Leading team SV21 got their Ginetta GT5 campaign off on the right foot this weekend (Saturday, 30th March), with David Pittard and Alex Drabble showing well at Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit.
Pittard, a former Britcar ace, stunned his championship counterparts when he qualified 2nd for Rounds 1 & 2 of the Ginetta backed series, having only previously driven in the dry once on the Friday of the event. Whilst Drabble, entering his second season of car racing with no previous experience, just missed out on a top ten birth for both races in 11th.
Round 1 saw Pittard surge off the start line to lead at the first corner, before a racing incident between Luke Davenport, sent the SV21 driver wide. Pittard recovered in dead last, with it all to do around the renowned circuit.
Showing well after his first corner incident, Pittard set numerous fastest laps as he worked his way through the field to a creditable sixth position at the Chequered Flag.
Former Formula Ford racer Drabble, sealed SV21’s second top ten with an impressive eighth place finish on his debut in the series.
Round 2 saw Pittard make another textbook start, this time settling into second position during the opening lap of the race.
The front four of Brad Bailey, Pittard, Davenport and Oli Basey-Fisher soon pulled away from the remaining pack, and while running bumper-to-bumper with Bailey, Pittard slipped back to fourth position whilst making a move to take the overall lead of the race.
Pittard continuously looked for options to propel him into a podium spot but ran out of time over the seven-lap period.
Drabble rounded off the second race of the day in 11th position after a race long battle with Stewart Linn and Neil Delargy, with sixth to eleventh position covered by a mere 2.5 seconds.
SV21’s presence remained in the final race of the weekend. Starting from fourth position, Pittard jumped into the lead where he was to stay for the majority of the race.
With three laps to go Pittard came under increased pressure from Bailey, eventually leading to him being nudged out as the pairing headed into Old Hall. Pittard remained hot-on-the-heels of Bailey in second position before a spin at Lodge Corner on the final lap of the race saw him limp across the line in fourth position.
Drabble failed to end his impressive debut weekend on a high in Round 3. Starting from 11th position, the London based driver wound his break bias too far forward, leading to a retirement at the halfway point of the race.
“I’m pleased that we set some good foundations for the year ahead,” said SV21 Director Piers Masarati. “We’ve shown that the cars possess great pace, which bodes well for the next round at Rockingham in May.”
“David had a strong start to his campaign and showed that he will be aiming to fight at the front going forward, this will provide a solid benchmark for Alex, who is only entering his second season of racing with no karting experience.”
Rounds 4, 5 & 6 of the Ginetta Junior Championship will get underway at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham Motor Speedway on 4/5 May.
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.