Kellett dominates shortened first GT5 Challenge race

by Joe Hudson

James Kellett led every lap of a shortened Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge race at Silverstone after a first lap red flag called for a restart to the race.

On the very first lap, it seemed as though the whole of the mammoth 29 car grid would get round the lap without incident – however, Maggotts caught out a handful of runners as Malcolm Joyce in the GT5 class and Usmaan Mughal and John Wall in the GRDC+ were involved in a mega crash.

Initially, it was Joyce in the #99 that spun on his own going into the corner and as he was recovering he was hit by Wall in the #88 and then Joyce was hit again by Mughal in the #23. As can be expected, there was debris – and huge chunks of Ginetta – covering most of the track.

There was talk that a safety car would have been enough, but race control decided the best course of action would be to red flag the race and try the whole thing again.

That was probably a god send for Kellett, who had lost the lead on the first lap, as he got away cleanly and saw himself with clear track ahead – relegating Callum Pointon into a second place he would retain until the end of the fifth and final lap.

Ollie Chadwick was a big mover at half distance as he found himself looking at a podium thanks to a handy third place. He could have got to second place if he had another lap, but in the end he trailed Pointon by only 0.442 seconds.

Slightly behind, Stewart Linn and Ryan Hadfield were scrapping it out for fifth place. Linn was holding it for a time, just about holding off a dogged charge from Hadfield in the R & J Motorsport car.

That battle carried on until the very final lap with Linn running wide at Luffield, letting not just Hadfield past but also Luca Hirst – who then leap-frogged Hadfield into fifth.

As this was all going on, the GRDC+ category for less experienced racers was also providing mammoth entertainment. Rob Keogh, Charles Ferguson and Ben Hyland were nose-to-tail for a lot of the race with Keogh just about holding on.

Sadly for him, it wasn’t to be and Keogh was relegated to third place with Ben Hyland finding himself in first place and 1.789 seconds to the good over Ferguson as they crossed the line.

Back in the main GT5 category, James Robinson  claimed the best of the rest category behind the podium trio of Kellett, Pointon and Chadwick in what was quite a quiet race for him – he was more than five seconds behind Chadwick.

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