Reigning Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Class champion Jack Giddings secured his first podium finish of the year at Rockingham yesterday (May 3).
And the Wisbech driver also provided his JWB Motorsport team with their maiden silverware in the category thanks to a superb performance in round three of the season.
Not expecting anything like a top three result after a challenging qualifying session, which resulted in a 10th place GT4 start for the 120-minute contest, the Wisbech racer and team-mate Kieran Griffin certainly had their work cut-out but Giddings produced a remarkable drive during the second hour.
Griffin took the opening stint and after 55 minutes behind the wheel he handed the Aston Martin V8 Vantage over to the 20-year-old who took to the track in 12th position and with a mountain to climb to try and break into the top five, let alone the podium placings.
Closing down the gap to the cars ahead, Giddings moved into the top 10 with 45 minutes of racing left on the clock and thereafter made startlingly rapid progress. Having sliced his way through into seventh position with roughly half an hour remaining, following a brief safety car period, he continued to pick off the leading GT4 contenders.
With 15 minutes to go, the Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver held sixth place and after taking fifth shortly after he produced a great move at Deene with eight minutes left to move into fourth and edge ever closer to the unexpected podium.
Reeling in Jamie Stanley’s Ginetta G55, Giddings sized up a move after getting a terrific run through Kirby and towards Gracelands and completed the pass on the run to Tarzan Hairpin to seal third in GT4.
At the chequered flag after a very hard-fought stint, the Finesse Paving & Civil Engineering, Cowley Road Garage and Toppesfield-backed driver was just 3.5 seconds shy of the runner-up spot.
“From the start of the race I didn’t think we’d have a chance of the top five, let alone the podium, and when I joined the race from 12th I wasn’t sure what we’d be able to do”, commented Giddings.
“To come through to third is fantastic really and a great result for the whole team.
“The safety car helped a lot. The brakes and tyres were going at that point so that meant they were able to have a break. Over the last 10 minutes I pushed through the order and to get up to third was more than we could have hoped for. We did struggle in the middle sector with traction compared to the Ginettas, but our car was strong on the brakes and I took full advantage of that.”
In the championship standings, the JWB team-mates have climbed from ninth to fifth in the GT4 classification and have also gained a position into fourth in the Pro-Am standings. In the teams’ championship, meanwhile, JWB is in sixth position.
Round four of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship season, a three-hour contest, will take place on Sunday May 31 at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire where Giddings is hoping the team can score significant points once again.
“It’d be nice to capitalise on this result at Silverstone, but we can’t get carried away,” added the Cambridgeshire racer, “We haven’t got any testing before then so we just need to make sure we can get a good set-up sorted in practice and build on it from there. If we aim for the top five, that’d be a good result.”
Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Driver Standings (after Rd3):
5th Jake Giddings/Kieran Griffin, 30.5pts
Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Pro-Am Standings (after Rd3):
4th Jake Giddings/Kieran Griffin, 43pts
Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 Team Standings (after Rd3):
6th JWB Motorsport, 30.5pts