Johnson shines on Silverstone SuperCup debut
Wakefield’s Optimum Motorsport returned to the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup at the weekend (26-27 September) at Silverstone where Graham Johnson dominated the ‘AM’ class, taking pole by half a second and winning the second race from the back of the grid, after the preceding race saw him suffer an oil pump failure on the way to the first race grid.
Continuing the good form that brought Surrey-based racer and regular driving partner Mike Robinson the 2015 British GT4 Vice Champion title, Johnson took to the Michelin tyres and ‘SuperCup’ set-up of his regular Ginetta G55 with apparent ease, driving a succession of faultless laps to record a 59.153 tour of the 1.64-mile Silverstone National Circuit, finishing twelfth overall and a massive 0.588s over his nearest ‘AM’ rival, Colin White.
Later that same afternoon the first race took place in near perfect conditions, and Johnson left the pits to take up his place on row six, as the pole-man for the ‘AM’ classification. Unfortunately, on his way to the grid, Johnson suffered a rare issue on the G55, an oil pump failure, and the Professional MotorSport World Expo-backed racer came to a halt before the race had begun.
Come Sunday, with the oil pump issue now rectified, Johnson started the second race from the back of the grid in 21st place and with a lot of work to do, in what was arguably the most competitive SuperCup field of the 2015 season.Following a scorching start, Johnson was up to sixteenth overall at the end of the first lap, before climbing two places on the next lap. Johnson dropped a pair of place on lap eight, and then spent the next ten laps embroiled in a thrilling ‘AM’ class battle, eventually getting back on level terms and taking thirteenth place with six laps left to run.
As he crossed the line for a final time, Johnson was the ‘AM’ winner, holding off the pacey Irishman Connaire Finn with a half a second cushion at the flag.
Having enjoyed his debut in the SuperCup at Silverstone, Johnson is now considering a return for the final race weekend (10-11 October) of the year at his local circuit, Brands Hatch, where he will go head-to-head with driving partner, Robinson, who will take part in the ‘PRO’ category.
Graham Johnson:“Well I had a pop at the Supercup this weekend at Silverstone. We got naff-all testing on Friday due to red flags, but qualified twelfth overall and pole in my ’AM’ class by six tenths. However, my joy was relatively short-lived and the oil pump failure meant I didn't even finish the green-flag lap of race one. ‘Johnson's Law’ strikes again! On Sunday I started 21st on the back row as a result of the DNF the day before and came through to 14th by the flag and the AM win, which was just a fantastic result. I’m now seriously pondering doing the last round at Brands to support my British GT team-mate Mike who is contesting the PRO category. ”