George Gamble marked his return to competitive action with a memorable double victory in the final round of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donington Park.
The 17 year old has not turned a wheel in anger since the Formula Renault Winter Series last November, but showed he had not lost any speed when he stepped in to the Total Control Racing Ginetta at his home track.
“I didn’t really expect this”, said Gamble, “There was no pressure though, you probably do things you wouldn’t do if you were fighting for the championship and you can push that little bit more. It’s been great working with TCR, the team has done a great job, and I want to say a big thank you to my grandad and his business, Rad Storage, for getting me out there this weekend – it’s been fantastic.”
Gamble qualified in sixth place in his first outing in a Ginetta since competing in the 2011 Ginetta Junior, although this time driving the more powerful specification of the G40. After making a fantastic getaway, which saw the Nottingham-based driver move up to third on the first lap, before taking second from eventual champion Oli Basey-Fisher at the Melbourne Hairpin on lap two. Gamble then started hunting down his race-leading team-mate Jake Giddings, moving in to the lead on the fourth lap.
Race Two was a much more dramatic affair when the red flag came out on the opening lap after a huge crash for one of the G20 competitors. From the restart, Gamble was locked in a battle with Giddings before cars ahead of them were caught out by oil going in to the Old Hairpin. The duo emerged in the top two positions but their battle was cut short when the red flag came out to clean up the mess, with many drivers ending up in the gravel trap.
Gamble started from third in the final restart, a 12-minute sprint to the line, moving in to the lead on the first lap and clearing off in to the distance, eventually winning by 3.2 seconds.
Elsewhere, TCR regular Callum Pointon enjoyed a strong weekend in the sister machine, taking sixth and seventh in the two races, securing seventh overall in the championship standings.