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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Amy Tomlinson achieves class podium, Emma Tomlinson shows her speed at Oulton Park

Sisters Amy and Emma Tomlinson returned to the Ginetta GT Academy with a promising showing at Oulton Park, where both drivers displayed improved performance in their second season in the championship as they fought for GTA class honours.


Ginetta GT Academy, 2024 Oulton Park
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Sisters Amy and Emma Tomlinson returned to the Ginetta GT Academy with a promising showing at Oulton Park. Both drivers displayed improved performance in their second season in the championship as they fought for GTA class honours. Amy achieved the best result of the weekend with a fantastic second place result in class during race one. Wet conditions proved treacherous during Monday’s races, with a best result of fifth achieved by Emma.


Returning for a second season in the Ginetta GT Academy, siblings Amy and Emma Tomlinson was targeting further progress in what was a superb introduction to circuit racing in 2023. The sisters made considerable improvements in spite of their lack of experience, collecting multiple podium finishes in the rookie class. Stepping up to the GTA class for those with Ginetta GT Academy experience, podium opportunities would once again be within their reach.


Thursday’s initial test sessions brought significant promise in tricky conditions with Amy topping the times in the GTA class, while setting the fourth fastest time overall. Emma was less than half a second behind, placing third in class, seventh overall. The fastest testing times were set on Friday with Amy placing second in GTA, with Emma in third. With close times throughout the field, qualifying was set to be equally tight on Saturday morning.


Qualifying took place with bright and dry conditions, enabling both Emma and Amy to work on improving their lap times. Despite a red flag mid-way through the session, both Tomlinson sisters did a nice job in the closing stages of qualifying. Amy’s fastest lap of a 1:52.924 placed her seventh overall, second among the GTA runners, with Emma’s 1:53.244 quick enough for eighth overall and third in class.


Rolling starts were introduced for the 2024 Ginetta GT Academy season, but this did not prevent a busy opening lap. While Amy held her position, Emma took a trip through the grass on the exit of Old Hall corner which dropped her two overall places, while falling to fourth in the GTA class. This moment did not deter Emma who showed excellent speed as she closed back in on a podium position, before making a smart move on Marc Elman for third.


Amy was managing her race well and following a pass on rookie driver Paul Thomas, she was up to sixth overall. As the drivers battled behind her, this led to Emma closing in with a four-way fight emerging. At the beginning of lap five, Emma had to take avoiding action following a spin ahead which saw herself spin through the grass before lightly impacting the barrier.


This incident had dropped her to 13th overall, sixth in class, but there was minimal damage to the car which saw her quickly set her fastest lap time. Making up for lost time in the final stages, Emma took the checkered flag 12th overall, fifth in class, while Amy completed a consistent race to finish sixth overall, second in the GTA class to claim her first podium of the season.


Race two was held in wet conditions with a start behind the safety car allowing drivers to acclimatise. Amy started from sixth overall, third in the GTA class and immediately ran into trouble following a spin onto the grass going down Cascades. This moment dropped her to the rear of the field, but she was nonetheless able to continue. Emma, meanwhile, started one place higher and dropped just one position to Marc Elman at the conclusion of lap one.


Amy continued to make an excellent recovery and set the fastest GTA lap of the race on lap two, before doing so again on lap four. At this point, Amy was up to 13th overall, with Emma one place higher following a spin of her own at the tricky Druids corner. An incident for Gareth Thomas then brought out the safety car, with a one lap restart set to decide the final positions.


Emma finished as the best placed Tomlinson sister in 13th overall, fifth in GTA, while Amy had a moment on the final lap which saw her take the checkered flag in 14th overall, sixth in GTA. Despite a challenging race, Amy in particular showed excellent pace which provided cause for optimism heading into the final race of the weekend.


The grid for race three was set by the finishing positions from race two, with both Amy and Emma facing a significant challenge ahead. Both sisters made a clean start as wet conditions persisted, with Emma remaining ahead and closing in on Mike West for fourth. Lap three brought a premature end to the race for both Amy and Emma, with Amy spinning into the grass at the Shell hairpin, while Emma found the new gravel trap at Old Hall corner.


Although it was a disappointing end to the weekend for both Tomlinson sisters, their pace in both wet and dry conditions was strong. It was clear that a step forward had been made by both in terms of performance, with Amy rewarded with a podium finish in race one.


Emma will be looking to bounce back following a weekend where her speed did not quite translate into overall results. The next round of the Ginetta GT Academy will take place on the weekend of 27th/28th April on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

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