Xentek Motorsport driver Ollie Chadwick took the first Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge victory of the weekend at Zandvoort on Saturday, topping the podium ahead of Optimum’s Ollie Wilkinson and championship leader Shane Stoney.
Qualifying had been a close-run affair, with Lewis Brown shading Chadwick by just over a tenth of a second for pole position. Those drivers who elected to use slicks on the drying track were rewarded in the early-morning session, with Wilkinson lining up third ahead of Matt Palmer, Optimum’s Conor O’Brien and Carlito Miracco in sixth.
The track had dried out fully for the race, which required a second warm-up lap after the start procedure was delayed. Polesitter Brown led for the first two laps, but third time around Chadwick nipped ahead, while Wilkinson held steady in third.
There was plenty of action in the midfield as O’Brien slipped behind Simon Traves and Stoney (who’d initially dropped back from third). Stoney then got properly up to speed and had hauled himself up to fourth by lap four, passing Century Motorsport’s Max Bird in the process. A coming-together between Miracco and Katie Milner resulted in the latter having to retire from the race, the recovery of her car covered by waved yellows.
At the front Chadwick and Brown continued to circulate within inches of each other, until went off on the final lap, promoting Wilkinson and Stoney to second and third respectively.
Bird came home fourth ahead of O’Brien and Alex Toth-Jones (Richardson Racing), while Miracco, Traves and Nick Zapolski filled out positions seven, eight and nine respectively. Ashley Marshall was 10th, ahead of Richard Evans (the top Am class finisher), Matt Palmer and Adrian Campbell-Smith.
Angus Fender and Steven Wells were 14th and 15th, ahead of the Swedish duo of Alexander Holmber and Niclas Harbig. There’s more GT5 Challenge action from Zandvoort on Sunday, with races two and three of the weekend.