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7 May 2013

Josh White - Thruxton

Spanish racing driver Pepe Massot secured a best finish of sixth place from the latest three rounds of Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup action at ultra-fast Thruxton over the weekend, 4th/5th May, to conclude the third race meeting of the season fourth in the championship.

With two excellent victories to his credit already during his maiden campaign in Ginetta’s flagship series, the 17-year-old wasn’t able to replicate the same sort of performance at the notoriously challenging Hampshire track but was unlucky not to come away with some podium silverware.

Saturday morning’s qualifying session took place in wet, but drying, conditions and Massot went out for just a handful of laps on intermediate tyres to secure fourth on the grid for round seven and put himself in a strong position to challenge for the rostrum.

Frustratingly, he was elbowed back to seventh on lap one before a lengthy Safety Car period was put in place and when racing resumed on lap seven, Massot held station but was able to grab sixth just before the finish at the expense of Fergus Walkinshaw.

In round eight, Massot made a fantastic getaway to leap into the top four from sixth on the grid but an unfortunate moment at two thirds distance dropped the Hillspeed racer down the order outside the top 10. In the end, he managed to fight his way back into ninth before the finish.

For the third and final race of the weekend on Sunday, the Barcelona-based driver moved up into eighth initially before being bundled back to 10th after three laps. Circulating in the same position until just after half-distance, Massot did manage to gain a couple of places before the finish to take eighth – ending the weekend just eight points outside the championship top three.

“It’s been quite a tough weekend for Pepe but he still managed to score in all three races and that’s so important in a championship like GT Supercup”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “He definitely had the pace to be on the podium, it just didn’t work out unfortunately, but we’re sure he’ll be back in the top three when we go to Oulton Park next month.”

In the Ginetta Junior Championship, Hillspeed’s Josh White produced a best finish of eighth place in round six on Sunday afternoon – which also equated to him being the third highest placed of the first year ‘Rookie’ drivers.

Starting the second of the weekend’s two races in eighth place, White slipped to 11th on lap one but worked his way back into eighth by lap three and remained there to the finish, holding off Ryan Hadfield by 0.4 seconds at the chequered flag.

Beginning the earlier fifth round from 12th position, the Ilkley driver moved up into ninth on lap one but was dropped to 11th on the third tour. Moving back into the top 10 two laps from the finish, White maintained his consistently strong scoring record and, in doing so, moved into seventh in the driver standings – the second highest placed Ginetta Junior newcomer.

“Josh has done a great job this weekend, Thruxton isn’t a place to take lightly and it’s not an easy track by any means for an experienced driver let alone a first year rookie”, said Ollerenshaw, “To come through the weekend unscathed and with two strong points finishes is a credit to him but no more than he deserved.”

Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire will host the next instalment of Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and Ginetta Junior Championship action on 8th/9th June. Hillspeed will, however, be back in action this coming weekend, 11th/12th May, at Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk for rounds three, four and five of the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship.

2013 Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Driver Standings (after Rd9)

4th Pepe Massot, 190pts

2013 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6)

7th Josh White, 75pts