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News 2010: Richardson Steps up a Gear at Croft

June 25th - Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain

George RichardsonGeorge Richardson was one of the stars of the weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with the Motorbase Performance squad at Croft (19/20 June).

The Cheshire teenager took another big step forward in performance and was unlucky not to score his first pro-am2 victory of the season after two stirring drives in a pair of hugely competitive races.

The weekend started well with an excellent run in qualifying, which put him top of pro-am2 and 14th overall in the fiercely competitive 26-car field. For round nine, George was fractionally ahead of class rival George Brewster, an acknowledged Croft expert. For round ten, their positions were revered, but only a tenth of a second came between Richardson and another class pole.

"That's my first pole this season and it's a shame it isn't two," said George after qualifying. "I was just concentrating on being smooth and it's more good learning."

On Sunday, George got a mighty start and slotted into an impressive 11th place as the pack completed the opening lap, running ahead of team mate and pro-am1 racer Andrew Shelley.

George RichardsonFor the first six laps, Richardson controlled pro-am1 from the front as Shelley challenged for overall position. But on lap seven, a trail of vapour from the car indicated that there was a problem and the team called George in rather than risk engine damage. It proved to be nothing more than a detached hose, but his race was over and what seemed a secure victory was denied.

However, Richardson had more than proved a point. "It was in the bag," he said. "I made a fantastic start; the best I've ever made and I was just keeping my nose clean."

The team quickly got the car ready for the second race later in the day, which delivered another frenetic contest at the head of the pro-am2 category. In a hectic opening couple of laps, George lost out to the fast-starting Paul Mace, who dived ahead of Brewster. However, into the hairpin on lap four, there was some contact and Brewster spun into Mace. That put Mace out of the race and delayed Brewster, but Richardson was also badly delayed in the confusion.

Once the tangle got sorted out, Glenn McMenamin had taken the class lead with a handy margin. George, meanwhile, was in a mighty six-car contest with pro-am2 points leader Mark Hazell on his tail. McMenamin was clear ahead and went on to win, but the other places were in doubt right until the flag. In some fierce battling, the hugely experienced Hazell got through to second and Richardson finished third under intense pressure from the recovering Brewster.

"I just got caught up in the second race," said Richardson. "This should have been a win this weekend, but there are a lot of positives to take away from Croft!"