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Double Supercup success for Charlie Ladell at Oulton Park

10th June 2018 • Matt Salisbury

Points leader Charlie Ladell extended his advantage in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup with a double success in the latest rounds of the season at Oulton Park.

Saturday’s qualifying session had seen Ladell post the best time to snare pole, with a quickest lap of 1:25.260 being two tenths of a second clear of Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke; the latter producing his best qualifying performance by far to earn a front row start.

Harry King and Carl Boardley shared the second row of the grid despite the fact that both suffered mechanical dramas during the session, with Michael Crees topping the times amongst the Am class drivers for the third meeting in a row.

When the lights went out to start the first race, polesitter Ladell made the perfect start to lead the field into Old Hall for the first time and was able to establish a handy advantage at the front as his rivals squabbled behind, with King and Boardley moving up a place apiece on the opening lap.

Having slipped to fourth, there would be drama for Gordon-Colebrooke on the second lap when he got out of shape exiting the first corner and suffered a spin on the Avenue, with a number of cars behind being forced to take avoiding action.

The end result was retirement for Jason Minshaw and an unscheduled pitstop to have grass removed from the front of his car for Tom Roche, with Gordon-Colebrooke able to resume at the back of the field.

Out front, Ladell continued to build a lead over King behind and his run to victory was aided by the second placed man retiring with a mechanical issue at the end of lap twelve.

That left Ladell unchallenged for a fourth win of the year ahead of Boardley, with Adam Shepherd stepping onto the podium for the second time this season in third. Reece Somerfield, Angus Fender and Jac Constable rounded out the top six.

The Am class had been dominated by Crees, who looked set to add to his win tally before a mistake on lap nine saw him run wide at Cascades and damage the underside of his car. Forced to retire as a result, it handed the class win to David Brooks for the first time since Brands GP back in 2016.

Starting from pole for the second race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon, Ladell was able to maintain his impressive record of finishing on the podium in every race this season as he enjoyed a relatively straightforward run to win number five.

Three tenths of a second clear at the end of the opening lap, Ladell was able to gradually edge away from the chasing Boardley behind – eventually crossing the line just over two seconds clear of his Team HARD rival.

Second for Boardley ensured that he matched his race one result for a seventh podium of the season, with Shepherd also taking to the podium for the second time in the weekend.

Whilst the top three would remain the same, there was certainly no shortage of action behind, and much of it centered around Tom Roche as he looked to fight back from his issues in race one. 

Up two places into seventh on the opening lap, Roche made his move on Carl Shield at Island on lap three to take sixth and then made light work of passing Jac Constable for fifth. Reece Somerfield was the next man in his sights and when he saw half a gap at Druids on lap six, Roche put his car up the inside with a fine move to take fourth. 

Despite closing in on Shepherd ahead, Roche had to settle for fourth at the finish ahead of Shield and Somerfield, who completed the top six. 

A spin at Cascades in the closing laps saw Constable drop down outside the top ten, whilst there would also be disappointment for Harry King who was running inside the top eight before his car cut out on track. 

King would eventually get the car restarted and crossed the line in tenth overall, behind the leading two drivers in the Am class.

Colin White would emerge as the eventual winner after race one victor David Brooks spun out of the lead at the final corner, with Jack Minshaw and Lee Frost completing the podium; the latter coming out on top of a heated battle with Alex Taylor and Michael Crees to take third in class.

The points standings see Ladell now leading the way by 25 points ahead of Boardley, with King now 105 points back in third, whilst Minshaw leads White by just three points in the Am class standings.

Next up is Croft in North Yorkshire in two weeks time.