Wakefield on Fire at Croft

By Chris Roberts/Widerviewphoto.com

Wakefield getting ready to race
Colchester’s Josh Wakefield was competing in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup Championship when it visited the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire last weekend. The championship supports the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The weekend at Croft didn’t get off to a good start!   Having never raced there before and only getting 1 free practice on Friday Wakefield felt as though he was already at a disadvantage.
In qualifying he went quicker but he was still learning the track, and wasn’t where he wanted to be so I started race 1 in 8th position but this was only just behind championship leader, Tom Sharp.
The first race of the weekend took place on Saturday afternoon and after a slow start Wakefield lost 1 place. He then fought hard for the next couple of corners to regain that position. He then made a couple more places through the race but after having to avoid a race incident ahead of me got caught up and finished 8thwhere he started.
Wakefield battles at Croft
Race 2 took place on Sunday morning and Wakefield got off to a better start and after a couple of laps he worked his way up to 6th but was struggling with car handling and was not familiar with the way it was performing.  As the race went on the car got worse and he had started to defend against closing cars from behind, but found myself having to yield as the pace was just not there to fight back and ended the race 8thagain.
The final race of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon. After a lot of work done to the car, by the Century Motorsport team, he got the race off to a great start and found himself in 5th place before the first corner. As the race went on I managed to pull a gap to the 6th place car behind me and was putting pressure on the cars in front. By lap three Wakefield set the fastest lap of the race by a few tenths and the car had completely transformed from the mornings race.
Then 6 laps from the end of the race Wakefield had a good run on his team mate Hunter Abbott and passed into the first corner;  I ran wide but was still in front by a cars length and left enough room in case he was beside, but he out-braked himself and ran into the side of me before I had turned into the chicane and spun us both.
Abbott’s car came away with no damage whereas Wakefield was struggling to keep the car in a straight line as something had bent on the suspension, changing the handling. Half a lap round the car started to fill with smoke so he had shut his visor and planned to open his door going down the pit straight to clear the smoke from the cockpit, but as this happened, the car erupted into flames up my right hand side and he had to get out quick before the car was completely engulfed in flames.
As Wakefield commented “To make matters worse I had to basically put the fire out myself;  a Marshall stood in shock as I grabbed the fire extinguisher and begun to tackle the fire before help arrived. The weekend had been difficult from start to finish, but I had managed to hold onto the fastest lap so there are still positives to take away from this. I would like to say a big thank you to my family, friends, all my followers, Century Motorsport and The Player for their support. We will be back out fighting hard at Snetterton in 7 weeks time!”
The championship now takes a 7 week break and then re-commences at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk with races on August 11th & 12th.
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Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto.com

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