The championship has become renowned in recent years for producing some of the closest and most exciting one-make competition in the UK, and that continued three weeks’ ago with an action-packed season opener at Oulton Park.
Josh Malin (Richardson Racing), Jonny Wilkinson (Xentek Motorsport) and James Taylor (Elite Motorsport) shared the race wins, with Wilkinson emerging as the early points leader courtesy of a consistent weekend with second and fourth place finishes as well.
Former Ginetta Junior race-winner Taylor joins Wilkinson in embarking on a first GT5 Challenge campaign and he lies second in the standings after being a double podium finisher himself, while 2019 front-runner Malin is ready to bounce back to the top after a couple of tough races.
Three other drivers graced the overall podium finish across the opening weekend. One of those was Gordie Mutch (Fox Motorsport), who was a title contender last year with three race wins and made a welcome late entry to the series for this campaign.
After an unfortunate injury ruled him out of the 2019 season, Conner Garlick (Xentek Motorsport) made his long-awaited GT5 Challenge debut and impressed with a second place result, while the rapid David Ellesley (Race Car Consultants) took home a pair of thirds.
Ellesley’s team-mate Magnus Kriklywi picked up a trio of sixth place finishes and has a breakthrough podium finish in his sights. Jesse Chamberlain (Xentek Motorsport) and Ashley Marshall (Fox Motorsport) will hold similar ambitions after making strong starts to the year.
A competitive Pro class entry also includes Charlie Budd (Privateer) and his older brother Daniel Budd (Elite Motorsport), plus car-racing newcomers Rory McKean (SVG Motorsport) and John Bennett (Elite Motorsport).
The GT5 Challenge also features a close fought Am class, which holds five drivers with previous Ginetta experience. The early points leader is Ian Duggan (Fox Motorsport), who took a pair of wins on his first weekend in the series since stepping up from the G40 Cup.
Richard Tetlow (Privateer) and Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport) are also former G40 Cup drivers. Tetlow took the opening pole positon of the year and the other class win, while Sekkat joined second year GT5 Challenge racer Bal Sidhu (Xentek Motorsport) in featuring on the podium. Phil McGarty (Privateer) returns to the grid as a regular class podium finisher last year.
Saturday, August 1 – Qualifying, 13:45 to 14:05; Race One, 17:20
Sunday, August 2 – Race Two, 14:05 (Live on ITV4)
Live timing and results: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/203403