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GT4 SuperCup Champions Crowned after Two Races at Brands Hatch

29th September 2018 • Stephen Kilbey

Charlie Ladell and Michael Crees have been crowned Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup Champions, after sealing the Pro and Am class titles today at Brands Hatch, following two dramatic races.

In the morning the drivers headed out for Qualifying, and Fender took pole by just 0.081 ahead of Harry King’s #19 with a 1:28.589 on his final flying lap.  Slotting in third was Tom Roche, who snagged the place at the very end of the session with a 1:28.706, pushing title contenders Boardley and Ladell down to fourth and fifth respectively. 

After the session though, the order changed, Charlie Ladell being promoted to Pole Position after having a lap reinstated that was incorrectly deleted during the session, handing the championship leader a real advantage ahead of the first race. 

The change in the Qualifying order proved to be vital for Ladell, who went on to take a lights-to-flag win in the first race of the weekend.  

Ladell controlled the race from the start in his #32 Rob Boston Racing Ginetta G55, with Angus Fender unable to challenge for the lead in the early laps. Fender was able to prevent Ladell from creating too comfortable of a margin between them, but ultimately, it was Ladell’s day, the Suffolk-native able to score his ninth win of the year and edge closer to the title in the process, as Fender earned his best result of the season.  

“It was absolutely perfect, it couldn’t be better,” said Ladell after Race 1. “The best way to defend the championship lead was to attack. A lights-to-flag win couldn’t be better. It’s getting close now, I’ve got to keep focus, but it’s in touching distance. The boys at Rob Boston have done a great job, the car was spot on!”  

Behind Fender, Harry King finished third after a strong race in which he was able to apply pressure to Fender in the closing minutes. Carl Boardley meanwhile, steered his #41 Team Hard Ginetta to fourth, and lost ground to Ladell in the standings as a result. The 42-year-old started the race fifth, but quickly took fourth on the opening lap after Tom Roche was forced into an early retirement, and went on to take a point for setting the fastest lap of the race.  

Much of the action in the race, involved runners outside of the top five. Reece Somerfield had a particularly topsy-turvy race, climbing from 10th to sixth in the early laps, before suffering a mechanical issue which dropped him to the back of the pack on Lap 5. That left another cluster of drivers fighting for the remaining top 10 spots. 

Eventually, Jac Constable finished fifth, after starting ninth, ahead of Adam Shepherd and Carl Shield.  

In the Am category, Jack Minshaw took the victory, finishing over four seconds ahead of Colin White and Michael Crees who completed the class podium. The result closed the gap in the standings between leader Crees and Minshaw, though Crees still headed into Race 2 with a comfortable lead.

Ladell3

In Race 2, Ladell and Crees finished the tasks at hand. Ladell took a second victory of the day, and 10th of the year en route to the Pro title while Crees sealed the Am honours with a podium finish.

Like Race 1, Ladell took a commanding win from Pole Position, crossing the line in his #32 Rob Boston Ginetta G55 GT4 seven tenths ahead of Harry King’s #19 Elite Motorsport example. He went almost the entire race unchallenged, and stayed calm under the pressure of the occasion.

“This is an incredible feeling, it won’t sink in for a while,” said a jubilant Ladell after the race. “Do do it with two wins is amazing, I can’t thank everyone around me enough. Everyone has worked so hard and it’s all come together.

“It was just a case of counting down the laps. Harry kept close, it wasn’t easy but I brought it home!”

Behind though, there were many changes to the running order throughout the race. King took second place from Angus Fender on the opening lap, sealing the podium places. Carl Boardley, who desperately needed to finish ahead of Ladell to keep the title race going, fell to fourth at the start, before suffering a left-front puncture which ultimately sealed the title early.

The battle then ensued for fourth place, with Tom Roche proving putting in a head-turning performance to climb from 11th into podium contention, after multiple daring moves, headlined by a bold overtake at Paddock Hill to take fourth from Carl Shield halfway through the race. Shield crossed the line fifth in his #99 AK Automotive G55, in front of Adam Shepherd who finished just outside the top five in sixth.

Colin White went on to win the Am class driving his #78 CWS G55, but the star of the show was Michael Crees, who took the title in style with a comeback drive that ended with a stunning second place finish.

Title contender Jack Minshaw started from Pole Position in the #66 Hart GT G55, and came together with Crees at Graham Hill Bend in the opening laps. Crees didn’t give up though, and fought his way back to second, snatching two places on the final lap of the race to demote Lucky Khera to third and claim the championship.

“I was a bit nervous going in, but it was ok in the end,” Crees said after the race. “It was a little bit bitter-sweet because Jack and I touched at Graham Hill, I went for a move, he shut the door and we touched. But we’ve raced fairly all year. To come back and get on the podium in such style is amazing. That was the best drive of my season.

“To seal this and be on the podium is amazing. Thanks to Ginetta and my sponsors.”

The final race of the 2018 Ginetta GT4 SuperCup is set to run tomorrow, provisionally at 12:55. The finale can be streamed live on itv.com.