Tom Oliphant once again showcased his superb overtaking prowess as he impressively climbed through the field to a twelfth place finish during his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut this past weekend at Silverstone.
Taking on some of the best Carrera Cup drivers in the world in support of the F1 British Grand Prix, Oliphant bounced back from a frustrating qualifying session to showcase his true pace in the race, giving the over 120,000 fans watching on trackside an overtaking masterclass in tricky wet conditions.
Focusing on building his game and learning as much as possible from the weekend, Oliphant made big strides forward across Friday’s sole practice session and had the top ten in his sights heading into qualifying on a constantly evolving track.
After a strong run on his first set of tyres, Oliphant saw a late charge on his second set not come to fruition when yellow flags came out in closing minutes, which forced him to back out of a lap which was half a second up on his previous best time and would have placed him in the top twelve.
Oliphant therefore lined up in twentieth position for the race, which looked set to be a dry encounter before the heavens opened as the field embarked on their green flag lap, forcing a delayed start as the field frantically switched to wet weather Michelins.
After two laps behind the safety car the racing began, but not before Oliphant had survived a driver tagging the rear of his Redline Racing 911 as they headed around the treacherous final complex of corners, with damage to the rear bumper fortunately not affecting his pace.
Benefitting from his experience of racing on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in wet conditions earlier in the season, Oliphant was a man on a mission in the early laps as he quickly passed fellow Carrera Cup GB drivers and some big name Supercup talents to climb into the top fifteen.
The famous Stowe corner was his regular place of attack, with Oliphant impressively gaining no less than six positions around the outside at the corner, with his victims including established Supercup front-runners Ben Barker and Michael Ammermüller.
Those two overtakes in the closing laps of the race moved Oliphant up to a hugely impressive twelfth overall at the finish, with the Leamington Spa-based racer gaining more positions than anybody else in the top twenty as he finished up fourth out of the guest Carrera Cup GB drivers in action.
Tom Oliphant: “This weekend was an amazing experience, to race at the British Grand Prix was always a dream of mine and to have such a positive race was fantastic.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into the meeting as there was so many aspects to learn so quickly. My focus was to improve every session and build my game over the weekend.
“Moving from 20th to 12th in the race was a dream performance, as on a grid with all Pro drivers, I didn’t expect to gain that many positions. I gave everything and really think I showcased my racing ability.
“We move onto Snetterton now having learnt a lot, and I’m working hard to make sure I start nearer the front to make the most of my race pace.”
Tom’s focus now returns to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, which is back in action at the end of this month at Snetterton in Norfolk, with Rounds Nine and Ten of the season taking place over the weekend of July 30/31.
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Porsche