Tom Wrigley produced a phenomenal performance on his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut at Silverstone this past weekend (07/08 July) as he converted a stunning fifth place in qualifying into a richly-deserved top ten race finish.
The weekend would be one of the biggest in Wrigley’s blossoming career so far as he competed on the support bill for the Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix for the first time, linking up with his regular Porsche Carrera Cup GB outfit Team JTR.
Standing at the top of Porsche’s pyramid of twenty one-make series across the world, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is one of the most competitive GT championships on the planet, with a talented 33-car entry providing a stern test for Wrigley in his Porsche.
The Chirk-based racer was excited for the challenge as he headed into the meeting with confidence high, having secured a maiden Carrera Cup GB victory last time out at Oulton Park as part of his best run of form in the championship so far.
An official two-day Supercup test at Silverstone last month would provide Wrigley with some crucial mileage around the 3.19 mile Grand Prix circuit, before Friday’s forty-five minute practice session provided a last chance to perfect the car’s set-up ahead of qualifying.
The hard work would pay off in the Saturday evening sunshine, with the 25 year old stunning the paddock as a sensational late lap of 2m 03.912s put him fifth fastest overall as the leading British driver on the grid, ahead of a number of seasoned Supercup front-runners.
The sole race of the weekend would see Wrigley compete on Sunday morning on the eve of the British Grand Prix itself, ensuring that over 100,000 fans were watching trackside and plenty more via live television coverage on Sky Sports F1.
Wrigley would immediately experience the cut-throat nature of Supercup racing as he got shuffled back to tenth over the course of the first two laps, but the MSS KITS driver quickly dusted himself off and settled into a rhythm of competitive lap-times.
A thrilling three-way battle would emerge between Wrigley, his current Carrera Cup GB rival Dino Zamparelli and 2014 champion Josh Webster, with the three British contenders producing some great wheel-to-wheel action for the home fans.
Slipping back to thirteenth at one stage, Wrigley fought back superbly to slot back into tenth heading into a late safety car period, before a mature, composed drive after the restart ensured he came home with a brilliant top ten finish.
Tom Wrigley: “What an amazing weekend. I’m absolutely over the moon with what we achieved. It’s an incredible feeling to have come into a brand-new, hugely competitive championship and qualify in the top five first time out.
“I said that my pole position lap at Oulton Park was ‘one of the best laps of my life’ and I think my qualifying lap this weekend was right up there with it. I gave it absolutely everything that me and the car had, and to come away fifth was unexpected but awesome.
“It was a special feeling to line-up on the grid in front of a massive home crowd ahead of the British Grand Prix itself, and while it was a shame to have not been able to fight for the top six, it remained a thoroughly enjoyable race for me with some great battles on circuit.
“We came into the weekend with a top ten finish our target and to achieve that is extremely satisfying. I must say a massive thank you to Team JTR, they gave me a fantastic car, and to MSS KITS for making it all possible; I wouldn’t have got this opportunity without them.
“We’re back on Porsche Carrera Cup GB duty at the end of the month and I’m determined to continue our current run of top four finishes and get on the podium again at Snetterton (28/29 July).”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Porsche