Ginetta GT5 ChallengeGinetta SeriesSportscars

Davies And Huyton Take Opening Challenge Wins

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Mark Davies and Sean Huyton shared the wins in the opening weekend of the 2011 Ginetta Challenge. The duo took the overall wins in their Ginetta G40's, while Gary Simms took the honours in the G20 category in both races.

Race one saw Optimum Motorsport's Davies lead from pole position, ahead of Total Control Racing's Mike Robinson, HHC Motorsport's Richard Sykes and Colards Motorsport's Clive Richards, while behind there was an early change for fifth, with Phil House passing Piranha Motorsport's Ryan Ratcliffe at Hislop's on the opening lap. 

Third place quickly changed hands at Old Hall, with Richards sliding through, with House also making more progress, passing team-mate Sykes at Cascades, who then fell into the clutches of Academy Motorsport's Huyton, who found his way by soon after. Dropping out of contention was former Ginetta Junior racer Ratcliffe, who dropped to sixteenth after spinning at Knickerbrook, with House also losing out when having to take to the grass in avoidance.

Ahead, Davies led but Richards was up to second, passing Robinson at Shell Oils Corner. He tried to chase down the leader, but Davies held on the take the win by 6.9 seconds. Richards took second, ahead of Robinson and Huyton, who set the fastest lap of the race, while a close battle for fifth saw Sykes hold off House.

In the G20 class, Stuart Pearson led early on, but ran wide on lap four, allowing Optimum Motorsport's Simms into the lead, which he held on to till the end. Pearson took second, with Matt Flowers third.

The second race saw Davies lead away from pole once again, with Sykes attempting a move around the outside at Old Hall for the lead, but he ended up running wide and lose ground. Taking second was Richards, with quick starting Huyton up to third after starting sixth on the grid, with Sykes recovering to fourth as team-mate House retired early on with a blown fuse.

Huyton quickly began his charge for the lead, getting into second at Cascades on lap two, before a stunning move around the outside at Hislop's saw him snatch the lead from Davies, who dropped into the fight for third between Richards and Robinson.

The trio battled hard and lap six saw them headed three abreast into Hislop's, with all three somehow surviging. The same couldn't be said a lap later though, with Richards and Davies diving into Island Bend side by side, but with room for only one, Davies was ran off the road and into retirement.

Ahead, Huyton stormed away for the win, with Richards holding onto second, his second podium finish seeing him top the championship at the end of the weekend. Robinson took third, with Sykes fourth and Piranha pairing Rory Bryant and Ratcliffe completing the top six.

The G20's once again provided great entertainment, with Flowers leading early on, before Simms made his way past around mid-distance. They continued to run close throughout the race and as they entered the last corner, Simms missed a gear and only just managed to hold back Flowers for the win.

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Simon is an experienced journalist and PR officer, who has worked in the national motorsport paddocks for over a decade, primarily on the BTCC support package.
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