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Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge, Round Two, Thruxton

13th May 2019 • Simon Paice

Making their first of two appearances on the BTCC support package this season, the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge is sure to put on a show this weekend as 32 identical Ginetta G40’s tackle the fastest circuit in the UK.

After the season opener at Oulton Park, the early championship leader is Geri Nicosia (Quattro Motorsport). He kicked off the campaign with a top three hat-trick and will be keen to extend his superb record at Thruxton, having won two races and finished second twice in the last four GT5 Challenge races here.

A star performance in Cheshire came from a familiar name to BTCC fans, reigning Ginetta Junior champion Adam Smalley (Elite Motorsport). He took two victories on his GT5 Challenge debut and won at Thruxton last year in the Juniors.

The other driver to taste victory in Cheshire was Gordie Mutch (Fox Motorsport), who kicked off his second season in the series with a maiden success. Scott McKenna (Xentek Motorsport) also confirmed his status as a potential title contender this year with a podium finish of his own.

Ginetta Junior graduate Ruben Del Sarte (Total Control Racing) and Connor Grady (Privateer) each took a podium finish at Oulton Park, while Katie Milner (Merlin International) finished in the top six twice and impressed at Thruxton last year with a fifth place result.

Reigning Ginetta G40 Cup champion Tom Golding (Assetto Motorsport) showed tremendous speed on his debut, while triple top-ten finisher Josh Hislop and his Race Car Consultants team-mate’s David Ellesley and Abbi Pulling are ones to watch this weekend.

Other standout talents include Xentek Motorsport pair Sami Saarelainen and Gus Bowers, Josh Malin (Richardson Racing), Danny Harrison (Mutation Motorsport), reigning Am champion Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport) and Will Dyrdal (Privateer), who starred at Thruxton last season with a drive from 25th to fifth.

A new face to the grid this weekend Ginetta Junior graduate Conner Garlick (Xentek Motorsport), who was too young to contest the opening rounds at Oulton Park but has since celebrated his 16th birthday. 

Rounding off the Pro Class entry is Matt Maxted (Graves Motorsport) plus a group of drivers in their first GT5 Challenge seasons; privateer racing siblings Charlie and Daniel Budd, Ryan Firth (Reflex Racing), Jesse Chamberlain (Richardson Racing) and Lewis Ryder (Privateer).

Alongside the Pro Class is the fiercely contested Am category, which produced three different class-winners in three races at the season opener. They were James Townsend (Fox Motorsport), Wesley Pearce (Elite Motorsport) and Dale Albutt (Quattro Motorsport).

Matt Konczos (Fox Motorsport) and Phil McGarty (GBR) also picked up class silverware, while the class entry is completed by Declan Jones Racing trio Simon Khera, Jadjeet Virdee and Balginder Sidhu.

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

Weekend Timetable:

Saturday, May 18 – Qualifying, 11.50; Race One, 16.20

Sunday, May 19 – Race Two, 13.45 (Live on ITV4)