- Simon Paice
Gordon-Colebrooke Makes His Mark With Superb Oulton Park Pace
Buckinghamshire racer Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke announced himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup as he secured a brilliant second place in qualifying during the third meeting of the 2018 season at Oulton Park (09/10 June).
Embarking on his first season in the ultra-competitive GT series on the support bill of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Gordon-Colebrooke enjoyed a strong start to the season during the opening two meetings at Brands Hatch and Donington Park back in April.
Following a six week break, the championship returned to action at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, with Gordon-Colebrooke feeling immediately at home around the fast 2.27 mile track in his Century Motorsport prepared Ginetta G55 GT4.
A positive showing during official pre-event testing on Friday saw Gordon-Colebrooke finish both sessions inside the top five in his WHIreland Wealth Management Ginetta, giving him the belief that he could battle for pole position in qualifying the next day.
The 25 year old would go on to do exactly that as he produced blistering pace during the twenty minute session, with a best effort of 1m 25.524s placing the Lillingstone Dayrell based driver a sensational second fastest on the timesheets.
That result filled Gordon-Colebrooke with confidence as he prepared for the opening race of the weekend later that afternoon, however his hopes for a maiden Supercup podium finish would unfortunately be dashed in the early stages of the race.
After slipping to fourth on the opening lap, a sudden loss of rear grip heading through the first corner on lap two sent the 3C Test Ltd and Tyrrell Automotive backed driver wide across the gravel, which eventually pitched him into a spin.
Fortunate not to be collected by any other driver, Gordon-Colebrooke got back on track and went on to produce a superb comeback drive, lapping as one of the fastest drivers on circuit as he fought his way through the field to eighth place at the chequered flag.
With the knowledge that he had the pace to challenge for a podium finish, Gordon-Colebrooke headed into the weekend’s second and final race on Sunday afternoon in positive spirits, with further progress the target in front of the live ITV4 television cameras.
With the race one result setting the starting positions for race two, the former Monoposto 1600 class champion lined up eighth on the grid. Unfortunately he was forced wide heading through the first corner, which dropped him back to twelfth place.
A strong recovery drive would see Gordon-Colebrooke pick his way through to ninth position by the end of lap six and begin closing on the driver ahead, however his race would sadly come to a premature conclusion as a puncture forced him into retirement.
Gordon-Colebrooke, whose part of the Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) stable, now sits tenth in the championship standings heading into the next meeting at Croft in North Yorkshire in a fortnight’s time (23/24 June).
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke: “Our weekend started off like a dream. To be up there in the top five in both free practice sessions was fantastic and it made me confident that I could be challenging for pole position in qualifying.
“While we just missed out on the top spot, I was over the moon to qualify on the front row. It was as close to a perfect lap as I could have hoped for and I have to thank Century Motorsport for giving me a brilliant set-up on the car to achieve it.
“The races didn’t go my way unfortunately with some mistakes from myself and a bit of misfortune as well, but throughout both races our pace was still clear to see. I came into the weekend looking to half my time gap to the leaders, and to do that and more is brilliant.
“I’ve never been to Croft before so it will be interesting to learn a new circuit over the course of two free practice sessions, but I’m confident that with the guidance of the Century team and APSM, I can build on what we’ve achieved here and enjoy another great weekend.”