The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge was handed a curveball this afternoon, after a non-finish for points leader James Kellett saw his championship advantage drop to just two points over closest rival Ollie Chadwick.
Kellett had a 34-point cushion prior to the weekend, and was poised to take his second Ginetta championship title since winning the Ginetta Junior Winter series in 2014. After qualifying second alongside Chadwick for both races, the stage was set for an exciting trio of races.
With round 19 getting underway on Saturday (12 September) afternoon, a storming start for Chadwick saw him take the race lead into Redgate for the first time.
The opening lap melee saw a number of cars scattering across the circuit, with Nick Zapolski and Russ Simpson forced to retire, whilst a tag from behind for Kellett propelled his Ginetta G40 into the gravel at the Old Hairpin.
After a brief safety car period to remove Kellett’s car, racing resumed on lap for. Pointon was quick to pull away once the circuit went back into race mode. Behind, it was a four-way fight for third position, with Chadwick having to defend hard from his very quick teammate Hirst.
It was soon all change again though, as Stewart Linn cut past Hirst to move into second, leaving the latter to fend off the advances of James Robinson, Matt Palmer and the closing Ryan Hadfield. At the drag race to the finish, Robinson retained his position, whilst Hadfield passed Palmer to move into fifth with Hirst following him through to take sixth.
The result means that with two races left to run, its neck and neck between Chadwick and Kellett for the championship, with Pointon still in with an outsiders chance of claiming the title. Whilst 16 laps of Donington Park will settle the score, one thing’s for sure, we’re in for an exciting finale!
Provisional Ginetta GT5 Challenge Top Thee After 19 Rounds
1 KELLETT, James 557
2 CHADWICK, Ollie 555
3 POINTON, Callum 513