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Preview: GT5 Challenge Ready For BTCC Support Appearance

15th May 2018 • Stephen Errity

GT and single-seater stars of the future, along with enthusiastic gentleman drivers, all find a home in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge. Usually a support series to the British GT Championship, the championship makes the first of two appearances on the TOCA bill at Thruxton this weekend.

Century Motorsport’s James Kellett heads to Thruxton in a strong position after winning two out of three races last time out at Rockingham. Backed up with his podium finishes in the Oulton Park season opener, that gives the 2015 Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion a 26-point lead over second-place man Shane Stoney (Quattro Motorsport) going into this weekend’s encounters.

Optimum Motorsport’s Geri Nicosia won the third Rockingham race and so carries some momentum of his own to Thruxton, while elsewhere it’s fairly close between Alex Toth-Jones (Richardson Racing), Morgan Quinn (GBR), Charlie Digby (HHC Motorsport) and Connor O’Brien (Optimum Motorsport) for fourth to seventh in the championship.

Rockingham podium finisher Scott McKenna (HHC) and Century’s Max Bird are neck-and-neck on 63 points apiece. Privateer Carlito Miracco completes the top 10 points-scorers of the season so far. Other Pro class contenders to look out for include Team Merlin’s Katie Milner, Xentek duo Ashley Marshall and Matt Rainbow, Fox Motorsport’s Gordan Mutch, W2R’s Brett Ward and WIll Dyrdal and privateer Matt Maxted.

There’s also the GT5 Challenge’s mini Nordic contingent in the shape of Finn Saami Saarelainen (Xentek) and Swede Sebastian Arenram (Reflex Racing). HHC’s Gus Bowers and Race Car Consultants’ Josh Hislop, plus privateer Connor Grady, complete the Pro ranks.

The GT5 Challenge’s Am sub-class for gentleman drivers sees a level of competition just as fierce as in the Pro ranks, with the top drivers here often mixing it with the Pro grid for overall position. Leading the Am standings after Rockingham is Quattro Motorsport’s Richard Evans, ahead of Adrian Campbell-Smith (W2R Motorsport), Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport), Andrew Marshall (Optimum Motorsport), Matt Konczos (Fox Motorsport) and privateer Dale Albutt.

Completing the Am contingent at Thruxton are Assetto Motorsport’s Phil McGarty, Fox Motorsport’s James Townsend, Richardson Racing’s Charlie Martin and another Privateer, Peter Stephenson.

Weekend Timetable

Saturday, May 19
10.50 – 11.10 Qualifying Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge 
12.00 – 12.15 Free Practice Ginetta Junior Championship 
14.55 – 15.10 Qualifying Ginetta Junior Championship 
16.45 Race Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge

Sunday, May 20 
11.25 Race Ginetta Junior Championship
13.45 Race Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge
15.55 Race Ginetta Junior Championship