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Preview: 2021 Ginetta GT5 Challenge Classes – Thruxton

5th May 2021 • Simon Paice

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge embarks on a new four-class format this year, which promises exciting racing throughout the grid as the season begins this weekend at Thruxton.

A merging of grids with the Ginetta G40 Cup has ensured a great 32 car entry has formed for the season opener, in which the field will tackle two races around the fastest circuit in the UK in support of the British Touring Car Championship.

The GT5 Challenge Am class looks set to be close fought this year, led by three class race-winners from 2020. That trio includes Phil McGarty (Xentek Motorsport), who embarks on his seventh consecutive season in Ginettas with a total of 20 Am class podium finishes to his name.

Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport) joins McGarty in having climbed up the Ginetta ladder from GRDC, with his maiden victory coming last year at Silverstone. Third year contender Bal Sidhu (Xentek Motorsport) meanwhile has picked up a class win in each of the last two seasons.

Their competition this year consists of G40 Cup graduates Chris White and Paolo Santi (both Raceway Motorsport), plus 2019 GRDC race-winner Harry Mangion (Elite Motorsport). There’s new names to Ginetta racing too, as tin-top ace Mark Steel and Toro Verde GT debut.

The G40 Cup classes feature a number of drivers working their way up the Ginetta ladder, including reigning GRDC rookie champion Marc Warren (Raceway Motorsport), who starred last season with ten consecutive class wins en-route to his title glory.

Amongst those battling against him in the Pro category will be four drivers who joined him in recording GRDC podium finishes last year; Raceway Motorsport trio Thomas Holland, Rupert Laslett, Brenden Haffner (all Raceway Motorsport), plus Bren Maude (CTS Motorsport).

A new Pro recruit comes in the shape of reigning MSVR Trackday class champion Nick White, who trades in his Renault Clio for a new Ginetta G40. The Am class also features a couple of newcomers in privateer entrant Andrew Willis and Steven Davies (SVG Motorsport).

Completing the Am ranks are two drivers who competed in GRDC last year; Jeremy Sussex (SVG Motorsport) was a regular front-runner and scored a quartet of fourth place finishes, while Michael Johnston (CTS Motorsport) took a podium in his debut race before sadly missing much of the year.

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

 

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday 8 May – Qualifying, 13:40 to 14:00; Race One, 17:00

Sunday 9 May – Race Two, 13:45 (Live on ITV4)

 

Live timing and results: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/211803