Liverpool-based youngster and 2013 British GT4 vice-champion Declan Jones put in a good performance on his return to the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Oulton Park last weekend (June 4-5), securing two fifth places in his Red Square Vodka-branded Ginetta G55.
Declan, who last competed in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup at the end of 2014, was back in action with Nathan Freke's Century Motorsport thanks to the support of Halewood Wine & Spirits and also thanks to his crowd-funding campaign.
The 21-year-old was immediately on the pace on Saturday, despite his lack of recent running, finishing qualifying in fifth, just two tenths off a place on the second row.
Declan then put in a controlled drive in the opening race to again secure a top-five, something he repeated the following day in the second race that was broadcast live on UK television on ITV4, finishing more than six seconds up on his closest rival.
“I am pleased with how it has gone and how I have represented Red Square Vodka,” said Declan. “There was a lot of pressure this weekend, and while I said pre-event I wanted a top-five and to push for a win or a podium, I'm not too disappointed, even though we didn't get that top-three.
“I know there is a lot more in me, but it is all just down to seat time. That is what I am really missing out on and it is not just me saying that, it is the team manager Nathan [Freke] and my engineers.
“Everyone in front of me has been doing it for two or three years, they are seasoned racers. It wasn't like there was someone else in my position, someone who has jumped back in after two years and has then gone out and beat me, so it was more than respectable to go home with two fifths.”
“The people from Red Square Vodka said 'well done' and that I have did really well considering the circumstances too,” Declan added. “Hopefully I have done enough to convince them to back me again. I don't know if we can be out for Snetterton, which is the next round [of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup] at the end of July, but we have a bit of time to try and sort it. What I am really trying to do though, is to develop something so I can be in a race car for a full season next year - and have a winter testing programme as well.
“Overall, however, I think I have shown what I can do and that with more time in the car would be right up there.”
Meanwhile, Century Motorsport boss, Nathan Freke said Declan should be proud of what he achieved.
“Declan did a good job,” Freke underlined. “He had a really big task ahead of him, coming into the championship against guys that have been driving all year, first of all is tough, and also the fact he hasn't been in the car for a couple of years, makes it even more difficult.
“Friday [during testing] was a case of getting the set-up sorted and getting him comfortable and then on Saturday he did a good job in qualifying, but ultimately was lacking that last little bit of pace, which is just seat time, but on a race weekend you don't get a lot of track time. I am sure though if he came back and did another round he would be right on the front runners pace.
“Red Square Vodka should be very pleased with what he did. If you look at what he has done, in the time scale he has been given, based on the other guys experience, I think was very impressive and did really well and, as I say, with more seat time would be winning races without doubt.”