Ryan Hadfield took a first car racing win in the final race of the 2015 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge race of the season, but it was James Kellett who lifted the series title in dramatic fashion.
He finished the race third behind Hadfield and Callum Pointon, who lost the lead on the final lap when he slid wide through a yellow flag zone at the chicane, giving Hadfield the gap he needed to take the victory.
Kellett led the race from the pole position he had won by winning the earlier race and led throughout a race blighted by safety cars. The first was called out when Alexis Taylor and Jack Minshaw came together on the way down the Craner Curves for the first time, Taylor spinning from the apex of the left hander and clipping Minshaw into a lurid series of 360s that ended in time for him to miss the gravel trap. Taylor was not so lucky, ending in the trap on the outside of the Craners.
The second time the safety car was scrambled was in more important circumstances.
Having taken the championship lead earlier in the day Ollie Chadwick had dropped behind Hadfield into third, but remained ahead of Kellett in the fight that mattered for the title. But, as the green flag came out after Taylor’s car had been recovered the black and yellow machine was off the pace. He coasted down to the exit of the Old Hairpin where he pulled off, lamenting the broken propshaft that had taken his championship.
He ended the day an uncomfortable spectator, pacing back and fourth behind the wall at the foot of the hill, next to where his car had been moved to in time to get three laps of racing to close out the season.
On the penultimate lap two cars went off on the exit of the chicane and evidently left something on the track – either fluid or an excess of gravel – for Pointon to find on the final lap. While he gathered up the slide before it became anything more serious Nick Zapolski span into the gravel out of ninth place.
Behind the podium places Stewart Linn and James Robinson completed the top five, finishing the race side by side in a reprise of their morning battle.
Luca Hirst, Russ Simpson, Dan O’Brien, Ian Robinson and Matt Palmer rounded out the final top ten of the year.
Ben Hyland won the race in the GRDC+ class, but it was Rob Keogh, second across the line who clinched the 2015 title.