SV Racing’s David Pittard opened his race wins account in a commanding and dominant fashion in Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup on Hampshire’s ultra-high speed Thruxton circuit on Saturday (3 May).
The 20-minute Ginetta GT4 Supercup qualifying session on the 2.36mile Hampshire-based track was a close-run thing and the battle for pole position provided a great deal of excitement.
Pittard remained elusive during the first half of the session but immediately established himself as one to watch upon exiting the pits in close proximity with HHC Motorsport’s Charlie Robertson.
The pair engaged in an adrenaline-fuelled fight for pole position that saw them exchange fastest times and Pittard briefly held pole position with a time of 1m14.511s, only for Robertson to go three thousandths of a second quicker.
That tiny margin proved to be enough for Robertson to remain atop the timing screens. However, a superb launch for Pittard saw him snatch the lead on the initial run to the Campbell, Cobb, Segrave complex, albeit with a fast-starting Carl Breeze threatening to nip underneath him.
In race 1 the Hertfordshire-based racer stood firm and proceeded to draw out an eight-tenths advantage on the first lap. He looked to have control of the race, extending his advantage and then managing the gap to ensure former Ginetta Champion Breeze was never close enough to benefit from the tow.
Ultimately, the KX Akademy recruit drove impeccably to take a popular maiden Ginetta GT4 Supercup win in only his third outing in the ultra-competitive championship.
A jubilant Pittard said: “I can’t believe this has happened! I made sure I nailed my start and just didn’t look in my mirrors at all. I deserved that win and my lap times were strong, coming down as the race progressed. I never expected to achieve a win this early in my maiden Ginetta GT4 Supercup season and especially at Thruxton! I thought it would be a bogie circuit for me, given its fast nature and my lack of track time, but that proved to be completely wrong! Hopefully I’ve now stepped up another level and this continues.”
Tyre management on the highly abrasive Thruxton circuit was always going to be crucial in Round 8 on Saturday afternoon, although Pittard produced yet another masterful and controlled performance to secure a second consecutive victory.
A demon start and a fastest lap of 1m15.743s helped him build a comfortable lead over the chasing pack early on and, while the gap appeared to stabilise thereafter, Pittard was utterly in command and took the flag with 3.824s in hand over the brawling Breeze and Tom Oliphant.
“During the short interval between races one and two we found that the clutch wasn’t engaging properly, so there was a bit of drama as SV Racing tried to get the car turned around in time,” said Pittard. “Situations like that are crazy, but there was a huge effort by the guys who gave me a solid car, so I’m glad I could repay them with another win. Rob Boston, my engineer, has done a mega job and has been very patient with me. He has played a huge part in making sure we’re successful. It has been a huge team effort this is for them. Starting from fourth place tomorrow, we have a realistic shot of making this a perfect weekend.”
SV Racing Director, Danny Buxton, said: “Dominant is the word to describe David’s (Pittard) driving today. He controlled it all the way and he deserves every bit of success. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you could meet, but he’s incredibly enthusiastic and hard-working and I’m really moved by what he’s achieved today. The SV Racing guys did an awesome job to repair his clutch between the races and to have two wins at Thruxton is a huge achievement for the team too. It shows those who might be looking to enter the championship that there’s another team out there. SVR can win in anything!”
Having enjoyed the taste of victory so much, David Pittard understandably wanted more of the same in Sunday’s final Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup encounter to round off a "perfect weekend". The top-four finishers from Round 8 on Saturday (3 May) were reversed, therefore Pittard started from the second row of the grid, having dominated the previous two races.
Another lightning start saw Pittard depose Tom Oliphant for the final podium spot on the charge through Allard and Pittard was soon drawing in on Carl Breeze for second place.
Pittard lined himself up for a pass on the United Autosports driver on the fourth visit to the Chicane and continued to drive a canny race, taking the outside line into the final corner and trying to sell Breeze the dummy into the Campbell, Cobb, Segrave complex of corners.
Andrew Watson stamped his authority out front and had an unbridgeable gap of over 11s by the time Pittard defeated Breeze with a ballsy move at Church – the fastest corner in the UK – on lap 14.
“The team gave me a fantastic car for this race so I was confident I could fight for another strong finish to complete an amazing weekend,” said Pittard. “The team told me to preserve my tyres but I was fully focused on passing cars. I had to bide my time in what was a very different race to yesterday, as track conditions and the car’s balance had changed. I was quick in places and had to pick my moments, so I showed my nose a few times at the Chicane and the complex, but Carl (Breeze) made a mistake and I punished him for it by keeping my foot planted through Church. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that one!”
Race report by SV Racing. For more information on SV Racing, please visit the new www.svracing.co.ukwebsite, 'like' the team's Facebook page or follow @SV_Racing on Twitter.