Posted on Mon 23rd Jul, 2018 in: Team News
Ginetta G40 Cup title contender Rob Keogh secured a superb pair of podium finishes as he led the charge for W2R Motorsport at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium this past weekend (21/22 July).
The championship’s annual overseas meeting would present W2R’s five drivers with the opportunity to tackle one of the most iconic race circuits in the world, with thrilling high-speed sections including the infamous Eau Rouge corner.
The trip to mainland Europe would be a crucial one for Keogh as he looked to keep himself in title contention, and a great start to the weekend saw him qualify fourth fastest of the G40 Cup runners within an incredible fifty-nine car field alongside the Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
Keogh would take third position during a truncated opening race, which featured only four racing laps around a long safety car stoppage, while a great second place in race two makes it seven podium finishes for the season so far to maintain his second place in the standings.
One place below him in the points is team-mate Jack Oliphant, who would unfortunately be unable to extend his brilliant run of seven podium finishes in the opening eight races of the year, with a tougher than hoped weekend in the Ardennes Forest culminating in a best finish of eighth.
Oliphant, who celebrated his graduation from Leeds Beckett University in the lead up to the event, would post the eleventh fastest time in qualifying and hold that position to the finish in race one, before battling up to eighth place in the second encounter.
Jimmy Thomson would join his team-mate in leaving Belgium frustrated, with an impressive second top ten qualifying result of the season so far being sadly followed by an early retirement in both races as he found himself caught up in incidents.
It was a great weekend for Paul Oliphant meanwhile, who superbly qualified in the top ten overall for the second meeting in a row and went on to convert that into a fifth top ten finish of the year in the opening race, a feat he almost replicated in race two as he battled to eleventh.
W2R Motorsport’s entry for Spa was bolstered by the addition of Dave Carr, who faced a big challenge on his Ginetta racing debut but showed fantastic progression over the course of the weekend on his way to a best finish of seventeenth in race two.
W2R Motorsport’s Ben Hyland: “This was a challenging weekend for the whole team. Spa is a special circuit and when it goes well there it’s incredible, but the track can really bite too, while such a massive grid presented its own challenges as well.
“It was a great performance all round from Rob [Keogh], he had the pace to challenge for the wins and had some close battles with his title rival Tom Golding. It was brilliant to see him add some silverware to the collection and we have no doubt there’s more to come this year.
“Sadly it just didn’t come together for Jack [Oliphant] this weekend. He struggled to match his pace from testing and a tough qualifying session left him on the backfoot for the races. He gave it everything though and came away with some crucial championship points.
“Paul [Oliphant] was initially apprehensive of the circuit after testing, but he made a massive step forward in confidence over the weekend and his pace showed that. He was right in the battle for the Chairman’s Cup class win and deserved his overall top ten result.
“Jimmy [Thomson] was really unfortunate. He had a good run in qualifying and truthfully had podium pace, but the races really didn’t go his way. Dave [Carr] meanwhile was a great addition to the team and he should be proud of the big improvements he made over the course of the meeting.”
The Ginetta G40 Cup is next in action in two weeks’ time at Brands Hatch (4/5 August), racing in support of the British GT Championship once again alongside the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club.