Will Burns completed a comfortable lights-to-flag victory in the first of three Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge races at Rockingham, taking the flag over eight seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Starting from pole position, the Weston-Super-Mare driver held off the fast-starting Brad Bailey thanks to the advantage of the inside line around the turn one banking, and from the exit of Deene Hairpin the Academy Motorsport driver was never to be challenged for the remainder of the race.
Former Ginetta Junior driver Bailey was caught napping into the hairpin for the first time however by David Pittard, only to lose a further place at Tarzan hairpin to a late-braking Reflex Racing G40 of Luke Davenport later in the opening lap.
The lead of Burns was already up to over two seconds at the end of the third lap of the race, leaving a three-car battle for second spot to rage behind him, the trio of Pittard, Davenport and Bailey also edging out a gap themselves over Oli Basey-Fisher who began to form a train of cars behind him for fifth.
Basey-Fisher was soon demoted by Ben Hyland to sixth position at Deene on lap six, the race then going from bad to worse for the Academy Motorsport youngster as he retired from the race shortly afterwards.
Burns continued to stretch his lead up front, while behind him Pittard’s second place was anything but safe, Davenport and Bailey closing in as the final minutes of the race approached, Pittard looking to banish the disappointment of missing out on a podium in his debut meeting at Oulton Park.
He did so, helped by Bailey’s last-lap attack of Davenport, the championship leader diving inside Davenport at Deene for the final time to grab the final podium spot behind SV21‘s Pittard, but a full 8.153s behind the winner Burns who took his maiden win of the season.
Fifth went to Want2Race.co.uk’s Hyland, ahead of Callum Pointon and Tor McIlroy who both got the better of Matt Flowers into Tarzan midway through the 20-minute race, Jason Kenny and Gary Duckman rounding out the top 10 despite Duckman having to recover from a spin at Deene early on.
G20 honours went to the class pole-sitting car of Gary Simms, the Reflex Racing man making a great start to keep away from the keen attentions of his nearest chaser, Stuart Pearson, Simms taking his first class win of the season having been absent from the opening event at Oulton Park.