Richardson Racing adds to podium tally at Croft
The Richardson Racing team was able to celebrate a sixth podium finish of the season as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season resumed with round five of the campaign at Croft.
The Corby-based team headed into the weekend seeking to impress on its first appearance at the North Yorkshire circuit with the Porsche, with Croft having not been part of the calendar last year.
Friday practice saw all three drivers lapping strongly, with Will Martin just 0.068s off the pace with the third fastest time. Will Bratt was also within a second of the fastest lap in sixth place, with Josh Malin just behind in seventh.
Qualifying on Saturday would be a mixed bag for the team, with Martin securing third on the grid for race one, Bratt in tenth but Malin down in 14th after he suffered a rare mechanical issue before being able to set a representative time.
When the lights went out for the opening race of the weekend, Martin found himself under pressure from defending champion Harry King and briefly dropped behind his rival before a forceful move at the hairpin allowed him to reclaim third spot.
From that point on, Martin was able to retain his position as he secured his fifth podium finish of the year - and the sixth for the team - despite a late scare when his car started to lose fluid from a hole in the radiator.
Bratt was able to move up into ninth spot on the opening lap and would lap quickly and consistently throughout the 15 lap encounter as he worked his way up to seventh by the finish, with Malin following him in eighth spot and third best rookie.
Having been handed a three place grid penalty for the clash with King in race one, Martin lined up in sixth place for the start of race two and got up to fifth at the start ahead of Nathan Harrison before moving up to fourth after the demise of leader Lorcan Hanafin.
Heaping pressure on Lewis Plato for third place, Martin finally managed to get ahead into third but his hopes of a second podium of the weekend would be ended by a post-race penalty for track limits that dropped him back to fourth.
A solid run from Bratt saw him rewarded with his best result of the season to date as he fought back from slipping to tenth on lap one to end up with sixth place, with Malin recovering from a trip through the gravel at turn one at the start to finish in eighth, despite carrying damage to the front splitter.
Will Martin, #10 Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
"I think it's been another successful weekend for us at Croft. We've had some good battles, have picked up some more silverware and have shown really strong pace throughout. It was a shame to lose the podium in race two, but we've been able to score some good points across the weekend which is the key thing.
"Our race pace in particular has been strong and I think everyone can see the speed that we now have. Looking to Silverstone this weekend, we can be confident of another strong performance."
Josh Malin, #90 Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
"The issue in qualifying came before I'd put my flying lap in so it left us on the back foot going into the races. In the first, I felt I drove well and made some solid moves to get up to eighth place but race two felt like a real struggle after the opening lap when I damaged the splitter and it affected the handling.
"I'm looking forward to moving on to Silverstone and I have good memories there as its where I won the Ginetta GT5 title last year. Hopefully we can challenge for some good results next weekend and be fighting towards the front."
Will Bratt, #91 Comline Richardson Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, said:
"Although I'm still looking for more from the end results, this has been a stronger weekend for me than Knockhill last time out and it's good to end it with my best result of the season so far.
"Croft as a circuit was better suited to my driving style and I'm now looking forward to Silverstone, where I hope we can be strong. We have testing ahead of the weekend to get plenty of laps in, and then I can try to come out fighting for the race weekend itself."