Carl Breeze - G50 Cup Rd17Multiple Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup race winner Carl Breeze continued his outstanding rise back into championship contention at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk this afternoon, Sunday, 2nd August, by sealing a hat-trick of victories in front of a partisan home town crowd.

Having won the 15th and 16th rounds of the 2009 season yesterday, Saturday, 1st August, the Total Control Racing driver fended off a charging Frank Wrathall during this afternoon’s encounter, screened live on ITV4, to claim his seventh victory of the year.

With championship leader Nathan Freke not having the most straight-forward of weekends due to his car developing some electrical gremlins, Breeze’s faultless performance throughout the event means he has slashed Freke’s points advantage in the driver standings to just 17 points. When the series arrived at Snetterton on Friday, Freke’s nearest challenger was Wrathall some 52 points adrift.

“It’s fantastic to win all three races this weekend, especially at my home track – it just makes it all that much sweeter”, said Breeze at the end of round 17, “Frank (Wrathall) made a great start and he was with me the whole race. Down the back straight he was getting such a good tow on me and I had to be so late on the brakes into the Esses to keep him behind.

“I felt I had the race under control but it was the hardest of the season so far. These results were definitely what we needed. After Croft we all felt pretty sad and knew we had a mountain to climb this weekend but we managed to do a great job to capitalise on the championship leader’s problems and fire a warning shot that we’re back where we should be.”

Wrathall, who Breeze acknowledged as having had one of his best ever races in Ginetta G50, didn’t allow the local driver to have everything his own way by applying serious pressure for the duration of the 18 lap race. Breeze didn’t make a single mistake though.

At the start Breeze rocketed away from the line while Wrathall, who was fourth on the grid, also made a tremendous getaway and he moved ahead of front-row starter Christian Dick when the latter ran wide at Sear Corner. Further behind as the race reached the Esses, Freke took fourth place from Chris Dittmann while Hampus Rydman rounded out the top six.

Freke, who with the help of Ginetta technical officials managed to cure the problems which seriously compromised Saturday’s races, made his move into the top three at Sear on lap two at the expense of Dick. At the front, Breeze continued to keep Wrathall a sufficient distance behind but the Dynojet racer didn’t give the leader any room for error.

For several laps nothing changed at the front until a third of the way through the race when Fulvio Mussi found a way past Tom Sharp to take sixth position. On lap 11, fourth placed Dick lost any chance of fighting for another podium when a spin at the Esses dropped him down the order.

On lap 15, it was Dittmann’s turn for problems when he dropped to sixth place behind Mussi and Sharp but he managed to remain ahead of Dick, Ben Hetherington, Rydman and Chariman’s Cup winner Colin White to the finish. Danish racer Joachim Ritter, meanwhile, did well to claim 11th place having suffered all weekend with a major dose of nausea.

Breeze took the win on lap 18 by just eight 10ths of a second from Wrathall with Freke a further two seconds adrift in third place. Mussi equalled his season’s best of fourth position just under a second clear of Sharp.

Speaking after the race, Wrathall said: “It was a tough weekend and, unfortunately for us, Carl (Breeze) has been ultra quick. I just couldn’t manage to find a way past him but to finish second today is a good result, I’m pleased with it.”

Series leader Freke, for whom the weekend was very much damage limitation after his car problems surfaced during testing on Friday, commented: “I want to say a massive thank you to Ginetta for the help they gave us in sorting out the electrical problem with the car before today’s race. It’s been a very tough weekend but to end it back on the podium is good, especially for our championship.”

The British Touring Car Championship race package makes its annual visit north of the border to Knockhill Circuit in Scotland a fortnight from now, 15th/16th August. As always, the timetable will feature great racing action from the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup with the 18th, 19th and 20th rounds of the campaign taking place.

Provisional 2009 Ginetta G50 Cup Championship Positions (after Rd17; Rd11 to be rescheduled):
1st Nathan Freke, 463pts; 2nd Carl Breeze, 446pts; 3rd Frank Wrathall, 403pts; 4th Christian Dick, 325pts; 5th Fulvio Mussi, 251pts; 6th Tom Sharp, 236pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.