Tom Wrigley saw a hugely promising home meeting in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB come to a sudden and premature conclusion at Oulton Park yesterday (20th May) when he was caught up in a massive first lap incident in the opening race of the weekend.
Returning to action following a five week break, Wrigley kicked off the third meeting of his maiden Carrera Cup GB campaign by producing blistering pace in Friday’s free practice sessions, ending the day second fastest overall in his In2 Racing Porsche.
The 24 year old’s efforts to replicate that pace in Saturday’s qualifying session were hampered by a dramatic change in weather conditions though, with torrential rainfall meaning he would be greeted with treacherous track conditions around the Cheshire circuit.
Wrigley, who lives just forty minutes away from the track in Chirk, would belie his lack of wet weather experience in the car to place himself seventh on the grid for both encounters, though sadly his opening race later that afternoon would only last a single corner.
As the field fed through the first turn following the rolling start, contact in front left a car spinning and despite his best efforts to head left in avoidance, Wrigley got tagged and sent across circuit himself into the path of the oncoming traffic.
Heavy collisions would follow from a number of rivals, with the incident ultimately claiming nine victims including Wrigley, with extensive damage to the front, side and rear of his Porsche being deemed unrepairable for today’s second race.
Tom Wrigley: “It’s immensely disappointing to end the weekend like this. We started off really positively in practice on Friday, putting ourselves right at the head of the field, and then we had the curveball thrown in for qualifying with the wet conditions.
“I’d never driven this car in the wet before, so that was a real challenge for us and I feel we did well to come away with the seventh best time. We were excited to try and push forwards in the dry race, but unfortunately we didn’t get the chance.
“It was complete carnage at the first corner, with almost half the grid involved. I couldn’t do anything more to avoid getting tagged and it just went from bad to worse from then. It’s a real shame, but we’re taking the positives away from the weekend and looking ahead.”
The next rounds of the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB will see the championship head overseas for a special outing in France, where the series will join up with the Carrera Cup France and Benelux series to race in support of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours race (14-17 June).
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Dan Bathie/Porsche