As the Ginetta GT5 Challenge season nears its halfway point at Silverstone, the championship is still wide open with 10 different drivers having enjoyed top five results and rounds seven, eight and nine of the 21 race championship promising lots of excitement. Ruth Harrison looks at the competitors.
James Kellett (TCR) leads the standings heading to the Northamptonshire circuit thanks to four overall wins – more than any other driver this season – however, he has work to do to keep Ollie Chadwick (Xentek), Callum Pointon (TCR) and Stewart Linn (Optimum) behind, with each driver also having four podiums to their name.
Rounding out the top five, Luca Hirst (Xentek) celebrated his first GT5 Challenge podium in round two, success he will be hoping to repeat here as he aims to keep Nick Zapolski (Buddy) behind in the standings. In the fight for the top 10, it’s been a close battle all year from Dan O’Brien (Optimum), Ian Robinson (TCR), Charles Plumley (Reflex) and James Robinson – both Privateers - but they can expect to see a challenge from former Ginetta Junior racer Ryan Hadfield (R&J), who joined the grid at Rockingham and narrowly missed out on champagne and silverware on his debut.
Russ Simpson (Privateer) and Mohammed Elshimy (SVG) should be mixing it in the thick of the action as they race against regular rivals Jack Minshaw (Buddy) and Alexis Taylor (Xentek), whilst Glen Broster (ABG) and Matt Palmer (Privateer) look to make up for lost time having scored their first points in the last outing.
In the GRDC+ subclass – where championship teams are discouraged - former Ginetta GT5 Challenge racers Rob Keogh and Ben Hyland have been the dominant force, picking up a win apiece as well as three other podium finishes between them. Keogh leads the class with Hyland in fourth – the latter suffering from a DNF in round two.
The pair are split by unbeaten Ginetta Racing Drivers Club race winner Charles Ferguson who is second in class following a win and second place so far this year, whilst Shawn Fleming currently lies third thanks to a podium and two top five results last time out.
New to the GRDC+ format, Usmaan Mughal impressed straight out of the blocks with a podium result on his debut, and regularly challenging at the front of the field. Keeping him honest was 2014 frontrunners John Wall, Gary Wager and Chris Babington plus another switcher from the GT5 Challenge, Andy Marshall.
Returning to the action after sitting out the Rockingham round is Andy Bradshaw who you can expect to see racing against series newcomer Chris Jones as well as experienced GRDC competitors Guy Redwood, Keith Sinclair and Brian Ellory.
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