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Ginetta G40 Cup Title Rivals Share Brands Hatch Wins

5th August 2019 • Simon Paice

Chris Salkeld has taken the championship lead with one meeting to go in the Ginetta G40 Cup after sharing the race victories with title rival Rob Keogh at Brands Hatch (03/04 August).

Keogh (W2R Motorsport) had moved to the top of the standings courtesy of a double victory last time out at Zandvoort, however an unfortunate retirement for him meant two wins and a second for Salkeld (Assetto Motorsport) in Kent has moved him to the top of the points for the first time.

Four drivers from four different teams headed into the penultimate meeting of the season firmly in contention for the overall title and from those it was Keogh who emerged quickest in qualifying for his first pole position of the season. Salkeld meanwhile took the pole for race two.

Those two fought it out for the lead on the opening lap of race one, however Keogh’s challenge would quickly dissipate as a mechanical issue forced him to retire. Salkeld therefore held the advantage and kept Daniel Morris (Quattro Motorsport) at bay to secure the victory.

A sensational performance from Chairmans Cup points leader Roy Alderslade (W2R Motorsport) saw him pass his team-mate Jimmy Thomson at mid-distance to take his best overall finish of the season in third and with it a clear victory in the class.

With Chairmans Cup competitors not collecting overall silverware though, it was Thomson who stepped onto the podium in third. Alistair Barclay (SVG Motorsport) fought back from early issues to take fifth, with Martin Wills (Assetto Motorsport) completing the top six.

Wills led home a group of his team-mates, with fellow Chairmans Cup competitors Mike West, Julian Wantling and Lee Goldsmith in hot pursuit. Bill Forbes (Quattro Motorsport) completed the top ten after a close battle throughout with Ian Duggan (Fox Motorsport) and Daniel Smith (Privateer).

The first of two races on Sunday started in superb fashion for Barclay as he stormed around the outside to take the lead through Paddock Hill Bend. His advantage was short-lived however as Salkeld got through into Hawthorns and was followed through by both Morris and Keogh.

That kicked off a thrilling four way battle at the head of the field between the title contenders. While Salkeld led throughout, he was kept under pressure by the chasing pack despite Morris, Keogh and Barclay changing positions almost every lap. 

Keogh and Morris decisively grabbed the podium positions from Barclay on the penultimate lap, with the latter then unfortunately spinning down the order on the final tour. This promoted Thomson into fourth place, just ahead of the Chairmans Cup leaders Wills and Duggan.

Alderslade had held the class advantage for the first half of the race in fifth overall, however a moment coming out of Surtees cost him ground and left him 10th overall at the finish. The class podium finish was completed by West, who took seventh ahead of Barclay.

The finishing positions from that race set the grid for the final encounter. Salkeld therefore started from pole, but it was the fast-starting Keogh who emerged from the opening lap in front. The 2015 champion went on to lead throughout for his 21st victory in the championship.

Second place for Salkeld completed his podium hat-trick for the weekend, a feat matched by Morris as he finished third. He had enjoyed a great battle throughout the race with Thomson, who completed his best weekend of the season with a fourth place result.

Barclay impressively fought back from 16th at the end of the opening lap to sixth at the flag behind Chairmans Cup winner Wills. His second win of the day ensured he closed the gap to Alderslade at the top of the class standings, with the leader finishing third behind Duggan in race three.

The overall top ten was completed by Craig Cornick (Assetto Motorsport), one of two Ginetta Racing Drivers Club graduates to join the grid for the first time and produce impressive results. The other was Mark Lee (Quattro Motorsport), who had earlier come home in 11th in race two.

Shawn Fleming (SF Racing) picked up his highest finish of the weekend in the final encounter in 12th. His team-mates Gary Wager and John Wall left Kent with best results of 14th and 16th respectively, with Robin Grimwood (Assetto Motorsport) also securing a best of 16th.

Charlotte Birch (SVG Motorsport) enjoyed her strongest all-round meeting of the year with two 15th place results, while on his second appearance of the season, team-mate Andy Marshall fought to 18th in race three. 

The 2019 Ginetta G40 Cup season will conclude in six weeks’ time (14/15 September) with three races around the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit.