28th June 2021

Miracco, Smalley And Hibbert Win in Ginetta GT4 SuperCup

Carlito Miracco, Adam Smalley and Tom Hibbert took a win each in the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup at Brands Hatch (26/27 June).

Miracco, Smalley And Hibbert Win in Ginetta GT4 SuperCup

Qualifying on Saturday morning saw a new name at the top of the timesheets, as Miracco (Preptech UK) scored his first pole position in the championship. Josh Rattican (Elite Motorsport) also impressed, finishing just 0.080s adrift for his maiden front row start.

Double Snetterton race-winner Smalley (Elite Motorsport) was third ahead of Luke Reade (Rob Boston Racing) in a career-best fourth, while the championship leader heading into the weekend, Hibbert (Rob Boston Racing) was an uncharacteristic eighth.

In Pro Am, Colin White (CWS Motorsport) and Carl Garnett (AK Motorsport) were separated by just two thousandths of a second in free practice on Friday. Remarkably it was the exact same margin in qualifying the next day as White picked up his first pole position of the season.

The first of two races on Saturday began with Miracco starting strongly from pole position to lead the field through Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. Rattican got a slow launch however and fell back to seventh, with Smalley slotting into second ahead of local driver Reade.

The race went under safety car on lap four due to a multi-car incident at Graham Hill Bend. Hibbert was involved, an unfortunate end to his 100th start in the GT4 SuperCup, as well as Steve Roberts (Rob Boston Racing) and James Blake-Baldwin (AK Motorsport). The latter would miss race two due to the damage sustained.

A well-executed restart from Miracco got him an immediate gap to Smalley behind, which he maintained to the chequered flag for his maiden GT4 SuperCup win. In the process he became the 40th different winner in GT4 SuperCup history, as the series celebrated its 250th race.

 Tom Emson (Elite Motorsport) heaped pressure on Reade for third and got past on the penultimate lap for a podium result. Reade was later handed a ten second time penalty for a false start, which dropped him from fourth to 11th in the classified result.

Taking advantage to match his best result in the championship so far was second year contender Joe Marshall (Team HARD). The drive of the race came from the ultra-experienced Reece Somerfield (Breakell Racing), who scythed his way through from 14th on the grid to fifth in the final result.

Henry Dawes (Century Motorsport) picked up a maiden top six finish, while White enjoyed a great run to seventh overall en-route to a lights-to-flag Pro Am victory. Century Motorsport duo Blake Angliss and Andy Spencer were amongst his competitors, while Seb Melrose (Team HARD) completed the top ten.

Garnett scored second in Pro Am, as he returned to the scene of a double Am class victory in last year’s season finale, while Stewart Lines (Rob Boston Racing) fought his way back past Garry Townsend (AK Motorsport) to complete the class podium.

The grid for Saturday’s second encounter was set by the race one result, with Miracco aiming to lead away from pole position again. Unfortunately on this occasion Smalley swept past around the outside of Paddock Hill to seize the advantage.

As Emson held third, Hibbert was a man on a mission behind. Storming from 11th on the grid to sixth on the opening lap, he then picked off Marshall on lap two and a fast-starting Somerfield next time round to slot into fourth position on the tail of Emson.

At the front, Smalley built a comfortable margin over the pack to secure a third win of the season by nearly four seconds. Miracco ran second for a long spell but was coming under pressure from Emson and lost the spot into Paddock Hill on lap 20.

As he tried to regain the spot at Druids, a spin dropped him down the order. Emson and Hibbert therefore completed the podium, with Somerfield in a seasons’ best fourth. Marshall was fifth on the road, however a ten second false start penalty dropped him to eighth.

Rattican therefore was fifth, completing a great drive through the field from 15th after receiving a grid penalty. Dawes completed a top six double ahead of Roberts, who bounced back well after his race one retirement, with Melrose classified ninth behind Marshall.

It was a case of déjà vu in the Pro Am class. White once again fought with the Pro contenders on his way to the class win, with Garnett second throughout. Townsend passed Lines early on, but the latter got back ahead again to complete the podium.

The final race of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon in front of the live ITV3 television cameras, with the reverse grid placing Rattican and Somerfield on the front row. A rocket launch for the latter put him into the race lead, with the pole-sitter falling to fourth.

On the same layout in which he’s claimed his previous two wins in the GT4 SuperCup, Somerfield pushed hard to try and maintain his lead. Hibbert closed on him though and dived down the inside at Paddock Hill at the start of lap three to seize the advantage.

Somerfield fought valiantly to defend second place but fell back on lap nine as Roberts worked his way past, having impressively climbed from seventh on the grid. Also storming through the pack was Blake-Baldwin, who from 14th at the start was in third by mid-distance.

That soon became second place as he got past Roberts into Paddock Hill Bend, before he worked to close a five second gap to the leader Hibbert. He got onto his tail on the last tour, but Hibbert fended him off for a first win of the season.

Blake-Baldwin and Roberts both enjoyed their first podium finishes in the championship with second and third respectively. Emson capped off a great weekend in fourth, while fifth place confirmed Smalley as the new championship leader after the opening six races.

As Somerfield completed a top six treble for the weekend, some fantastic racing behind culminated in Marshall finishing seventh ahead of Rattican, Angliss and Dawes. Melrose and Spencer just missed out on the top ten, while it proved to be a tough race for Miracco and Reade.

In the Pro Am class, no less than four different drivers led at one stage. Luke Warr (Race Car Consultants) led away from the reverse grid pole, before Townsend and then Garnett enjoyed spells at the head of the class.

Ultimately it was White who came through to complete a hat-trick of victories for the weekend however, ensuring he leaves Kent as the class points leader. Garnett was second for the sixth consecutive race, while Warr recorded his first podium finish in the championship.

The next round of the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup is coming up in five weeks’ time at Oulton Park in Cheshire (31 July / 1 August).

Full race results for the weekend can be found here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/212503

Find out more about the championship’s title sponsor, Millers Oils, at https://www.millersoils.co.uk/


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