After their double win at the Season opening Oulton Park races, Zoe Wenham and her teammate Declan Jones headed to Rockingham with their Century Motorsport Ginetta G50 with high hopes of extending their championship lead.
The race weekend was unusually being held over a Sunday and the bank holiday Monday. Zoe spent the first practice session acclimatising to the differing handling of the car over the bumps of Rockingham this season with the extra weight the organisers have added to the car after pre-season Balance of power (BOP) testing. This is to try and equalise all the cars in the class to keep the field closer. The team also worked on making sure the newly rebuilt engine in the car was running smoothly.
Practice two didn’t go so well with a technical issue halting the car and any further progress. With Rockingham being a one two hour race event, the qualifying session only needed one quick time to put the car as high up as possible on the single grid of the weekend. As Declan had been the fastest in the car so far, he was sent out for qualifying where he put the car second on the grid. Zoe, Declan and the team were very happy with that as they were confident their combined pace would be fast enough to beat the pole sitting car. (The Redgate Lifetime racing Ginetta G50 of Matt Smith and Dan Eagling.) They’d also saved some of their tyres meaning they had fresh rubber for the race.
Race day begun with a short warm up session and everything seemed to be good. The race got underway just after the lunch break with Zoe taking the first stint. Unfortunately her start did not go well and she found herself dropping to the back of the GT4 field. But she stayed focused and soon moved up to fourth. By the time she finished her stint she was gaing rapidly on third place. The windscreen rubber had found it’s way loose during the stint but fortunately it hadn’t caused Zoe and issues.
The pitstop went extremely well as the team, Century motorsport had been practicing. If it hadn’t been for the compulsory twenty second delay (Given to them as they won the two previous races.) They would have emerged in the lead. It’s another way the organisers try to maintain parity amongst the teams.
Declan set about trying to pass the other cars between them and victory. He was soon up to second with just the Complete Racing Aston Martin in front. Then a safety car was scrambled to give the marshalls chance to deal with a car that had left the circuit. Usually this is a good thing when you are pursuing someone as it gives you a chance to catch up. Sadly as the Aston was with the GT3 leaders as the safety car came out, they were waved through to catch back up with the end of the field. This put them nearly a lap ahead and destroyed any chance of catching them.
So Declan took the flag in an excellent second place and they still retain the championship lead with their nearest rivals (Rick Parfitt Jr and Ryan Ratcliffe.) failing to finish this time.
“It’s great to still be leading the championship after Rockingham, thanks to Century Motorsport and all my Sponsors including Supaguard, Fadal CNC and Geometric Manufacturing. I’m looking forward to racing back at Silverstone this year but hopefully we will be on the first step of the podium after the 3 hours.” By Marc Waller