Grantham-based Richardson Racing added two more podium finishes to its tally with a brace of second place finishes from the latest rounds of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Rockingham.
Brother and sister pairing Andrew and Louise Richardson went into the weekend on the back of strong results from their last outing in the series at Snetterton, where Andrew secured a brace of victories in the highly competitive G50 class.
Having missed out on class pole by just 0.068secs, Andrew started the opening race from second amongst the G50 drivers and eighth overall. Andrew’s usual strong start saw him move into the class lead on the opening lap and seventh overall, where he stayed through to the twelfth lap despite the close attention of points leader Tom Ingram.
G55 runner Colin White then demoted the battling pair to eighth and ninth with Andrew defending from the pack behind before contact from Ingram damaged the rear diffuser on his car. With the handling affected as a result, Andrew lost the class lead just two laps from the finish and had to settle for second in class and ninth overall.
Race two would prove to be more of a challenge when the bonnet on Andrew’s car came loose on the opening lap, robbing him of crucial downforce and leaving him with an ill-handling machine for the duration of the 17 lap race. Despite that, he kept pace with class leader Ingram before a delay behind White’s G55 allowed his rival to break away at the front.
With the race being the first to feature a mandatory tyre change, the Richardson Racing crew was able to work well in the pits to help Andrew maintain a strong second place in the G50 class and he finished the race second in class and sixth overall – ahead of a number of G55 drivers despite the handicap of the missing bonnet.
“It was disappointing not to get a win in the first race but it was tough when we picked up the damage to the diffuser,” he said. “We still got second place which was good, although it’s a bit annoying that we aren’t in a position to fight for the title as people keep coming up to me and saying its good championship points when the points don’t really matter to me now.
“In race two, I lost the bonnet on the opening lap which really affected the handling of the car as we didn’t benefit from the air-flow to the rear wing but I kept close to Tom before Colin got ahead and that meant Tom got a break. But the pit-stop went well and I’m happy with the weekend as a whole.
“The whole team did a great job and it could only have been topped if we’d got a win.”
For younger sister Louise however, the weekend ended in disappointment after what had been a promising start when she qualified third amongst the G50 drivers in tenth overall.
A series of strong laps early in the race saw her hold position as she looked to repeat her Snetterton podium finish until a coming together with rival Jake Hill on the eighth lap brought her weekend to an early end.
Heading down to the hairpin at turn two, contact from Hill’s car turned Louise sideways into the retaining wall on the outside of Rockingham’s oval, causing extensive damage to the front of the car and leaving Louise with an injured shoulder.
After a visit to the circuit medical centre and a precautionary x-ray at a local hospital, Louise was unable to take part in the second race of the weekend and was instead forced to watch on from the sidelines with torn muscle fibres in her right shoulder.
“The car felt great and I’d had my best qualifying performance of the season so far,” she said. “I held my place at the start and was running in third and it looked like I was on for a good weekend.
“However, it all ended up in the wall mid-way through the race after contact with Jake. I’m still not sure exactly what happened as one moment I was going down the straight and then moving towards the apex, and the next I got hit on the left hand side and was going into the wall. The stewards deemed it to be a racing incident and although its left me feeling a bit sore, I just have to put it behind me and look forwards.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to recover from the injury I do have quickly and be back out for the next round at Brands Hatch – that’s the plan.”