Luke Reade has made it four wins in a row to start the 2023 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship. He took the victory in the sole race at Silverstone this past weekend (06/07 May).
Wet weather greeted the field for qualifying on Saturday morning. Ruben Hage (Breakell Racing) adapted best to the tricky conditions to secure his first Ginetta pole position. Callum Davies (SVG Motorsport) qualified on the front row for the second consecutive event, as well as securing the race two pole on second fastest times.
Oulton Park triple-winner Reade (Wolf Motorsport) was third quickest overall ahead of Conner Garlick (Xentek Motorsport). In the GT5 ranks, it was a double pole for Xentek as Ella Lloyd and Bal Sidhu led the Pro and Am classes respectively.
The opening race was scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon. However, heavy rainfall through the day led to a large quantity of standing water on the circuit and the cancellation of the afternoon sessions. It is hoped the race will be rescheduled for a future event.
Therefore, the GT Championship contenders would tackle just one race for the weekend. This race took place in much drier conditions the following morning. Davies shot away from pole position and led the field through Copse for the first time. However, he was caught up in an incident a corner later at Maggots which caused him to spin.
As Hage span in avoidance of his car, a stranded Davies in the middle of the circuit triggered an incident behind that ended the race of both Shawn Fleming (SF Racing) in his G56 GTP and Sam Harvey (Xentek Motorsport) in his G40 GT5, bringing out the safety car.
A perfectly-executed restart from Reade gave him some breathing room at the front of the field as the race developed. He had to keep a charging Hage at bay on the final lap though, with the qualifying pole-sitter having charged through the field from sixth behind the safety car.
Having been sixth behind the safety car, a stunning fightback from Hage netted him a second consecutive podium finish. A thrilling final lap saw pole-sitter Davies pick off both Conner Garlick and Carl Garnett (Breakell Racing) to complete his comeback in third.
Garnett had been running second early on, however contact with the fast-starting Colin White (CWS 4×4) at Stowe corner led to both running with damage. White therefore came home seventh in the GTP class behind Liona Theobald (SVG Motorsport).
In the GT5 Pro class, pole-sitter Lloyd found herself caught up in the opening lap incident. From the back of the grid at the end of the safety car period, she produced a brilliant charge through the field to take the class victory on the road.
She was later penalised for gaining an unfair advantage though, dropping her behind second-time race-winner Luke Garlick (Xentek Motorsport) and championship returnee Will Rochford (TCR). Karim Sekkat (Breakell Racing) and Lexie Belk (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport) completed the class finishers, while Sidhu won GT5 Am ahead of Pablo Jequier (Race Car Consultants).
Full weekend results can be found at www.tsl-timing.com/event/231805
The race can be watched back at www.youtube.com/user/ginettatv
The inaugural season of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship continues over the weekend of 27/28 May on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit.