Tom Wrigley has kept himself in the fight for the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship title with a pair of hard-fought top six finishes during a tricky outing at Knockhill this past weekend (25/26 August).
Wrigley headed north to Scotland with his confidence sky high after taking a second win of the season last time out at Snetterton, and he returned to Knockhill with fond memories of a sensational treble victory there on his way to the 2016 Ginetta GT4 Supercup title.
The race week would start in hugely positive fashion as Wrigley ended second fastest overall in an official pre-event test on Wednesday, which he followed up with some more blistering lap-times in his JTR prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car during free practice on Friday.
The Chirk based racer went on to superbly lap the short, fast 1.2 mile circuit in just 49.002 seconds in qualifying the next day, an effort that secured him fourth on the grid for the first of Sunday’s two races, which would take place in torrential rain after a change in weather overnight.
Wrigley, who celebrated his 26th birthday earlier this month, adapted superbly to the treacherous conditions as he maintained fourth position over the first half of the race, staying hot on the heels of the podium contenders in his MSS Kits Porsche.
Unfortunately through no fault of his own he would lose out on a position in the final portion of the race though. A driver ahead slid wide through the gravel trap and as he returned to the circuit, he forced Wrigley onto the grass which dropped him to fifth for the finish.
That would ultimately prove costly as it denied him the reverse grid pole position for the second race of the day, which would be a milestone encounter for Wrigley as he made his 80th start on the BTCC support package.
A strong run would see the Welshman maintain fifth position for a large portion of the race, however some unnecessarily robust defending from a lapped backmarker on lap 21 would lead to him making a trip through the gravel trap at Clarks corner.
Wrigley recovered to the circuit in seventh place and quickly set about making up ground again, with a late move securing him sixth position heading to the chequered flag.
The weekend’s results have extended Wrigley’s brilliant run of finishing every race so far this season inside the top six, with that consistency ensuring he remains only nineteen points adrift of the series leader heading into the final four races of the season, starting at Silverstone on 15/16 September.
Tom Wrigley: “The week started off well in testing on Wednesday but unfortunately it just went progressively downhill from there. The change in weather over the weekend played a factor, but we ultimately didn’t quite have the podium pace in the dry or wet conditions.
“This circuit is a particularly tricky one in the Porsche as the short, tight nature of it means traffic and yellow flags play a big role in qualifying and especially the races, where it’s hard to settle into a rhythm and focus on the driver ahead as you negotiate back-markers.
“That was a particular issue for me in the second race as they seemed to make it very difficult to overtake, but we got to the finish and I’m pleased we got a pair of top six finishes and a solid championship points haul in such treacherous conditions.
“We have positives to take from the weekend and now we move on and focus on Silverstone next. That will be another close weekend with fine margins, so we’ll see what we can achieve. We’re going to need some luck to go our way in the title battle, but we’re not going to give up!
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Porsche