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Harley Haughton Continues Ginetta GT5 Challenge Winning Streak

27th June 2022 • Simon Paice

Harley Haughton has taken the championship lead in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge after taking a clean sweep of the pole positions, race wins and fastest laps at Croft (25/26 June).

Haughton (Elite Motorsport) continued his phenomenal qualifying record on Saturday morning, with a double pole position meaning he has now secured six of the last eight available. He finished an impressive four tenths of a second clear of Will Orton (Race Car Consultants).

Sam Smith (TCR) and Mikey Doble (Xentek Motorsport) popped in quick laps late in the session to secure third and fourth on the timesheets. In the Am class meanwhile, Bal Sidhu (Xentek Motorsport) scored his first pole position of the season ahead of Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport).

Haughton proved to be untouchable in the opening race that afternoon, converting pole position into a dominant lights-to-flag victory to make it three on the bounce following his double Thruxton success. Orton tailed him for the opening half of the race, before suffering a puncture.

Doble therefore took second in the end, matching his best result of the season, having got ahead of Smith on the opening lap. Will Jenkins (Elite Motorsport) put in an impressive drive to pass Connor Grady (Xentek Motorsport) and Nat Hodgkiss (Race Car Consultants) for fourth.

Ruben Hage (TCR) was seventh while Dave Sutton (Team Avago) took eighth on the road, however a false start penalty cost him three places. Harry Mangion (Elite Motorsport) therefore finished eighth from twelfth on the grid ahead of Ignazio Zanon (Raceway Motorsport) and Kian Donaldson (Race Car Consultants).

Chris White (Raceway Motorsport) fought his way from third on the Am class grid to the class lead on lap one and went on to lead throughout. Sidhu took the flag in second, however time penalties for track limits infringements dropped him out of the podium places.

Paolo Santi (Raceway Motorsport) was one of those to take advantage as he took second, while Sekkat fought back from fifth at the end of lap one to score a sixth consecutive podium finish. Phil McGarty (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport) was less than a second adrift of the podium ahead of Sidhu.

It was a case of déjà vu in the second race on Sunday afternoon, with Haughton producing a faultless drive to victory in front of the live ITV4 television cameras. Once again leading from start-to-finish, his fourth consecutive race victory gives him a ??? point championship lead.

Grady gave chase throughout race two and kept the leader in his sights en-route to his fourth podium finish of the season, with an opening lap move for Orton on Doble ultimately netting him a fifth visit to the rostrum this year.

Doble produced a brilliant defensive drive in the second half of the race to hold off Jenkins for fourth place. Hage fought back well from tenth at the end of the opening lap to complete the top six ahead of Donaldson, Mangion and Zanon.

Smith recovered from an early moment to secure tenth in a photo-finish with Oliver Cottam (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport), who completed his debut weekend with two strong results. Sam Harvey (Xentek Motorsport) was a weekend best of 12th ahead of Sutton.

In the Am class, White once again came through from third on the grid to complete a double win for the weekend and take his tally to seven for the season. Sidhu led for the first three laps before White made his decisive move, however he held on for his fourth podium of the year.

Santi briefly lost third to Sekkat but fought back well to complete the top three in class, with Sekkat having dropped back from pole on the opening lap. McGarty was fifth, with Xentek Motorsport duo Neil Finnighan and Gerson Zarpelao completing the finishers.

Full race results can be found at https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/222503

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge now heads into a lengthy summer break before the final two rounds of the season at Brands Hatch (10/11 September) and Donington Park (15/16 October) alongside the British GT Championship.