Victory in the final Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge race at Brands Hatch capped off the perfect weekend for Oli Basey-Fisher, three wins leaving the championship top three separated by just three points heading into the final round at Donington.
Academy Motorsport‘s Basey-Fisher took the easiest of his three wins in the final encounter, the teenager claiming a sweep of all the weekend’s acolades with pole, three wins and three fastest laps, leaving him ironically three points behind championship leader Brad Bailey with three races at Donington remaining.
Basey-Fisher held onto his pole position away from the grid in the final race at the Brands Hatch GP circuit, heading Jake Gidding around for the first time as the pair staged their third duel of the weekend. However, the battle soon turned to a fight for second place as Basey-Fisher began to pull away, opening up a comfortable lead buffer of over two seconds on lap one alone, dominating the 12-lapper on his way to a resounding win of over six seconds by the time the Academy Motorsport G40 passed the chequered flag.
Luke Davenport kept Giddings honest in the early going, the Reflex Racing driver forcing his Total Control Racing rival into a defensive drive with Will Burns in hot pursuit, whereupon a gaggle of Ginettas latched onto the train that saw Davenport move ahead by just 0.065s on lap four.
Behind Burns, a scrap developed between Chrissy Palmer, David Pittard , Ben Hyland, Callum Pointon and Gary Duckman, but with Davenport and Giddings still the centre of attention at the helm of the fight. Meanwhile, a great resurgance by points leader Bailey saw him charge from the back of the packed GT5 Challenge group onto the train of swarming G40s battling for second.
A long way behind leader Basey-Fisher who had by now sealed his fate, the conclusion of the race saw Davenport leading Giddings, Pittard, Bailey and Pointon in the battle for second, where – in a reversal of race two when he was cruelly denied the win – Giddings found himself in a race to the line with his Reflex Racing rival, nicking second from Davenport on the line.
However, a 35 second penalty for Giddings for disrespecting the track limits dropped him to 10th place, a penalty which also fell the way of Hyland, Mark Davenport and Gary Simms.
Burns would have therefore inherited third spot, but he too was guilty of using too much track run-off to his advantage as he was slapped with a five-second penalty that shuffled him down to seventh, costing the Academy Motorsport driver the championship lead.
“We were closer to Oli on the times in that race, but he’s been untouchable all weekend”, said Burns after the race.
Instead, Pittard was the beneficiary who moved up to third, Bailey leaping up to fourth ahead of Pointon, Duckman, the demoted Burns and Tor McIlroy; Matt Flowers and the unfortunate Giddings rounding out the final top 10 classification.
The dominant weekend for Basey-Fisher now makes it a three-way tussle for the title at Donington on October 5/6, Bailey leading Burns by two points with Basey-Fisher now just a point further back with three races to go.
In the G20 class meanwhile the title was sealed early by Stuart Pearson, another sweep of the wins securing him the Ginetta G20 Challenge championship while Brian Murphy also put himself out of reach as 2013 runner-up; third place remains yet to be decided between Mark De Spong, Jonny Greenwood and David Pattison.