Chadwick and Nicosia Dominate During One-off GT5 Weekend


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

The 2016 Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion, Ollie Chadwick made a return to Xentek Motorsport at the Thruxton round along with Ginetta Junior race winner Geri Nicosia, who joined the JHR Developments squad for a guest appearance.

Qualifying though was eventually controlled by Nick Zapolski, who took a first pole of the year. The Xentek driver would go on to take a fourth and third, arguably bringing the 35-year-old into championship contention after a poor weekend for the main series runners.

Chadwick though was quick to scythe his way through in race one though, holding off a late challenge from Nicosia. The top two continued their run in the second encounter, though Nicosia eventually took his revenge on Sunday. Elsewhere, Lewis Brown reducing his lead at the top to four points over Shane Stoney, though none of the top three finished on the podium all weekend.

Race One

Winner: Ollie Chadwick

Polesitter Nick Zapolski made a clean getaway, but it was less clear by the end of the lap as Ollie Chadwick drafted past him on the back straight. The pair would trade blows over the opening lap as the field spread out behind.

It wasn’t going to end well for Zapolski who was nudged to the outside of the chicane by Chadwick, eventually dropping to fifth due to his loss of momentum. Chadwick and establish himself at the front, with Geri Nicosia Oliver Wilkinson following him through to second.

The top three would soon break away as the championship contenders of Lewis Brown and Shane Stoney attacked Zapolski for fourth. Sadly for Brown, he failed to maintain momentum, dropping to tenth.

With no championship to fight, Chadwick and Nicosia displayed their ability in the Ginetta G40’s, each being a winner in these cars. Wilkinson and eventually Zapolski would keep the pair honest but if anyone knew how to handle pressure it was Chadwick.

The 2016 champion completed his spectacular return by taking a win from the Ginetta Junior race winner, Nicosia. Zapolski would settle for fourth behind Wilkinson as Stoney held off Simon Traves to complete the top six. Richard Evans won the Am class.

Race One podium, where Chadwick held off a four car train for the win (Credit: JEP)

Race Two

Winner: Geri Nicosia – JHR Developments

It was Ollie Chadwick who started on pole, due to his race one victory on Saturday, but it would be drama behind as Oliver Wilkinson was clattered by Simon Traves. The latter would be turned around sending the field running, taking Adrian Campbell-Smith out as a result.

Chadwick would get the race restarted after a brief safety car, but the battle for second saw Geri Nicosia forced his way past Nick Zapolski through Noble. The pair closed in on Chadwick, with Nicosia even setting a lap record while doing it.

The 2014 BRSCC Fiesta Junior champion took the lead by the half way point of the race, but would lose control going through Campbell’s on the final lap. The JHR Developments driver lost momentum allowing Chadwick a run on the leader.

The GT5 champion briefly drafted past into the lead before Nicosia got the run through the back straight, driving around the outside and taking the lead before the chicane.

Zapolski would take a lonely third having dropped away from the battling duo up front. Meanwhile, championship contenders Lewis Brown and Shane Stoney were at it once again in fourth, with Brown coming out on top.

Rounding out the top eight would be the Hadfield brothers, Jonathan beating Ryan as the pair were side by side across the line, with Luke Pinder just behind after jumping ten places on the opening lap. Richard Evans would finish ninth overall, winning the Am class.