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Preview: Ginetta GT5 Challenge, Round Six, Snetterton

30th July 2019 • Simon Paice

The title battles are heating up in both the Pro and Am classes as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge heads to Snetterton this weekend for its second outing on the British Touring Car Championship support bill and a first visit to the Norfolk circuit since 2015.

Championship leader heading to Snetterton this weekend is Scott McKenna (Xentek Motorsport), courtesy of a fantastic run of form. Five wins in the last eight races, including a double victory last time out at Zandvoort, has secured him a 49 point lead with five races to go. 

The chasing pack is led by Adam Smalley (Elite Motorsport). The reigning Ginetta Junior champion’s pursuit of two titles in two seasons has been strengthened by five consecutive podium finishes and a fourth win of the campaign so far in Holland last month.

Another championship contender comes in the shape of Scottish teenager Gordie Mutch. Like Smalley, he has picked up silverware in each of the last five races and has proven he has the speed to top the pack with two race wins and three pole positions under his belt.

Victories this weekend will be crucial for Josh Malin (Richardson Racing) and Geri Nicosia (Quattro Motorsport) as they look to get into the title fight. Malin wants to add to his maiden success at Donington Park, while Nicosia won at Thruxton as part of seven podiums in the first eight races.

Impressive consistency from Connor Grady (Total Control Racing) has seen him finish inside the top ten in every race so far. Team-mate Ruben Del Sarte joins him in having picked up two podium results, while Gus Bowers (Xentek Motorsport) is another steady presence at the front of the field.

An exciting pair of talents who have shone in recent meetings are Mutation Motorsport duo Danny Harrison and Josh Steed. Harrison picked up a maiden podium finish at Silverstone, while Steed has the potential for a standout result after taking regular top ten results.

The series’ strength in depth has been shown by some close fought midfield battles, which have included Race Car Consultants duo Josh Hislop and Abbi Pulling, Katie Milner (Merlin International), Will Dyrdal (Privateer), Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport) and Tom Golding (Assetto Motorsport).

The battle to succeed Halstead as the Am Class champion has been hotly contested, with 70 points separating the top three in the standings as Dale Albutt (Quattro Motorsport) heads Wesley Pearce (Elite Motorsport) and James Townsend (Fox Motorsport).

A run of eight consecutive podium finishes moved Albutt into the hot seat, though Pearce and Townsend are in close pursuit having picked up four and three wins respectively. Matt Konczos (Fox Motorsport) and Phil McGarty (GBR) are also front-runners in the class.

An exciting debutant this weekend is teenage talent Magnus Kriklywi, who replaces David Ellesley in Race Car Consultants’ line-up. He joins a competitive Pro Class field that also includes top ten finishers in Sami Saarelainen (Xentek Motorsport), Matt Maxted (Graves Motorsport) and Lewis Ryder (Privateer).

A bumper 30 car entry for the weekend includes a number of drivers with the potential to break into the top ten, including privateer siblings Charlie and Daniel Budd, plus Ryan Firth (Reflex Racing) and Jesse Chamberlain (Xentek Motorsport). Ashley Marshall (Merlin International) completes the grid for his second outing of the year.

Keep up to date with the action across the weekend on social media, @GinettaCars.