Strandberg Stuns in Ginetta GT5 at Spa

Dennis Strandberg took a hat-trick of wins in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge round at Spa-Francorchamps.

Strandberg doubled his 2014 winning tally for Optimum Motorsport, after winning all three races in the single overseas round the season.

Championship leader George Gamble managed to extend his championship lead to 36 points come the end of the weekend, even in the shadow of Strandberg’s success, with the Dane making use of a front row start in race one to instantly steal the initiative, dicing with pole-sitter Ollie Chadwick throughout the 7 lap encounter.

Elsewhere, championship leader George Gamble found himself embroiled in a race-long scrap with Matt Flowers and Century Motorsport’s Fredrik Mortensen for 3rd, with the latter making his first appearance of the season at the sharp end of proceedings.

With Academy Motorsport’s Flowers losing touch towards the end of the race, it was left for Mortensen and Gamble to quickly close up to the leading duo of Chadwick and Strandberg, with the quartet nose-to-tail come the penultimate lap.

Strandberg led into the final corner as they approached the flag as Mortensen took the inside line for second place, resulting in contact between the pair and a spin for Chadwick, thus allowing Gamble to sweep through for second and Mortensen to snatch third from the recovering Chadwick.

Race One victor in the G20 class was again Stuart Pearson, with the peerless Optimum Motorsport seeing off the challenge of Alex Preston and Brian Murphy in 3rd.

Race two of the weekend was far less chaotic, with Strandberg yet again  making a strong start to take the lead, before dominating the following 7 laps to finish clear of the shenanigans behind.

Chadwick meanwhile, endured another busy race in the company of Mortensen, this time the Dane being turned around by Chadwick at the Bus Stop chicane. The move earned the latter a 10-second time penalty, leaving im h8th at the end of the race, whilst Mortensen finished 9th. Gamble took 2nd back towards the front, with Privateer Brad Bailey coming home in 3rd, albeit far adrift of victor Strandberg.

The G20 honours once again went to Pearson, with the race one-winner  controlling proceedings again ahead of Preston, with Murphy rounding out the podium.

Race Three saw the championships leading protagonists, Gamble and Strandberg, scamper away at the start and never look back, with business-as-usual reining true behind as the battle for third remained the highlight of the race.

Bailey battled with Buddy Racing’s Gary Simms initially, with Callum Pointon and Rob Gaffney in hot pursuit. The battle-scarred Xentex Motorsport car of Chadwick soon joined the fray, eventually picking his way through the duelling-pack to end a disappointing weekend with a podium finish in 3rd, behind Gamble in 2nd and hat-trick hero Strandberg out front.

The final race saw the applecart disturbed in G20, with Preston finally getting the better of the seemingly unbeatable Pearson to take the win after a race-long duel. Murphy once again rounded out the podium trio.

The Belgium weekend leaves Gamble atop of the standings by a sizable 36 points, with Strandberg moving up to 2nd after a weekend that confirmed the outgoing Ginetta GT5 Challenge Sweden Champion’s title credentials. Chadwick sit’s 3rd, 17 adrift of Belgium’s top performer, with Simms and Pointon rounding out the top five.

The series now goes into much needed summer break, with the next round of the series taking place around the Brands Hatch GP Circuit on August 30th & 31st.