Freke leads away from poleNathan Freke made a near-perfect start to the seventh event of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup season at Knockhill in Fife today, Saturday, 3rd September, by securing an excellent lights-to-flag win during round 18 – his fifth victory from the last nine race starts.

Although the first half of the season proved troublesome for theplayer.co.uk/Century Motorsport driver, over the last few race meetings Freke has been able to show the sort of pace and ability which took him to the Ginetta G50 Cup title – the forerunner to the GT Supercup – in 2009.

Edging out Tom Sharp by 0.143 seconds in qualifying to claim pole position, Freke got away well at the start to fend off the IDL driver and soaked up continued pressure from the former championship leader to take another richly deserved success.

On lap three, the Safety Car was deployed after a multi-car tangle at Leslie’s which accounted for the extremely unfortunate Fergus Walkinshaw, who starred in qualifying with a sensational third fastest time, and also resulted in pit visits for Lee Pattison and Josh Fielding.

Seeing off Sharp’s challenge at the re-start, Freke certainly didn’t have things all his own way as his pursuer piled on the pressure. The pole-sitter hardly put a wheel wrong though and didn’t offer up anything like an opportunity for Sharp to grasp.

“It went well, Tom did put a lot of pressure on me but it is difficult to overtake here”, said Freke, “I knew if I kept everything clean I could make his life hard but I did make a little mistake at Clark which did allow him to get right back onto me on one lap, but we got enough of a gap and controlled it.

“It’s the first race, brand new tyres, so you need to try and keep the car in line. If you start burning tyres up in the first race, by the time you get to the third race of the weekend you’re really going to be in trouble. The car was absolutely faultless and I’m really pleased with another win – we’re creeping up on them in the championship.”

Behind Sharp, points leader Carl Breeze was an ever-present threat and the top three proved to be very well matched in terms of pace. In the end, Sharp had the edge with a best time of 53.162 seconds (86.09mph) but he couldn’t quite carve open an opportunity to try and attack Freke.

“Carl was fast and he was behind me the whole time putting the pressure on”, said Sharp, “I think we had the edge on Nathan but in a race like that when someone is so close behind you, it’s a case of thinking if you want to try and attack and risk losing a few places. I tried that at Croft and it didn’t work so I learnt my lesson and held back on that one today! The car was really good, very fast.”

Yet another podium for Breeze, his 12th of the season, enabled him to maintain his position at the top of the driver standings but Sharp’s runner-up placing, added to the bonus point for fastest lap, mean the latter has closed to within 26 points of the Total Control Racing driver.

“Third is good points and the finish moves me up to the inside of the second row for tomorrow morning’s race so I’m quite happy with that”, commented Breeze, “To be fair, the three of us at the front were all running similar pace. In sector one I seemed to have more pace than them but then I lost out in sector two. We’ll make a few changes for tomorrow but it’s not been a bad day.”

The top three were able to break away from the rest, headed by Ciceley Racing’s Adam Morgan who maintained his consistent run of form with yet another strong finish albeit a couple of seconds shy of the podium placings.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.