The Richardson Racing team enjoyed further trips to the podium as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge visited Thruxton for the third round of the year.
The Corby-based team headed for the high-speed Hampshire circuit hoping to build on the strong results enjoyed last time out at Rockingham, where drivers Alex Toth-Jones and Charlie Martin picked up podium finishes in their respective classes.
Qualifying proved to be a session of mixed emotions for the pair, with Bradford-based Alex storming to his maiden pole position by nearly half a second but Leicester racer Charlie being left on the back row of the grid after an off-track excursion led to a brake problem that prevented her from setting a representative time.
When the opening race got underway at the second attempt after an incident down the field caused a red flag stoppage, Alex maintained his position at the head of the field but found himself unable to break the tow to get away from the chasing pack.
The pressure from behind would tell on the eighth lap as he slipped back to fourth place but in a four-car fight that would run right through to the finish, he emerged with third place.
Having avoided the incident ahead at the initial start, Charlie was soon making up places on the restart and had battled into the top 20 overall by the end of the first lap.
Running third in the Am class, she moved up to second with three laps remaining and clinched her third class podium in as many meetings.
Race two in front of a bumper crowd saw Alex once again challenging at the front of the field, having run in a podium position in the early stages before hitting the front on lap eight. A small error exiting the final corner then allowed the chasing pack to fight back and Alex would end the race just off the podium in fourth spot.
For Charlie, there would be disappointment however as, having made up places off the line, she was left with nowhere to go when a car ahead suffered a spin at Allard and was forced to retire with damage to the front of her car.
The pair return to action at Silverstone on the weekend of 9/10 June.
Alex Toth-Jones, #2 Ginetta G40, said:
“It’s been another strong weekend and we’ve put more good points on the board. After the performance at Rockingham last time out, it was important to show that our results there weren’t a one-off and we have shown here that we are genuine contenders.
“I didn’t expect to qualify on pole by such a margin but this is a circuit where it is so difficult to try and win because you have to break the tow if you don’t want to come under attack from behind.
“To finish third in race one was a good result and whilst I’d have loved to pick up more silverware in race two, it’s the points that will be important as the season goes on and we’ve added some good points to our tally this weekend.”
Charlie Martin, #71 Ginetta G40, said:
“Although it didn’t end the way I wanted, I think it’s been a positive weekend. After the problem in qualifying, there was only way to go in the races and I really enjoyed coming through to finish on the podium – it went really well.
“Going into race two, I felt confident of challenging for another podium and having got a good start, it was unfortunate to then get caught up in the incident. There was nothing that I could have done and it was one of those situations that you just have to accept will happen sometimes.
“Race one is the big positive for me to take away from this weekend and I’m looking forward to Silverstone and pushing for another podium.”