Two wins from three for impressive Pointon

Two wins from three for impressive Pointon

Callum Pointon only just missed out on making it a TCR one-two at the top of the standings, by a mere seven points, after a sensational season finale which almost produced a hat-trick of wins for the youngster.

Taking tremendous victories in rounds 19 and 20, Pointon was on course to claim his third in the final contest until gravel on the track three corners from home sent him wide and dropped the GT5 racer to second position.

While race one went awry almost immediately for Kellett, team-mate Pointon leapt from fifth on the grid into the lead and after an early Safety Car he continued to hold the advantage. With the pack behind battling hard over position, Pointon was able to pull away and build a strong cushion.

Into the final tour, the TCR racer was almost three seconds clear and he eased to a memorable win by 1.7 seconds to consolidate his top three placing in the driver standings. By defeating Kellett’s chief rival Ollie Chadwick too, Pointon did assist Kellett’s title hopes.

Team-mate Ian Robinson, starting the first race from ninth on the grid, had to battle his way back through following the Safety Car interruption having been edged back to 11th place on lap one. Back into the top 10 before the re-start due to a car dropping back, Robinson grabbed ninth from Mohammed Elshimy on the fifth tour and remained there to the conclusion on lap eight.

With the complexion of the championship having dramatically changed in race one, round 20 on Sunday morning had a crucial role to play in the outcome of the 2015 crown. Kellett began the race second on the grid, with Pointon third and Robinson in 11th position.

At the start, Kellett made an excellent launch to squeeze ahead of pole-starter Chadwick on the run into Redgate but through the Old Hairpin the positions switched and then, into Coppice, Pointon moved past his team-mate from third.

Pointon began to close down Chadwick on lap two and, with an excellent move on the brakes into Melbourne Hairpin, he grabbed the lead while Kellett held third some way back. Chadwick had a look at Pointon into the Esses on lap four but the move didn’t work and the delay for both gave Kellett the opportunity he needed to slice past with a superb move into the hairpin to grab the lead.

His turn at the front didn’t last long, though, when he was elbowed down to third on the run into Coppice on lap five – first passed by Pointon on the rise from McLeans and with Chadwick then moving through into the next right-hander. Ultimately, Kellett was edged back to fourth and that’s where he stayed to the conclusion which meant he dropped to second in the points table.

Pointon, meanwhile, led all the way to the chequered flag on lap 12 as he managed to fend off the challenge of Chadwick through the traffic to secure his second win of the weekend and fourth race victory of the season.

For Robinson, an opening lap delay dropped him down to 16th position but he battled back well to finish in 13th place. With a big gap to make up to the pack after the first tour, the TCR driver produced some strong lap times to salvage the best result possible.

Having to come from behind in the championship for the first time since May, Kellett started the final race from fourth – while Pointon led away from pole – and after taking third place at the beginning of lap four he had one hand on the champion’s trophy when Chadwick ground to a halt.

Kellett eventually finished in third place while Pointon led all the way to the Esses on the last lap when he caught some gravel, dragged on to the track in an earlier accident, and ran wide before rejoining in second which he held to the flag.

Lining-up 13th on the grid, Robinson swiftly climbed into the top 12 and then moved into the top 10 at the first Safety Car. With racing laps seriously limited due to the cautionary periods, Robinson had little chance to make huge progress but did cap the finale with a strong ninth place result.

“Callum has had a superb weekend”, added Brookes, “We’re all a little bit gutted he didn’t get the three wins but we’ll take two and a second place – fantastic for him and a superb way to end the season. Ian has had a strong year, brilliant for his first season back racing for a long time and not too far away from a top 10 finish in the championship. All in all, it’s been an incredible season.”

While the Ginetta GT5 Challenge has now concluded for another year, TCR’s motor racing campaign continues a fortnight from now on 26th/27th September with the penultimate event for the Ginetta Junior Championship – rounds 17 and 18 – at Silverstone National Circuit.