Tom Wrigley has brought his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup GB season to a close with a superb top six finish during the season finale at Brands Hatch this past weekend, a result that confirms him as the second highest Rookie driver in the final standings.
The return to the Kent circuit brought back some great memories for Wrigley, having been the scene for his triumphant crowning as Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion twelve months ago, as well as his Carrera Cup GB debut back in April of this year.
The 25 year old headed into the eighth and final meeting of the season determined to end the campaign on a high, and his confidence was boosted by a hugely productive day of practice on Friday that he described as “one of my best” in the car.
With both sessions starting on a wet circuit which then dried as they progressed, Wrigley was able to get plenty of track time in both conditions in his In2 Racing-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ahead of a weekend that promised changeable weather.
Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session wouldn’t go the Chirk-based racer’s way however, with a best effort of 1m 28.41s on a dry circuit securing him ninth on the grid for both races, which would take place in front of a huge trackside crowd the following day.
Drizzle greeted Wrigley as he lined up on the grid for race one in his Rednal Karting and CPL Industries-backed Porsche, however the conditions appeared to cause him no concern as a superb opening lap saw him climb three positions into the top six.
After losing one of the spots back prior to an early safety car period, Wrigley bided his time as the race progressed before mounting an impressive late charge, closing down a gap of nearly two and half seconds to the pack ahead before piling the pressure on the driver ahead.
That was rewarded on the final lap heading into Surtees bend as Wrigley stormed down the inside to grab sixth position and with it a richly deserved third top six finish of the season, a result he was hoping to replicate in the final race of the season.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t quite happen again for Wrigley, however he would produce some consistent lap times throughout the race as he ran in ninth position for the majority, before capitalising on a driver error ahead to take eighth place three laps from the end.
The weekend’s results cap off a positive learning year for the former Kumho BMW champion, who produced competitive performances throughout his maiden campaign on his way to ninth overall in the championship standings and second in the Rookie category.
Tom Wrigley: “It’s been a positive day of racing to cap off a strong weekend. We came away with a good top six finish under our belts, no damage to the car and I’ve learnt that my pace is pretty competitive when driving a Porsche in the wet.
“Friday was one of the best days I’ve had in the car and I was really pleased with how practice went. Qualifying was a difficult one and that was a bit of a mystery, but we came back well and showed strong pace in the races.
“I’ve probably learnt more this season than I have in any year of my racing career so far and while there’s still naturally some room for improvement for me in this car, to come away with second in the Rookie standings in a positive end to the season.
“I must say a huge thank you to the In2 Racing team, they have been a real pleasure to work with this season and they’ve given me a fantastic car, whilst a big thank you must also go to all my sponsors for their support, as without them I wouldn’t be racing. Hopefully we’ll be back in 2018!”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Dan Bathie/Porsche