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Preview: 2021 Ginetta GT5 Challenge – Croft

13th September 2021 • Simon Paice

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge has exciting titles battles across all four of its classes heading into the penultimate meeting of the 2021 season this weekend, with the series making only its second ever visit to Croft in North Yorkshire.

The championship is racing on the BTCC support package for the second time this season, having starred during the season opener at Thruxton in May. Since then, an action-packed campaign has included trips to Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington Park and Snetterton.

In the headline GT5 Pro class, Josh Steed (Xentek Motorsport) has a brilliant record of winning at least once at each meeting this season. A total of eight race victories have given him a 67 point championship lead ahead of Elite Motorsport duo John Bennett and Will Aspin.

Those two won’t go down without a fight though, with Bennett having won on four occasions so far and Aspin taking the other win on offer. Mikey Doble (Xentek Motorsport) and Magnus Kriklywi (Race Car Consultants) are the other drivers on the grid to have finished in the Pro class top three this season.

Harley Haughton (Elite Motorsport) and Will Rochford (TCR) are amongst the potential podium contenders this weekend, as is Nat Hodgkiss (Race Car Consultants) after a standout weekend last time out at Snetterton. Also targeting a first piece of silverware will be fellow front-runners Rory McKean (SVG Motorsport) and Alastair Rushforth Motorsport team-mates Will Orton and Connor Grady.

Ginetta G40 Cup graduates Ignazio Zanon (Raceway Motorsport) and Owen Hizzey (SVG Motorsport) have impressed in their debut campaigns, as has Haytham Qarajouli (TCR). Ones to watch meanwhile are Aidan Hills (Hills Motorsport), who makes his third appearance of the season and debutant Steven Dailly (TCR), a four-time BMW Compact Cup champion.

The GT5 Am class has been hotly contested this year, with nine different drivers finishing in the top three so far. Four wins have propelled Chris White (Raceway Motorsport) to the top of the standings, with 24 points separating him from the chasing pack.

The main competition comes from Harry Mangion (Elite Motorsport), who has won six races so far but crucially lost ground when he had to sit out the Donington Park weekend. His team-mate Karim Sekkat is hot on his heels, having visited the podium six times this year.

Race-winners Bal Sidhu (Xentek Motorsport) and Paolo Santi (Raceway Motorsport) remain in title contention too. A competitive class entry also features Xentek’s Phil McGarty and Mike Doble, Mark Steel (Toro Verde GT) and Sean Peters (Breakell Racing).

The G40 Cup contingent is split across Pro and Am categories too. Eight class wins and 12 podiums have helped put Marc Warren (Raceway Motorsport) at the top of the Pro ranks, with team-mate Thomas Holland lying 41 points behind having accumulated three victories himself.

Only 10 points adrift of Holland meanwhile is Nick White (MRM), who has a fantastic record of finishing every race on the class podium so far this season. Completing the class entry is three-time podium finisher Bren Maude (CTS Motorsport).

It’s a Raceway Motorsport driver holding the Am class advantage too, with 10-time race winner Rupert Laslett being the driver to beat. Andrew Willis (Privateer) sits 30 points adrift having picked up a couple of class victories of his own.

All the class entrants competing at Croft have picked up silverware already this season, with Brenden Haffner (Raceway Motorsport) and SVG Motorsport duo Stephen Moore and Steven Davies having impressed through the campaign.

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

 

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday 18 September – Qualifying, 10:55; Race One, 16:10

Sunday 19 September – Race Two, 15:10 (Live on ITV4)

 

Live timing and results: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/213703

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