Tom Wrigley bounced back from a frustrating race one retirement to see his persistence rewarded with a richly deserved top five finish during a challenging sixth meeting of the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season at Knockhill this past weekend (12/13 August).
The reigning Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup would head to Knockhill with fond memories of a sensational treble victory there last season, however he would go into the race meeting right on the backfoot after missing the official pre-event test in Scotland on Tuesday.
That was compounded by the fact both of Friday’s free practice sessions took place in wet conditions, meaning that after an improvement in the weather overnight, Wrigley’s first chance to tackle the circuit on slick tyres in his In2 Racing Porsche came in the all-important qualifying session.
The Chirk-based racer would give it his all during the thirty minute session and improved his lap times throughout, eventually finishing proceedings with a best effort of 50.435 seconds to place himself ninth on the grid for both races the following day.
Sunday would mark the occasion of Wrigley’s 25th birthday, however there would be no cause for celebration in the opening race as after running in a strong ninth position throughout, there would be an unfortunate collision with a backmarker on the penultimate lap.
Despite the marshals waving blue flags as Wrigley attempted to lap the car ahead, a defensive move through Clark’s corner led to contact between the two, spinning him into the gravel trap and out the race, whilst also causing extensive damage to his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
A fantastic effort from the In2 Racing mechanics saw the car repaired ahead of race two later that afternoon and the Rednal Karting and CPL Industries backed driver rewarded their efforts with a strong performance in front of the ITV4 television cameras.
Producing competitive lap times as he maintained position over the first half of the race, Wrigley would then go on the offensive as he picked up two places on lap seventeen and then gained another on the penultimate tour to take the chequered flag in sixth.
A post-race time penalty for a driver ahead though promoted him to fifth position, a result that gives Wrigley a huge confidence boost ahead of the final two meetings of the season, starting at Silverstone next month (16/17 September).
Tom Wrigley: “Okay, I’m not winning and we want to do that, but I’m so much happier with race two, to be in the pack and battling for positions where we realistically should be. That’s why we come racing and I’m pleased to end the weekend there.
“It’s been a massive challenge this weekend. We were on the backfoot heading into qualifying with no previous dry running here, and then after race one I was ready to call it a day. The team have done a fantastic job though and I can’t thank them enough.
“I’m so pleased I could go some way to reward their efforts and end the weekend on a high. We’ve got work to do in the final two meetings, but hopefully luck can be with us and we can enjoy some positive results at Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP to end the year.”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Dan Bathie/Porsche