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Preview: 2022 Ginetta GT5 Challenge – Oulton Park

12th April 2022 • Simon Paice

The 2022 Ginetta season gets underway this weekend as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge, one of the most competitive and exciting one-make championships in the UK, bursts into life at Oulton Park.

The GT5 Challenge’s traditional Pro and Am class format promises to produce entertaining action throughout the grid, with an exciting mix of returning drivers and new talents set to battle it out across three races this Easter weekend in Cheshire.

Reigning champions Xentek Motorsport will defend their crown with three Pro drivers. Two-time podium finisher Mikey Doble is the highest placed returning driver from 2021, while Connor Grady continues as one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. Sam Harvey joins them to make his car-racing debut.

Elite Motorsport had drivers finish second and third in the points last year and have a maiden GT5 title in their sights. Harley Haughton will be building on an impressive maiden car-racing campaign last year, and Ginetta Junior race-winner Will Jenkins is one to watch as he steps up to the series.

Will Rochford is another front-runner from 2021 returning to the grid this season, as he leads the challenge for Total Control Racing. Sam Smith is back too, having taken two podiums in a stunning one-off debut at Donington Park, while Ruben Hage debuts after three years in Junior tin-tops.

Running a three car entry this year is Race Car Consultants. Nat Hodgkiss and Will Orton both enjoyed breakthrough podium finishes in the closing stages of the 2021 season, whilst Kian Donaldson is a newcomer to the series.

The hugely competitive Pro class entry will feature Aidan Hills (Hills Motorsport), who also picked up a top three result during a partial 2021 campaign. Ignazio Zanon (Raceway Motorsport) showed good potential last year too, while Dave Sutton (Avago Racing) is an exciting debutant.

Harry Mangion (Elite Motorsport) and Chris White (Raceway Motorsport) battled it out for the Am class title last season, with the former emerging on top by just nine points. As Mangion steps up to the Pro class this year, White returns for another go at winning the Am crown.

All of the top six Am’s from last season will be back on the grid. Paolo Santi (Raceway Motorsport) finished third in the standings with three class wins to his name, Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport) was a regular podium finisher and Phil McGarty (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport) has taken class wins in the past.

Another returning class race-winner is Bal Sidhu, who returns for a fourth consecutive GT5 season. He’s one of three Am’s entered by Xentek Motorsport, alongside newcomers Neil Finnighan and Gerson Zarpelao.

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

 

Easter Weekend Timetable:

Saturday 16 April – Qualifying, 10:35; Race One, 14:10

Sunday 17 April – No track sessions

Monday 18 April – Race Two, 10:35; Race Three, 17:55

 

Both of Monday’s races will be streamed live on Ginetta’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, while live timing and results across the meeting will be available at https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/221505.