Ginetta
01 OCT 2012
GINETTA CHALLENGE WEEKEND REVIEW : DONINGTON PARK
GINETTA CHALLENGE WEEKEND REVIEW : DONINGTON PARK

The champions of 2012 were decided this weekend as Sean Huyton and Matt Flowers solidified their titles of Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge as another excellent season’s racing came to a close at Donington Park. 

Race one saw 12 laps of sheer excitement from moment the lights went out, as Sean Huyton, Will Burns, Luke Davenport and Ryan Ratcliffe found themselves embroiled in twenty minutes of furious position swapping as they fought over the three podium positions.

Qualifying saw Robinson starting from pole, with Davenport lining up alongside, with Huyton in third, William Burns fourth and Ratcliffe fifth, and as the lights went out, it wasn’t long before the leading quintet pulled away from the rest of the pack to begin their fight.

Lap two saw Ryan Ratcliffe take the lead of the race after passing Burns at McLeans, whilst Huyton slipped into third ahead of Davenport who, in turn, was forced down to fifth by the advancing car of Burns.

Burns claimed the lead on lap four, before Huyton pulled the place back two laps later only to run into Schwantz Curve with Ratcliffe and Davenport right on his tail. A mistake further around the lap for Huyton allowed Ratcliffe to pass for the lead, whilst Davenport made a move on Burns for third.

As the cars crossed the line for the sixth time, the top four were separated by just 0.6 seconds, but as Huyton and Daveport swapped and changed over second place, Ratcliffe was able to pull out a 0.5 second lead over the course of a lap.

In the G20 class, Stuart Pearson made an impact on his return to the grid; slotting himself right in the middle of the season-long battle which had emerged between Matt Flowers and Brian Murphy as he separated the pair on the grid after qualifying. By lap eight, Flowers and Pearson were fighting over second place with just 0.1 seconds between them; really giving the G40 boys a run for their money with the position swapping.

Lap nine saw David Barker’s race come to an end in the gravel outside the Esses, whilst Lee Mowle tried to reclaim places from an earlier spin which forced him out of the top 10 and in amongst the G20 battles.

With just three minutes left on the clock, it was still far too early to call the winner of either class as the top four navigated the circuit side-by-side. Further down the field, Mike Robinson made his way past Brad Bailey to claim sixth place, whilst behind them, Pearson reclaimed the G20 lead from Flowers.

The final lap saw Burns takes second place from his new teammate Huyton, and the move allowed Davenport to sneak his way back into third. Whilst Davenport ran beside Huyton into almost every corner, it was the former who claimed the final podium spot.

Nevertheless, the result was enough to give Huyton the championship, and heading into race two from third position, he was determined to bring home some more silverware in the penultimate race of the season.

As the race got underway, Robinson held onto the lead from pole position, with Davenport in second, but at the old hairpin, an incident for Davenport saw a safety car deployed whilst the stricken car is removed from the gravel, but as racing got underway once again on lap three, Robinson made a great getaway, with Huyton now in second and Ratcliffe in third.

Ratcliffe took the inside line going into the Melbourne Hairpin for second place, whilst Burns takes Huyton for third - albeit for a short time, as the places reverse one lap later. Elsewhere, there’s drama at Goddards for Lee Mowle, whilst David Barker’s car is stranded a little further around.

One lap later and Ratcliffe claimed the lead by 0.1 seconds, whilst just behind the top three, Brad Bailey and Rick Parfitt begin to close the gap to the squabbling cars, until contact between Huyton and Robinson allows Bailey to score second and Parfitt third with Andy O’ Brien up into fourth, as the two cars spin out of contention, taking Burns with them.

As the cars start their final lap, Ratcliffe, Bailey and Parfitt cross the line with a second between them, with the top two running nose to tail as Bailey is desperate to claim his first win of the season, and win he did, as a post-race penalty for Ratcliffe after overtaking under yellows afforded the youngster his first G40 podium and win in one go.

Drama in other races caused the third and final race of the weekend to be cancelled due to time restrictions at Donington Park, meaning the final championship was decided after what has proven to be an incredibly exciting season.

PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

G40

1              S.Huyton               552

2              M.Robinson          455

3              R.Ratcliffe             411

4              G.Simms                342

5              W.Burns                295

6              G.Johnson             250

7              B.Bailey                 244

8              L.Davenport         234

9              R.Parfitt                 224

10           L.Mowle                182

11           A.O'Brien              151

12           C.Richards            147

13           B.Constanduros   132

14           D.Guggiari             124

15           N.Delargy              119

16           S.Pearson             118

17           D.Barker               90

18           J.O'Malley             89

19           T.Calvet                 66

20           R.Sykes                  38

21           D.Denis                 34

22           K.Begley                26

23           K.Fletcher             19

24           T.McLlory             16

25           D.Cox                     14

26           M.Davenport       9

27           J.Jerstice               8

28           D.McDonald         0

 

G20

1              M.Flowers            627

2              B.Murphy             502

3              J.Greenwood       396

4              M.Wania               394

5              I.Ingram 368

6              M.De Spong         144

7              S.Linn                    71

8              S.Bell                     66

9              S.Pearson             59

10           T.Alexander         50

11           I.Court                   44

12           M.Nicol-Jones      35

13           J.Kenny                 16


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