Grantham-based Richardson Racing will be back at full strength this weekend when the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup heads to Snetterton for the sixth meeting of the 2011 season.
Andrew Richardson will be joined on track by younger sister Louise, who makes a welcome return to action after being sidelined since an accident at Thruxton back in May, which left her Ginetta G50 substantially damaged and forced her to miss the events at Oulton Park and Croft.
Having also missed Oulton Park, Andrew returned to action at Croft in the final race meeting before the summer break, where he battled against challenging wet conditions to secure his second class victory of the season – while also picking up a fine seventh place overall in the second race of the weekend.
Andrew arrives at Snetterton sitting sixth in the G50 standings having suffered his fair share of bad luck through the first half of the year, with race victories and podium finishes now being the aim for the remainder of the campaign.
“We had a good test at Snetterton last week and I’m happy with the balance of my car, although we only ran on old tyres so we need to see what the car will be like on fresh rubber,” he said. “The changes they have made to the circuit will really help with the racing as there are some good corners that you can really carry speed into. Initially I was a bit worried about the changes as I really liked the old layout at Snetterton, but now I’ve had chance to try it out, I’m impressed with what they have done.
“The fact we’ve done a test at Snetterton means we’re on a more level playing field going into the weekend and I’m confident that we can challenge towards the front. The weather forecast suggests there could be some rain and if there is, that might help us even more as it really equals things out and I showed at Croft that I can be strong in those conditions.
“You can never say its over in the championship until it is absolutely over, but I’m going out for the second half of the season with the aim of going for as many victories as possible and doing the best I can every time we go on track.”
Like Andrew, Louise sampled the new Snetterton 300 for the first time in a test session last week, which gave her the chance to shake down her car after it underwent a full rebuild following the start-line shunt at Thruxton that forced her out of action.
Having also suffered from glandular fever since the Thruxton weekend and faced a busy period of exams, Louise heads to Snetterton in a similar frame of mind to brother Andrew as she looks to add to the podium finishes she clinched at Donington Park earlier in the campaign.
“I really can’t wait to get back behind the wheel this weekend,” she said. “It’s been pretty difficult watching on from the sidelines, especially since my exams finished and I didn’t have something else to focus on.
“The shakedown test we did at Snetterton went well and after the rebuild, the car felt better than it ever has done before. There were a few small issues that we’ll resolve for the weekend, but it felt brilliant. In a weird way, the accident at Thruxton has actually helped in the long-term as we discovered some chassis damage that we’d been carrying all season. Now that we’ve fixed that and the car has been rebuilt again, the handling is way better than it was before.
“When I first got behind the wheel in the test I was a little rusty after the time out but it was like driving a new car and by the end of the day I was matching the pace of Jake Hill and Jody Fannin which leaves me confident for the weekend ahead. I definitely think I have a car that I can use to fight for victory and I’m confident that we can get the pace out of it; it’s just down to me to find the speed.”
Andrew and Louise will be in action three times during the Snetterton race weekend, with the opening seven lap Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup race taking place at 14:25 on Saturday.
The second race, over 12 laps, will be at 17:50 on Saturday with the third and final race – also over 12 laps – scheduled to start at 13:45 on Sunday.