Ginetta GT5 Challenge

Huyton Takes Snetterton Ginetta Double

3 Mins read

Sean Huyton stole the show in the Fuchs Ginetta Challenge around the new Snetterton 300 circuit. He took both race wins in his Academy Motorsport-run Ginetta G40, while Gary Simms and Stuart Pearson shared the G20 wins.

A rain-affected qualifying session produced two unusual grids, with the 15 minute session didn't allow drivers to make many laps. The G20's with their treaded tyres led the way early on, before the G40s in their racing tyres began to get back into it. 

However just as the track began to dry out, a spin for Richard Southgate in his G20 at Coram brought the red flag out. That gave Autosport journalist Ben Anderson a maiden Ginetta pole, with HHC Motorsport team-mate Rick Parfitt second and Pearson's G20 third. Losing out were Huyton in twelfth, Oulton Park race winner Mark Davies in eighteenth and championship leader Clive Richards twenty-second.  

Race one saw Anderson lead away, but he was quickly passed by Pearson at the Monteal hairpin. A quickstarting Huyton was flying through the field, moving into second place by turn six, Oggies, with Anderson slotting into third ahead of Optimum Motorsport's Simms.

Huyton got into the lead at Murrays on the end of lap two, with Anderson trying to follow through, but only ending up spinning down to eleventh, moving Simms into third ahead of the Piranha Motorsport G40 of Ryan Ratcliffe. Davies and Richards moved up to eighth and eleventh respectively by the end of lap one, with Yorkshireman Davies up to fourth mid way around lap two.

Ahead, Ratcliffe moved past Simms for third, with Davies following past soon after. At the end of lap two, Ratcliffe and Davies were running side by side across the line, with Davies making his move stick at Montreal.

However all his hard work was ruined soon after when the 2009 champion went off the road, damaging the rear of his car and dropping him down the field. Also falling back was Richards, who spun himself down to twenty-first. 

At the front, Huyton cruised home to win by nine seconds from Welshman Ratcliffe, picking up his best Challenge result. Anderson recovered from his earlier spin to take third, with Mike Robinson producing a superb drive from last on the grid to take fourth in his Total Control Racing G40. Graham Johnson and Thiago Calvet completed the top six.

In the G20's, Pearson and Simms battled throughout the race, with the duo trading the lead on the last lap. Simms edged to take his third consecutive win, with Pearson second and Matt Flowers third in class.

Former Ginetta Junior racer Ratcliffe took double Snetterton podium

Race two saw another mixed grid, based on the drivers' second best times, with Pearson's G20 on pole ahead of Anderson, Parfitt and Flowers, with Huyton eleventh, Richards fifteenth and Davies twenty-seventh.

Pearson took the lead early on, with a good start for Harvey Booth moving him into second in his G20, ahead of Anderson and his quick starting team-mate Richard Sykes, up from thirteenth on the grid.

Anderson and Sykes swiftly dispatched Booth at Riches on lap two, before Sykes got into second and began chasing down the leader. He was soon caught by Huyton, who had nipped past Anderson on lap two, and the duo ran together for two laps before a safety car was deployed when Lee Moulden went off in his Track Cars G40 at Agostini.

With the safety car failing to pick up the leader, many minutes were wasted as the issue was resolved, leaving just one more lap at the restart. Sykes led the pack from Huyton, Richards and Ratcliffe, with Huyton making a last gasp move at Murrays to take the win, with Sykes forced wide, spinning to an eventual finish of fourteenth.

Ratcliffe worked his way into second, with Richards third. Johnson, Davies and Robinson completed the top six. In the G20 race, Pearson led early on from Booth, Paul Morgan and Simms, though the latter quickly worked his way into second. He challenged for the lead on the last lap, but Pearson held on for the win.

Huyton's double win sees him lead the championship by thirty-three points from Richardson, with Robinson a further five points back. Simms leads the G20 section from Pearson and Flowers, with the championship heading to Brands Hatch next on June 18/19.

Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

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