CASTLE Bytham-based Richardson Racing made a winning return to action in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Croft, with Andrew Richardson making the trip to the top of the G50 class podium for the second time this season.
With sister Louise absent due to ongoing repairs to her car, Andrew was left to fly the flag alone on what was his first outing at the North Yorkshire circuit.
Having sampled the track for the first time during Friday testing, Andrew qualified 12th overall on the grid and fourth in class.
Saturday’s opening race began well as Andrew made up places at the start, but he was forced to take avoiding action when G50 class rival Jake Hill lost his bonnet when exiting the hairpin. Taking to the grass to avoid the bodywork in front of him, Andrew slipped down to the back of the field but fought his way back to 11th overall and fifth in class by the finish.
The second race of the weekend on Sunday was held in damp but drying conditions, with Andrew gambling on slick tyres for the start. It proved to be the correct choice as he quickly moved into the G50 class lead.
However, a clutch problem early in the race forced Andrew to back off as the race wore on but despite the issue, he was able to see off the challenge of his rivals to take G50 class honours and seventh overall.
In a race against time for the final race, the small Richardson Racing team worked hard to try and replace the clutch in time but fell just 10 minutes shy of getting Andrew back out on track again.
Andrew said: “It’s been an eventful weekend. I’d not been to Croft before but when I qualified fourth in class, I was hopeful of a good performance in the races. The first race was annoying as there was nothing I could do about Jake dropping his bonnet in front of me and I had no option but to go on the grass as I couldn’t risk hitting it and damaging my tyres.
“I was praying for damp conditions for Sunday because those conditions really level the playing field and take away some of the advantage that other people may have because they have done more testing. I’d watched the touring car race before and could see there was a dry line so I told the guys I wanted to put slick tyres on, and then it was a case of keeping the car on the road.
“Early in the race, the clutch started to go and it meant I was having to use half throttle on the straights, but I pushed as hard as I could and it was great to get the win.
“Some of the bigger teams said we had no chance of being out for race three, so the fact we got so close shows what a great job the team did and it’s just a shame that we didn’t have another 10 minutes.”
Andrew now heads into the summer break before the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercar season resumes at Snetterton, where younger sister Louise will rejoin the grid having been forced to miss her second successive meeting due to damage sustained in a start-line accident at Thruxton last month.