Back to all news

McKenna Takes Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Silverstone Double

10th June 2019 • Simon Paice

Scott McKenna has showcased his championship credentials in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge with his first two victories in the series during the third meeting of the season at Silverstone (08/09 June).

A 32 car entry came together to compete on the world-famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit and they were greeted by an array of different weather across the weekend, with treacherous wet conditions providing a difficult challenge in qualifying on Saturday.

Gordie Mutch (Fox Motorsport) tamed the rain to record both his and the team’s first pole position in the championship. McKenna (Xentek Motorsport) was second quickest, with his second best time also securing him race two pole, while points leader Geri Nicosia (Quattro Motorsport) was third.

The conditions had improved for the opening race that afternoon and it was McKenna who enjoyed the best start, emerging from a fiercely contested opening lap of the 3.66 mile circuit with the race lead ahead of Nicosia, Adam Smalley (Elite Motorsport) and poleman Mutch.

From there, McKenna didn’t look back and took the chequered flag seven seconds clear for the first win of his career so far. It was all change behind on lap two meanwhile, with Josh Malin (Richardson Racing) rising to second ahead of Smalley and Ruben Del Sarte (Total Control Racing).

Smalley grabbed second a couple of laps later and held it to the finish, with Malin following him home for his maiden GT5 Challenge podium finish. Nicosia slipped down to seventh at one stage, but fought back to finish fourth ahead of Del Sarte.

Danny Harrison (Mutation Motorsport) picked up a breakthrough top six result, while a sensational drive from reigning Ginetta G40 Cup champion Tom Golding (Assetto Motorsport) saw him climb from 18th on the grid to seventh place ahead of Mutch and Connor Grady (Total Control Racing).

Matt Maxted (Graves Motorsport) equalled his best finish of the season so far in tenth ahead of Katie Milner (Merlin International) and Josh Hislop (Race Car Consultants), while Jesse Chamberlain (Xentek Motorsport) starred as he rose 15 places through the race to finish 13th.

Gus Bowers (Xentek Motorsport), Ryan Firth (Reflex Racing) and Abbi Pulling (Race Car Consultants) were all outside the top 20 at one stage before coming through to 14th, 15th and 16th respectively, with privateers Will Dyrdal and Charlie Budd hot on their heels.

In the Am Class, Wesley Pearce (Elite Motorsport) stormed to a double pole position in qualifying and held the lead for the majority of race one. After fending off a charging James Townsend (Fox Motorsport) in the early stages, he had to contend with Dale Albutt (Quattro Motorsport) late on.

Albutt, who had started seven places lower than his adversary, heaped pressure on the leader and got ahead on the final lap to secure a third class victory of the season so far. Pearce came home in second, while Townsend completed the podium.

In glorious sunshine on Sunday morning, it proved to be a similar story for McKenna at the front of the field in race two. From pole position, battling behind allowed him to quickly break clear and enjoy a commanding lights-to-flag victory.

Mutch and Smalley were in the fight for second place in the first half of the race before drama befell them both, leaving Nicosia in second position fending off the advances of Golding, who had climbed from 13th on the grid into podium contention, Del Sarte and Malin.

They were soon joined by Harrison, himself having started back in 16th, and a five car battle raged in the closing laps. As points leader Nicosia maintained second place through to the finish, Harrison was the man on the move and went on to grab a maiden podium finish on the final lap.

Golding took fourth on the road, however a ten second penalty for track limits infringements dropped him outside the top ten. With Del Sarte receiving a five second penalty himself, Malin was promoted to fourth to cap off his best weekend in the championship so far.

Behind Del Sarte, Milner secured her fourth top six finish of the season so far ahead of Hislop and Grady. Pulling put in a superb performance meanwhile as she rose from 20th on the grid to ninth overall for her first top ten finish of the campaign.

Maxted finished tenth on the road but was another to be penalised five seconds for track limits, dropping him to 12th behind Bowers and Golding. Mutch ended a difficult race in 13th, with David Ellesley (Race Car Consultants) close behind.

Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport) took his best result of the weekend in 18th, while Josh Steed (Mutation Motorsport) came out with a highest finish of 22nd on his first appearance of the season. Daniel Budd (Privateer) and Sami Saarelainen (Xentek Motorsport) encountered tough weekends meanwhile and will be ready to bounce back next time out.

In the Am Class, Townsend impressively rose nine places on the opening lap alone to assume the early advantage. Trouble on lap five dropped him back though, with Pearce coming through to take his third class victory of the season so far.

Behind, Albutt maintained his points lead with a sixth consecutive podium finish ahead of Konczos. Half a second adrift was Phil McGarty (GBR), followed by Townsend and Declan Jones Racing trio Bal Sidhu, Simon Khera and Jagjeet Virdie.

The 2019 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge continues in two weeks’ time with three races at Donington Park (22/23 June), before the championship’s annual overseas meeting to Zandvoort in Holland follows a fortnight later (06/07 July).