More points for Declan Jones on 'bittersweet' Oulton Park weekend

More points for Declan Jones on 'bittersweet' Oulton Park weekend

23.05.2017: Liverpool racing driver Declan Jones showed good pace and took more points in his Whitley Neill Gin branded-Ginetta G55 during

Liverpool racing driver Declan Jones showed good pace and took more points in his Whitley Neill Gin branded-Ginetta G55 during round three of the 2017 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup at Oulton Park last weekend (May 20-21).

The Halewood Wines & Spirits-backed star, who took a podium double at Donington Park last month, began his home event in fine form and following a positive Friday practice, was fifth fastest in qualifying on the Saturday, less than a tenth off a place on the second row, despite very tricky wet slippery conditions.

Declan then made a good start to the first race, before a little mistake on the second lap at Knickerbrook corner cruelly put him out.

With his car fixed for the second race on Sunday, however, Declan kept his composure, hauling himself up from tenth to seventh and featuring heavily in the coverage broadcast live on UK television on ITV4. Seventh also netted him 16 valuable points for the Century Motorsport-Whitley Neill Gin team, leaving him sixth in the Championship.

“A bitter sweet weekend. I am happy that we finished seventh today and got some points, especially after the incident on Saturday. I am also happy we got some good TV coverage for the Century Motorsport-Whitley Neill Gin team,” said Declan, the 2013 British GT4 vice-champion.

“What happened in race one was just one of those things – it was a bit 50:50. A set of barriers had been knocked into the circuit and obviously I did hit them, but it was a clip, not a hit. But it is what it is and it ended that race.

“Race two I had a very good start, but while the car felt okay it wasn’t 100 percent. I don’t want to make excuses. The lads did a great job to get it back together and get me on the grid, but it was a big impact in race one and so I did the best I felt I could.

“The car had a lot of pace in race one and while I didn’t think it was there so much in race two, it is still very positive going forward.

“Century and Ginetta have really helped me to get the car how I want it and we have got a test day coming up at Croft now, so just onwards and upwards to that and see how we get on there.

“It is very tight this year in the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup and even though this has been a difficult weekend there are lots of weekends left - five in fact and with three races per weekend, that’s 15 races in total. A lot can happen in 15 races.”

Century Motorsport boss, Nathan Freke also believes that there is a lot still to fight for in the coming events.

“It was looking very promising at the start of the weekend,” said Freke, “and we were showing good signs of pace. Practice went well. Qualifying was tricky, it was very difficult conditions and we only really had two flying laps, but Declan did a good job and qualified fifth and felt there was a lot left in the tank.

“In the first race he got a clean start and got away well. He settled down in fourth place but unfortunately made a small mistake that cost him heavily. He clipped the tyre stack, broke the steering and then went on to hit the wall. It left us with a lot of work to do for race two, but we got the car out and ended up in seventh.

“Overall, a bit disappointing given the weekend promised much, but at least Declan is feeling a bit more comfortable now. Things are looking a lot more positive for him and the Century Motorsport-Whitley Neill Gin team and that puts us in a good place going forward to the next round at Croft (June 10-11).”

Rob Wilkins- photo Jakob Ebrey


23.05.2017 / MaP

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