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Preview: 2021 Ginetta GT5 Challenge – Donington Park

14th October 2021 • Simon Paice

It’s shaping up to be a Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season finale to remember this weekend, with all four class champions to be crowned at Donington Park.

In the headline GT5 Pro class, Josh Steed (Xentek Motorsport) is firmly in the hotseat for title glory. A brilliant campaign has seen the teenage talent score a top six result in every race and only finish off the podium on three occasions, with that tremendous consistency netting him a 75 point lead.

His title challengers are Elite Motorsport duo Will Aspin and John Bennett, who have enjoyed great seasons with 11 and nine podiums respectively. They won’t give up the title without a fight, however the team-mates are likely to be left battling for runners-up honours with five points between them.

The hugely competitive GT5 Pro entry features a number of drivers who will aim to steal the spotlight away from the title contenders. That includes Magnus Kriklywi (Race Car Consultants), who scored a fantastic maiden race win last time out at Croft.

Amongst those aiming to end the campaign with a first victory will be three drivers who have recorded podium finishes this season; Mikey Doble (Xentek Motorsport), Nat Hodgkiss (Race Car Consultants) and Connor Grady (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport).

A quartet of drivers couldn’t have come much closer to the podium with best finishes of fourth this year; Harley Haughton (Elite Motorsport), Haytham Qarajouli (TCR), Aidan Hills (Hills Motorsport) and Will Orton (Race Car Consultants).

Will Rochford (TCR) has been another regular front-runner, whilst Ignazio Zanon (Raceway Motorsport) and SVG Motorsport duo Rory McKean and Owen Hizzey have shown flashes of huge potential at points this year.

The biggest GT5 Pro entry of the season will be battling it out, with three drivers set for their series debuts; Sam Smith (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport) and new Xentek Motorsport team-mates William Vincent and Oliver Richardson.

The GT5 Am class is wide open heading into the final three races, with four drivers separated by just 42 points. Harry Mangion (Elite Motorsport) leads the pack, having taken 11 podium finishes in the 12 races he’s contested, including six wins. Crucially, he had to miss the visit to Donington Park earlier in the season though.

That means the chasing pack are closer than they might have been. Three other drivers head into the weekend with their title hopes firmly alive; five-time race-winner Chris White (Raceway Motorsport), Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport) and Paolo Santi (Raceway Motorsport), all of whom have excelled at points across the season.

The class has been ultra-competitive throughout the season, with Bal Sidhu (Xentek Motorsport), Mark Steel (Toro Verde GT) and Phil McGarty (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport) also picking up silverware, whilst Sean Peters (Breakell Racing) is aiming to end the year with a maiden top three.

In the G40 Cup Pro class, Raceway Motorsport team-mates Marc Warren and Thomas Holland, plus Nick White (MRM), have been pretty inseparable all year. Warren holds the class lead, however with only 36 points splitting them heading into the finale, all three will feel they are capable of emerging as class champion this weekend.

In the G40 Cup Am category meanwhile, Rupert Laslett (Raceway Motorsport) holds a 34 points lead over Andrew Willis (Privateer). Laslett has won 10 of the 15 races but he’s hit trouble twice, meaning a 100% finishing record and regular podiums finishes have kept Willis in contention.

The G40 Cup entry is completed by four-time Pro podium finisher Bren Maude (CTS Motorsport), and Am class contenders Brenden Haffner (Raceway Motorsport, Peter Dilnot (Elite Motorsport) and SVG Motorsport duo Steven Davies and Tony Whitney.

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

 

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday 16 October – Qualifying, 11:20; Race One, 15:45

Sunday 17 October – Race Two, 11:25; Race Three, 17:50

 

Live timing and results: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/214105

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