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Preview: Ginetta GT5 Challenge, Round Five, Silverstone

24th September 2020 • Simon Paice

Only 12 points separate four drivers from four different teams at the top of the championship standings heading into the penultimate meeting of the 2020 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season at Silverstone this weekend (26/27 September).

James Taylor (Elite Motorsport), Jonny Wilkinson (Xentek Motorsport), Josh Malin (Richardson Racing) and Gordie Mutch (Fox Motorsport) are on top form as the GT5 Challenge prepares to make its third and final appearance of the season on the BTCC support package this weekend.

Taylor is the current points leader as he continues a superb maiden GT5 Challenge campaign this year. The reigning Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion has picked up two wins so far and he will head to Silverstone in confident mood having won twice there in the Juniors last season.

Fellow first year contender Wilkinson is leading the charge for reigning champions Xentek. Consistency has been the key to his challenge, as whilst he’s only led one racing lap all year, he’s picked up eight podium finishes in ten races and never finished lower than fifth.

For Malin, this season has been about playing catch-up after some opening weekend issues. He’s clawed his way into contention by taking no less than five race wins so far, and he’ll be keen to extend his impressive record of winning at least once at every meeting.

Mutch meanwhile is the most experienced of the title-contending quartet as he contests his third season in the series. The Scotsman is on a rich vein of form with five consecutive podium finishes including a dominant first two race wins of the season last weekend at Donington Park.

The top four drivers have shared 27 of the 30 podium finishes on offer so far this season, with a number of drivers looking to break their dominance. Getting close in recent meetings has been John Bennett (Elite Motorsport), with a fourth place finish in each of the last two outings.

He’s in search of a maiden podium, as are teenage talents Magnus Kriklywi (Race Car Consultants) and Rory McKean (SVG Motorsport). Kriklywi has impressively finished in the top six in eight of the 10 races so far, while McKean has a pair of fifth place finishes to his name.

Another regular top six finisher who will hold podium aspirations is Ashley Marshall (Fox Motorsport), while Conner Garlick (Xentek Motorsport) finished on the podium back in the second race of the season and is targeting a return to the rostrum before seasons end.

Two front-runners from 2019 are making welcome returns to the grid this weekend, Connor Grady (Privateer) and Josh Steed (Mutation Motorsport). Grady finished sixth in the standings with a couple of podium finishes to his name, while Steed produced a number of eye-catching drives and picked up one top three result.

The ultra-competitive midfield battles have also featured Jesse Chamberlain (Xentek Motorsport), Charlie Budd (Privateer) and his older brother Daniel (Elite Motorsport), while Blake Angliss (Richardson Racing) is one to watch after scoring a top ten finish on his debut last weekend.

In the AM class, Ian Duggan (Fox Motorsport) heads into the weekend with a strong chance of being crowned the provisional champion with a weekend to spare. The Ginetta G40 Cup graduate has a 100% podium record for the season so far, putting him 131 points clear at the top of the standings.

The six-time class race-winner needs to keep that lead at 110 points or more at the end of the weekend to seal the title. Aiming to prevent that happening are Xentek Motorsport duo Bal Sidhu and Phil McGarty, Richard Tetlow (Privateer) and Karim Sekkat (Elite Motorsport).

McGarty missed the opening meeting of the year, but has since finished on the podium in every race and recorded a first ever race win at Donington Park. Team-mate Sidhu is on a positive run of form too, with a maiden pole position at Knockhill and then a breakthrough win last weekend.

Tetlow has shown class leading pace throughout the season, taking a double pole position and a race win on each of the opening two weekends, but crucially has suffered a DNF at every meeting. Sekkat meanwhile has been a consistent finisher with two podiums to his name.

 

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday, September 26 – Qualifying, 10.35 to 10.55; Race One, 14.35

Sunday, September 27 – Race Two, 14.00

 

Live timing and results: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/203903