Round 5 of the Ginetta Challenge review
The 5th round of the Ginetta GT5 challange saw the team heading to Brands Hatch. A rare opportunity for testing on the famous GP loop presented the drivers with the chance to hone their skills while the team at GotBoost looked to optimise the settings on the cars. Driver coach and current British Touring car driver Adam Morgan added his expertise and the prospects looked good for the weekend.
Qualifying side-by-side on the fourth row of the grid, Jack Minshaw in 7th out qualifying Nick Zapolski for the first time this season. Team mate Glen Broster, (who must have wished he had tested on the GP Loop) 3 rows behind 14th on the grid. Charles Fergusson was also on form after testing with a pole position in the GRDC+ class.
In race 1 Kellett and Chadwick kicked off the action from the moment the lights went out, the season-long battle between the championship rivals raging from the moment the cars went into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time until the flag came out.
Having missed the championship visit to Spa Francorchamps, Ryan Hadfield was keen to garner as many points as possible, powering from fifth on the grid into third at the start and slotting in ahead of Pointon. The pair traded places throughout, until contact with Luca Hirst on the closing laps sent Pointon into a spin and dropped him to sixth at the line, promoting Hirst into fourth and James Robinson into fifth. Robinson had once again enjoyed a close race with his main rivals Jack Minshaw and Nick Zapolski, but their mid-pack squabble which included an excellent pass by Minshaw on the outside of Paddock Hill bend was split by Stewart Linn in the dash to the flag. Broster was in the thick of the action finishing 14th. It was also a difficult race for Fergusson who was caught up in numerous incidents, which compromised his chances.
Race two saw Chadwick hook up his start, maintaining the lead into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time and, crucially for his championship hopes, keeping Kellett behind until the flag despite a few nibbles for the position from the TCR driver.
As Pointon once again defended from Hadfield, Palmer, Linn, Hirst and Zapolski were fighting over sixth place, with Linn finishing highest at the line, just ahead of Zapolski. Close behind, Minshaw and Simpson took ninth and tenth, with Palmer falling in behind them. Broster’s race was ended after contact with Taylor into Graham Hill bend. Fergusson was passed on the closing lap to finish third behind Hyland and Keogh.
The third and final encounter proved just as eventful, Hadfield spun and forced Hirst to swerve in avoidance landing him in the gravel, the incident promoting everyone up a position, handing 6th place to Zapolski and 7th to Minshaw. Broster finished 15th and Fergusson 3rd in class after gearbox troubles.
Round 6 is sure to be just as eventful follow us at Snetterton on the 22 & 23 of August 2015.