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Silverstone Produces New Class Winners In Ginetta GT5 Challenge

28th June 2021 • Simon Paice

Thomas Holland and Chris White secured their first class victories of the 2021 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season during an exciting weekend of racing at Silverstone (26/27 June).

As Raceway Motorsport team-mates Holland and White tasted victory in the G40 Cup Pro and GT5 Challenge Am categories respectively, there was also winners champagne for Harry Mangion and Rupert Laslett across the two races.

The GT5 Am category had been hotly contested over the opening two events, with eight drivers picking up podium finishes already. Mangion (Elite Motorsport) came into the weekend as points leader and started proceedings in style with a maiden double pole position.

Less than a second separated the class top three around the 3.66 mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, with White and his Raceway Motorsport stablemate Paolo Santi in hot pursuit. There was further cause for celebration in the Raceway camp, as Holland and Laslett also impressed.

Holland ended his team-mate Marc Warren’s qualifying domination of the G40 Pro class with a double pole position, with Warren second ahead of Nick White (MRM). Laslett meanwhile set the pace in G40 Am again to make it six pole positions from six this season.

The opening race in overcast conditions on Sunday morning started with White working his way into the GT5 Am lead on lap one. A close battle saw less than a second splitting the top three in the early stages, but White edged clear for a brilliant first win of a rollercoaster season so far.

A thrilling duel for second place saw Mangion and his Elite Motorsport team-mate Karim Sekkat trade places multiple times through the race. Mangion was on course for the position, however under a race-ending safety car period, he retired with a mechanical problem.

Sekkat therefore finished second, his first podium since the opening race of the year at Thruxton, while Phil McGarty (Xentek Motorsport) gained a couple of places to complete the podium. Fellow Xentek racer Bal Sidhu and Santi completed the class top five.

There was a close fight for the G40 Pro honours throughout the race, with Holland soaking up a lot of pressure from Warren en-route to a first win of the season. They were part of a four car train that also included the G40 Am top two, Laslett and Andrew Willis (Privateer).

Nick White completed the G40 Pro podium ahead of Bren Maude (CTS Motorsport), the latter taking the first of two fourth place finishes for the day. Brenden Haffner (Raceway Motorsport) was set to complete the G40 Am top three before retiring late on, which opened the door for Stephen Moore (SVG Motorsport) to collect silverware.

Peter Dilnot (Elite Motorsport), a podium finisher last time out at Brands Hatch, finished fourth in class ahead of James Turner (SVG Motorsport). Completing the top six meanwhile was Stephen Davies (SVG Motorsport) on his long-awaited Ginetta race debut.

GT5 Am provided a typically action-paced offering in race two on Sunday afternoon. Mangion was the early leader from pole position ahead of a fast starting McGarty, who rose from fifth on the grid to second on lap one, Sekkat and White.

It all changed on lap four when White shot up to second ahead of Sekkat, before moving into the class lead two laps later. Also making progress was Sidhu, who recovered well from an early spin to slot into third heading into the closing stages.

The battle for the podium places went down to the final lap, with a dramatic conclusion seeing Mangion come through to a third win of the campaign. White dropped back to fourth, with Sidhu and Sekkat completing the podium. Mark Steel (Toro Verde GT) meanwhile bounced back from a race one DNF to finish sixth in class behind McGarty.

In the G40 Cup, Holland, Warren and Laslett produced one of the most exciting battles of the weekend as they battled wheel-to-wheel throughout the race. The G40 Pro lead changed hands multiple times in the closing stages, with Holland snatching the win on the final tour.

As he completed a dream double win for the weekend, Warren continued his 100% record for podium finishes this season; a feat replicated by Nick White in third as he fought back from an early spin. Laslett meanwhile made it six G40 Am wins in the seven races to date.

Haffner finished second in class for the third time this season, with Moore completing a double third place. After dropping to the rear of the field on lap one, an impressive comeback drive from Willis netted him fourth ahead of Dilnot and Turner.

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge continues in two weeks’ time alongside the Ginetta GT Academy at Donington Park (10/11 July).

Full race results for the weekend can be found here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/212505