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Whiteside Stars At Snetterton With Ginetta GT Academy Hat-Trick

9th August 2021 • Simon Paice

Angus Whiteside produced a perfect weekend in the Ginetta GT Academy at Snetterton this past weekend (07/08 August), taking a clean sweep of the pole positions, race wins and fastest laps.

The weekend kicked off with qualifying on Saturday morning and Whiteside led the way with a stunning performance. The rookie lapped seven tenths of a second quicker than anyone else to record his second consecutive pole position in the championship.

Fellow first year contender Gilbert Yates was second fastest, his best qualifying result of the season so far, while championship leader Toby Trice (SVG Motorsport) shot up to third on the timesheets with his last lap of the session ahead of Wes Pearce (Elite Motorsport).

Whiteside converted his clear qualifying pace into a dominant win in the opener that afternoon. Yates initially got the jump at the race start, but the pole-sitter was back ahead by the end of the opening tour and had pulled over three seconds clear by the end of lap two.

A mid-race safety car period slashed his advantage, but he was back to over two seconds clear within a lap and cruised home to victory. Yates finished second on the road, however he was deemed to have jumped the start and was handed a ten second penalty that dropped him to 13th.

The battle for what became second place was decided on the final racing lap as a wide moment for Pearce exiting Murrays opened the door for Trice to come past. Hot on their heels at the finish was Darren Leung, who had impressively gained a couple of positions on lap one.

A trio of Assetto Motorsport drivers were next, with Martin Wills taking his ‘pink panther’ Ginetta G56 GTA to fifth ahead of team-mates Roy Alderslade and Julian Wantling. Tom Hartley Jnr was next, finishing as the third best rookie in eighth overall.

Gary Wager (SF Racing) finished in ninth overall, with Danny Dwyer rounding out the top ten ahead of fellow rookie Edward Acres. Lee Goldsmith (Assetto Motorsport) was classified 12th ahead of Yates and Shawn Fleming (SF Racing).

If Whiteside’s race one win was ‘dominant’, his charge to victory in race two was even more impressive. The rookie benefitted from some battling behind to pull clear and take another commanding lights-to-flag victory by 11 seconds.

A fast-starting Pearce had shot from sixth on the grid to second through the opening couple of corners. He was soon under pressure from Yates and Trice, with it eventually paying off as a spin exiting Brundle on lap four dropped Pearce down the order.

Yates bounced back from his race one frustration with second at the finish to complete a rookie one-two, with Trice leading the GTA class contenders in third. Alderslade, who had briefly grabbed second off the start line, had to settle for fourth in the end.

Wantling produced a brilliant defensive performance to finish fifth ahead of Acres, who superbly climbed from 15th on the grid to the top six. Wager was seventh ahead of Goldsmith, the recovering Pearce and Wills, who was battling for fifth before a spin of his own.

Whiteside completed his dream treble in the final race on Sunday afternoon, once again leading from start to finish. Breaking over two seconds clear in the first three laps, he went on to take the win by over six seconds to further extend his points lead in the rookie class standings.

The lead trio ran in formation throughout the race, with Yates and Trice once again completing the overall top three. A fast-starting Wager stormed from seventh to fourth at the start of the race, though Alderslade picked him off on the final lap.

Fifth was still a seasons’ best finish for Wager, while behind there was an exciting three way battle for sixth. Wantling was defending hard from Wills and Pearce for a long spell, with an attempt at a move ultimately leading to a retirement for Wills.

Pearce got ahead of Wantling on the penultimate lap to take sixth on the road, however a five second track limits penalty cost him two places. Wantling therefore completed the top six ahead of Dwyer, who finished as the third highest rookie.

An exciting battle for ninth between Leung, Acres and Hartley Jnr was settled on the final lap, as Hartley Jnr passed both to take the position. Leung completed the top ten ahead of Acres, Goldsmith, Fleming and Neil Wallace (SVG Motorsport).

The Ginetta GT Academy paddock now head into a seven week break before they join the British Touring Car Championship support package for the first time at Silverstone (25/26 September) for the penultimate meeting of the 2021 season.

Full session results from the weekend are available at tsl-timing.com/event/213105

The live streams of races two and three can be watched back at youtube.com/ginettatv