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Ginetta GT5 Challenge

Simms And Davies Star At Donington

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G40 Double Winner Mark Davies (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)


Gary Simms guided his Ginetta G20 to an outright win in the Ginetta Challenge during the latest rounds at Donington Park, while Mark Davies took two G40 class wins to move himself into the lead of the championship.

It was Total Control Racing's Mike Robinson who started the opening race on pole position. On a wet circuit, Robinson led the pack away, chased by the championship leader heading into the weekend, Sean Huyton.

Academy Motorsport's Huyton came under pressure from Optimum Motorsport's Thiago Calvet on the opening lap though and lost the place at the Melbourne Hairpin. He soon lost more ground when Davies moved past for third, before passing Calvet for second, the Brazilian having briefly challenged Robinson for the lead.

Yorkshireman Davies pushed on and passed the leader at Goddards on lap four, before cruising home to win by ten seconds. Robinson and Calvet completed the podium ahead of Clive Richards and Huyton. HHC Motorsport's William Burns completed the top six, followed by Ryan Ratcliffe and Graham Johnson. Taking ninth was Richard Sykes after a great drive from 25th on the grid, the HHC driver being one of many drivers forced to start from the back after missing the post-qualifying parc ferme requirement.

In the G20 class, Dominic Pettit claimed a fifth class win of the season, with Stuart Pearson taking second ahead of class pole-sitter Simms.

The weekend's second twenty-minute race was to take place on a slippery track, with Robinson once again on pole. He led away from the line, but promptly spun at Redgate, causing everyone to have to avoid him.

This allowed Davies into the lead the first part of the lap, but he was soon passed by Simms, who produced a superb opening lap to work his way from tenth on the grid. With the G20 cars running on treaded tyres, they were at an advantage over the newer G40's, which run on slick tyres, meaning many of the older cars soon moved there way forward.

While Simms led, Pettit and Pearson moved into the leading pack. Huyton passed Davies for second, before Pettit also nipped by to take third, before passing Huyton himself for second. By this point Simms was in the distance and came home for his maiden outright win and fifth G20 win of the season.

Behind, the trio continued fighting for second and despite contact pitching him into a slight spin, Davies was able to come out ahead, making it an Optimum one-two, while a small mistake for Huyton on the final lap allowed Pettit through to take third. He was later excluded from the results though, meaning Huyton took third ahead of Pearson, Calvet and Piranha Motorsport's Ratcliffe. Robinson eventually came home twelfth.

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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