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Mangion, Warren And Laslett Pick Up Class Titles In Ginetta GT5 Challenge

18th October 2021 • Simon Paice

Harry Mangion, Marc Warren and Rupert Laslett have been crowned class champions in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge after a thrilling season finale at Donington Park (16/17 October).

All three drivers converted points leads heading into the weekend into championship glory, with Mangion and Laslett scoring their maiden Ginetta titles in the GT5 Am and G40 Cup Am classes respectively, while Warren adds the G40 Cup Pro crown to his 2020 GRDC Rookie success.

The weekend began with the three eventual champions adding a point to their tallies with the class pole positions. Mangion (Elite Motorsport) edged out Chris White (Raceway Motorsport) to secure a double pole in GT5 Am for the third time this season.

Warren enjoyed an impressive seven tenths of a second margin over his Raceway Motorsport team-mate Thomas Holland for top spot in G40 Pro, while Laslett edged out chief title rival Andrew Willis (Privateer) by just 0.014s in G40 Am.

A brilliant opening lap to race one for Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport) saw him seize the advantage in GT5 Am, with three drivers ultimately going on to lead the class through the race. It was Mangion who dethroned Sekkat, getting ahead on lap four.

Chris White eventually got the upper hand on lap six, however it was short-lived as Mangion got the position back next time round and went on to take the victory. White was second, while Sekkat fought back to third on the road but was disqualified post-race for a track limits infringement.

Bal Sidhu (Xentek Motorsport) was therefore promoted to the podium ahead of Phil McGarty (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport) and Paolo Santi (Raceway Motorsport), the latter having been third at one stage, while Breakell Racing duo Sean Peters and Sam Callahan completed the class finishers.

Warren made a big step towards his G40 Pro title with a clean lights to flag victory in the opening race. Nick White (MRM) moved up to second on lap one and then defended well from Holland to the finish, while Bren Maude (CTS Motorsport) finished fourth.

Similar to Warren, it was an important race for Laslett as he led Willis from start to finish to extend his G40 Am lead. Peter Dilnot (Elite Motorsport) was running third before a moment ended his race, with Brenden Haffner (Raceway Motorsport) coming through to complete the podium.

Heavy rain greeted the field for race two on Sunday morning, with Mangion converting GT5 Am pole position into the early race lead. Chris White fought his way past on lap three and stayed ahead to the finish, a result that took their title duel down to the final race.

Mark Steel (Toro Verde GT) briefly grabbed third in class at mid-distance as he bounced back from a race one DNF, but Santi fought back ahead to end 2021 with five podiums to his name. Steel finished up fourth ahead of McGarty, Sekkat, Callahan and Peters.

Warren led G40 Pro for the first five laps, before Holland got ahead to add a fifth win to his season tally. That wouldn’t be enough to deprive Warren of the title with a race to spare though, while a late retirement for Nick White cruelly ended his 100% podium record for the season and allowed Maude to pick up third.

Haffner started on G40 Am pole position for the first time and duly converted it into a maiden class win. Laslett shot from fifth to second on the opening lap, which he held to the finish to wrap up the class title. Willis got the final podium position ahead of Dilnot and Steven Davies (Privateer).

Heading into the final race, Mangion needing merely to finish to be crowned GT5 Am champion. He did exactly that with a subdued drive to fifth, as in front it was Steel who emerged as the early class leader from Chris White.

White got ahead on lap four though and pulled clear for a seventh win of the season to confirm himself as class runner-up. Sekkat and McGarty gained places through the race to score their sole podiums of the weekend, with Steel’s race unfortunately ending early.

Warren proved unstoppable in the final race of the season, leading from start to finish to record his tenth G40 Pro win of the season. Nick White bounced back from his race two disappointment with second ahead of Holland and Maude.

The final G40 Cup Am honours of the season went to Wills, who climbed from third to the lead on lap one and held it throughout for his fifth victory of the year. A late error for Haffner cost him second as he dropped behind Laslett, while Davies completed the class finishers.

Harry Mangion – Provisional GT5 Am champion: “To come away with the championship is exactly what we were aiming for. It was a baptism of fire for me coming into such a competitive series and it’s been an up and down season, but I’ve learnt a lot. The competition has been close with some great racing and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Marc Warren – Provisional G40 Pro champion: “It feels amazing to be champion. It’s been a really close battle all season with Thomas and Nick, with clean, respectful racing all round. Raceway Motorsport have done a fantastic job with the car and I’ve truly loved every moment this season.”

Rupert Laslett – Provisional G40 Am champion: “I’m delighted and relieved to secure the title. It’s been tight all season, with a lot of close racing against some very good drivers. The whole journey of racing with Ginetta has been fabulous and I’ve enjoyed every weekend. It’s been immense.”

Full race results for the weekend can be found here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/214105

Find out more about the championship's title sponsor, Protyre Motorsport, at https://www.protyre.co.uk/