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May 08, 2014 - 02:41 PM
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Sharp Aims To Bounce Back After Rockingham Disappointment
Posted by: newsla on May 08, 2014 - 02:35 PM
Sports Cars
Sharp Aims To Bounce Back After Rockingham Disappointment

Tom Sharp is hoping to get his 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship season back on track at Silverstone in four weeks’ time after being missing from action in round three at Rockingham Motor Speedway.


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Sharp and the IDL Racing with CWS team got their season off to a positive start two weeks ago with a pair of top twelve finishes at the Oulton Park season opener.

They headed into the Rockingham May Day bank holiday meeting hoping to replicate those results, but knew it would be a tough ask on a circuit that doesn’t suit their Ginetta G55 GT3, against the most competitive British GT field for years.

After getting some vital on-track running during Sunday’s two free practice sessions, Sharp and team-mate Colin White’s combined times in qualifying secured them fifteenth on the grid, with Sharp feeling they got the best they could from the car around the 2.05 mile circuit.

White started the two-hour race in the drivers seat, and a great opening lap saw him gain four places to move up to eleventh. He was soon chasing down the top ten, with the IDL Ginetta being one of the fastest cars on track, when disaster unfortunately struck.

An incident when lapping one of the slower GT4 class runners ended with a broken rear clevis and front track control arm for the G55. White got the car back the pits, but despite the best efforts of the team, they were forced to retire the car before Sharp could even get behind the wheel.

While the end result was hugely frustrating, Sharp feels the team can capitalise on their potential shown next time out in the flagship Silverstone 500 event, a race the 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup vice-champion hugely impressed in last season by running third overall for a long period.

Tom Sharp: “Although qualifying didn’t go quite as well as hoped, that was just a reflection of the cars pace with our current balance of performance. We know that the car is kind to it tyres as it is the lightest car on the grid, but as we were starting to see the benefits of this our race came to a premature end.

“Silverstone is a circuit that suits the car much better, and pre-season testing has been good there. We are confident that we will be able to put on a good performance next time out and improve on our Oulton Park results.”

The three-hour Silverstone 500 event, round four of the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship season, takes place around the Arena Grand Prix circuit at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’ over the weekend of May 31/June 1.

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