienced this year.
“I’ve seen what the team can do, Mike [Robinson] is obviously a very good peddler anyway, and they’re a great bunch of guys. We’ll see how the last two events go, I’m sure it’ll be an enjoyable time, and then I might be back for more next year!”
Erstwhile championship leader Robinson will arrive at Silverstone 44 points shy of the top of the table due to a couple of mixed weekends at Cadwell Park and Snetterton. Even so, with a total of 10 podiums from 14 races – including four race victories – the Effingham driver’s credentials are proven and with well over 200 points still up for grabs to any one driver, his title bid remains on track.
Following qualifying at Silverstone at 10.10 on Saturday, 8th September, the first Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge race of the weekend will begin at 15.55. On Sunday, 9th September, race two will get underway at 09.55 with race three following at approximately 17.40.
Provisional 2012 Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge – G40 Challenge Standings (after Rd14): 2nd Mike Robinson, 389pts; 6th Graham Johnson, 200pts; 13th Neil Delargy, 88pts