Nick White has been crowned the 2023 Ginetta GT Academy champion after scoring the final race
win of the season at Donington Park (21/22 October), with Ravi Ramyead having taken the title
fight down to the wire with a double victory of his own.
A 20-car grid, the biggest of the season, took to a wet circuit for qualifying on Saturday morning.
Ramyead (Century Motorsport) did exactly what he needed to do in his quest for the title,
dominating the session to take a double pole position by almost eight tenths of a second.
White, who headed into the event with a healthy advantage in the points standings, finished up third
on the timesheets. He was just edged out of a front row berth by 2023 rookie champion Matt Shaw,
who joined him at Raceway Motorsport as he stepped up to the GTA class for the first time.
The opening race started with White shooting past Matt Shaw off the line to take second position,
putting him right behind Ramyead. That was the closest he got to his title rival though, as Ramyead
stormed clear to take a comfortable victory by over two seconds.
White and Matt Shaw completed the overall podium, while Ed Acres (Century Motorsport) put in an
impressive late charge to fourth on the road. A five second penalty for track limits infringements
dropped him back though, with Marc Elman (SVG Motorsport) taking advantage to finish fourth.
Acres ended up sixth on the revised result behind Thomas Shelley (Century Motorsport), who had
produced a stunning opening lap to rise from tenth on the grid to the top five. Jon Kearney (Raceway
Motorsport) was next up ahead of Mackenzie Walker (E3 Sport), as the latter climbed from 16 th on
the grid to eighth.
Debutant Luke Shaw had impressively secured the rookie class pole position in fourth overall, but a
slow start dropped him down the order. He fought back through the field though and grabbed
second from Emma Tomlinson at the final corner.
Fellow newcomer Thomas Balfe produced an impressive drive to finish first on the road, however a
track limits penalty dropped him behind Luke Shaw. Amy Tomlinson helped her quest for second in
the rookie points standings with a podium finish, as sister Emma recovered to fourth.
The second race of the weekend began with White once again moving ahead of Matt Shaw off the
start and tucking under the rear wing of Ramyead. They ran nose-to-tail for a number of laps, before
a mistake for the leader at the Old Hairpin allowed White to move ahead.
His lead was short-lived however as at the end of that lap, a spin exiting the Goddards hairpin
dropped White back to fourth. Ramyead took full advantage and led to the finish, crucially posting
the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour to take the title battle to the final race of the
Matt Shaw finished up second, with Acres an impressive third after making great early progress from
seventh on the grid. Shelley was on course for fifth place before pitting with a problem, promoting
Kearney to the place ahead of Elman.
Luke Shaw fell back to third in the rookie class on the opening lap, before fighting back impressively
to double his win tally. As Walker once again went from 16th to 8th overall, the top ten was completed
by rookie podium finishers Michael Orant and Emma Tomlinson.
2022 regular Robin Grimwood (E3 Sport) just missed out on a top ten result on his return to the
championship, finishing ahead of Balfe. Phil McGarty (Xentek Motorsport) impressively battled from
20th on the grid to 13th ahead of Tomlinson sisters Amy and Lucy.
Ramyead went into the final race of the season knowing that only a race win and fastest lap would
be enough for him to prevent White taking the title, however his chances were dashed at the first
corner as he went wide and through the gravel trap.
As Ramyead ended the lap back in 12th , White had worked his way into the lead ahead of Matt Shaw.
The Raceway Motorsport team-mates ran in formation to the finish, with White’s 12th victory of the
campaign securing him title glory.
Matt Shaw received a ten second penalty for a false start though, dropping him back to fifth.
Kearney therefore scored a brilliant second place result, as Ramyead completed the podium after a
sublime recovery drive through the order after the lap one drama.
Luke Shaw signed off his hugely impressive debut weekend with another rookie class win in sixth
overall, one spot ahead of Acres who fought back superbly after a tough opening lap ended in 17th
place. Elman, Shelley and the second highest rookie Orant completed the top ten.
Emma Tomlinson rounded out the rookie podium in 12th overall, while further back Charlotte Lowe
and Max Ratel took their best class results of the weekend in 5th and 6th respectively. They finished
up on track behind Paul Livesey (MDD Racing) and Ginetta returnee Stephen Fresle (Century