MOTOR SPORT: Winning start to season for Richardson racing team

Andrew Richardson. Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Andrew Richardson. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

CASTLE Bytham-based Richardson Racing made a winning start to its assault on the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercar Championship on the opening weekend of the new season at Brands Hatch last weekend.

Brother and sister pairing Andrew and Louise Richardson showed impressive pace on their debuts in the G50 class, with Andrew securing two podiums – including victory in the second race of the weekend – and Louise showing the battling qualities that made her one of the stars of the Ginetta Junior Championship last season.

Louise Richardson. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Louise Richardson. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Andrew, 19, qualified sixth in the G50 class and 16th overall for his race debut but a strong start saw him jump up to second in class by the end of the opening lap. Hassling G50 leader Jody Fannin throughout, Andrew produced an impressive performance on his first race in the car to take the chequered flag less than four-tenths of a second behind his rival in 10th overall.

Starting second in class and 10th overall as a result for race two, Andrew jumped into the lead on the opening lap and was running in seventh overall, ahead of a number of the quicker G55 entries. Despite two safety car periods backing up the field, Andrew saw off the challenge of Ginetta Junior champion Tom Ingram to take his maiden G50 victory by just 0.181sec and a second overall top 10 of the weekend. Andrew also broke the G50 lap record en route to victory.

Andrew’s hopes of a third podium finish of the weekend were dashed ahead of the final race when his car refused to fire up as the field prepared to head to the grid, the issue later being traced to the fuel pump.

Despite being forced to miss the final race, Andrew’s impressive earlier performances put thim third in the G50 class standings.

Andrew said: “Going into the weekend I didn’t think we’d be in a position to win, although I had hoped to be running towards the front. The second race was really tough and I couldn’t relax at all, so to take the victory was brilliant.

“It was disappointing to miss the final race after my earlier results but we’ll bounce back from that disappointment next time out.”

Younger sister Louise started the opening race from fifth in class and 15th overall, and claimed fourth in a drag race to the line, with the 18-year-old in 12th overall. She was given a small tap from behind under braking in the second race which was enough to see her spin into the gravel trap. Louise was also forced to miss the third race after a bolt sheared off on her Ginneta’s left rear wheel.

Louise said: “I had a good result in the first race and have shown that I can be near the front, but it was a disappointing way to finish the weekend as I was looking forward to fighting my way through the pack.”

The next three races of the Ginetta GT Supercup take place at Donington Park this weekend and will be televised on ITV4.