Ollie Chadwick made it ‘third time lucky’ at Spa Francorchamps , as the twice vice-champion finally claimed the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge title after an almost unstoppable 2016 season.
As the action got underway, it was Chapman who lead into La Source for the first time with Chadwick tucking in behind. Although the pair ran nose to tail for much of the race there were a few cases of position swapping throughout the seven lap encounter, but following a drag race to the line, it was Chapman who took the win by 0.494s denying Chadwick the championship title in the process. GotBoost drivers Jack Minshaw and Nick Zapolski worked together to take fifth and sixth place after dispatching Jac Constable.
Glen Broster finished 12th improving his lap times from previous visits considerably since joining the GotBoost team.
Race two was a similar story at the front. Chapman and Chadwick pulled clear of the once again battling Hadfields. The pair fought for position, with Chadwick knowing he must take the win and fastest lap in order to secure the championship honours before the day was out.
It didn’t come easy though, as the field soon had to navigate a slow running Fun Cup car who had inadvertently joined the GT5 Challenge cars on track for a lap. As always, a number of mini battles broke out throughout the pack and Dan Collinson, Alex Toth-Jones, Matt Flowers, Jac Constable and Glen Broster were having a fine old fight for 10th position. Glen finished in 13th place ahead of his team mate Nick Zapolski who finished a disappointed 15th.
A moment for Jonny Hadfield who almost climbed on top of Jack Minsahw dropped him down into the gaggle, and despite a hairy moment through Eau Rouge, he managed to claim the final spot in the top 10, behind Minshaw 7th, Robinson 8th and Wells 9th.It was high drama at the start of the penultimate lap as Chadwick led across the line and secured that all-important fastest lap in order to be confirmed as provisional champion on the final lap.
The third and final race of the weekend saw the reverse grid promote Wells (who had finished ninth in race two) onto pole position with Ian Robinson alongside, & Jack Minsahw was 3rd on the grid and determined to feature in the podium places. A great start for the trio saw them lead for a full lap before Chadwick and Chapman mounted their attack having picked up a handful of positions from their lowly grid positions.
The race was neutralised under safety car on lap three after Toth-Jones hit the barrier at Blanchimont almost collecting Broster who had passed him and continued on the racing line.
We were back up to full speed at the start of lap five and Chadwick led from Chapman, with Minshaw managing to stay ahead of Wells and Robinson. With five minutes left of the clock, it was a sprint to the line after the restart, however Collinson went off at turn three, and AM class leader Marshall spun at the Bus Stop, meaning race control took the call to Red Flag the session with just five minutes remaining.
With all cars having not crossed the line by the time the flags came out, the Kronos Events team counted back to the lap four positions, thus naming Chadwick as the winner with Chapman in second and Minshaw rounding out the podium in third.
Nick Zapolski finished 11th ahead of team mate Glen Broster 12th reversing the finishing order from race two.
The result meant that with the GT5 Challenge Championship tied up, the battle for top place within the GotBoost awning will reach its grand finale at Donington Park.
Provisional Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Top 10 Driver Standings
1 O Chadwick 541
2 M Chapman 390
3 R Hadfield 372
4 J Hadfield 343
8 J Minshaw 210
9 N Zapolski 166
13 Broster 103