Wet Start to the 2018 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Season with Morgan Quinn
GotBoost are proud to be running Morgan Quinn in the 2018 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
The season opened at Oulton Park on Monday 2nd April with qualifying and 3 races planned. But heavy rain and standing water around the circuit led to the third and final GT5 race of the weekend being abandoned.
Earlier on, in slightly better conditions, qualifying got underway behind schedule after race control had to inspect the track. The tricky conditions saw a car go off at Old Hall during the session, damaging the barrier and bringing out a red flag. Morgan Quinn was in a great position having set the second fastest time of the session. At the restart, there were only five minutes to go, leaving most runners just enough time for two flying laps, Morgan’s time was scrubbed off for exceeding track limits, so he left the pits in sixth place determined to improve. But traffic cost him the opportunity and he paid the price for not crossing the finish line before the chequered flag, while others had the luxury of another flying lap.
James Kellett made the most of the opportunity, banging in a 2:05.743 right at the chequered flag to take pole ahead of his team-mate, 2017 frontrunner Max Bird (2:05.840). Ginetta Junior graduate Charlie Digby (2:06.876) and Stoney (2:06.805) made up the second row, Quinn qualified 12th.
The 2017 GT5 Challenge runner-up Stoney emerged with a win in the first race after a terrific scrap with 2015 champion Kellett. The race got underway slightly later than billed due to the weather delays, but despite the damp and greasy conditions, the field emerged unscathed after their first lap. Polesitter Kellett was ahead of Stoney and Digby first time around.
Meanwhile, Bird dropped two places from his front-row grid slot down to fourth, while Optimum Motorsport’s Connor O’Brien and Richardson Racing’s Alex Toth-Jones held steady in fifth and sixth respectively; those positions didn’t change at the flag.
While Kellett and Stoney’s battle saw them pull out a margin on the rest of the field as the laps ticked off, there was typically furious scrapping for position in the midfield as the race unfolded, with Geri Nicosia , Sebastian Arneram and Morgan Quinn (GBR) making up places to sit seventh, eighth and ninth by lap three as Connor Grady dropped back – positions they’d hold until the end.
Up front, the key move came with two laps to go, as Stoney’s relentless pressuring of Kellett paid off and he took the lead with a pass around the outside of Druids. Stoney went on to eke out a three-second gap by the chequered flag, while Morgan Quinn showed glimpses of his true pace setting the 7th fastest lap time on the penultimate lap to finish in 9th.
A very short turnaround for race two, gave GBR the chance to shine, literally while most cars turned up on the grid unwashed from race one, Morgan Quinn’s car looked like a shiny new pin (if they come with liberal applications of race tape).
A more hectic race two saw Stoney win again – this time leading pretty much from lights to flag. He worked up a gap of around six seconds over his closest challenger, Charlie Digby. But a manic scrap for the podium positions that initially saw O’Brien ahead of Kellett and Nicosia, before O’Brien out-braked himself under pressure from Kellett at T1, promoting Kellett to third, Nicosia to fourth, Bird to fifth and Toth-Jones to sixth.
Milner ran as high as seventh in this race, but was forced to take avoiding action when Bird ran wide on to mucky grass and lost the back end heading into the Shell hairpin. Several other cars also wound up in the gravel as they moved to avoid Bird’s now-stationary car.
His demise promoted GBR’s Morgan Quinn, into sixth place on the track. Next time around, Digby had dropped back from second following a spin in the tricky conditions, promoting Kellett into that position and Nicosia on to the podium. Miracco and Marshall now sat fourth and fifth, ahead of Quinn, who couldn’t hold off the hard charging Digby, and ended up 7th by the end of lap 5.
There would be further racing and position changes on lap six, but in the end it counted for nothing, as an off for Campbell-Smith brought out the red flags and the result would be declared from the end of lap five.
The reverse grid draw means Morgan will be on the second row of the grid when the abandoned race three will be run at another race meeting later in the season.