Grantham-based Richardson Racing will make a welcome return to the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup this weekend at Croft (18/19 June), albeit with a reduced presence in the G50 class.
Brother and sister pair Andrew and Louise Richardson were forced to miss the previous round of the season at Oulton Park earlier this month as a result of damage picked up at Thruxton in May, which couldn’t be repaired in time for the trip to Cheshire.
However, hard work from the Richardson Racing team – made up entirely of volunteers and university students – has ensured that Andrew will be able to rejoin the grid this weekend in the North East as he looks to improve on his seventh place in the championship standings.
Andrew has already finished on the G50 class podium three times this season and will hope for more success on what will be his debut at the Croft circuit, located in the North Yorkshire countryside near Darlington.
“It’s the second circuit in a row that I’ve not raced at before so I’ll try and look at some of Louise’s onboard footage from last year in the Ginetta Juniors so I can get a feel for the circuit before I get there,” he said.
“To say I’m looking forward to being back in the car this weekend is a bit of an understatement. It was hard to watch Oulton Park on the TV, especially when the conditions were wet as I think we could have come away from there with some strong results. However, it’ll be good to get back on track this weekend and hopefully we’ll come away from Croft with a good haul of points.”
Younger sister Louise will unfortunately miss the Croft weekend as the team continues working on the rebuild of her car, which was extensively damaged in a start-line accident in the final race at Thruxton.
The damage picked up in the incident led to the car being stripped back to the bare chassis before being sent back to Ginetta’s state of the art factory in Garforth near Leeds to be re-jigged.
Once the rebuild of the car is completed, Louise – who has also been sidelined by glandular fever – will rejoin Andrew on the grid when the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercar campaign resumes at Snetterton after the summer break.
This weekend’s meeting at Croft will mark a return to home soil for Andrew and Louise’s father Gwyn, who is originally from nearby Newton Aycliffe and competed at the circuit during his own racing career back in the early 1980s.
Now he will spend the weekend on ‘the other side of the fence’ helping to run Andrew’s Ginetta alongside a team of volunteer mechanics and university students who join the team on race weekends.
“Croft is where is all started for me although, my racing experience was before the circuit closed and there were a lot of changes before it re-opened again,” he said. “I can remember how there used to be large bank on the outside of Tower and you could be launched into the field behind if you got it wrong. I went up it once and it was like driving round the wall of death before I rejoined!
“I never got to the level that both Andrew and Louise are at now as racing was something that I did in my spare time, but it’s a nice – and slightly peculiar feeling – to be going back to Croft this weekend to run Andrew’s car when it’s a circuit where I used to compete myself.”
The opening Ginetta GT Supercup race of the weekend will run over 15 laps and is due to start at 16:30 on Saturday (18 June). Two further races, one of ten laps and a second of 15 laps will then take place on Sunday (19 June) at 12:50 and 16:00 (schedule changes permitting).