A pair of wins for Callum Pointon during the Spa Francorchamps gathering of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge was enough to move the TCR racer into second in the driver’s championship, just behind his teammate James Kellett.
Looking racy all weekend, Pointon took pole position ahead of the opening race by 0.172 over Kellett, with the pair lining up just ahead of their main championship rival, Ollie Chadwick. A textbook start for the poleman saw him lead into turn one, whilst Chadwick got the jump on Kellett to move into second.
Under pressure on lap three Kellett ran wide enabling Chadwick to make a move, with the pair then tussling over position for the remainder of the race, Pointon was left to pull out ahead and take his first win of the season, with Kellett best of the rest.
Behind, Mohammad Elshimy and Luca Hirst found themselves dropping away from the leading trio as they fought over fourth and fifth, with Elshimy keeping his rival behind to take his first top five result of 2015.
Jack Minshaw quarrelled over sixth, first with Ian Robinson and later Matt Palmer, but held firm to take his best finish of the season so far, whilst Palmer took seventh, also his best finish to date. The man of the moment however was Nick Zapolski, who started from the pit lane, but battled his way up the 30-strong grid to finish in 11thplace.
In the GRDC+ class, a tremendous drive from Gary Wager saw him lead for part of the opening lap, before contact with Keogh at the Bus Stop saw the pair lose time and Ferguson reel in the top three. Moving into third position, Ferguson then clawed his way up the pack, first passing Keogh, and then leader Hyland, with whom he battled to the flag to take the class win after a drag race to the line.
Race two was very much a rerun of the first encounter at the head of the field, as Pointon made a textbook start and held the lead from Kellett and Chadwick. Whilst the TCR teammates traded places over the opening lap, it was ultimately Pointon who made a move stick and remained ahead to the flag.
That left Kellett to defend from Chadwick, with the pair running side-by-side through much of the encounter until Kellett got a break with two laps to go and pulled away. Behind, the battle for fourth had raged throughout between Linn and Elshimy, with both drivers having the track advantage at one point, although it was Linn who ultimately took the position.
The action wasn’t just reserved for the frontrunners either, over 10thplace, Taylor, Hirst and O’Brien were getting stuck in, and latterly joined by GRDC+ leader Keogh as proceedings came to a close, the foursome crossing the line just behind Robinson, Simpson and Palmer, who were continuing to improve. In the fight for the GRDC+ podium positions, Hyland was once again sitting comfortably in second, but Ferguson was under immense pressure from Wager who had been looking racy all weekend. At the flag, Keogh took another win, from Hyland and Ferguson.
It was the battle of the TCR boys once again in race three, as Kellett and Pointon traded positions for the lead. Whilst Chadwick stuck with the twosome over the opening few laps, he soon fell into the clutches of the chasing Stewart Linn, who had managed to escape early pressure from Elshimy and the two Robinsons.
Meanwhile Minshaw had to hold firm to keep Taylor, O’Brien and Broster behind in the fight over P13, and credit goes to Nick Zapolski, whose storming race saw him climb from P25 at the start into an impressive P11 by the time the flag fell.
With Kellett and Pointon comfortably down the road, Linn pulled a move on Chadwick at the Bus Stop to have his nose ahead in the run to the line, but a post-race enquiry reversed the positions and handed the final podium position to Chadwick in the stewards room. In GRDC+ Keogh and Hyland were once again the men in control, trading positions but with Hyland ultimately taking the win from teammate Keogh, with Ferguson in third.
The results see Pointon climb a position in the championship standings, now sitting in second overall behind TCR teammate Kellett and ahead of Xentek Motorsport racer Chadwick. Focus now switches to the next encounter, which takes place at Brands Hatch Grand in Kent three weeks from now, on 1st/2nd August.