Tom Wrigley enjoyed his best ever meeting in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Donington Park this past weekend (28/29 April) as he secured a pair of top four results including a superb first podium finish of the season.
Wrigley headed into the meeting with a rich history at the Leicestershire circuit, with it having been the scene of a stunning triple victory there on his way to the 2016 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup title, and then his maiden Carrera Cup GB podium finish twelve months ago.
The 25 year old would continue his positive run at the circuit during official pre-event testing on Thursday, with blistering pace under the spring sunshine seeing him finish the day second overall after lapping under the existing championship lap record for the circuit.
The weather would completely change for Saturday however as rain fell across the circuit for the majority of the day, though a break in the showers during the all-important qualifying session meant that the conditions were constantly evolving as the track surface dried.
The session would therefore boil down to a frenetic final few minutes and Wrigley was unfortunately unable to take full advantage as he battled with traffic, which meant he would have to settle for sixth on the grid for the opening race later that afternoon.
Wrigley would kick off the action in tremendous fashion as a superb launch off the line saw him storm through the middle of the row ahead and into fourth position, with some great early pace seeing him latch onto the tail of the podium contenders ahead.
The Chirk-based racer would also come under pressure from behind however and he slipped back to fifth on lap six, though he kept in touch with the drivers ahead and soon found himself back in the midst of a close-fought three car battle for the final podium position.
A great move into Coppice on lap nineteen would secure him fourth position once again, which he maintained with a composed drive to the chequered flag. It would prove to be a useful result, with the reverse grid draw giving him a front-row start for race two the following day.
A dry circuit would allow Wrigley to maximise that opportunity and show the fantastic pace in his JTR Porsche in front of the live ITV4 television cameras, with a great spell early on seeing him post the fastest laps of the race as he kept in touch with the race leader.
The introduction of the safety car at the halfway mark of the race would place Wrigley right in the middle of a four car battle at the restart, though his only focus was on the driver ahead and he started to put him under immense pressure as the laps ticked down.
Despite his best efforts, Wrigley was unable to forge a clear overtaking opportunity without risking his second place, so he maintained that position to the finish to take a career-best result in the Carrera Cup GB to the delight of his family, team and sponsors.
Tom Wrigley: “I’m absolutely over the moon to take our first podium finish of the season. While it might have been the reverse grid race, we showed we clearly had the pace to be at the front and JTR gave me a perfect car that allowed me to push throughout the race.
“We were quick at the start even when I was trying to preserve the tyres, which meant there was still plenty of life in them at the end and we could keep the pressure firmly on the race leader right to the finish. I feel that result caps off a really strong weekend for us performance wise.
“A massive thank you to MSS KITS for all their support and I’m delighted I could repay them with their first podium finish. Hopefully it will be the first of many, and now I’ve got a second place finish under my belt, I want a win next!”
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB will now head overseas for the next rounds of the 2018 season, with the historic Monza circuit in Italy hosting rounds five and six in two weeks’ time (11-13 May) as the series races in support of the European Le Mans Series.
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Dan Bathie/Porsche