British GT4 Championship leaders Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton stormed to a remarkable second win of the 2017 season during round four at Snetterton on Sunday.
In only their fourth race in the series, the teenagers made it back-to-back class victories to stamp their mark on this year's title race.
While an unfortunate collision in the second of the Snetterton weekend’s one-hour contests led to a frustrating non-finish, the 17-year-old Ginetta G55 GT4 drivers head to the midway point of the season, round five at Silverstone a fortnight from now, 9.5 points clear at the top of the standings.
At the beginning of Sunday’s opening encounter, Milton Keynes racer Tregurtha made a good launch from the rolling start and challenged for the lead around the outside into Riches before sealing the pass and going on to pull three seconds clear as the race reached one quarter distance.
Building the lead even further, the Enlighten and iPro Sport-backed driver was almost five seconds to the good prior to the mid-race driver change pit-stop and after handing over the No.55 car to Middleton, the Ashington-based driver emerged onto the track in second place.
Notably, the HHC entry had to remain in the pits 10 seconds longer than rival crews by way of a ‘success’ penalty for winning at Rockingham. Running over two seconds adrift of the leading No.51 Ginetta, Middleton ate into the gap and within little more than a lap he was just 0.4 seconds adrift.
Swarming all over the back of race leader David Pittard, Middleton made the breakthrough with around five minutes to run thanks to a terrific pass into the Bomb Hole and he went on to pull out an advantage of more than two seconds before taking the chequered flag 1.8 seconds clear.
Middleton took the opening stint for round five and the North East Caravans supported driver was initially edged back to third place. Consolidating the position throughout the opening 25 minutes, when the pit-stop window opened Middleton was one of the first to hand over to his team-mate.
Tregurtha held second when the order settled but, before long, racing fell under caution when the Safety Car was required. At the resumption, with just 15 minutes remaining, the HHC driver made a successful bid for the lead at Hamilton by passing David Pattison but with the move placing the Ginetta slightly off-line for the next double right-hander, he was edged back to second again.
Just a couple of laps later, though, Tregurtha’s involvement came to a frustrating end when contact with another Ginetta at the chicane resulted in heavy damage which, ultimately, led to him running off the circuit at Riches at the start of the following lap.
But the disappointment didn't last long for Tregurtha as they left the circuit with their title lead in tact.
He said: “I’m so happy with the win, I can’t believe it really. I managed to build a gap of something like 4.9 seconds in my stint and that really helped as it meant we came out of the pits just behind [David] Pittard and [Alex] Reed.
"The car was really good throughout the stint, I can’t thank HHC enough.
"We came here looking for a podium, but to take a win is incredible – I’m over the moon.”