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Karavasili And Warren Enjoy Ginetta GT Academy Finale Wins

17th October 2022 • Simon Paice

Leo Karavasili and Marc Warren shared the final race wins as the Ginetta GT Academy season came to a close at Donington Park this past weekend (15/16 October).

Karavasili (Breakell Racing) scored the first pole position of the season at Silverstone back in May and he returned to the top of the timesheets for the first time since during qualifying on Saturday morning. He set the pace from Ravi Ramyead and Warren (Raceway Motorsport), who had secured the rookie and GTA class titles respectively in the penultimate event at Brands Hatch.

At the scene of his only previous podium finish in the championship, Karavasili secured a stunning maiden victory in the opening race that afternoon. As the sun set over Leicestershire, he converted pole into a lights-to-flag victory to become only the third different GTA class race-winner of the season.

 Warren got the jump on Ramyead through The Esses for the first time as they went on to finish second and third overall respectively, the latter scoring the rookie class win. Thomas Holland (Raceway Motorsport) gained a spot to fourth on lap one and ran there throughout as he completed the GTA class podium.

The main action of the race came in a multi-car battle for fifth position. Ed Acres (Century Motorsport) held the place for the first half of the race before Ginetta GT4 SuperCup racer Josh Poulain (SVG Motorsport) moved to the front of the group as he made his GT Academy debut.

Poulain took fifth on the road but received a five seconds race time penalty for being deemed to have gained an unfair advantage during the race. That meant Acres ended up fifth ahead of his Century team-mate Tom Hartley Jnr, Mackenzie Walker (Assetto Motorsport) and Poulain.

Walker had passed Nick White (MRM Racing) on the final lap of the race for eighth on the road, while behind another late change saw Michael Johnston (Century Motorsport) overtake Julian Wantling (Assetto Motorsport) for the final berth in the top ten.

A great duel through the race came over 12th overall and second in the rookie class, with Thomas Shelley trading places multiple times with Jon Kearney. Mark Steel (Toro Verde GT) was next up, while Danny Dwyer (Xentek Motorsport) recovered well to 15th after a trip off circuit early on.

After overnight rainfall, a damp track surface greeted the field for race two early on Sunday morning. The tricky conditions would catch out a number of drivers across the race, with two subsequent safety car periods leading to limited racing laps.

The race boiled down to a final two lap shootout to the chequered flag. Warren initially led from Ramyead and Karavasili, however the latter two swapped places on the penultimate tour and Ramyead’s attempts to regain the place resulted in contact and a spin for him.

Karavasili survived the incident and went on to chase down the leader, getting ahead into Coppice to ultimately make it two wins from two races for the weekend. Warren suffered a big slide one corner later, dropping him to fourth in the final result.

Holland and Poulain therefore grabbed the GTA class podium berths, the latter coming from ninth on the grid to get silverware on his debut weekend. Hartley Jnr matched his best result of the season in fifth ahead of team-mate Johnston.

Dwyer rose six places to seventh ahead of Lee Goldsmith (Century Motorsport), who had produced a stunning drive from 21st through to eighth but was handed a post-race penalty. Steel was therefore eighth ahead of the leading rookies, with Kearney benefitting from Ramyead’s spin to take the class victory.

Maurizio Sciglio (Datum Motorsport) and White battled it out for 11th, while Steve Williams (MRM Racing) enjoyed a brilliant race to rise from 26th on the grid to 13th ahead of rookie podium finisher Dan Rathbone, Robin Grimwood (Assetto Motorsport) and Acres, who suffered an early spin.

The final race on Sunday afternoon saw Karavasili unfortunately suffer a mechanical failure from pole position, meaning it was Holland who led the field through the opening lap and into a safety car period. At the restart, he was under immediate pressure from Warren.

The lead changed hands a lap later as Warren dived down the inside into Redgate corner, before going on to sign off his GTA title-winning campaign with a tenth victory. Holland completed a Raceway Motorsport one-two with his eighth consecutive podium finish.

Poulain was third through the early safety car, however he ran wide at Goddards and ended up retiring in the pitlane. This gave third to Hartley Jnr for his maiden podium finish in the championship ahead of his Century Motorsport team-mate Johnston.

Dwyer fought through an exciting four-way battle to finish fifth ahead of rookie victor Ramyead and White, with Steel having led that scrap with a maiden top six result in his sights before a mistake cost him ground. Kearney finished second of the rookies in eighth overall, with Acres climbing to ninth from 16th on the grid.

Sciglio rounded out the top ten ahead of Steel and Grimwood, with Walker fighting through from 22nd on the grid to 13th ahead of Goldsmith. Marco Anastasi (Datum Motorsport) and SF Racing duo Gary Wager and Shawn Fleming enjoyed weekend best results of 15th, 16th and 17th respectively.

Marc Elman signed off his rookie campaign with a class podium finish in 18th overall ahead of Sebastien Dubois (Motus One), whose best result of the event came with 16th in race one. An unfortunate absentee from the race was Martin Wills (Assetto Motorsport), who retired from the opening race and ended up sitting out Sunday’s action.

Full race results from the weekend can be found at www.tsl-timing.com/event/224105