MASSOT CLAIMS SECOND WIN OF SEASON IN STYLE AT DONINGTON
Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup front-runner Pepe Massot delivered yet another outstanding performance during the second event of the 2013 season at Donington Park over the weekend, 20th/21st April, and claimed outright win number two of his rookie campaign in the category for Hillspeed.
In only his second season of car racing, the Spanish 17-year-old has made a massive impact on the championship and has stunned seasoned observers with the way he has adapted to the monstrous rear-wheel drive Ginetta G55 having only previously raced a power-limited Ginetta Junior in 2012.
Massot’s latest race victory came during the third and final race of the weekend on Sunday, round six, where he converted the ‘reverse grid’ pole position into a two second success and, in doing so, retained his top three placing in the driver standings.
Never realistically troubled throughout, the youngster from Barcelona put in a sensational drive to round-out the visit to Donington Park’s 1.98-mile National Circuit – Hathersage-based Hillspeed’s ‘home’ track – in the best possible way.
“It’s brilliant to have my second win”, said a delighted Massot after the final race, “Two victories overall from six races this year is really great. We need to keep scoring points in every race now and take it from there.”
Qualifying an excellent fourth fastest for the opening race on Saturday, just 0.4 seconds shy of the front row, Massot made a blistering start and dived right, then left, as he tried to find a way past ex-Hillspeed driver Tom Ingram.
Although held out wide at Redgate with the door firmly closed, dropping him to fifth, Massot moved back to fourth on lap nine when Andrew Watson stopped on the circuit. Following a short Safety Car period, the action resumed on lap 12 and Massot fended off close attention to secure the top four.
In Sunday’s morning’s fifth round, the Hillspeed driver was again in the thick of the action and the race began dramatically for him when a wide moment at the Old Hairpin was recovered well to keep hold of fourth place.
Pressuring for third, Massot tried everything he could muster but on lap 13 at Coppice he slipped to fifth behind Rob Boston and was immediately elbowed aside too by Jamie Orton. Over the final three laps, he held on to sixth to take yet more championship points.
“It’s been another exceptional weekend for Pepe”, commented team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “Before the season we thought Pepe would be challenging for the top six in his first season but to have two victories already, against the strong, experienced competition that’s out there in Ginetta GT Supercup, is incredible. He’s certainly punching way above his weight so soon in his career.”
Ginetta Junior runner White delivers best performance of rookie season
Donington Park also proved to be a happy hunting ground for car racing newcomer Josh White who bagged his best finish of the season so far, sixth position in round four, to climb into equal eighth place in the Ginetta Junior Championship.
After making a solid debut at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit three weeks previous, the 16-year-old made big strides forward during the second race meeting of the 2013 season and as well as making the top six overall in round four, he was also the second highest place rookie.
Beginning Sunday’s televised encounter from 11th on the grid, White moved into the top 10 after a couple of laps and then gladly claimed ninth when second year driver Tom Jackson ran wide out of the Old Hairpin.
Due to some contact in the mid-order at the foot of Craner Curves on lap four, the Safety Car was deployed and when racing resumed the Ilkley driver held eighth place. Although the recovering Jakson made his way by, White moved into seventh on the final lap after the latter got tangled up at Redgate with Jamie Chadwick. White then took sixth before the flag to cap a terrific drive.
In Saturday afternoon’s third round, the Hillspeed racer scored strongly with a fine eighth place with another good performance. Elbowed back to 12th on the opening tour, he moved into 11th two laps later and then profited from problems for Jackson and Elliot Paterson on lap four to climb into ninth. He then took eighth the next time around, fourth rookie, and stayed there to the flag.
“We’re really pleased with the progress Josh is making”, said Ollerenshaw, “To take an eighth place and then a sixth from the two races this weekend, only his second race meeting in cars, and to do so without a scratch on the car was fantastic. Josh is a pleasure to work with and we’re delighted with what he’s achieved so far.”
Rounds seven, eight and nine of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and the fifth and sixth rounds of the Ginetta Junior Championship will take place at Thruxton in Hampshire on 4th/5th May.
This week, Hillspeed turns its attention to the squad’s BRDC Formula 4 single-seater programme with official pre-season testing taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd April, at Snetterton in Norfolk. The first event of the 2013 F4 season will then follow next weekend, 27th/28th April, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.
2013 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Driver Standings (after Rd6):
3rd Pepe Massot, 144pts
2013 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd4)
=8th Josh White & Jack Rawles, 50pts