Carl Breeze - G50 Cup WinnerSnetterton Circuit in Norfolk proved to be a very happy hunting ground for crack motor racing squad Total Control Racing earlier today, Saturday, 1st August, with the team winning not only round 13 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup but also the 15th and 16th rounds of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup.

On a simply outstanding day for the Wednesbury-based outfit, Carlisle teenager Alex MacDowall claimed his third victory of the year in an action-packed and rain-shortened Clio Cup encounter and he was also joined on the podium by rookie team-mate Sam Tordoff, the Leeds racer taking his first ever podium with a superb second position and backing it up with the fastest lap of the race.

After taking pole position for round 13 with a fastest time of 1m17.872 seconds (90.23mph) during this morning’s qualifying session, at the start of the race MacDowall made a textbook start to lead as light rain started to fall and threatened to make conditions very tricky indeed.

Behind, championship leader Philip Glew managed to get ahead of Tordoff at the start – the TCR ace having qualified second on the grid – while Mike Robinson held on to his starting place of ninth.

For rapid rookie Daniel Lloyd, what started as a very positive weekend during testing soon became a luckless disappointment when he was punted out of the race at the first corner. Third fastest during the opening pre-event practice and then finishing sixth in session two, a tricky qualifying session placed him mid-grid but he was hit at Riches Corner and forced into an immediate retirement.

Following a couple of laps behind the Safety Car to enable Lloyd’s car to be retrieved, at the re-start MacDowall got away well and led in worsening conditions all the way to the Bomb Hole on lap 10 when Glew managed to slither past.

Less than a lap later though, Glew pushed too hard at the Esses to try and fend off MacDowall and got his car sideways as the TCR star moved ahead once more. He was followed through by team-mate Tordoff and the pair remained first and second to the finish on lap 14 when red flags were shown due to the increasing rainfall.

Therefore, the finishing order was taken from the positions on lap 13 which still meant MacDowall won, Tordoff was second and Robinson came through to finish in eighth position, also moving him up into the championship top five.

Commenting, MacDowall said: “The conditions were very tricky, the rain got quite bad as the race wore on and it was especially slippery at the Esses. When (Philip) Glew got by me I tried to get back at him as quickly as possible and at the Esses on the next lap he just went in too hot and I was able to get back ahead. I’m really pleased with our third win, the team did a great job with the car.”

Podium debutant Tordoff added: “It was a very hard race but I kept it all together and managed to stick with Alex (MacDowall) and Phil (Glew). It was a case of waiting for either of them to make a mistake really. We’ve had the pace all weekend and considering it’s my first year in cars, let alone in Clios, I think we’re doing a good job.”

Breeze returns to winning ways with memorable Snetterton double

Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup title challenger Carl Breeze was in totally dominant form at Snetterton today, taking three pole positions in qualifying for rounds 15, 16 and 17 of the season and backing them up with victory in the first two races.

After an unbelievably difficult couple of months, namely a huge accident at Oulton Park at the end of May and a subsequent crash at Croft in mid-June which did little to aid the healing process, Breeze arrived at his home track this weekend fully recuperated and immediately returned to winning ways.

Dominating qualifying, the TCR star pressed home his advantage with two fantastic performances in rounds 15 and 16 to close to within 27 points of current series leader Nathan Freke. Challenged fairly hard by Christian Dick in the opening encounter, the team mechanics made some changes to Breeze’s car for race two which he won by 11 seconds and in which he also posted a new lap record.

Team-mate Fulvio Mussi finished a fine fifth in round 15 after a good drive from eighth on the grid while in round 16 a potential career best finish of second place behind Breeze was taken away after Mussi was adjudged to have lined up in an incorrect position on the grid. Although taking the chequered flag in second position, a 10 second penalty was added to his time dropping him to sixth.

Danish racer Joachim Ritter, meanwhile, finished ahead of former British Touring Car Championship driver Charlie Butler-Henderson in ninth place during the first outing and managed another top 10 in round 16 to consolidate 10th overall in the championship standings.

Speaking after his double win, Breeze said: “It’s good to reward the TCR boys with a couple of wins and great to bounce back after the disappointments of Oulton and Croft. We made some changes to the car for the second race to find some more speed and the team deserves all of the credit as it gave us an extra three 10ths of a second. It’s been a great day, hopefully tomorrow will be too.”

Reflecting on TCR’s day in both the Ginetta G50 Cup and Clio Cup, TCR team principal Lee Brookes commented: “We’re absolutely made up with Carl’s two wins in the G50 races today, he performed very well indeed, and in the second race Fulvio did a great job as well. It was just a shame he was out of position on the grid at the start, he was gutted about that. Joachim had a couple of good runs too.

“In Clios it was a very bad day for Daniel, we’re so disappointed for him. On the other side of things Alex did everything right to win again and Mike took another solid finish. The day belonged to Sam though, out of all of the drivers I think he surprised people the most and to take his first podium and be on pole position for Sunday’s race is a great achievement.”

Round 14 of the ELF Renault Clio Cup is timetabled to take place at 11.55 tomorrow, Sunday, 2nd August, with round 17 of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup set to begin at 13.35. Please check listings for details of live television coverage on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4.

Provisional 2009 ELF Renault Clio Cup Standings (after Rd13):
Drivers: 2nd Alex MacDowall, 302pts; 5th Mike Robinson, 195pts; 9th Sam Tordoff, 154pts; 10th Daniel Lloyd, 145pts
Team: 2nd Total Control Racing, 570pts

Provisional 2009 Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup Standings (after Rd16 – Rd11 yet to be rescheduled):
Drivers: 2nd Carl Breeze, 410pts; 5th Fulvio Mussi, 228pts; 10th Joachim Ritter, 160pts
Team: 1st Total Control Racing

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.