Heathcote extends Championship lead
Heathcote extends Championship lead

Nathan Heathcote extends his lead in the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup ‘Am’ Championship lead, with two fine results at the challenging Cheshire circuit of Oulton Park – taking a win in Race 1 and third place in Race 2.

The weekend started well with the young Kent flyer – competing in his first season in the championship – capitalising on the momentum he currently has and taking pole position for the first race held on Saturday afternoon.
One of the few circuits on the calendar that Nathan has experience of racing at, he used his limited knowledge of the tricky but rewarding Oulton Park layout to dial in his Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 to perfection, posting the fastest time in class as the only ‘Am’ driver to go into the 1:26’s.
From a P1 grid position, Nathan drove flawlessly in Race 1, leading from start to finish with little challenge to his track position throughout. On what was the hottest day of the year so far, the championship leader kept his cool, managing the distance to 2nd place, taking the flag and with it his fourth win of the season.
In Race 2 on Sunday afternoon, in front of a packed crowd of 40,000 spectators, it wasn’t going to be quite as easy, and this time around it was anything but plain sailing. A manic start saw plenty of jostling for position throughout the field at turn 1 and into turn 2. Nathan’s strategy was to get away cleanly and try to clear off, but he got caught up as the field bunched and went defensive – a result of a series of minor skirmishes at the front. Losing two positions, Nathan dropped to P3 and from here would have to regroup and mount a fresh challenge.
As the race progressed, the Century Motorsport driver would make headway on the two top spots, posting the fastest lap of 1:27.532 on Lap 4. Despite passing Tom Barley for overall position on Lap 10 to put him into the place needed to challenge, he could not quite get himself close enough to make a clear move for the top spots, eventually settling for the podium and another solid points haul with the overall championship in mind.
At the top of the ‘Am’ standings, Nathan now has a 39 point gap over his nearest rival Darron Lewis. He also has a gap of several weeks to consider his next move, as he zeros in on his first Ginetta GT4 SuperCup championship title. The series is not back in action until 17-18 August at Thruxton in Hampshire but this enforced break will only help to sharpen the mind and bring new focus and determination for what lies ahead in the series.
A celebratory Nathan said, The first half of the weekend was a dream. The car felt so good in qualifying and the pace I carried into Race 1 was just where I wanted it to be. The race was drama-free and the result, perfect. I wish they could all be like that! Oulton Park is a great circuit and when you get hooked up and dialled in, there’s nowhere better to drive, especially when the fans are packed in and enjoying the action like that.
“Race 2 didn’t quite go to plan. I got caught up a bit at the start and just couldn’t find my groove early on. By Lap 4 I was into the rhythm but track position was compromised. I started to push but didn’t want to do anything silly at the end. It’s annoying it didn’t quite go the same as Race 1 as I had good pace again, but that’s the way it is. Retaining the series lead was the main objective and I’m really happy with taking another podium and extending my points position in the championship.”
Images courtesy of www.pspimages.co.uk


 
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