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Preview: 2021 Ginetta GT Academy – Donington Park

5th July 2021 • Simon Paice

Following an action-packed season opener at Brands Hatch in May, the new-for-2021 Ginetta GT Academy makes a long awaited return to the track this weekend at Donington Park.

The first ever race weekend for the GT Academy was a dream one for Toby Trice (SVG Motorsport). The former GRDC front-runner scored a double pole position and all three race wins to lay down an early marker as the driver to beat this season.

Trice didn’t have it all his own way in Kent though, with Roy Alderslade (Assetto Motorsport) amongst those challenging him. Denied a victory by Trice at the final corner of round two, the 2019 Ginetta G40 Cup ‘Chairmans Cup’ champion came away with a trio of third places.

The GT Academy features a dedicated rookie class, which sees motorsport newcomers competing on equal terms with cars run centrally by want2race. Despite their inexperience in racing, some of the debutants were mixing it right at the front from the off.

Ravi Ramyead qualified a brilliant third fastest overall and led the final race briefly before finishing second overall and taking the rookie class honours. That replicated a result that Angus Whiteside achieved in the previous race, with both aiming to challenge for top honours again this weekend.

The other rookie class race-winner on the opening weekend was Gilbert Yates as he recorded a best result of fourth overall. Darren Leung was in the mix at the front too, picking up a piece of rookie silverware and a couple of top six results.

Two other drivers finished on the class podium, Danny Dwyer and Edward Acres, while Tom Hartley Jnr was also in the leading pack. With Jorge Calado set to make his debut this weekend too, it’s looking incredibly competitive between the new contenders.

A number of drivers have made the move from the Ginetta G40 Cup to the GT Academy this season, including reigning ‘Chairmans Cup’ champion Mark Lee (SVG Motorsport) and Lee Goldsmith (Assetto Motorsport). They both recorded top six finishes on the opening weekend.

Assetto Motorsport duo Julian Wantling and Martin Wills, plus former GT5 Challenge racer Wes Pearce (Elite Motorsport), started their seasons in the top ten too and will be aiming to build on solid debuts and work their way into the leading pack.

Also eyeing progress up the order across the three races this weekend will be some more drivers moving across from the G40 Cup; Robin Grimwood (Assetto Motorsport), Neil Wallace (SVG Motorsport) and SF Racing’s pairing of Shawn Fleming and Gary Wager.

Follow all the action across the weekend on social media, @GinettaCars.

 

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday 22 May – Qualifying, 11:35-11:55; Race One, 17:10

Sunday 23 May – Race Two, 09:10; Race Three, 15:05

 

Both races on Sunday are streamed live on Ginetta’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Live timing and results all weekend: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/212705