Three podium finishes were enough for Salkeld (Assetto Motorsport) to take the title, with fellow contenders Rob Keogh (W2R Motorsport) and Daniel Morris (Quattro Motorsport) sharing the wins. Alderslade (W2R Motorsport) meanwhile enjoyed a perfect weekend with three class victories.
The top three in the championship headed into the weekend separated by less than 40 points, and their battle at the front resumed in qualifying as they locked out the top three spots. Keogh took a double pole position ahead of Morris and the points leader heading into the meeting, Salkeld.
Third fastest was enough to confirm Salkeld as the top qualifier of the 2019 season, while fourth overall and the quickest of the Chairmans Cup contenders was Alderslade. Bill Forbes (Quattro Motorsport) was a season’s best fifth fastest meanwhile.
The opening race of the weekend would go perfectly for Keogh. Leading away from pole, some battling behind allowed him to break away from the pack and build a near eight second lead at one point on his way to the race win, and the crucial fastest lap point as well.
Behind, Salkeld and Morris enjoyed a sensational duel over second as they switched positions on almost every lap. In the end, Morris emerged in front with less than two tenths of a second splitting them at the flag, with that result keeping him in title contention at that stage.
Chairmans Cup leader Alderslade ran fourth for the first few laps, and while he eventually slipped back to seventh overall, he picked up the class win. That was particularly vital with main rival Martin Wills (Assetto Motorsport) dropping to sixth in class late on.
Forbes followed up his qualifying high with a superb fourth place finish, also his best of the campaign. A great drive from Giles Dawson (Assetto Motorsport) saw him rise from 11th on the grid to fifth, while Jimmy Thomson (W2R Motorsport) rounded out the top six.
Joining Alderslade on the Chairmans Cup podium was Assetto Motorsport’s Mike West and Robin Grimwood in eighth and tenth respectively, with those two split in the final result by Daniel Smith (Privateer). Ian Duggan (Fox Motorsport) just missed out on a class podium in 11th.
On his debut, GRDC graduate Neil Wallace (SVG Motorsport) picked up an impressive 12th place finish ahead of Wills, Gary Wager (SF Racing), Mark Lee (Quattro Motorsport), John Wall (SF Racing) and two more newcomers, Richard Smith (Privateer) and Mark Sansom (Assetto Motorsport).
The first of two races on Sunday became a thrilling three-way battle for the win between the title contenders. Morris got the lead on lap one and had to hold off the challenge of Keogh and Salkeld as the race developed, with less than a second splitting them almost throughout.
It came down to the final couple of corners, as the trio ran three abreast into the hairpin for the final time. Morris emerged in front for victory, while Salkeld nipped past Keogh on the final tour for second and an ultimately crucial extra few points.
Forbes had a relatively quiet race behind as he ran fourth throughout, while Dawson gained two places early on to take fifth. Sixth meanwhile secured Alderslade a tenth Chairmans Cup victory of the year and with it the provisional class title.
GRDC graduate Chris White (W2R Motorsport) bounced back from a race one retirement to secure an impressive eighth place finish ahead of Cornick. The top ten was rounded out by Chairmans Cup podium finishers Duggan and Wills, with West and Julian Wantling (Assetto Motorsport) next up.
The race two result meant that after 16 fiercely contested races, it was a winner-takes-all season finale as Keogh and Salkeld headed into Round 17 equal on points. Morris meanwhile was 24 points adrift and still in contention if the top two made any mistakes.
A fast launch off the line secured Salkeld the race lead briefly, however Morris got back with an impressive move around the outside at Coppice. From there, he wouldn’t be beaten as he stormed clear to secure his third victory of the campaign.
Keogh meanwhile had initially slipped back to fifth, but after dispatching Forbes and Dawson, he was looming in the mirrors of his title rival Salkeld. After running nose-to-tail for a number of laps, the destiny of the championship title was ultimately decided on the final lap of the season.
Salkeld’s defence was breached going into Redgate, however he fought back with a determined move into the Melbourne hairpin. Sliding down the inside, he got the spot and went on to claim championship glory by just three points at season’s end.
Forbes rounded out his best weekend in the championship with a third consecutive fourth place finish ahead of Dawson, while Cornick enjoyed a breakthrough top six result. Alderslade completed a hat-trick of Chairmans Cup wins in seventh ahead of Thomson.
Ron Linn (Kraken Motorsport) ended his one-off outing this season with second in the Chairmans Cup, while Lee joined him in getting a first class podium of the year. Duggan was fourth in class on the road, but a track limits penalty dropped him behind Wills and Shawn Fleming (SF Racing). Charlotte Birch (SVG Motorsport) meanwhile took a best finish of the weekend of 19th.
Chris Salkeld – 2019 Ginetta G40 Cup Champion: “It was a phenomenal final race from start to finish. It was a brilliant battle that really showcased how close fought this season has been. I’ve loved every second, we’ve had many podium finishes this year and it’s awesome to take the title by beating Rob [Keogh], a legend of this championship.”
Roy Alderslade – 2019 Ginetta G40 Cup ‘Chairmans Cup’ Champion: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic season. A great experience all round, and the team has been fantastic. The championship has been very good; well organised and a level playing field with so many drivers of all kinds of experience. I’ve loved it and I’m delighted to be champion.”
The Ginetta G40 Cup will return in 2020, with the provisional calendar now released: https://www.ginetta.com/news/provisional-calendars-announced-for-2020-ginetta-season