Ginetta GT5 Challenge title contender James Kellett secured two more outstanding victories at Rockingham over the weekend, 2nd/3rd May, for Total Control Racing – moving the youngster into a healthy 26 point lead at the top of the championship.
Taking his season tally to four wins from the six races contested so far, Kellett also aced qualifying with a double pole position and posted fastest lap in round five. Finishing runner-up in round six as well, he made it a hat-trick of podiums from the event.
His TCR team-mates, Callum Pointon and Ian Robinson, each delivered an excellent weekend of racing too with the former bagging two podium finishes to climb to third in the standings. Robinson produced a best result yet of sixth in the opening encounter, only his fourth race in almost 20 years.
“We’ve had a great result this weekend, absolutely fantastic”, said delighted TCR team principal Lee Brookes, “Two wins from three, and second in the last one, is just what James needed to do and what we wanted to do. If it came to it, we said we’d settle for second in the last race to collect the points and come away leading the championship and that’s what he did.
“Unfortunately Callum got damage at the first corner, first lap, in race three and battled that all the way to the end but two more podiums for him and third in the championship is superb. Ian has done a cracking job all weekend, he’s coming on in leaps and bounds and getting stronger and stronger. We always knew we’d got two major front-runners this year, but Ian is getting there as well now.”
Kellett and Pointon started the weekend superbly for TCR with a one-two lock out in qualifying for the first two races, the former stamping his authority with a time 0.6 seconds faster than Pointon’s best.
At the start of round four on Saturday, though, Pointon made the better launch from the front row to grab the lead and he stayed ahead of Kellett until lap two when the pole-qualifier moved back ahead. Pulling away instantly, Kellett began to punch in a series of fastest lap times while Pointon was edged back to third by Ollie Chadwick on lap four at Deene Hairpin.
During the second half of the race, Chadwick chipped away at Kellett’s advantage and on the penultimate tour the TCR racer lost the lead after running deep at Deene. Re-challenging Chadwick as the race entered its final tour, Kellett nosed back ahead on the run past the start-finish line and he went on to chalk-up his third win from four races.
Robinson continued to impress on his return to racing this year with the seventh fastest time in qualifying and he delivered a similarly strong showing in the opening encounter. Although slipping to eighth on lap one, the Cambridgeshire businessman moved back into seventh on lap two and then climbed into the top six on the next tour.
Improving his pace, Robinson looked very comfortable and although edged back to seventh again on lap seven he battled back into the top six once more on the 10th and final lap to secure his best result of the campaign so far.
Kellett made his pole position count in the wet fifth round on Sunday morning, leading Pointon away from the line, and the TCR team-mates very impressively streaked away at the front with a truly dominant showing.
By the start of lap four, Kellett already held a four second advantage over Pointon who, in turn, was 5.2 seconds clear of the chasing pack. Completely controlling the race, Kellett went on to claim an unchallenged fourth win of 2015, and also set fastest lap, with Pointon securing an excellent second place some six seconds clear of third placed Chadwick.
Robinson maintained his starting position of 11th on the opening lap before breaking into the top 10 on lap two, where he remained for the majority of the race. Although edged back to 11th place on the eighth and penultimate tour, the result marked another very assured performance.
Round six wasn’t quite as fruitful for the TCR trio but at the start Pointon again got the jump on his pole-sitting team-mate to lead. As the pack closed-up through Turn One, though, contact resulted in damage for Pointon and he had to nurse his car to a top four finish.
Kellett had a tight early battle with Luca Hirst during the first half of the race before eventually finishing second to Chadwick. Robinson, meanwhile, found himself pointing in the wrong direction on lap one after contact but he battled through fantastically well from 32nd and last place into the top 14 by the finish on lap 12.
Next on the Ginetta GT5 Challenge calendar is a visit to Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, over the weekend 30th/31st May, for rounds seven, eight and nine of the season. Before then, TCR will be back in action this coming weekend, 9th/10th May, at Thruxton in Hampshire for rounds five and six of the Ginetta Junior Championship.
Provisional 2015 Ginetta GT5 Challenge Standings (after Rd6):
1st James Kellett, 176pts; 3rd Callum Pointon, 142pts; 8th Ian Robinson, 67pts