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Bird And Kellett Share Sunday GT5 Spoils At Donington

23rd September 2018 • Stephen Errity

Century Motorsport drivers Max Bird and James Kellett won a race apiece as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge wrapped up its 2018 season at a cold and windy Donington Park on Sunday.

Sunday’s GT5 Challenge action got underway with the second race of the weekend just before lunchtime, which was neutralised under the safety car after the first lap due to a number of cars coming together at Redgate.

Emerging at the head of the field when racing resumed on lap five were Bird and Kellett, followed by Geri Nicosia (Optimum Motorsport) and Alex Toth Jones (Richardson Racing). There were only three laps left to run, and Bird held on for the win ahead of Kellett, but Toth Jones was able to nab the last podium position in the course of lap six.

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In the second half of the top 10, privateers Carlito Miracco and Matt Palmer, Race Car Consultants’ Josh Hislop and Am class leader Lucky Khera (W2R) made hay on the restart, while Sebastian Arenram (Reflex Racing) and Ryan Hadfield (Xentek Motorsport) lost positions, winding up ninth and 10th at the end of lap five

Hadfield managed to get back up to seventh before the end of the race, behind Miracco and Palmer in the final classification, with Hislop, Arenram and Xentek’s Ashley Marshall behind Hadfield in eighth, ninth and 10th.

Khera retained the Am class lead and finished 11th overall, with W2R’s Lee Frost and Fox Motorsport’s Nick Halstead 13th and 15th overall and second third in the Am category.

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In Sunday’s evening’s reverse-grid race three, there was a red flag on lap one as three cars came together and blocked the track, necessitating a restart. Once racing got back underway, Marshall came around in first place after the first lap, ahead of Arenram, Nicosia, Palmer and Kellett.

But the already-crowned 2018 champion didn’t settle for fifth and instead battled his way up through the order over the few remaining laps, moving up to fourth at the end of lap three, third at the end of lap four, second at the end of lap five and muscling past Marshall for the lead at Melbourne hairpin at the end of the sixth lap.

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Marshall finished second in the end, with race-two winner Bird also making gains through the field to come home third ahead of Arenram, Nicosia and Palmer in fourth, fifth and sixth.

Am class victory in the final race of the weekend (and of the season) went to W2R’s Lee Frost, ahead of Halstead and Townsend, the trio finishing 16th, 17th and 19th overall respectively.